On the 12th of March 2015, around 40 people gathered together at the House of Commons to commemorate international women's day. The day was focused on female empowerment and celebrating women's achievements. The WFWP invited
4 female speakers to come and share their own personal achievements publicly. The leading MC Asma Anis encouraged everybody to share their thoughts and feelings regarding gender equality and what female empowerment meant to both the men and women who attended the event. Giving everybody a wonderful opportunity to share their own message on this motivating occasion. (Please take a look at some of the Videos below). Youth co-ordinator of WFWP; Keishin Hoshiko, Introduced the three main areas supported by the WFWP; 1. Education 2. Peace & reconciliation and 3. Service/Humanitarian Aid. Keishin gave thanks for everyone's attendance whilst reminding everyone of the importance surrounding issues of gender inequality and the role of women, on both; familial, educational and international levels.
The national winner of the Biotechnological YES competition, Usha Aryal was the first selected speaker to share a little bit about her journey and achievements within the medical field. At only 20 years of age Usha was offered a scholarship to do a PhD in genetics at UCL and despite any scepticism regarding her age or gender took this opportunity. This young researcher in science, who is a big advocate of gender equality due to the concerning gender gap within the scientific sector, spoke about the unconscious gender bias not only to do with how men see women but how women see themselves as well. Usha made clear examples of how this could be happening due to such things as the limited number of female role models within this field.
Then the Founder of both the London based Model Agency for Editorial, Runway and Commercial Models and the TG Foundation, UK; Tatiana Giroud, discussed her passion to heighten people’s awareness surrounding the issues of victims of sexual violence within the Democratic Republic of Congo. Wanting to bring sexual assault to an end and with the suffering of thousands of refugees, Tatiana expressed her shock at the lack of media coverage on such a horrendous situation throughout this region. Tatiana also showed great compassion for these women who regardless age, are repeatedly violated up to the point where they are economically destitute from fear, whilst having no access to justice, escape routes or basic human rights.
Next the creative businesswoman and designer; Lisa Tse, also known as founder to a variety of business ventures, including to one of the top 5 women organisations in the world (rated by CNN) 'The sorority'. A pioneering and influential society of leading women ranging from business leaders to royalty. Amongst Lisa's many achievements; one of which was being appointed the Creative Director of the Winter Wonderland Gala hosted at Kensington Palace by HRH The Duke of Cambridge in aid of Centrepoint, Lisa was also one of the youngest ever females to ever go on a trade mission to China with Boris Johnson during the Beijing Olympics as well as being a member of the British governments UK-China Task Force. Despite the stigma surrounding 'the arts', Lisa shared her entrepreneurial journey throughout art college, and how at the young age of 26 she managed to establish her own creative enterprise starting from just her student overdraft. The listeners where lead through her experiences as a working mother and of particular gender bias' she experienced as a women within a predominantly male working environment. Lisa brought everyone’s attention to how hard women work without taking credit for their own achievements and questioned the limitations to our successful female role models, whilst asking if we measure success only in money, fame and beauty? Lisa finally left everyone to ponder the Sorority Motto: 'What belongs to you will come to you when you create the capacity to receive it.'
Finally the music and talent Director Arfa Butt shared her passion to help young people progress particularly within the arts sector. Arfa explained how her passion began especially due to the lack of role models within this Artistic field. Despite gender stereotypes Arfa’s passion for music began at the young age of 7 and by just 19 years of age she managed to get a role managing one of MTVs newest TV projects. After launching a new project which was accessible to the whole of the African continent, Arfa eventually became a consultant across the network whilst liaising with various international artists. Arfa shared her passion to not only motivate young people but to also help young women, particularly those involved in gangs. At this point Arfa decided to manage a programme to support these women, many of which were from ethnic minority backgrounds, through one of the most innovative, personal and developmental training programmes called 'Gangology'.
The evening ended with a small discussion and brainstorming giving everyone a chance to take away new thoughts, ideas and the motivation to achieve. The WFWP were also left with a catchy slogan created by and contributed through brainstorming together: 'United for Change'.