Have Your Say! Online Consultation for the Youth Forum at CSW61 on Young Women’s Leadership

The Youth Forum is a critical opportunity for young people in all their diversities to openly and strategically discuss the challenges and opportunities for achieving gender equality and sustainable development in our local, national, regional, and global contexts, and to amplify common concerns and advocacy efforts in advance of CSW61. 

Recognizing that many young people will not be attending the Youth Forum and CSW61 in person, all young people and stakeholders from around the world are invited to participate in this online consultation and provide their input on the key themes of the Youth Forum: Young Women’s Leadership, Young Women’s Economic Empowerment, Partnerships with Young Men in Gender Equality, and Inter-generational Partnerships. 

Between February and March, young people and stakeholders from across the globe will be invited to contribute to the discussion using the Empower Women’s web platform and respond to prompts related to the four main themes of the Youth CSW61.

We encourage young people aged 18-35 to add their voices! 

Week I

Topic of consultation: Young Women’s Leadership

Duration: February 8 – 14, 2017

Moderators: Sophia, Hannah, Upasana

Sophia Pierre-Antoine

Sophia works for the World YWCA movement with a focus in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and young women’s leadership. To email Sophia, please click here

Hannah Wandel

Hannah is an equality advocate and the Founder & CEO of Country to Canberra, an NGO focused on empowering young rural women to reach their leadership potential. To email Hannah, please click here


Upasana Chauhan

Upasana is a women's right activist, blogger and a STEM girl Associated with NYC4CEDAW, PLS (NGO for girls education in India) and storyteller at World Pulse. To email Upasanna, please click here

Questions for discussion:

1. How can young women foster a leadership model that is inclusive and intersectional, which embraces diversity and varying identities? Please provide concrete examples

2. How can young women leaders become active agents of change for their communities? Please provide concrete examples

3. Do schools, businesses and public and private institutions need to change to create better leadership pathways for young women, and if so, how?

4. What do you see as are the main barriers to young women's leadership in your community? Can you elaborate with examples / stories?

5. What role can you currently play in order to improve the lives and empower young women and girls in your community?

Hashtags used on social media:#YouthCSW61 

  • Leah Davidson
    Here are my answers to the questions:
    1. The first step to inclusive leadership is understanding different identities. From my own conversations with women from various nationalities, backgrounds, sexual identities, ethicities, ability levels, etc., I have come to learn that the problems women face are very diverse and that, while certain experiences are shared, many are unique to specific groups and individuals. It would be great to have more open fora to discuss these issues. Also, finding ways to positively portray diverse women in media campaigns, etc. would be another positive step in celebrating different forms of leadership. 
    2. There are so many ways that women can be agents of change, depending on their skillset and the needs of the community: dialogue, mentorship/sponsorship, advocacy, and communitiy engagement. Also, by succeeding at jobs in various fields, women can become role models for younger men and women and break down barriers as far as how success is perceived. 
    3. Schools, businesses, and public/private institutions can and should work on creating leadership pathways for women. Schools should promote broad career exploration and maybe start programs that allow women to shadow professionals and learn about STEM and other non-traditional fields. Businesses also need to support high-potential women through sponsorship. My company (in the technology field) has a Women's Leadership Network that coordinates social, educational, outreach, and community service events and programming targeted at women, including Lean In circles. This helps build solidarity among women and also address the unique issues that women may face. All of these pathways must include men in the dialogue, so that they are supportive of women leaders and aware of unconscious bias.
    4. Even though I come from an Ivy League background, where most of my peers are well-off and well educated, there are still many barriers to rising to leadership positions. Particularly in STEM professions, entrepreneurship, finance, and other male-dominated fields, it is difficult to identify role models. When I was going through business recruiting, I noticed that a lot of firms had started providing early exposure opportunities for women (e.g. Blackstone, a private equity firm, hosted a Future Women Leaders Program). Often times, female students may feel intimidated by the lack of female presence at the executive level or lack confidence in their abilities and it is helpful for women to connect with others who have been in their shoes and overcome obstacles. 
    5. As an Empower Women Champion for Change, I am interviewing women entrepreneurs and STEM professionals to write articles about their journeys to inspire young girls around the world and populate iLearn modules, an online educational curriculum. I am also leading women's initiatives at my firm and working on programs to help women and youth in Peru and Honduras start their own businesses.
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Thanks a lot for sharing your insights Leah .. Thanks for the detailed response.

      1. Media definitely plays a very important role in changing Women's Life. Media is the only way to reach every door and empower every next door girl. This way we can cover diversified information.

      2. I personally believe real life role models are much more important than the ones that are far off. Real life role models makes the dreams more believable and achievable.

      3. CSR is a very important aspect of all the fortune 500 companies. I am glad your company is already doing it. Is your company doing it across different countries or just in their city ?

      4. Being a STEM Girl myself since many years with Fortune 500 companies, I have experienced the same. I have seen my friends leave their jobs. It's very sad that even in 21st century women have still to fight for their basic rights.

      5.Amazing platform , love the idea. would love to know more from your campaign and initiatives. Do mail me and would love to learn more about the same.
    1 of 1 Replies
  • Nafula Amoit
    What do you think see as a the main barriers to young womens leadership in your community? Can you elaborate with examples and stories.
    In Kenya like most developing countries the youth are often called future leaders and thus denied leadership positions especially within the government and government owned parastatals.In the aforementioned older women and men are often considered and prefered to younger women.In the Kenyan Parliament and Senate we only have one nominated woman who is slightly older than 35.This makes it tougher and worse for young rural women.
    The interest of young women are often ìgnored and not placed at a larger development context.
    Both government.Nongovernmental Organization and private companies should include the youthful women on their boards this is barely happening.If it happens this will encourage inclusion and diversity in organizational leadership, while it is clear that the young women are not equipped aspects  for developing the right character for effective leadership through meaningful skills development ,identification of common issues, challenges opportunities and values little has been done to attain this.Using Kenya as an Example where  the Ministry Public Service  Gender and Youth Affairs has little to show off in terms of women economic empowerment and leadership.
    However young women have founded businesses and joined youth organizations Where they can exercise their leadership skills.Another challenge young women face is poverty,education barriers unwanted pregnancies,HIV/AIDs. Gender discrimination at work places and limited employment prospects and opportunities.Despite the efforts by some organization to encourage youth developments.
    Statistics in Kenya indicate that youths young women included hardly involved in decision making in matters concerning them. This statistics indicate a 40% unemployment rate among the youth and more disturbing fact is that 7out of 10 jobless persons are youth of which consists of women.The young women will only get leadership positions if they affirm and assert themselves.they should be involved in decisìon making formulation  and implementation to influence policy.Initiatives and movements to encourage young women leadership at grassroots Are being formed to develop the leadership skils such as good governance ,advocacy  and community Mobilising, entrepreneurship to help in advancement of women rights  and economic empowerment
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Hello Amoit,
                  This is really shocking and very insightful . I am really thankful that you shared this information with us. It's very important to include young women in countries like Africa especially . This will definitely go into our report so that we can work together on how to change this. We really are missing the maximum potential if youth is not part of the whole progress and adding to the economy.
    1 of 1 Replies
  • Mengdi Wu
    Q5. What role can you currently play in order to improve the lives and empower young women and girls in your community?

    As a young women entrepreneur, I design safety backpacks for teen girls, and inside the bag, I created a label called "Go For Your Dream!" to inspire and empower women and girls out there to go for their dreams. I also spoke and presented my design at United Nations headquarter to encourage more young people to speak up about the issues they have in their community, to get their voice to be heard:

    You can be anything you want be, to watch my UN speech: https://youtu.be/lEtjINJ_EOo

    • Upasana Chauhan
      Hello Mengdi,
                      Thanks for sharing this innovative idea with us. World needs more and more young women enterpreneurs like yourself to encourage and empower the girls from around the world. 
    1 of 1 Replies
  • Do schools, businesses and public and private institutions need to change to create better leadership pathways for young women, and if so, how?

    Absolutely. I think it is important that if we want to promote youth leadership, it starts from the institutions. In the case of schools at least in my country I have noticed that private schools educate for leadership while public schools do not do so that is why only the upper classes play these roles, so there should definitely be a training on leadership in all types of schools. Therefore it is necessary to integrate in the curricula a subject on leadership and community. 

    In Mexico, we have a problem about power relations. When I finished university I started working in a company, my professional experience was just starting but as I work since I was 15 years I have developed certain skills that allowed me to have a higher performance over my colleagues. As a young woman on many occasions when I exercised the leadership role my bosses scolded me because under their perspective I acted incorrectly because I was the youngest to exercise thatimportant role. The results showed that they were incorrect and this was how I was allowed toact as leader. So I think companies in principle must change their preconceived notion about leadership and it is where #nottooyoungtorun campaigns are important to break paradigms. 

    Talking about public institutions I think youth institutes or women institutes must include on their programs leadership classes for women in order to Strengthen and promote it. 
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Hi Marline,
                                Thanks a lot for sharing the insights from Mexico. I would like to appreciate you to for being strong and taking a stand from a very young age. Congratulations and yes such campaigns encourage and empower young girls to take a step forward. 
    1 of 1 Replies
  • A:5 I can & I am organizing various events including conferences, seminars, training sessions, panel discussions, talks, competitions, micro financing etc to empower youth to mobilize youth to develop sense of responsibility in them. Such activities help me develop leadership  skills in our youth and girls. These help me to empower girls and make them realize their inner power and matchless strength. 
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Thanks a lot for sharing with us Farwa ... This is brilliant .. Do you have a website link where we can find more details .. Also in which city or ities are you spreading awareness ?
    1 of 1 Replies
  • How can young women foster a leadership model that is inclusive and intersectional, which embraces diversity and varying identities? Please provide concrete examples

    I think before to answer this question we need to ask ourselves first who is fostering this? Who is representing this leadership models? Or who are the young women leaders embracing this inclusive and diverse Identities?

    In my experience, I have seen many young women leaders under representing our voices. People who represent our concerns are from a different context so we do not identify with them because no matter they have visited our towns or they have theorical knowledge about the context it does not mean they understand what we need as they do not live it. So even if they promote leadership as we do not feel identified with them we do not get involved. Thus, I think the first practical action to promote this inclusive and diverse leadership model is to develop young women leadership from the different context we would like to include. I meant, we need to identify some leaders - for example from indigenous communities or disabilities (for mention something) - to serve as leadership model in order to create a sustainable involvement and to inspire other young women with the potential to become leaders of these contexts.

