It seems incredible that between March 15 and 25, I had the opportunity to travel around the world without leaving home. I connected with thousands of girls and young leaders from diverse communities, and learned about even more challenging realities than I could have imagined. Yet, these challenges have not been impediments to action for the wonderful women I met.
From the first day, I felt how a powerful community was growing with the passing of the sessions. We were no longer just a group of activists but a team willing to add from our own projects. It was one of the few experiences where I felt truly listened to: I remember sharing how proud I felt to represent my beautiful Peru and the extraordinary Girl Up family, generating greetings and very meaningful messages addressing my work with affection.
I had the opportunity to attend the “Virtual Townhall Meeting of Civil Society and UN Secretary-General” and we could share our perspectives about the role of youth lead organizations in the work on the SDG 5.
For many women activists around the world, it is sometimes difficult to access co-leadership spaces where our ideas are not only considered, but truly applied informal action. It is gratifying to know that everything we have shared will be presented to governments around the world, and above all, it will be the beginning of a series of actions that will move from theory to practice.
As a Peruvian activist, this opportunity symbolized that the world knows about our work and can build projects of great impact from an intersectional perspective. No one is left behind.
Today, it is still a great challenge to connect with our governments to articulate actions, but in each plenary session, the United Nations shared with us its commitment to ensuring that this situation changes. It showed us how important intergenerational spaces are for decision making, because it is complex to formulate actions for children and young people without them being part of the process.
At a session on “Intergenerational Leadership and Mutual Accountability – A high-level intergenerational dialogue between youth and policymakers during CSW 65” we were divided into rooms to interact with our peers from our regions. I had the pleasure to compile the most important ideas that were going to be shared with everyone present. Among all that was mentioned that day, the importance of government accountability to the population was highlighted.
Undoubtedly, these 11 days were filled with extraordinary learning, mobilization and action, highlighting the value of leading the change together. We cannot speak of feminism if we do not first consider our Afro-descendant sisters and we cannot speak of patriarchy without first taking into account the challenges faced by indigenous communities. There is no social justice without climate justice, and there can be no culture of peace without equality for girls and women around the world. Everything comes together. Today I am left with the message that women, girls, adolescents, civil society, governments, and international organizations must be more united than ever – the development of the whole world depends on all of us building the future and present we dream of from our own spaces.