Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Mentorship. In every session that I've been to since attending the CSW, I have not gone without hearing about mentorship. Having completed our presentation here in front of the UN, in a room packed full of audience members (with lots of youth)... I know that I would have never had this opportunity if it had not been for my incredible mentors, Beth and Anjabeen. I am so grateful to have been empowered by these women on my journey to the podium of CSW yesterday. Thank you to my mentors for always believing in me. Thank you for your faith in women's rights, WomenNC, and young adults' involvement in social advocacy. Thank you for your feedback. Thank you for pushing and never letting me take the easy route. Thank you for listening to me, learning about my interests, my history, and my hopes for the future. Thank you for sharing yourselves with me. Thank you for sharing your culture, your history, your dreams and your accomplishments. I was truly blessed to have received such committed mentors who were dynamic, intelligent, fun-loving women. From what I have been hearing in the panels and what I have experienced myself, mentors are important because as we work towards human rights... we are set up to fail. Whether you are an Afghan woman who wants to join the police force where women are less the 1%, a young girl interested in STEM being told by Barbie that girls are bad at math, or a young man who has grown up witnessing gender based violence-- there are systems and cultures that insist on keeping people "in our places." Sometimes it is not enough to just really want to change things or make a difference without that constant voice in your ear saying KEEP GOING, YOU CAN DO THIS, IT IS POSSIBLE. These are the voices of Beth and Anjabeen. These are the voices that have allowed me to stand proudly in front of the CSW and continue to pursue women's human rights.