    Also, it is important to open a space where these rising leaders can participate to exercise that role as it is the best way to foster that leadership model. I want to mention as an example the efforts the OIJ has done in the iberoamerican region. They made national summits in all the countries of the region, they allowed many young from different contexts to get involved in the creation of the youth agreement in the national level. Then they opened a space in the international level where one young from each country of the region could exercise this leadership role representing its country. I must say I was the one selected to represent not only the youth of my state and my country but the young indigenous women of my community. It allowed me to strenghten my leadership skills and now I am sharing this with young indigenous women from my country that have the skills to turn into leaders so it is the way how I am promoting the women leadership with an inclusive approach and the next natural step is to get involved in those spaces opened.

    Besides, I think is important also not only to train these young women in leadership skills but accompany their efforts to transform themselves as leaders. As in this moment I am in a privileged place (representing the voice of young indigenous women like me in the international level) I am helping other girls from my country to participate with me in those spaces. They do not need to pay me the opportunity to me but to someone else in their region in order to replicate this.

    Finally, we need to socialize the actions of many young women as much as possible. We have many young men leaders but there are not many young women leaders to learn or to admire. In fact there are many young women leader but as we do not promote their achievements or steps only few people know them and it does not help if we strongly want to foster young women leadership in general.
  • A: 4 Our students and young girls have a lot of potential what they lack is just their grooming and mentorship. They just need a platform and then you will see that what a tremendous change they can bring by their efforts with proper guidance and supervision. The hurdles they have to face is right platform, right resources, and people who can hear their voice. 
    • Sophia Pierre-Antoine
      Thank you for sharing Farwa Akhlaq,
      What kinds of platforms are you thinking of? How can the UN, governments, and NGOs provide those platforms in a way that you would like to see? Speaking on mentership, please join us during these other topics:

      Young Women’s Economic Empowerment: February 15 - 21
      Partnerships with Young Men in Gender Equality: February 22 - 28
      Intergenerational Partnerships: March 1 - 7 

      Looking forward to your thoughts about intergenerational mentorship! 
    1 of 1 Replies
  • Shamitha Devakandan

    Do schools, businesses and public and private institutions need to change to create better leadership pathways for young women, and if so, how?


    These institutions do need to change to create better leadership pathways for women. For example, so many post-secondary institutions have cut many of their women’s studies programs. Because of this, gender differences are not being discussed in the classroom and opportunities for women are going ignored. Furthermore, women and young girls are not learning about past women leadership, which can have effects on their own direction of young women leadership. Institutions should be providing a space for young women to come together and discuss ideas without fear of being ignored or having dominant groups overshadow their thoughts and opinions.


    What role can you currently play in order to improve the lives and empower young women and girls in your community?


    To empower young women, you can get involved in organizations. For example, I am a part of Sayfty which has various campaigns empowering women. One I like is the #IFeelUnsafeWhen campaign highlighting what makes people feel unsafe in their communities and then trying to do something about it. Additionally, being the Voice of the Week (#VOW) for Sayfty gave me the opportunity to speak on their Twitter platform and discuss my ideas on young women leadership to thousands of people, which was empowering in itself. It also connected me to new organizations and individuals that I did not think to speak to beforehand. Finding platforms to speak on and also gain knowledge about it a great way of starting to empower young women in your community and globally.

    • Sophia Pierre-Antoine
      Dear Shamitha Devakandan,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and highlighting the importance of learning women's contribution to history whose endeavours have shapped today's world! Not only does it give role models to young women and girls of today but it also ensures that their existence is not erased.

      How would you suggest such histories are thought to those who do not have access to university level women and gender studies courses? How can young women foster a leadership model that is inclusive and intersectional, which embraces diversity and varying identities by learning and teaching the impact made by the women who came before them?

      Looking forward to hearing your thoughts! 
    1 of 1 Replies
  • Leah Davidson
    Hello, I was wondering if there is any way for youth in the NYC area to participate in-person in the CSW Youth Forum. Thank you!
    • Sophia Pierre-Antoine
      Hi Leah,
      please follow us here on facebook https://web.facebook.com/YouthForumCSW/?fref=ts  and on twitter https://twitter.com/YouthForumCSW for more information. As my colleagues mentioned, registration is now closed. However stay in the loop to find out when they will open for CSW62 ! 
      Looking forward to your participation during the online consultations:
      Young Women’s Leadership: February 8 - 14
      Young Women’s Economic Empowerment: February 15 - 21
      Partnerships with Young Men in Gender Equality: February 22 - 28
      Intergenerational Partnerships: March 1 - 7
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Hello Leah, 
                                Thanks for your interest. You can also follow us on social medias for live streaming of the events. You can follow us at YouthCSWForum61 on Twitter and Facebook.
    • shruti kapoor
      Leah, yes there is if you registered for the event. Unfortunately, due to the popularity of the event, registration is now closed. We hope you will be able to join us next year in March. 
    3 of 3 Replies
  • How can young women leaders become active agents of change for their communities? Please provide concrete examples

    I think not only young women leaders can become active agents of change but every young women of a community. I am from an indigenous community in the south of México, where the customs and traditions rule the actions and vision of my community. I moved to the city for many years in order to study as we do not have any University near and it is how I realized about the challenges we face and I discovered EDUCATION plays a key role in the creation of a new culture. Some young women of my community did not want to play the role as leaders because the custom is that man and adults do that, even if she desires to do that uncounsciously they said no. It was difficult at the begining to go against this custom but with some workshops on Human Rights, community skills, Identity, Leadership, emotional intelligence and oral expression in our own language (Mixteco language) to young women we broke the paradigms. The things changed as they felt more confident so we started  to get involved in the meetings that only older attended and we asked to be listened. Everytime there was a reunion we participated and also we developed some social projects to show our genuine commitment to our community. It is the way how they saw us seriously and now they recognize us as young but as decision makers of our community. I can say sometimes we just need a person who encourages or inspires us, sometimes we just need to learn in our own language, sometimes we just need to forget all the fashion and focus in our own environment, sometimes we just need to walk together as one, sometimes we just need someone believes in us enough to invest in our work or sometimes we just need a push from the current young women leaders. I am happy to say I am not the only leader of my community but we have at least 20 more thanks to these actions. I think the first thing to do is to deconstruct women roles, the next is to build a new one and finally to reconstruct the current ideas about young and about women among the whole population (including children, young, adults and elders). Once a girl receives the right tools to identify herself with her community the ties are strenghtened and nothing will stop her desire to impact her community as it happened to me and all my sisters.
    • Hi Upsana

      As we are a small community we socialize the workshops locally. We do not have toolkits as these are workshops but if it helps I could send you a brief about some workshops developed. I meant we have reportership in spanish but I can translate in english. Just let me know 
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Hello Marline,
                          Thanks a lot for your insight. First of all I would like to appreciate you for your courage and I am so proud of you. I have walked a similar path myself and therefore understand the importance and bravery of taking a stand in our respective communities. These meetings not only spread the awareness about the women's rights but also gives them a confidence about stepping out of traditional roles and becoming leaders of change. We will take this very important input and will find tools for girls for their community. Do you know of any such toolkits or campains in your community. Can you pls share ?
    2 of 2 Replies
  • A:3 Yes ! Definitely it is the 1st platform School from where a girl learns many things.. We need to change we need to develop leadership skills in our students in our girls. Leadership is basically a team work in which you not only carry yourself but the whole team with you. Girls should have such activities in their environment in their institutions to develop leadership skills in them also. Girls should know how other women and girls of their age developed leadership skills in them and how they contributed towards society then with their leadership skills. We need to motivate them we need to have interactions with students if other young girls of different countries also so that both ends can learn from each other and can try to develop leadership skills in them. We need to give opportunity to girls to take responsibilities and decisions on their own. It will develop confidence in them in a very little age. Thus schools and universities need to work a lot on this matter if they want to see and develop leadership skills in their girls 
    • We are in progress to launch such programs for our young little kids so that they can get awareness at early age and yes in our country we have exchange programs at university level where students come and go abroad and share their views and welcome views from other ends also. Exchange of ideas add flavour to life and provide a platform to think and generate new better ideas
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Hi Farwa, 
                                  Thanks a lot for your thoughts. Love the idea and curious to know more. Do you know in your community or school of any such programs ? Please share
    2 of 2 Replies
  • A: 2 Young women and girls can contribute a lot towards change if they will to take stand for rights and responsibilities. If they will they can bring a huge huge change. There are many ways by which she can contribute in bringing change examples include : social media, public speaking areas, Institutions schools, colleges, universities, seminars, conferences, panel discussion inshort there are no.of ways by which women can bring change. Is it not the thing that there is only one door to knock in the whole world if you find one door closed knock other then other other in the end you will have community with you that will be standing with you to bring change for you for themselves for their society. Collaborations count a lot... Women if will then can get many chances to raise their voice. We have examples like Benazir Bhutto, Arfa Kareem, Malala...Our girls and women has brought change in a very small age... 
    • O yes!! We are working on it and I organize events where I give open opportunity to young girls and boys also to speak and then we make teams so that they can also know team building and team work. N yes definitely I would love to start a campaign for this too and collaboration will be a strong bond between us and result will be benefit and empowerment of young girls of all communities. 
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Love your inputs Farwa ... We need to be more inclusive at the community level. We need to spread the awareness door to door if required. Do you know of any such campaign in your ocmmunity. or else lets start one together. Really love the idea of public speaking for girls by girls and with girls
    2 of 2 Replies
  • Luz Maria Utrera
    Thank you so much Upasana for include me in the CSW report! I will send now an email to you. Blessings and Love to you too! 
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Love you too Luz .. and the pleasure is mine :) 
    1 of 1 Replies
  • Hi hannah Thanks for your answer to my previous comment, you asked me: Has there been much discourse about woman leadership and education in your local community and Mexico in general, and do you think diverse models are being recognized more?
    In Mexico one of the main challenges is that; To achieve real parity is in education and the allocation of resources that protect the rights and opportunities of women and girls that affect their political participation, ie: access to education, economic autonomy, a free life Of violence.
    I think that a good strategy to counter this problem is through information and educate children and young people to create equality consciousness and the problems they face in order to achieve equality, and that they are part of the solution Not the problem because in children there must be a great responsibility to achieve a 50-50 planet. For this I plan to work hard this year I will try to go to primary and secondary schools to talk about gender equality and SDGs so that at least they know the strategies of UN and LEAPs and to become familiar with these workshops in Together with other organizations in my state to create an education for gender equality.

