Young Women Advocates for Human Rights, Participation and Social Justice
European Youth Centre Budapest 5-9 September 2022
Twenty-nine young women from eleven countries took part in our Study Session on leadership and advocacy skills for young women. Two young women were external trainers; one was a previous study session participant, originally from Belarus, and the other, a young woman who is part of the #iwill movement. See what Grace wrote here.
The context was the post-pandemic situation, the wars in Ukraine and Armenia, and the growth of far-right populist political movements in Europe, all of which present challenges for young people, and especially for young women.
Prior to the session, participants were asked to complete research about women’s rights and human rights in their own locality. These were shared on day one of the programme and set the scene for the week.
Field visits to four women’s rights/feminist organisations in Budapest were arranged: NANE Women’s Rights Organisation; Hungarian Women’s Lobby; Patent - working for reproductive rights and violence against women; and The Közkincs Library, (an English-language, feminist community resource) They all shared their experience of advocacy and working for women’s rights and human rights in an increasingly right-wing context, which seeks to limit human rights and women’s rights as national policy. NANE also ran a workshop and curated an exhibition about violence against women at the EYCB during the week.
It was important to hear and learn from women in Hungary who have been working to advocate for women and girl’s rights in a far right political context.
The evaluations showed that these were important to the whole experience – they grounded the work in reality and gave first-hand experience of a regressive regime, the impact it continues to have on women’s rights, and the advocacy possible in such a context.
The idea of a collaborative project between countries grew throughout the week and nineteen young women expressed interest in making this happen.
The Study Session was supported by the Council of Europe.