21 new friends and a loud voice
- June 18, 2010 5:30 PM |
- By G20 Street Team
Canadian delegate Leah Clare Stuart-Sheppard, 19, German delegate Alexandra Rieger, 18, South African delegate Nomathemba Sibanyoni, 19, and Indian delegate Tanvi Girotra, 19, take questions Friday at a news conference. (Amber Hildebrandt/CBC)
By Amber Hildebrandt, CBC News
Each young woman at the G(irls)20 Summit has something different that she plans to bring home with her after the conference wraps up.
For Turkey's delegate, Irem Tumer, it's 21 new friends.
For China's representative, Xinyun Zhang, it's "the passion and the confidence of believing that I can make a difference."
But for Anwar Islem Basunbul of Saudi Arabia, she simply hopes to give women a voice.
"Speaking out in my country is very dangerous," the 20-year-old says. "People tend not to speak out."
"I hope by being here I inspire women and girls to speak out and go look for their chance or their opportunity."
Saudi Arabian delegate Anwar Islem Basunbul, 20.(Amber Hildebrandt/CBC)
The G(irls)20 Summit, organized by the Belinda Stronach Foundation, brought together one woman from each of the 20 countries represented by the Group of 20 plus one representative from the African Union, ahead of the G20 meeting June 26-27 in Toronto
The women, aged 18 to 20, spent the past two days brainstorming ideas to present to the world leaders. Their main recommendation focused on education, particularly ensuring primary and secondary education become mandatory.
But ultimately, the women have longer term goals. Over the next week, the delegates will learn skills to go back to their own countries and push for change there.
For Basunbul, that means mobilizing a group, since a lone voice has little chance in Saudi Arabia. "You can't speak out as one person. You need to be a group."
Basunbul says she wants to push to change the societal norms that prevent women from joining the working force, largely dominated by men, by changing the perceptions the younger generations through changes in the education system and also by giving women strong role models.
Her goal will be no small feat. She'll need a loud voice.
German delegate Alexandra Rieger, 18, South African delegate Nomathemba Sibanyoni, 19, and Indian delegate Tanvi Girotra, 19, take questions Friday at a news conference.(Amber Hildebrandt/CBC)
Related: Meet the team
Related: Super Role Models
About the Blog
CBC News Your Voice has assembled a team of citizen bloggers and CBC staff to bring you a street level view of Toronto during the global conference. From residents who live inside the security perimeter to business owners and students eager to share their perspectives, the G20: Street Level team will provide you with a 360-degree view of the summit's impact.
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