     Will also answer your question about: Has there been much focus on increasing representation in Mexico?
    If in Mexico the Electoral Political Reform was enacted, which incorporated the obligation of political parties to guarantee gender parity in candidacies to federal and local legislators. Therefore, each of the political parties must integrate the lists of their candidacies to local and federal legislators, both majority and proportional representation, equally, that is, with 50 percent of women candidates and 50 men. However, it is not ignored that the representation in the chamber of deputies and senators will increase, I think that the State has an obligation to ensure equality of opportunity and development of women, because they are a central part of modern human rights. However we as a society and we must put pressure for public policies in favor of equality to be fulfilled, in my case as ambassador of MyWorldMexico I have achieved an alliance with the congress of my state in which we are citizen observers and we watch that the politics Public for sustainable development are met and not put aside, we exercise pressure and we will soon offer advice, and one of the laws we are seeing that is met is the law of equality for women and men of the state of and we want it to be destined Budgets for the allocation of resources for compliance with the local equality policy.

    Another of your questions was, would you ever consider running for political office?
     I have 21 years still have much to learn even though from the public sphere it is easier to achieve these laws if one day I do it would be to push these causes, defend human rights and try to achieve sustainable development.
  • What role can you currently play in order to improve the lives and empower young women and girls in your community?

    I am in my small way talking to women and girls in my circle. I write about the issues and also belong to Sayfty.com and participate in their discussions. I would like to be part of seminars and discussions where we can include local bodies into these and derive some action points. Sexual Harassment at workplace continues to be a taboo topic and i have discussed with my HR to bring more awareness . Sadly most companies only want to show their compliance to Sexual Harassment guidelines on paper and not much in reality. This needs to change and the only way is to create a Ombudsman for Companies to monitor their actions.

    I plan to also discuss with my HR on Self defence classes for women considering recent spell of violence within office space
  • What do you see as are the main barriers to young women's leadership in your community? Can you elaborate with examples / stories?

    The biggest barriers i have seen are the ones defined my family and social norms. Women are expected to give their husbands ,children and homes greater importance and therefore are groomed only for the purpose. Where boys are raised and encouraged to develope leadership,women are not.Gender biases are leading cause for women to remain in shadows.

    Education which can play an important role ,is failing.Indian education is widely peppered with stories of male glory but nothing for women to identify with barring a tiny paragraph on Sarojini Naidu,Anne Besant and Jhansi Ki Rani. We need role models. Compound this with poor messaging in textbooks for social evils:
    Though we have "Educate girl child" policies, at ground level they are ineffective. These schools only count the number registered not actual attendance or the percentage who completed a year or even 12 years of education. Knowing fully well that without education most of these women are dependent on their parents or husbands for basics.The schooling system is based on money and many people cannot afford the cost of education. Free and compulsory education until age 14 is usless old policy which needs to change. Along with imroving quality of edcuation in government schools which mostly remain in shambles.

    I also feel we need to include basics of managing finances(like bank accounts) and a few more real practical lessons for girls in schools. It will enable them in the future . I have seen examples of educated women who have left their bank and financial transactions on their father,brother or husband as it was too complex and time consuming for them. This again takes away their economic freedom.

    Safety is another reason why women are apprehensive taking a leadership in the community. Safety at work, at home and in public places.

    The biggest reason i find that most women in our community arent bothered is because they dont care. The apathy towards womens issues and the word feminism is evident among those more privileged in education or wealth. The attitude arises because for them the patriarchy is so ingrained that feminism is "uncool" . They would watch/read the news on violence be vocal on social media but refuse to actively participate.

    Education and awareness programs need to be put in place.

  • Do schools, businesses and public and private institutions need to change to create better leadership pathways for young women, and if so, how?

    All institutions have a role to play in encouraging female leadership, but schools in particular can be key environments for promoting female leadership and tackling gender norms from a young age. School curriculums should give examples of diverse female leaders, both current and historical, who have taken action and created change. They should explore gender norms and provide non stereotypical role models for young women and men. They should include diverse voices and perspectives on the key issues facing the world today.

    As well as the important role schools play in informing students about the issues, schools must also teach young people how to act on them. Too often young people care about certain issues but either dont know how to act on or think that as young people they dont have the power to change them. Schools can play a role in teaching students how to engage politically, start a campaign, start a business, volunteer in the community etc, particularly by using real life youth leaders as role models or mentors. 
    • shruti kapoor
      Sinead, you are right in pointing out that schools must and should play a key role in creating better young women leaders. Do you have any positive examples of schools already doing so in the country where you are based? 
    1 of 1 Replies
  • Wilhelmina Tameca Gaoses

    Here is my input on Question 2,

    Question 2:  How can young women leaders become active agents of change for their communities?

    As Women we should be: Rooted in action: And support and engage each other in community action projects, that is led by young girls and women that address issues that most affect us in our daily lives, with the collaboration of Women who are leaders in Public Service and governance positions and a strong network of women community organizations, women mentors, women municipal leaders and women institutional partners. As Women we  NEED Solidarity in numbers: This means creating spaces for meaningful dialogue between young women, female role-models in decision making roles, civil society organizations, government bodies, and the media in order to dismantle societal barriers to young women’s participation in community life. Knowledge is power: As girls and Women we need to equip emerging young women leaders and organizations with the knowledge and skills to promote increased young women’s participation and citizenship engagement in their communities.

  • Wilhelmina Tameca Gaoses

    Well Done for all your efforts Sophia Pierre-AntoineHannah WandelUpasana Chauhan!! 


    Here is my response on Question 1: inclusive Women leadership

    This is a pretty good question that we as women leaders can reflect and strategies o. My approach to diversity for Women Leaders is that we need to highlight the importance of the dynamics of inclusion and identity safety is an important one. A shift in Inclusive Leadership in Women through national paradigm can only be achieved through an emphasis on personal (and systems), individuals, communities, organizational, governance level. At the same time, the notion of inclusion calls attention to the relevance of culture and of leadership that ensures the right environment for nurturing and leveraging multiple diversities in women perspectives. This raises the importance of strategies that educate all women leaders – not only public leaders, but young girls, community women leaders, parents – on the need for and benefits of creating inclusive environments.

    I think some of the most profound diversity we experience in life has to do with diversity of thought. Diversity initiatives can have important and interesting social justice benefits, but the real reason you want to pursue diversity programs is for innovation. You want diversity of thought. Here’s the key: If you want diversity of thought, you have to bring in women around you who have diverse experiences. Differences in race, gender, and socioeconomic background are three characteristics, but so are differences in learning style or differences in professional field. And I’m not suggesting that any one of those points of diversity is more potent than others.


  • Valentin Camaño
    1. How can young women foster a leadership model that is inclusive and intersectional, which embraces diversity and varying identities? Please provide concrete examples

    For example, women in indeginous communities have support systems, as well as LGBTQIA+ support centers I need their local levels. Now have communities on the international level is more than ever needed to embrace more diversity and most than, definitely various identities of representation. No one should limit to speaking for a community or two without knowingly the full length of diversification and educational embracement throughout the spectrum. 

    Through volunteering with young woman, girls and multi-diversity identities. One can tell the full conversation of multi-spectrum experiences spoken through life just by itself tells it all. 
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Hi Valentin, 
                       Thanks for your key input. I completely agree with you without including every section, we cannot have an equal insight, justice and empowerement. How do you think in your city intersectionality is being implemented ? Do you know of any such groups?
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  • Kirthi Jayakumar
    Do schools, businesses and public and private institutions need to change to create better leadership pathways for young women, and if so, how?

    Absolutely, yes! Schools, businesses and public and private institutions suffer from an unconscious bias that continues to take charge away from all that a woman / girl can accomplish and keep up. It is immensely valuable to note that many young women have managed to fight these biases and stereotypes to emerge winners - and if these girls can do it, we can certainly make a difference by reworking the system. 

    History text books in India seldom mention women in narratives of world and Indian history. A cursory glance at any of the history textbooks in the country suggests that scores of women in history have been excluded. For instance, invaluable stories that include: the likes of Kamladevi Chattopadhyay, Savitribai Phule, Bhikaji Cama and Kanaklata Baruah, among several others, in the independence struggle; Sarla Thakral who became India's first woman commercial pilot in 1938; Amelia Earhart, who was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic; Nangeli and Kannagi, who defied oppression in their own ways; Rosa Parks, who fought racial discrimination;  - and many, many more women.

    In 2016, the CBSE Board removed a whole chapter on women's caste struggle in India. As a result of ignoring and downplaying the contribution of women in history, there has been a constant devaluation of women and their role in society. Their contributions in shaping history and in creating change at each turn cannot be ignored - and doing so only keeps gender inequality alive. Constant gendered oppression stems from patriarchal thinking and beliefs that reinforce male dominance. When there is an outright act of ignoring the contribution of women, there is an unspoken message of invalidation of young girls and women. When we offer a male-centric history, we convey to women and girls that no matter what they may do, what change they may inspire and what action they may take, their narratives will be erased from history. 

    Education is invaluable, and schools are the first springboard to awareness. Beyond emphasizing upon scoring a given set of marks, there is a desperate need to create citizens who can build a world of empathy. Violence has been normalised at different levels today, and it is a dangerous spiral we are headed towards as a global community. In any attempt to change the narrative, it is important to restore the balance in the information we offer that makes the narrative what it is. 

    We'd like to share our work on this. We run a program called CHALKPEACE at The Red Elephant Foundation - http://chalkpeace.redelephantfoundation.org. We work for peace and gender equality education in these spaces.

    • Upasana Chauhan
      Really amazing insights Kirthi ... Thanks a lot .. I think we should collectively get that chapter back in our books. Do you know if there is already any petition about the same ? Love your program .. would be following your program for more details. 
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  • Kirthi Jayakumar
    Young women can become amazing agents of change in their communities through sustained grass-roots action. Using digital media technology, young women can connect around the world, create peer support efforts and bring home their learnings to the communities they belong to. For instance, in Chennai, a young woman called Bhavna Botta is an entrepreneur who works for disability inclusion. She lives her life as an example, having been born with cerebral palsy and having become a designer just by using her eyes. Similarly, young women around the world like Chavi Rajawat - who is the first female sarpanch (head of a village) in India after studying at Harvard, Sonal Kapoor who gave up a corporate job to take in children who have survived abuse from the streets into her home, and the like - are standing proof of how much value there can be to society if the power of young women is truly harnessed in making change happen effectively. 
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Brilliant examples Kirthi. These women have actually gone back to their roots and worked with the grassroots level people for a better future. Thanks for bringing these examples together. These women's work should be expanded exponentially in other states as well and with each other. Our country India have to start using the diversity and intersectionality for our advantage.
    • Wilhelmina Tameca Gaoses

      Thanks for the input, Kirthi,

      Also to add on...

