Keeping Our Promises to Girls

All of the World Youth Alliance interns have been having a great time participating in the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the UN, which started on March 1st and continues through March 12th. During the CSW, we get to listen to countries as they report on the progress they have made throughout the past year on behalf of women. We also get to talk directly with delegates about their own experiences in their respective countries.

My name is Amy Secrest, and I’m an intern from Washington, DC. Last Wednesday, Luisa Khalil (an intern from Mexico) and I had the opportunity to help the World Youth Alliance co-sponsor a side event entitled “Keeping Our Promises to Girls.”

As an intern last fall, I began work as early as October to help put together this event, but WYA’s involvement in the project began much earlier. The project consisted in connecting with NGO’s on the ground to see whether girls experienced the changes their governments had promised them. Former North American interns here at WYA coordinated with our international offices to help facilitate discussions like this with girls around the world.

Not only did World Youth Alliance gather this information and co-sponsor the actual event, but Luisa also delivered a moving and thought-provoking statement on the current condition of girls’ rights in Mexico, concluding by recommending that policy-makers in that country recognize the inherent dignity of girls. The large room was packed, and many of those in attendance mentioned to Luisa and to the rest of us from WYA what a great job Luisa did and how interesting her speech was!

We are excited for the rest of the CSW this week and look forward to pursuing the relationships with other NGOs and with state delegations we’ve formed so far!

Amy Secrest – World Youth Alliance, North America