06 Aug Wedu at Women Deliver 2016
Last May, Wedu Myanmar Rising Star, The Saint, was selected from 5,000 applicants to be a Youth Scholar at the Women Deliver Conference in Denmark. Held over 16-19 May, 2016, the conference was the largest gathering on girl’s and women’s health and rights in the last decade and was one of the first major global conferences following the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The conference is focused on solutions – in particular maternal, sexual & reproductive health, gender equality, education, environment, and economic empowerment solutions that deliver most impact for girls and women.
The Saint’s community and its specific needs in terms of education, environment, and health aspects have influenced her work and made her a productive advocate for education, environment, health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and children. In her own words, “Being a Wedu Rising Star, I had access to the Women Deliver scholarship, sponsorship for my education, and networking opportunities. I invest in girls and women by mentoring and supporting them in terms of leadership, health, and education”. She shares her experience at the Conference in her own words here:
“At the Women Deliver Conference, the Opening Plenary gave me the opportunity to experience Melinda Gates’ keynote presentation, where she said “girls and women aren’t on the agenda, they ARE the agenda”. She focused on the importance of all girls and women in following through with the sustainability agenda, and achieving the SDGS, and the major role data plays in this, saying: “We can’t close the gender gap without closing the data gap” .
After the keynote presentation, Julia Gillard, Former Prime Minister of Australia, discussed the importance of quality education and its effects, saying “Education is a patient investment; yet, we live in an impatient world.” Gillard emphasised the importance of the efforts of schools, governments and communities in contributing to the education of girls and women.
On 19th May, the South East Asia and the Pacific Regional Caucus brought together 75 advocates, activists and key stakeholders from across the region to identify suggestions to fulfil sexual rights for women and young people through Agenda 2030 and the SDGs.
I participated in a discussion regarding “Access to Safe Abortion Services” by Hon Dr Jetn Sirathranont, Senator, Thailand, with Lily Liu Liqing, Country Director, MSI China, and I presented the best practices for safe abortion with directors from Member of Parliament from Myanmar, Asia Pacific Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Aliansi remaja Independen, UN Women, Unzip the Lips, and others. I received the contacts from WD and I am sending an email to them so that we can work together for a better world.
On 18th May, I was invited to attend “Youth Dialogue in the Tivoli Castle” with 30 Danish Youth Ambassadors by Frank Jensen, Lord Mayor and Pia Allerslev, the Mayor of the Children and Youth Administration for the dialogue “Access to healthcare for women.”
I was also interviewed by DanChurchAid and Folkekirkens Nødhjælp about the challenges and solutions for women’s rights in 2030s. To conclude this post and my reflections on WD, I will add what I mentioned in the interview: “Cherish yourself. Trust in yourself. Do the right thing. No more fear. No more ignorance. No more doubt. That is how we need to support each other including women, children, and the rest.”