      Mobilize young women to become active participants within their community and in their own lives Create new spaces (physical & virtual) for young women to learn, share and openly voice their opinions on issues that matter to them and support each other through the process. Improve self-esteem of young women in the community.


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  • Kirthi Jayakumar

    How can young women foster a leadership model that is inclusive and intersectional, which embraces diversity and varying identities? 

    I think one of the best ways that young women can foster leadership models that are inclusive and intersectional is to create knowledge and resource centres that the young women themselves can generate and then use as a roadmap for action around them. In accounting for women's voices appropriately, and in including their voices in the public space, there is more value accorded to their identities, and embraces all that they have to say and add. Knowledge is power, and one of the most powerful establishments are knowledge centres that facilitate evolutionary learning for a revolutionary change. 

    • Upasana Chauhan
      Hello Kirthi,
                          Thanks a lot for your insights. This is a very practical and good idea to create knowledge and resource centers. These resource centers can be online and offline as well. Do you know of any resource or knowledge centers offline or online where women can use as a roadmap. Please share with us so that we can share it widely . 
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  • Jason Tan de Bibiana
    Great discussion so far!

    I was at an event last week hosted by Feminist.com and the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities and one speaker, Joelle Gamble from the Roosevelt Institute, shared some interesting thoughts, which I think are relevant to Q1 on inclusive and intersectional leadership.

    To paraphrase as best as I can, Joelle said that it's definitely important to support women running for office and leadership positions, and initiatives that encourage and support this, but we also need to step back and think about what the goals for gender justice are. We need to move beyond having 'just one more female leader' - because one woman can't represent ALL different identities and issues, and intersecting identities and issues. The goals for gender justice are to move beyond representation alone, and tokenism. The panelists also talked about how the Unity Principles for the Women's March on Washington set forth a good example of intersectional feminism and leadership.

    Here are a few links for reference: https://twitter.com/feministdotcom/status/828765962103115779 https://medium.com/shane-ixd-thesis/women-men-as-allies-panel-discussion-8fc4be4c2508

    Besides this, I have been trying to keep an eye out for concrete examples of models and initiatives that foster young women's leadership. Here are a few local examples: 

    A mentorship program pairing young women in Toronto with female city councillors for a 6-month mentorship: http://www.metronews.ca/news/toronto/2016/11/23/toronto-protege-program-young-women-in-public-office.html http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=c1a078edd1ed7510VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD&vgnextchannel=91705febeabe2510VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD 

    New York City council's Young Women's Initiative building an agenda to address the needs of young women age 12-24 with leaders and organizers working with teens and young adults, focusing on women of color: http://www.shewillbe.nyc

    Strong Girls, Strong World implementing 10 young women and girl-led projects across Canada, led by Plan International Canada, YWCA Canada, and YMCA Canada, with funding from Status of Women Canada. The 10 projects addressed lots of different issues, from body image and self-esteem, cyberbullying, entrepreneurship, social justice projects, violence in relationships: https://plancanada.ca/strong-girls-strong-world https://ywcavan.org/blog/2015/08/strong-girls-strong-world-project-empowers-youth-social-change 

    I'll add more that I come across!
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Hey Jason,
                          Thanks a lot for your response. These links and details are so much helpful. We are going to put them in the report so that many more can benefit from this. Young Women's initiative is a brilliant team and they have been working the NYC Mayor to make NYC a better and equal city. Thanks again for such helpful info. We will be waiting for more if you have because these are world wide organisations so many more can benefit from your knowledge.
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  • Luz Maria Utrera
    Thank you so much Hannah! You can check the webiste luzmariafoundation.org and I will send you the activity report of the Foundation through email so you can see some of the Women that we help and some of the Job that the Foundation has been doing through the years! Blessings!
    • Upasana Chauhan
      This is so amazing Luz. If you can share the details through mail, we would love to put them in our CSW Report. Please mail us and we will be honored to learn more. Blessings and love.
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  • Penelope Avdelidi
    1. How can young women foster a leadership model that is inclusive and intersectional, which embraces diversity and varying identities? Please provide concrete examples

    Women have made significant steps towards their independence and their empowerment since the age of suffrage. However there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. Hardly do we see women throughout the entire globe getting the same jobs as men or running for political offices to the same extent as men. To assure that women have equal opportunities that allow them to develop inclusiveness and intersectionality
    they should embrace their gender and their identity. They should try to reach for the highest positions possible.

    Although women form every background can be gifted and can have the potential of being independent and to make a career there are some widespread obsolete stereotypes that prevent them from making their <<pursuit of happiness>> come true. These stereotypes are still deep- rooted in societies and the only way they can be eliminated is only if women from accross the world become united.  Women have to become more active in their communities no matter where they come from. They should realize that womanhood is not a synonym of being a wife, a mother or a housewife it is much more that that. Women from around the world should go against the grain and do jobs that are mostly characterized as <<manly>>. For instance in my country (Greece)it is quite unusual to meet a female pilot, or a woman taxi-driver and when it come to politics hardly do we see women taking higher offices.

    These outdated norms that have unfortunately survived till today should be uprooted. Women from around the world should synchronize their voices and should stand togenther. They should be more motivated and encouraged to use all the contemporary means of communication like social media or even join international organisations such as the U.N to make sure that their thoughts and intentions are heard not just locally but on a global scale.Thus more and more young women from diverse socio-economic backgrounds will be prompted to raise their voices and to adopt a leading and successful state of mind.
    • Thanks for that input,

      Additionally as Women we d need to develop a series of innovative & interactive workshops that support young women to become active participants within the community. This could be themed according to the diveristies of groups of women.

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  • Q4. What do you see as are the main barriers to young women's leadership in your community? Can you elaborate with examples / stories?

    The Educational system can sometime be a barrier to encouraging young girls to take leadership position. For example in my country (Cameroon), it is a must the at elementary level, girls study what is called “Home Economics” because they are prepared to assume the role of a home keeper and boys take classes in some handcraft work where they make things chairs because they are assumed to become future engineers

    Also, there is often the positive correlation of male success and likeability in leadership position, which is not often given to women in the sane circumstance. Research has proven that profitability in a corporation in bound to increase when women are in leadership positions (Mickinsey Report on women Matter Too). Sherly Sandberg Facebook COO puts it as the “Unseen Barrier of women In Leadership Positions)

    In addition, another growing barrier is the way the social media looks at women. When Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigerian Writer) says if Michelle Obama didn’t straightens her hair Barack wouldn’t have won the presidency she is criticized for such comments but few years later Theresa May becomes UK’s PM and her shoes becomes a topic for social media discourse. Down to my community where a female blogger called prostitute when her opinion is different from the narrative, and a man’s mistake is easily forgiven by society. Do we need a special Bible or Koran for gender forgiveness?

    Q5. What role can you currently play in order to improve the lives and empower young women and girls in your community?

    I am part of a mentor program in Cameroon called African Girls, whereby young girls are distributed according to the interest of their mentors and mentee. Also, I founded an organization called Generation Now in my community, where we carry out projects in different areas and women economic empowerment through chicken breeding is part of it. We are also engaged in youth and career development programs for young women



  • Luz Maria Utrera
    Q5. What role can you currently play in order to improve the lives and empower young women and girls in your community?

    I've always tried to be a positive influence for young women and girls and that's why I decided to create Fundacion Luz Maria. Empowering women is essential for the development of the world and I firmly believe that there will never be true progress without it. When we empower women, we empower the World. 
    • Hannah Wandel
      Amazing! Would love to hear more about Fundacion Luz Maria and any empowering stories that you're happy to share! 
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  • Luz Maria Utrera
    Q4.What do you see as are the main barriers to young women's leadership in your community? Can you elaborate with examples / stories?

    I can see lack of funding for women economic empower! Sexism in the workplace is still very commonplace that can create barriers, Women who are powerful and ambitious can be seen as "rigid", whereas men are often respected for those qualities women are judged for. 
    • Upasana Chauhan
      I so agree with you. Being a STEM Girl myself that's what I get everytime. You are "Too Rigid" "Too Ambitious" and then I tell them " Yes! I am " . But that's when we need to get into the picture and claim our spaces.
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  • Luz Maria Utrera
    Q3. Do schools, businesses and public and private institutions need to change to create better leadership pathways for young women, and if so, how?

    Yes. Studies show that schools, businesses, and institutions still exhibit discrimination towards girls and women. The most important first step is education about women's equality and then ensuring regulation towards these places. A certain number should be required for hiring, girls need to be encouraged more in STEM studies, and continuous education should be a priority for equality. Leaderships figures should actively engage and empower girls to follow their dreams with passion, engagement and courage-a great way to do this is to act as mentors for young women and points of support.
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Hi Luz,
      Thanks a lot for your response. I totally agree with you .. the shift starts at school. Young Girls start having self doubts right from age 6. We need to encourage Girls to be more inclusive in STEM. I am a STEM girl myself and saw many girls leaving the STEM fields because they were being targeted by scoail tabboos. They had to leave and join non-STEM jobs.
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  • Luz Maria Utrera
    • Luz Maria Utrera
      Q2. How can young women leaders become active agents of change for their communities? Please provide concrete examples

      I believe that first of all, opportunities need to be given to young women. From there, we can effectively create a foundation that will empower girls and that will create an inclusive atmosphere where they can feel heard and confident. Young women can become active members of their communities by joining relevant local social movements and activism groups, creating their own business and standing up for the causes that they feel strongly about.  Getting involved in democratic processes and politics, such as writing letters or calling to your local politicians and encouraging others to the same is also important.  Also, how about a fundraiser like a challenge or a run?

