On the 25th of September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly will adopt the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved in the next 15 years for a better world. Muslims for Progressive Values did not want to be a silent witness to this process. Instead, we deliver to you an anthology of voices of young feminist stakeholders of the SDGs.
You can listen to the audio version of this anthology of voices below:
This audio is narrated and edited by Monica Islam*.
Below is are the biographies and photos of the young feminists interviewed by Monica Islam along with a transcript of what they had to say about the SDGs:
Iffat Gill is a human rights activist, digital strategist and social entrepreneur working for the economic empowerment of women. She is the founder of ChunriChoupaal, an initiative for social and economic empowerment through fostering modern information and communication technologies.
Transcript: I am Iffat Gill, founder of ChunriChoupaal, working on women’s economic empowerment through technology. Our global campaign ‘Work To Equality’ highlights stories of gender bias at workplace. Unwelcoming work environment, biased hiring practices, and wage disparity stops women from growing in technology careers. The IT industry is estimated to dominate the future job market; therefore more support is needed from this sector to ensure women empowerment and gender equity.
Olanike is an award winning conservationist and women’s empowerment advocate. She is based in Nigeria but has had opportunity to travel internationally. She holds degrees in urban and regional planning.
Transcript: My name is Olanike; I am the founder of Women Initiative for Sustainable Environment. In my opinion, current levels of awareness on the post 2015 development agenda leaves much to be desired. Gender sensitivity and responsiveness needs to be highlighted in a manner that will foster women’s representation, participation and leadership in all areas of development. Accordingly, efforts to mobilize commitment should be bottom up, must integrate transparency and accountability; and be backed up by political will.
Kabukabu Ikwueme is a London-based Victims Advocate working to provide practical support to victims affected by domestic violence. She is a law graduate and has written numerous articles on law, domestic violence, economics and the economic empowerment of women. Some of her articles have been referred to in journals on law and economics.
Transcript: The status of women in most countries around the world does not enable them to take part in decision making and this has a ripple effect in other areas such as the ability to access economic resources. Women’s economic empowerment has the potential to boost the economies of their countries, tackle poverty and reduce income inequality for people all over the world.
Lisa Kislingbury Anderson
Lisa Kislingbury Anderson serves as the Volunteer Coordinator of World Pulse, a Portland-based nonprofit organization that increases the global voice and leadership of women worldwide using the power of digital communication. She is a former newspaper journalist, a social media enthusiast, a community organizer and an advocate for women’s access to reproductive healthcare.
Transcript: My name is Lisa Anderson from World Pulse in Portland, Oregon, and I believe that to protect women and girls’ reproductive rights, we must approach these issues from both an economic justice and human rights perspective.
Founder of SWACIN Inc., Support Women and Children in Nigeria, in Japan, New York, Akwa Ibom state; she is a social activist, writer, advocate, journalist, Voice of voiceless, and Humanitarian. She operated Dr. Namdi Azikwe Memorial Hospital in New Delhi, India in 2007; and then she moved to Nigeria where she developed Waste Control and Palm Kennel production project. Later, she built SWACIN addressing some of the socio-economic and ecological challenges.
Transcript: Hi, my name is Eko Nagashima, founder and CEO of SWACIN Inc., Support Women and Children in Nigeria. I’d like to empower you, women for equal rights and economic resources. Be bold! You have the power to change your life! Are you aware that words can build up or tear down our lives and well-being? Use it to your advantage! You may recall having experience on being energized, encouraged or empowered by spoken words? Studying the power of words in dealing with others and relationships will help you to acquire the power you ever wanted without any cost or stress! Once you set the channel you are on the driver’s seat.
Passionate about making dreams happen and helping people overcome depression, Grace Eclavea studies Communication Arts at the University of the Philippines Los Banos and is a member of the UP Model United Nations. She considers being a delegate at HPAIR Harvard Conference 2014 and ranking first at HPAIR Asia Conference Manila 2015 as two of her most life-changing achievements. She started Advocate Love with some of her HPAIR co-delegates.
Transcript: I am Grace Eclavea, this year’s Top Ambassador for the Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations. During our last Plenary Session, we talked about the SDGs. I know that there are 17 goals and it might be too much for us. But for sure, each of us will be touched by at least one topic about that. And if we will do our part, everyday researching more about it, we can do something for the world. Involvement is not limited in wearing coats and ties and being at the exact United Nations Headquarters. We can do our own little way of helping the world if we just do our part in making a difference in our communities and eventually, who knows where our dreams will take us? Make dreams happen and thank you!
This Global Voice Anthology has been produced by Muslims for Progressive Values or MPV, a faith-based human rights organization in the United States of America. Collecting stories from around the world, this voice anthology, which is the first of its kind, aims to depict what young feminist advocates have to say about the Sustainable Development Goals.
*Monica Islam is a young feminist activist from Bangladesh and is currently a Research Fellow at Muslims for Progressive Values. She is also a Contributing Writer for Coming of Faith. Since 2011, she has been writing about popular culture, gender, social justice, and religion.