The NAWO Young Women’s Alliance (YWA) is a group of young women and men under 25 from around the UK passionate about achieving gender equality. We specialise in supporting young advocates to understand their rights and have the confidence to call for them, especially using legal frameworks as tools for change.
We have now finished accepting applications for our YWA Advance programme, however follow us/sign up to our email updates, or check back here to hear about the next cycle!
- Our latest programme is YWA Advance, supporting young women to gain the knowledge, skills and capacity to call for their rights, using the Sustainable Development Goals as a tool.
- We have also enabled over 100 young people so far through our yearly opportunity to attend and speak at the UN Commission on the Status of Women, as well as other young advocates representing young people at countless events.
YWA Advance is our latest programme supporting young feminist activists to gain the knowledge, skills and capacity to call for their rights, using the Sustainable Development Goals as a tool. We support successful candidates every step of the way, from better understanding their rights and concrete ways to call for them, to sharing their knowledge at their own events, and sharing their change-making achievements via blog posts and social media. The 2016 culminated with celebration events in the Houses of Parliament on the 30th November, giving young women the chance to share their newfound learning, achievements and confidence with parliamentarians and experts.
The programme in numbers:
- 2+ legal frameworks explored and 3 concrete ways to put them into action
- x coaching calls developing presentation skills, events organisation, blogging and social media confidence (we will update this soon with final numbers on the programme’s official close in January)
- at least 2 blog posts, sharing your interests, views and reflections on the experience
- 2 independent events in your local community (final numbers tbc but we anticipate well over 250 guests reached)
- 2 celebration events in London to present your achievements to sector experts, on 30th November in 2016. Experts including our YWA delegates, Baroness Verma, Roberta Blackman Woods MP, Carolina Gottardo, Eilidh Whiteford MP and Jenny Vaughan joined us to discuss the SDGs, Violence Against Women and Girls and the role of youth in change. You can read our initial thoughts and 8 simple actions we were inspired to take if you’d like to be too!
- £20 voucher to say thank you from us for all your hard work
This programme is specifically open to young women, so you’re a self-identifying woman aged 16-25 in the UK and share our vision for equality for all, stay tuned! We are currently not accepting applications for YWA Advance, but we hope to run the programme again in the future, so stay in touch here, via email and on Twitter to be the first to know next time we open.
United Nations’ CSW
NAWO have been accrediting young women and men still at school (16-18) to the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women for over a decade. UN CSW is the annual policy-making gathering of 187 governments, thousands of non-governmental organisations and leading experts to create an agreement on how best to progress the rights of women worldwide.
The young people who are selected onto this program are trained in human rights and international legal frameworks, public speaking, and write their own blogs, declarations and reports before they’ve even left the UK.
Once in New York they get the chance to present their ideas on panels alongside parliamentarians, non-governmental organisations and international experts on issues surrounding women’s lives.
Parliamentarians have been so impressed in the past that many young people have gotten the chance to present their speeches again to ministers for women, Lynne Featherstone, in the House of Commons and House of Lords.
But the work doesn’t end there. NAWO YWA delegates continue to support NAWO’s work and undertake work of their own. Once back the delegates put their minds to creating change in their communities. Previous projects achieved have included overhauling sex education curriculums, fundraising money for charity, deciding to volunteer for various organisations aiding women’s human rights, and many other ways of leading change in their communities.
You can see some of the previous delegations’ blogs here (2016/2015, 2014,) and follow them on twitter (@NAWOYouth) for updates on their work, issues surrounding gender equality, young people… anything else they can think of!
Events at which YWA members have represented UK young people:
- ‘Why Gender should be on Europe’s Agenda – Young Women’s Manifesto’. Presenting NAWO’s Manifesto of young people’s demands which was presented to MEP candidates. Read about this project here.
- ‘The Importance of Getting Involved in Politics’ at home and globally. Held in the House of Commons in partnership with WFWP Youth, Young Women’s Global Voices, this event involved 80 young people, Heidi Alexander MP, campaigners and members of the NAWO YWA. Read more here.
- ‘Why Gender should be on Europe’s Agenda‘, at Amnesty International, sponsored by the ESRC as part of its Festival of Social Science. and ‘Developing the UK lead on international policy on rape as a weapon of war’, co-sponsored by NAWO and held in the Houses of Parliament (Portcullis House) with the Global Justice Center; 2 members of the NAWO YWA spoke there too.
- Is Britain Fairer? Through the lens of women and girls – with the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Baroness Prosser, Baroness Hodgson and Gemma Welsh
If you’re interested in the YWA:
- Read our blog to hear our latest news, views and youth-related opportunities
- Take a look at our previous successes, including our Young Women’s Manifesto, created by the young women who benefitted from our training program and presented to the candidates of the 2014 European elections.
- Find out about opportunities you may also be interested in here
- And, if you’re under 25, email email@example.com to join us and get first access to all of our events, connections and opportunities to make change in the UK, Europe and internationally.
- If you’re interested in being part of next year’s delegation to the UN CSW, please quote this when emailing as above.