      Upasana, I dont know anyone particularly so I prefer choose and show that great things happen when we came together! In Argentina one woman dies every 30 hours for domestic violence and is not long term shelter there, that was the primary reason for the National Marches in June 2015 and October 2016 that were attended for hundreds of thousands of people. The hushtag is #NiUnaMenos. Changes happen when we come together engage and demand what is need it! of course start with one! You have to be the change that you want to see in the World. We need to start and make it happen. Do not go where the path my lead, we must go where there is not path and leave a trail.
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Hello Luz,

                       Thanks for your response and sharing with us your thoughts. I agree with you that we need to get into the system as soon as possible to spark the change. We need to start from our communities and keep pon going up to the politics. Unless we are on the table to discuss about policies about women's inclusion at every level. Especially young women need to start it at a very young age to get a bigger part of the gradual process. Can you please share an example of any young women who is leading a political campaign in your community.
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  • Luz Maria Utrera

    Q1. How can young women foster a leadership model that is inclusive and intersectional, which embraces diversity and varying identities? Please provide concrete examples

    Learning about inclusivity and intersectionality is important to make a movement or organization progressive and fair. Young women can ensure that their leadership is inclusive and intersectional by ensuring that all perspective sand voices are heard. For example,  Female voices of every ethnicity and socioeconomic status should be given a platform to ensure every perspective is considered and not just the privileged.
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Hi Luz,
                 Thanks a lor for your answers. I agree with you on the intersectionality part. We need to include women from every section because if we leave them behind , we leave a bigger section of women behind us. We need to be in this together .. #StrongerTogether
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  • #EWChampions4Change


    Q4. What do you see as are the main barriers to young women's leadership in your community? Can you elaborate with examples / stories?

    In the perspective of Bangladesh, women face a lot of barriers on their way to leadership, such as critics from patriarchal society, culture restrictions, harrasments in different places and sometimes oppression .

    For example, a woman entrepreneur has to face thousand times more obstacles than that of a male entrepreneur. I don't know why people have a negative attitude towards the idea of 'Female leadership'. Another difficulty is cultural restrictions. Many people still think that it is haram or illicit in Islam to follow the women leadership, despite the fact that Bangladesh herself is lead by a female Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina! Funny isn't it? Moreover, females face harrassment in almost every sector of society and their security is at stake. Besides, oppression from family is another obstacle which is a huge restriction for a progressive woman.

    • Sophia Pierre-Antoine
      Hi Anika Subah Ahmad,
      Thank you for sharing your experiences from Bangladesh.

      How do you think these barriers, challenges, harassements, and cultural norms can be addressed to change?
      Do you have any stories or examples to share?
      Is tackling these issues the role of schools? Private institutions? Public insitutions? NGOs? All of them? How?

      Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
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  • Edna Karijo
    Q4: What do you see as are the main barriers to young women's leadership in your community? Can you elaborate with examples / stories?

    In Kenya, for example, we are having our General Elections this year 2017. There are very few women running for top seats such as Governor and hardly do we we have women presidential candidates! In my view, leadership in political positions is currently difficult for young women because of the harshness of the process escpecially the campaign process. Many atimes it is marred with corruption of votors, propoagandas and sometimes endagering one's life if going against a male opponent. We have seen opponents (male/female) openly fighting physically in public campaigns. I think this harshness of the campaign process is what keeps many women especially the young women away from contesting for political positions.
    • Hannah Wandel
      Thank you for sharing this with us Edna, we really appreciate your insights and you shedding light on these matters. 

      Disolving the severe barriers you mention, such as corruption, severe opposition and danger, is so critical. 

      Do you have any thoughts on how we can inspire and support young Kenyan women to go into politics, in the face of such challenges? (Both locally and at a global level, whether policy shifts, better justice systems, role modelling, or women's support groups). I'd also be curious to hear of any success stories, or any programs that exist to help young women engage in the political sphere. 

      Thanks again for sharing. 
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  • Adrianna Sosa
    A1- Young Women can foster a leadership model that is inclusive and intersectional which embraces diversity and varying identities, to begin with by taking away that concept that your right to intersectionality comes from skin color. " because you are white you are less oppressed then I am as a colored skinned woman." Sometimes due to the fact that people advocating for feminism  seem to be marginalized steps up an obstacle for intersectionality. Secondly, a young leader should listen and get informed on the issues and current state of her environment. The more knowledge acquired about diverse "groups" of women, the more inclusive you are likely to be. Fostering an inclusive leadership model must come from pure tolerance and open mindedness; most importantly the consciousness of our current state as women living in today s society. Education is key to progress, and the more we women realize that we are all in this fight together, the more we willl be able to succeed. Here is an example of how lack of knowledge has affected inclusiveness in a small community. "Living in a predominently Black Country, I as a lighter skinned person have always been the object of people's assumption that I can afford anything or that I am simply not Haitian. I've been living in Haiti for my whole life, and because of my wavy hair, I have been categorized as anything but Haitian."

    A2-Young women leaders can become active members of their community by first and foremost putting themselves out there. Because it is not always easy to start off your own campaign or movement, it is sometimes better to simply get involved in already established organizations. As a young aspiring leader, I find it very important to have direct contact with  youth and personally hear their own side to the story. This helps you grasp their reality and hard life conditions. It is also a good idea to do research and spread positive empowering ideas and awareness of the isssue. This can later on lead to propositions of solutions. It is in human nature to do as we've been told, so the more we spread the word about making positive changes the more people will respond, hopefully. Last but not least young leaders should promote testimonials of affected youth. For example they could create a blog or any social media platform where they're could be ongoing updates of issues and testimonials. This provides for cheap, easy and accessible spreading of hope.
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  • Molly Pacheco

    1. How can young women foster a leadership model that is inclusive and intersectional, which embraces diversity and varying identities? Please provide concrete examples

    Young women can foster a leadership model that is inclusive and intersectional by first and foremost striving to be informed about diversity/identity issues in their communities. Young women can locate the groups facing the most difficulties within their own communities and target this audience by creating safe spaces for conversation. 

    2. How can young women leaders become active agents of change for their communities? Please provide concrete examples

    Once young women can understand each other and other young peoples they will be able to use the strengths of all participating individuals to reach out to other marginalized or oppressed groups within their communities. Young women can plan events or even after school activities that will give individuals the opporunity to interact with individuals from different communities. Along with new and fun interactions, young women can encourage individuals to engage in a project/spoting events/friendly competitions etc. that will allow individuals to realize a common goals. Often times community disputes or unrest occur because their is lack of communication and consequentially lack of uderstanding. I think that communication and understanding amongst young individuals can occur within these fun interactions that can potentially bring them closer.

    3. Do schools, businesses and public and private institutions need to change to create better leadership pathways for young women, and if so, how?


    What do you see as are the main barriers to young women's leadership in your community? Can you elaborate with examples / stories?

    This answer applies to questions 3 & 4: As someone who went to Catholic School from nursery until 12th grade I believe that more work can be done to promote better leadership pathways for young women within the education system. Being a leader takes confidence and security and I believe that these qualities might be compromised in school scenarios when schools do not have a proper way to address bullying--which can severely harm individuals' self-esteem. In my school, I believe that bullying in its many forms (gossiping, cyber-bullying etc.) played a large role in damaging self-esteem or confidence. Ideally, humans would be immune to hurtful words and actions because they have the confidence and support of family and friends. However this is not the case for so many individuals around the world. I think that it might be a good idea for schools to implement zero-tolerance approaches to bullying. Students should be given the safe space to talk about any issues or problems they have with one another with a mature and professional mediator. By fostering a healthy student body, students themselves can encourage and support their colleagues--which in turn will foster leadership attitudes and motivations.

    5. What role can you currently play in order to improve the lives and empower young women and girls in your community?

    I would love to get involved with a school organization that works with young boys and engages them to work and think about gender equality. I am in the process of looking for an organization in New York to join. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know :)

    • Molly Pacheco
      Hi Hannah, thank you for your response to my previous comment. I think that there are many young women in my community who advocate for women's empowerment. Across social media I see activism almost every day. It is great to see so many young women inspired and motivated to speak out for these important issues/ However, I think mobilizing young people to go beyond social media can be improved. I think that for a lot of young people (myself included) it is intimidating to get started on initiativves when you do not know how to start. I think that universities can continue providing resources for students that can prepare them to engage in entrpreneurial initiatives.
    • Hannah Wandel
      Thanks for your input Molly! 

      Re Q2: Love this. I think young women supporting other women, and having ownership of gender equality is a great way to generate progress. Have you seen young women in your local community succeed at this, or do you think there is an apetite for young women and girls to participate in advocacy activities? 

      re Q3/4: Thank you for bringing up bullying, and cyber-bullying. I really believe this can have negative, long-term consequences on young women, and can create situations where young people don't want to be in a leadership role/the spotlight because of the negativity they may receive. 

      Re Q5: that is awesome! If anyone has any suggestions - they should definitely post in the thread :) 
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  • Walter Ibarra
    1. Do schools, businesses and public and private institutions need to change to create better leadership pathways for young women, and if so, how?


    Absolutely. Actually here in Peru the new curriculum for both teachers and students of public schools is promoting the equal treatment for men and women. They are teaching that they both have the same rights and they should have access to the same opportunities. They are trying to teach that some stereotypes are false. Also, the same curriculum is teaching to accept one another and not to discriminate for gender or sexual orientation reasons.

    • Hannah Wandel
      Agreed Upasana - that is fantastic it's been embedded in the curriculum! Walter, do you happen to know how long it's been like that for, and if there's been any noticable impacts? 
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Hey Walter, Thanks a lot for your andwers. This is really enlightening about Peru. Imbibing such moral and empathetic and empowering calues right from the childhood is the key to great future of not only the kids but the country as a whole. Would you pls share an example from their curriculum or any link where we can access and view the details. other countries must replicate this as well.
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  • Thanks for your words Hannah.
    I feel that women in positions of influence begin to act as men, because everything around them has to do with men and because historically it was so. So that's when these women at decision levels push harder and harder to achieve once and for all the famous 50-50. In different sectors correct? It is necessary that these women demand much more participation, that women legislative, corporative and international organizations are the ones who raise the flag and that they commit themselves to realize the much needed change. As? That is the work to develop, without reaching those women who even in the XXI century do not know what gender equality means, if it is not possible to spread the proposal of equality with all possible force, we will not achieve the objective.
    Not a woman behind. That is my commitment. That should be the commitment of women who are in power today, but a real commitment and concrete actions.
    Personal opinion.
    • Hannah Wandel
      Thank you for these insights, we really appreciate. I recenty was speaking to a politician who reiterated to me that women must no longer climb the corporate/political/leadership ladder and pull the ladder up with them. And she has also gone ahead and is encouraging more women to run for office, and is actively encouraging any male-politicians to ensure they have gender balanced offices/advisers. We can't leave anyone behind. 
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  • Kelvin Chukwuemeka
    I will discuss question 1 in details:

    - First, with women now representing 40 percent of the global labor force and more than half the world’s university students, overall productivity will increase if their skills and talents are used more fully. For example, if women farmers have the same access as men to productive resources such as land and fertilizers, agricultural output in developing countries like Nigeria could increase by as much as 2.5 to 4 percent. Elimination of barriers against women working in certain sectors or occupations could increase output by raising women’s participation and labor productivity by as much as 25 percent in some countries through better allocation of their skills and talent.

