Chamathya represents WAGGGS

World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) took a delegation of 14 Guides from around the world to the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) which was held from 04th of March to 15th of March 2013. I was invited to represent WAGGGS as a Youth Delegate from Sri Lanka at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

As a 19 year old volunteer of Sri Lanka Girl Guide Association (SLGGA), I was able to join in with representatives of member states and representatives of other INGOs and NGOs to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and the advancement of women worldwide.

I had the privilege of sharing my project experience and expertise at the 57th CSW where I was invited as one of the panelists at a UN Foundation Event with two other panelists from New York and El Salvador to speak about my perspective and experiences in Sri Lanka related to this issue and the projects I have been working on under the Stop the Violence (STV) campaign which focuses on Non formal education as a tool to educate girls and young women of different age groups. STV campaign is not limited only to Girl Guides and Girl Scouts of over 10 Million girls around the world in 145 member countries.

This year’s International Women’s Day was quite memorable to me because Michele Bachelet, Former President of the UN Women and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon spoke at the UN Sessions urging the governments to put the Agreed Conclusions in to action in order to create safe spaces for girls and women around the world who face such violence; to protect their rights and to support victims of such violence.

On my way back from New York after an incredible experience and training, I promised myself that I will use my fullest potential to protect the rights of girls and women by speaking out and saying no to violence. We are planning to hold awareness campaigns to educate and make the public aware of this issue which need immediate attention as well as to make support services available for the victims of such violence.

We request everyone to join us, to show that we care about girls and women in our society by speaking out and saying no to violence.

 

Chamathya Fernando

Youth Delegate – WAGGGS

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