Tuesday November 1, 2010
Ardent to leave a mark in this world through their advocacy work, a dynamic group of young individuals last week pledged to undergo training to help promote gender equality.
This group of 20 young women form this year’s Emerging Leaders Forum (ELF), a year-long component of the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement’s (FWRM) Young Women in Leadership Programme, which aims to introduce emerging leaders to issues facing young women in Fiji and internationally.
According to FWRM’s Young Women’s Officer and ELF 3 graduate Filomena Tuivanualevu, last week’s introductions and orientation session saw the gathering of a vibrant group of young people who are genuinely interested in realising and exercising their rights.
“I am sure they will benefit a lot from this programme and their different life experiences will add new dimensions to the discussions,” she said.
For twenty-three-old psychology graduate Elisha Bano, ELF was something she “just had to join” after hearing about it from friends who had already gone though the programme.
“My friends told me how much they learned from ELF and how enlightening their experience was and this made me want to join. I want to learn how I can help the less fortunate women and young girls in my community once I become more aware of the issues women face,” she said.
Similar sentiments were shared by Mereani Duituturaga, 23, a graduate trainee with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of the South Pacific.
“I joined ELF to broaden my knowledge about women’s rights. I also took it up as a challenge to see how far I can go in this world; the things I can achieve and the new skills I can learn. I not much of a people person so I hope that being part of group such as this will make it easier for me to share my ideas and views without being criticised,” added Mereani enthusiastically.
For Jope Gavidi, this training programme will be a capacity building opportunity.
Towards the end of the day members of ELF Alumni (ELFA) present shared their experiences with the participants. Each alumnus’s journey had been unique but their passion for gender equality was what had brought them together.
Since the programme’s inception in 2003 there have been 64 ELF graduates.
This is the fifth round of ELF facilitated by FWRM. By graduation day in May next year, the young advocates would have completed an intensive training programme over several months, covering topics such as feminism, globalisation, livelihoods, the media, fundamentalisms and sexual rights.
For more information contact the Young Women’s Officer Filomena Tuivanualevu by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted with approval. Please do not circulate without approval from FWRM.