    - Second, greater control over household resources by women, either through their own earnings or cash transfers, can enhance countries’ growth prospects by changing spending in ways that benefit children. Evidence from countries as varied as Brazil, China, India, South Africa, and the United Kingdom shows that when women control more household income—either through their own earnings or through cash transfers—children benefit as a result of more spending on food and education.

    - Finally, empowering women as economic, political, and social actors can change policy choices and make institutions more representative of a range of voices. In India, giving power to women at the local level led to greater provision of public goods, such as water and sanitation, which mattered more to women.

    My answers to Q4 came from my past and present experience so far working with women and girls to improve their community and also help them achieve their full economic potiential:

    - To bring about gender equality and make them to own leadership in their communities, policymakers need to focus their actions on five clear priorities: reducing the excess mortality of girls and women; eliminating remaining gender disadvantages in education; increasing women’s access to economic opportunity and thus earnings and productivity; giving women an equal voice in households and societies; and limiting the transmission of gender inequality across generations.
  • Malvika Iyer

    Achieving gender parity in leadership is a matter of fairness. Leaders are powerful, so when women are excluded from top leadership, they are denied power to make a difference in the world.

    Young women in leadership often face economic and social barriers in leading the community and in many cases overcoming those barriers become their motivation. 
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Hey Malvika,
                         Thanks a lot for sharing your practial thoughts. You are right these barriers especially social taboos become hurdles that some girls give up on their dreams and career and some take it as a motivation to carry on. Can you please share with us one such barrier that you faced and how you overcame with it ? All our participants would love to read and learn.
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  • Annah Bengesai
    What role can you currently play in order to improve the lives and empower young women and girls in your community?

    This is one area where I feel more can be done and we all can contribute, in our small ways to empowering young women. I grew up without relatable role models and the journey has been a lonely and gruelling one, full of hits and misses. But if I had known what I know now, the journey would have been easier. Unfortynately, this is still the plight of the young girl today. The sad part is this lack of role models is not only confined to career choices or business, but trancsends many aspexcts of life. The solution to this problem is easy. Those of us who have travelled the route must look and help those behind. Let us go back to our neighbourhoods. Let the yiung girls know that the if the girl next door became a doctor, engineer, so can I. Lets talk to them- let us not leave them behind- because doing so is an injustice. Let us be the relatable role models that these young women need.

    I often get so fascinated when I go to rural schools and tell young girls that I am a doctor and that I have a PhD. You can see their faces lightening up with hope and they start sking questions about how I got there. I remember one time when a young girl told me that she had never seen a doctor in her community or shaked one's hand. This is the plight of many a young women especially in the developing world and we can do more by showing them that it is possible, even when the circumstances seem otherwise.
    • Hannah Wandel
      I also wanted to jump in and thank you for your insights, Annah. I work a lot in rural affairs and agree, that role models coming to communities to motivate and guide young women would be incredibly empowering. I'd love to hear your thoughts on Upasana's question! 
    • Sophia Pierre-Antoine
      Dear Annah Bengesai,
      It's wonderful to see your approach on role models and mentorship!

      Wonderful to hear that you mentor young women and girls and tell them that they can acheieve their goals and dreams!
      Representation matters and it's crucial for young women and girls to have a diverse range of role models, and if none are available, to understand that they can become pionneers and be their own role model to themselves first then to their communities back home.

      As a matter of fact, during the week of March 1st to 7th we are having an online consultation on Intergenerational Partnerships! Looking forward to hearing your answers to our questions then. Hope you can join us ! 
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Hello Annah, 
                                You have really touched me with your answer. I can so much relate to it. And I agree with you 100%. There were no Role models in our neighbourhood/community. We had to become our own Role models and now it's our responsibilty to become a Role model for girls that are growing up in our communities. Why don't we start town hall meetings/ or small meetings in our respective communities. The issue is that they don't feel that their dreams are achievable and that's because as you mentioned they might not have ever even seen one in their lives.Therefore, they can't relate to it. We need to make all these dreams relatable and achievable. What are your thoughts on how can we start it one at a time, each one of us in our own communities?
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  • A2 

    Young Women are the ones who are nurtured with immense talent knowledge as well the patience of dealing with the cases on their ends if they work for social causes and humanity .

    Women March recently was lead in America by one such woman who stood for the entire women as a youth leader bringing in women from.all diversities uniting under one roof of Women marching .
    Malala is a live example the Nobel Peace Laureate is bringing girls to be educated and lead the nation's  She is is  the strength of the ones who have no voice and follow  behind the patriarchy superemos ,age old norms  and taboos . Malala has given not only finds but made them think that one pen one teacher one book can change their thoughts and lead the girls to be independent .

    The women in India in Rajput community hold many rituals stay in purdah as well not come before men 

    One such minister VasundharaRaje Scindia has staying in the same shoes of Rituals n culture stood saving women for giving them.voice to different agendas .
    They are independent n and have their say in different debates n discussions globally .

    The importance of being a woman leader is not to forget the base of you keeping your culture aside or rituals ceremonies but being living them.you speak gender equality women's freedom respect and the right to speak their thoughts and persue them .

    Women are the future of every nation .
    Peace prosperity enigma strength Love all these are symbols of great women .

    I would love to  take the lead in the internet world and being a speaker in different forums and been  a judge in judiciary would educate the women girls all to respect their space and be safe offline n online .
    As we earn respect it is  not demanded that is only earned by being strong I independent variables and passing the flame the light to others handing it over to generations spreading it over the world .

    Yes we can said Obama so do we say # YesWeCan 

    Thanks to Dr Shruti Kapoor Ravi Karkara to all young leaders Mandy S n Trisha Shetty Lakshmi Nathan Upasana Sophia Hannah here you here who have empowered us n been strength  .

    Immense love n light 
    Deepti Sutaria
    • Hannah Wandel
      Thank you so much for your inspiring words Deepti. I love the imagery of passing and spreading the light of gender equality #YesWeCan 
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  • Aderonke Egbedun
    A5- What role can you currently play to improve the lives and empower women and girls in your community? 

         I am a passionate and trained teacher, an environmentalist who also seeks liberty and fulfilment for every woman and girl child.

         Growing up I enjoyed the benefit of having good teachers who taught and impacted my life ; starting from my parents to those who taught me from elementary to tertiary institutions. Therefore, as a teacher I am opportune and positioned to engineer lives of individuals that come in contact with me in other to make them become individuals with moral and academic excellence and because EDUCATION is power; I am ready anytime to empower lives through it, so that the desirable change in behaviour that is expected through teaching and learning process is achievable in everychild/ individual.  

         As an environmentalist, I believe you will agree with me that  our global village is not in her stable state as a result of natural disasters  and the anthropogenic activities of man and since the EARTH is innocent and cannot help herself, therefore individuals need to stand up to rescue her knowing fully well that our own safety and existence  depends on her sustainability.

         My interest for the environment arouse as a result of my love for nature; I am passionate about protecting and beautifying the environment, fight the menace of Climate change through tree planting which is the easiest and cheapest way of taking Climate action and raising public awareness in schools on the need to plant trees now.

         My pet project called FEIN (friends of environment initiatives) though not yet registered is committed to environmental protection, beatification and charity; and is ready to work with every organisation working in those directions.

         Moreso, it is my belief that out of a broken place comes the strong entity; as a young woman my life is a testimony of that statement.Hence, I advocate for a world where every woman and girl child would walk in total liberty and reach their full potentials .

         I have volunteered to do personal community projects with evidences ranging from teaching, tree planting, and raised public awareness on need to plant trees, gender equality, girl child education, girl not bride, and abolishment of violence against women online and offline and in all these children in homes and Orphanages are not forgotten.

         Therefore, as a young leader I would like to do the followings:

    *teach/ lecture on  core values

    * raise public awareness on major issues that concerns women and girls.

    *  take a stand to be voice of hope and a voice of the voiceless

    *and take climate action anywhere in the world.  

    • Hannah Wandel
      This was so motivating to read! Thanks so much for your input and for all you do for gender equality and the environment.

      I am curious, do you think we should be embeding formal courses about gender equality into schools - and at what age? As young as possible? I'd also love to hear about any student reactions/examples you have had, where you've managed to create change!

      Lastly, I'd love your thoughts on how we get more people to be like you - engaged in their communities!
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  • The dynamics in any aspect nowadays require a new type of leadership, "The leadership of women," The woman leader is betting on improvements,
    For the women leader, providing understanding, and support to others is part of the daily routine.
    Women leaders are more efficient at motivating and bringing out the best in people thanks to the personalization of the relationship, personal knowledge and involvement they can offer with greater advantage.
     Women give leadership a commitment to a purpose greater than themselves. They give high priority to values, vision, business goals and their communication to their teams.
    Of course, it is not always easy for women to achieve their leadership or to perform 100%,  in my country (Mexico) the feminine gender continues to represent the minority in the political sphere of the country: in 2012, 33.6% of the senators (128) were Women, while in the Chamber of Deputies, the percentage was 36.8% of 500. At the educational level, there are more than 50% of students in high school, undergraduate and postgraduate, according to the Ministry of Public Education. In the family, one in four households are supported by a woman and 70.5% has a contribution of female income.
    In Mexico we are carrying out activities to achieve objective #5 of the agenda 2030, promoting LEAPs throughout the country and in the political sphere actions have already been taken to achieve a planet 50-50 laws that are being discussed to increase the political representation of the Women in the political sphere and in the business sector.
    • Hannah Wandel

      Thank you for this! So interesting to hear your views and learn more about the situation in Mexico.

      I agree - women have so much to offer, and so many phenomenal traits that can lead/inspire a movement, business, NGO or help create change. I like the idea that poeple are valuing diverse leadership models (i.e. we don't all have to be alphas to succeed as a leader). Has there been much discourse about this in your local community and Mexico in general, and do you think diverse models are being recognised more?

      I also run a program in Australia that enourages more women to seek a career in politics! Has there been much of a focus on increasing representation in Mexico? Would love to hear your thoughts on how it could occur. Would you ever consider running for political office?  

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  • Good afternoon everyone

    2. How can young women leaders become active agents of change for their communities? Please provide concrete examples

    3. Should schools, companies and public and private institutions have to change to create better leadership paths for young women, and if so, how?

