May 27, 2012
By Disty Winata
Delegate – Indonesia
This week, 21 girls representing each of G20 member countries and Africa Union selected from hundreds of applicants will gather in Mexico City in advance of the G20 Leaders Summit to engage in discussion about the role of girls and women in economic development as well as to develop tangible and pragmatic recommendations for the G20 leaders and the global community.
With economic development emphasis, this year, the Summit will focus on opportunities gained in terms of women and girls participation in agriculture and food security and opportunities lost as a result of violence against women.
I am honored to be part of this 21 powerful young women group who are all working hard to close the global gender gap in their own communities.
Though this is just the first day of workshops, I have learned so many things and had a lot of fun with other delegates. Not only my colleagues are talented and smart, they are very passionate about the role of women and girls in economic development. We kicked off the day by a media workshop by Kathy Barnett of Veritas. The delegates, including myself, used all every opportunity to ask questions to Kathy about promoting our initiatives or spread more awareness on economic empowerment and women in our home countries. Then, the workshop series continued with Research In Motion Mexico, or the BlackBerry maker, with how to maximize BlackBerry PlayBook. As I’m writing this, I still cannot get over how generous and amazing of the fact that RIM gave each of us a PlayBook! Then, we went off to Google Mexico’s office, where we listened to presentations on how technology helps NGOs and social industries and how to effectively use different Google apps. We also had a chance to connect with previous G(irls)20 Summit from 2010 and 2011 through Google+ Hangout. This is just an example of how technology is so versatile and enables women and girls to be more connected and ever.
In the afternoon, some of us got dressed in our traditional clothes, because the Canadian Embassy in Mexico was very kind to host a dinner and introduce us to some diplomats of the G20 member countries in Mexico. Ambassador Sara Hradecky also gave a speech, formally announced us to all distinguished guests and talked to every one of us about the Summit.
Companies, institutions and organizations like Google, Norton Rose, Nissan (who gave each of us a sweet ride from the airport!), Veritas, Research in Motion, Scotiabank, ITAM (which will be hosting us for panels in the next few days) and Academie Diplomatique Internationale really believe that investing in girls and women to become catalysts to achieve economic prosperity. Had it not been without their support, this Summit would not be made possible.
My takeaway from today: ideas are buzzing, conversations about economic empowerment for women and girls are generated, excitement are building up. Remember, this is just a start. Imagine having this much fun and learning this many knowledge every day for the next 6 days. I don’t think I can ask for any better way to spend in Mexico City!
I encourage you to be part of “What’s Your Number” campaign, highlighting 3.5 billion girls and women in the world, all working hard to be game-changers in their respective communities. However, some of us are still struggling due to barriers in economic and political involvement. Tell us your solution to this issue, share your number, ask your communities to join as well! My number is 25052, what’s your number?
Until then! Or should I say in Spanish, te hablo luego!