April 14 2007

PRESS RELEASE

Emerging Leaders Forum Retreat 2007

What happens when you bring together 23 young women from a wide variety of backgrounds on a retreat?  An explosion of energy, creativity, ideas and debate, as well as lots of noise!

Participants in the Emerging Leaders Forum (ELF) 2007 had been given copies of FWRM s young women s journal Dau Vosa at their introductory session in March and encouraged to speak out on issues of concern.   This past weekend at the CATD in Nadave they did exactly that.  Over two full days the young women learnt about and discussed Human Rights, Democracy and Feminism during sessions facilitated by FWRM trainers.

The law, equality, gender stereotypes, discrimination, international human rights instruments, the benefits of and problems with democracy, CEDAW, and the numerous obstacles faced in women in accessing their human rights were included amongst the topics of discussion.

Question after question was asked, answered and argued over as participants explored new and old concepts, and discovered new ways of thinking.  Much group work and presentations demonstrated their grasp of the topics as they honed their arguments for a debate on the rule of law.

Overlooking the chiefly island of Bau, the young women continued exchanging ideas over meals and after hours, finding in each other similar passions and ways of thinking.

Lights stayed on well into the night as they completed tasks, wrote in journals, prepared for informal reports on their assigned books, yarned, laughed and formed bonds of friendship.

A great time was had by all, with participants looking forward to the next monthly session of this year-long ELF programme.

ENDS.