    I leave the following thoughts:
    Young women are the ones who should be most involved in these issues. The more women who participate the more force they will have their ideals and can be replicated. It is fundamental to approach all women of parliamentary level and promote successful projects towards parity and effective equity. Programs or projects SDG # 5 must be transversal and concrete in order to achieve measurable and long-term objectives.
    Those women who today are in places of decision or power, must fight to obtain the participation of more and more women, and at the same time from their place arrive with actions recordable towards the lowest levels of access, where the information is very limited and where there are still acts of absence of gender equality.
    Working with the ministries of education of each state province and municipality is essential to reverse this sad reality.

    • Hannah Wandel
      Thanks for this! I love the idea of women/young women banding together, supporting one another and being agents for change.

      Do you feel women in roles of influence do enough to support young women in your community?
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  • Rama Ravindranathan
    2. Do schools, businesses and public and private institutions need to change to create better leadership pathways for young women, and if so, how?

    For this, I feel that the responsibility of instilling the leadership qualities in girls should start from childhood. Elementary schools are the best place for us to start introducing and celebrating the leadership aspects in children. Also gender equality awareness can be achieved with much ease, when we influence our young childrens' mindset from a tender age.

     An idea I am brainstoring in this forum is, the possibility of introducing a panel where real life examples in the form of stories to be presented to children. Kids can form 2 separate teams and can have a healthy debate of their analysis. Towards the end of the debate, a changed storycan be presented (Which introduces mindset shift and makes them understand the importance of leadership). Nurturing young minds with correct thoughts is a very important aspect in promoting leadership pathway for women.
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Hello Rama, 
                              Thanks a lot for your brainstorming in this session. I loved your idea and would to see such a panel with kids. The beauty about this idea is that Kids always give us a new perspective to our existing twisted world. They come up with the best and simple solutions. What are your thoughts on organizing one such panel ? As per a research young girls upto Age 5 feel equally powerful and hopeful about their future, at age 6 the shift starts. After age 6, girls start believing that Boys are smarter than them. So your platform would be a great start to begin with. Would love to know more details on your plans about this panel. Let's do it.
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  • Mayra Hernandez Rodriguez

    The active participation of young women in civic, political and community life is very important to archive gender equality, it is neccesary support community action projects, led by young women that address issues that most affect them in their daily live, with the collaboration of a strong network of community organizations, mentors, leaders and institutional partners.
    Also is very important to create spaces for meaningful dialogue between young women, female role-models in decision making roles, civil society organizations, government, and the media in order to dismantle societal barriers to young women’s participation in community life.
    The role of civil society organizations is crucial to promote increased young women’s participation and citizenship engagement in their communities. 
    We need to mobilize young women to become active participants within their community and in their own lives, create new spaces physical and virtual for young women to learn, share and openly voice their opinions on issues that matter to them and support each other through the process, and also is very important to improve self-esteem of young women in the community.

    • Sophia Pierre-Antoine
      Hi Mayra Hernandez Rodriguez 
      Thank you for sharing all these fantastic points!

      As you mention the importance of creating spaces for meaningful dialogues and spaces to share opinions on issues and be supportive, how do you suggest we make sure that these spaces are intersectional and inclusive, that they embrace and see the strenght in diversity and varying identities/backgrounds/experiences?

      Would love to hear your thoughts!
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  • Lakshmi Nathan Balasubramanian
    Educational Instituions are effective social change agents, and they should act as a catalyst in promoting women empowerment. There is a lot of disconnect between the needs of society and what the university/schools produce. An educatioanl experience is not just for intellectual development but also for social and emotional development. Schools and Colleges have to create programs/platforms to increase civic engagement. I don't have proof, but i assume a student who studies sociology interacts a lot with the local community and therefore is more open minded, on the otherside visit the STEM portion where you may not see much of awareness towards social problems. The reason (for which i have literatue) is because the educatioanl instituions are bifuricated as academic and "out of calss experience." This out of class experience is where a student is expected to learn and understand the needs of the society. In reality, that is not how the world works. Students cannot be expected to connect their cognitive, intrapersonal and interpersonal dimensions of their adult life, if their education has led them to belive that these dimensions are unrelated. So it is important that schools and colleges reform their curriculum to make sure that all these dimensions are made to interact with each other as a part of the whole student experience. 
    • Sophia Pierre-Antoine
      Dear Lakshmi Nathan Balasubramanian

      Interesting idea about schools creating platforms for civic engagement. Do you have examples of similar cases? Such as needing a certain amount of volunteer/public service hours to graduate from high schools and universities?

      I can imagine it would be quite an impact if all students learned and practiced basic human rights concepts!

      Looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts!
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  • * Do schools, businesses and public and private institutions need to change to create better leadership pathways for young women, and if so, how?

    The most important group of people that need to know how necessary is the gender equality are they, young men and women. They're the next generation. They will be here 30 or 40 years more and need to know the basics concepts, methodology, items, etc. So the easiest way to get this is by a direct message, day by day. We spent several years in the classroom trying to learn the life meaning, science, history, etc; so this is the best way, empowering since the classroom. Making them feel comfortable with this subject. Make them feel part of a change.
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Hello Fausto,
                            Thanks a lot for your answers. You are right we need to begin the change from schools. We need to educate and empower the younger generations right from school so that by the time they are Adults , they become an active change leaders. Do you have an example from your community where public and private intitutions are changing the curriculum of their schools (private/Public) to include gender equality as one of the courses. 
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  • Noura Hal
    This process of so called consulting is an eyewash. No one listens to the real voices of youth. This online consultation is unfair because it is only confined to those who have good internets. What bout refugee youth and also those who are suffering everyday/. UN is very unfair and excludes everyone and keeps to elites. 
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Hello Noura,
                               We respect your point of view and thoughts. The beauty of this platform is that we want women Leaders like yourself on the grassroots level to share with us the offline stories and videos where there is no internet. There is a Gap of technology to reach some areas like youth Refugees. If you know of some young Refugees pls reach out to them, have an offline consultation for next 4 weeks with them about all the topics and please share with us. We really want the consultation to reach the people who need the same the most. We will be then making a report about the same. So pls take advantage of this opportunity and share the details with us. Also, pls share the stories of youth leaders in Refugee areas.
    1 of 1 Replies
  • Goodnight everyone.
    A few moments ago I wrote on Twitter that as a first action action women should respect each other more. I put as an example the advance in hierarchies of a woman in a company can be public or private sector, who devalue their effort are women, obviously man this does not correct it, potency. My comment does not have the intention to offend anyone, I only write what I have lived and traveled.
    I ask the first question: How can young women foster a leadership model that is inclusive and intersectoral, embracing diversity and different identities? Fundamentally, I believe that the participation and commitment of current leaders at all levels and all organizations to generate global awareness is vital and that compliance with SDG # 5 is at all levels of a country. In my opinion, leaders must redouble the work they are doing around the world: that is, to involve women at all levels more in order to level the participation of women in all agencies and companies in the world.
    I leave the following thought: if up to now the great decisions were largely made by man, is not now the time for us to invite women to take that step that was always relegated?
    There is a lot of work to be done and on parity issues much more so, let's avoid hypocrisy and leave patriarchy behind.
    We can talk all night, but I think it's a good start.
    Take care.
    Miguel Melián
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Hello Miguel,
                               Thanks a lot for your thoughts.And I totally agree with  you that NOW is the time to invite women and encourage them to step up and take their seats on the table. Demand for it across all the hierarchy level.
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  • Edna Karijo
    Young women leaders can become active agents of change for their communities by:
    - Founding/Co-founding projects and campaigns that help address specific challenges faced by the young women in the community. e.g. campaigns on provision of sanitary towels to primary school girls.
    - Leading by example and not being afraid to be at the forefront during advocacy events to voice out their own experiences.
    - Publishing and documenting stories through digital media e.g. sharing short videos about their communities on Youtube.
    • Edna Karijo
      Hi Sophia-

      Thank you for your prompt feedback!

      In terms of funding I would suggest that it's always best to start off by mobilizing resources from organizations through partnerships e.g. the young women would look for one organization to help provide a venue for the project, another would help mobilize participants etc. Then once ther project grows; its visibility and success of the small projects will definitely come in handy in sources for funding to expand. 

      For the advocacy and protecing one's identity- I would suggest that the young women should always be cautious and ensure to have security if and when they suspect they will be in danger during the advocacy campaigns. In case of any incident, the young women should always report the matter to authorities and seek help.
    • Sophia Pierre-Antoine
      Great examples of young women leaders agents of change Edna Karijo!

      However, sometimes funding can become an issue when it comes to founding projects and campaigns by young women. How would you address that?

      Being a voice during advocacy events could put certain people, depending on their identities and location, in danger, how do you suggest we support their voices?

      Would love to hear your thoughts about that!
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  • A3

    On my end where the world is changing so is India being digital .
    The schools and colleges universities have come forward to be a part of this new India .

    But parallely we need to speak the safety of girl child educating her on the self defence tactics 
    We need to educate them on being safe online equally .
    The netiquettes are required to be taught in mass .

    There should be a mission to educate the girl child to be independent and be the example for the entire world being strong .

    Women like Indira Gandhi Kaplana Chawla Kamala Harris an Indo American Misha Biswal are great examples .

    The leadership image comes with education and independence .

    Confidence is the key to Trending your own path in various diverse fields .
    From.Astronaut to a chef women of India are breaking barriers .

    So I'm a live  example of serving my nation being true n honest and serving judiciary n since years .

    Legal education at school levels is equally important .

    Be free Be the change you wish to see .

    Deepti Sutaria
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  • shruti kapoor
    A2: Young women leaders can become active agents of change for their communities by identifying gaps and problems areas in their community and finding a solution for it. Speak up, raise awareness, engage the community through campaigns and events. Hear their concerns and crowdsource solutions. Use your voice (literally) or through writing, art, dance, music or any medium you prefer to raise awareness, educate and create actionable change. For example if girl's safety is a concern in your community because there is lack of proper lighting on the street, then find out who is responsible for lighting and work with the community to ensure their is proper lighting on the street. Knock some doors, engage, demand answers, ask questions. Don't just ignore the issue!
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Hello Shruti .. Thanks for such a wonderful solution. We got to get up and knock all the doors until they open and fix all the issues starting from basic issues like adequate lightning on the streets. We cannot depend upon the authorities to fix it for us, we need to be a part of the change and take all the roles in our own hands. Raising awareness and speaking up for what you feel is needed and right in your respective communities is a must. It starts from speaking in your own house for your own rights to gradually talking about those rights for your community, city and then country. Really appreciate your take on this question.
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  • Malala said One book One Teacher one pen one book one child can change the world .

    As Hillary said the future is women 

    The barriers in my community  as an Indian are the myths as miseries and taboos in the interior villages 

    The only thing unites is one mission one vision we the women from different walks of life can lead at pace and Halt the abuse happening with women in different ways 
    Women in Indian word are Shakti 
    Men are Shiva 

    Heforshe is a simple formula which needs to be executed and knowledge at large will be great weapon to eradicate these barriers of inequality women being burnt abused molested raped and strangulated at the name of honor killings .

    Thus comes #SDG' s which unites us under one roof of United Nations and many such organisations which speak.of empowering women .
    One woman from every home when is educated the three generations are henceforth nurtured 

    So let's come together for the same mission n vision of empowering ourselves n spreading this virus of empowerment in every woman be it from any cast creed culture race ..diversity comes under one roof being united .

    We are the ones to give birth to these

    men from.our womb so let's be one and united .

    Deepti Sutaria 
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts Deepti . Being an Indian myself, I can totally relate to all the aspects you mentioned. We all need to unite and lift each other. I personally believe in "She for She" as well because sisterhood is very important to bring the wave of change. We need to start with where we are and with what we have. I am so proud of your thoughts that you are so enlightened. I encourage you to share your thoughts and motivate the girls in your community, society or may be make a small group of women and discuss about these topics over tea. 
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  • Ushree Roy
    Yes, schools, businesses and public and private institutions can actively promote leadership to empower women and girls. They can recognise people who are continuously promoting the cause and trying to make change happen. If the institutions encourage such drive, then many others will be inspired to take a lead role and to move forward with their ideas. 
    If we look at our known circle, we will always see that there are some friends who are hesitant, they do not know whether to do or not. If institutions recognise first movers, it will encourage the next group. Change can happen collectively. 
    In my community I have noticed parents and institutions encourage a career. Anything that is not directly related to career is discouraged and often considered as detrimental. Moreover, I believe people who are promoting a cause they should do so as they believe in it, not because it will help them to shape their career. Of course when we take a leadership role, it is going to help us in a number of ways, it will increase our confidence, better communication skill, better friend circle and many more. 
    • Sophia Pierre-Antoine
      Thank you so much for sharing Ushree Roy.
      Great comments about the public and private institusions. Do you have any examples of that within your country/community that you would like to share?
      Your comment about different types of leadership is interesting. Leadership takes many shapes and forms and not always career driven/focused.  Do you have an example of young women's leadership that is for the promotion of a cause that you would like to share?
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  • Sabir Ali
    HI, its very nice to see all young talent who are striving for gender equality, as its consultation for #YouthCSW61 and youth globally will be together to share their experiences I have two questions,
    1: How to Mobilize Young Boys to stand up for gender equality?
    2: Will there be any sort of fundings for youth who got CSW invitation for the travel and accomodation?
    • Sophia Pierre-Antoine
      Sabir Ali, the discussion on Partnerships with Young Men in Gender Equality will take place between February 22 - 28. Looking forward to your participation then!
    • shruti kapoor
      We will be discussing questions on Men and boys in the next topic soon. Any questions about funding for the forum should be directed to Allyson or Ravi. Thanks!
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  • Peggy Tse
    Hello everyone! Glad to see there are a lot of wonderful perspectives around this topic of female leadership and this made me feel compelled to share some personal thoughts as well -

    1. Cross-industry diffusion of female leadership - While a lot of initiatives focus on the vertical mentorship between female senior leaders and juniors within one industry, the diffusion of female leadership cross industries and companies can be equally effective in placing the best female talents in the driving seat of economically, politically and socially important organisations.

    On top of the gender label, women leaders should work to develop a technical niche that warrants recognition by the wider public, for instance in finance, tech, or development. As we often notice the fact that the success of senior leaders rely on both internal and external stakeholders' support, cross sector female leadership can strengthen working females' bonding to foster a more gender diverse leadership network in a city or country.

    2. Creative ways to interpret female leadership - Let us encourage women ourselves and other people to think about leadership as something broader than one person holding authority in a specific sphere. Leadership can be extending influence on a certain cause, inspiring actions from a crowd, or even uniting divergent forces and rooting for a minority group in the community through speeches.

    Women should think out of the box too when it comes to platforms that enable leadership, such as social media, self organised groups, social circles and more. When we educate young girls to become leaders, we brainstorm with them innovative leadership models of why, where, how, instead of asking them to follow one same traditional model of climbing up the career or social ladder. Show by example is always the best way to lead.
    • Peggy Tse
      Hello Hannah - Thanks for visiting this post! Excited to know that you are on board with this idea too!

      1. My first thoughts about online platform is the thought leadership and subject matter expertise that women can demonstrate. But I still believe offline channels are more important for cross industry diffusion where female leaders bond and foster strong relationships to realize synergies and expand their capacity.

      2. The evolution of new business and social organisations (smaller, startup like, outward facing) has definitely helped women to develop a more flexible career and hence there is room to thrive as a leader. One thing to note though is that the more women participating in shaping the new types of organisations and helping to write the game rules, the better chance we have to bring women into the boards in the future. 

      Speaking from the perspective of a developed city may not help in making this theory complete. Would love to hear more from other emerging countries and find out ways to execute strategies based on this. Cheers!
    • Hannah Wandel
      Love this! So much food for thought :) 

      1) What role do you think online platforms play in fostering this cross-industry diffusion? I agree - career paths seem more lateral and dynamic nowadays (especially for youth) so broadening scope can be incredibly important long term! 

      2) Great point. Do you think businesses/organisations have gotten better at encouraging different leadership models/types? 
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  • Rosario del Pilar Diaz Garavito
    One of the barriers is the naturalization of gender inequalities by
  • A great initiative it is! An open platform for youth to contribute from all over the world!
    • Hannah Wandel
      Thanks Anika, we think so too! 
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Thanks Anika .. Yes one Platform for all the youths to exchange ideas, stories, solutions. We would love to hear your 2 cents on twitter with hashtag #YouthCSW61
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  • Ogbeyalu Okoye
    Women are taking up leadership roles and young girls are getting more involved in STEM education which creates a path of. Skills and information needed to progress onto the next role without gender bias. More needs to be done by educating both male and female on the importance of inclusive growth. Cultural and social barriers need to addressed to progress. Amazing topic for all! Great place to share ideas and stories.
    • Sophia Pierre-Antoine
      Hi Ogbeyalu Okoye ! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. How do you suggest we address the cultural barriers and educate all genders for change? We would love to hear your thoughts and stories !
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Hey Ogbeyalu .. The change has begun but there is a long way to go. That's why such platforms are key to encourage and inspire each other to take up more STEM and other fields to break the stereotypes. We would love to hear more tips from you on twitter with hashtag #YouthCSW61
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  • Daniel Kerber
    This is great!
    How can the youth participate in this initiative?
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Daniel, youth can also participate through Twitter. They can get involved with a wider audience and exchange stories, ideas and resources across all the 4 weeks. The hashtag they can use is #YOUTHCSW61 . Please let us know for more questions.
    • shruti kapoor
      Daniel the youth can engage with us online on this platform by expressing their views and opinions on the 5 questions we post each week for the next 4 weeks. If they are in New York City, they can attend the Youth CSW in person on March 11-12th. Please share the link with the youth in your network and encourage them to participate in this online consultation. Many thanks!
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  • Doris Mollel
    its an amaizing platform, Most women need to be exposed to Financial  and Digital Literacy and know what they need to do for their growth.
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Couldn't agree more with you Doris on this. Exposure to Digital Literacy , their rights and roles of Women in economy and passing on the leadership baton is the key to a sustainable future.
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  • Uzoma Katchy
    This is a wonderful initiative and creating online participation will increase  more access to information.  Young women are getting more involved in Leadership. With awareness of the effect of what their involvement will achieve, more women are getting more active in Leadership roles.
    Although certain cultural, religious and patriachial biases could  create some barriers, with development of digital skills amongst women, these influences will be greatly reduced.
    I think more women should be exposed to Digital Literacy and encouraged to be involved in gender issues. 
    • Uzoma Katchy
      Thank you Uspana,
      I work with women and girls to build their capacity through Entrepreneurial /Leadership/21st Century and Life Skills.  My focus is Education /Enlightenment.  Not necessarily the numbers.  I live in Abuja , Nigeria and the education system is quite poor causing intellectual decadence. The major problem women and girls face in emerging clime is  Psychological. Adequate education will improve the lot of these women/girls, by making them aware of various opportunities   they can explore to enable them be empowered, thus making informed decision.
      Unfortunately, lack of basic literacy  amongst the vulnerable group becomes a major challenge. So, we are looking at setting up Learning Resource Centre to  enable these women/girls access information. 
      Cultural and Religious Barriers are another hindrance. In some areas, some women are not allowed any form of interaction with people. These women have restrictions to  bank accounts, business, schooling etc. If an inclusive initiative will be carried out, it becomes an arduous  task to reach these group of women.
      Equally worrisome is the high incidence of early marriages, female genital mutilation, sexual abuse and molestation.  Most victims , do not speak out due to stigmatization.Even when some do have the boldness to speak out, government policies truncate justice. So  what, the cycle continues.
      I get equally troubled about  teenage girls that have dropped out of school due to pregnancy. There are really no provisions made to cater for the educational needs of these girls. With the care of the babies at post natal, most of these girls find  it increasing fifficult to return to a structured school,  thus, one of the reasons for the LEARNING SUPPORT CENTRE.
      Unpaid Care work is another cultural bias that has limited the abilities and potentials of women making them to continue in poverty.lt is  one issue that has taken the back burner. I started a  Conversation on this but it is amazing that  l recrived some rebuff from women that l tried  to engage. If the elite had this kind of reactions you can imagine what the lot of grassroot women who have this belief of Unpaid Care work entrenched in them.
      The Patriarchal  system, too where the males are given preference over  available oppprtunities. Somehow, with increased  advocacy campaigns on women empowerment, more women are beginning to know and fight for their rights.
      These are some of the limitations.
      I will shed more light on the way forward.
      Thank you
    • Upasana Chauhan
      Thanks Uzoma... The beauty of Technogoloy is that it's beyond borders, cultural barriers and religious biases. Internet and such online forums are a really powerful tool for women and young girls across the world to learn and share abiut their issues , solutions so that the riople effect can be worldwide. Would love to know your experience in Women's Leadership and hurdles that women face in your community. You can tweet about it using hashtag #YouthCSW61 to share it with wider audience
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