My week of change

For one week, I was in the beautiful city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, experiencing many things for the first time. My longest airport transit (8 hours), cold main meals, the beautiful yet confusing weather for a Ghanaian, and celebrating Eid away from my family for the first time.

Blog from Sherifa Awudu, Trainer4Life

It was an amazing opportunity to attend the Women Deliver Conference, the world’s biggest conference on women and health, as a young leader and as a Trainer4Life. Amidst the buzzing days in one building housing thousands of people, I had the opportunity to interact with partners, senior officials and young people alike. My expectations for the conference were exceeded.

My participation
I had three major engagements at the conference. I presented the Rutgers Gender Transformative Approach Manual, leading a session on gender roles and how they reinforce unequal gender attitudes and stereotypes. I facilitated the My Boundaries activity from the Journey4Life together with Rekha, an amazing Trainer4Life from Nepal. I also ran the powerwalk exercise at the Rutgers booth focused on child marriage and teenage pregnancies.

My major learnings
My learnings from the entire conference can be classified into two major empowering perspectives:

  • As an SRHR trainer and advocate, I need to explore technological innovations more, thinking outside of the box in search of solutions and how to ensure they are inclusive
  • Open mindedness and flexibility are key for growth

Since my participation at the conference I have taken a keen interest in how technology can be used to solve SRHR issues such as menstruation, family planning and Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV). I have also been researching how social media be harnessed to help survivors of SGBV. I’m preparing a document on this to submit to the office of the ICPD Nairobi conference. Overall, this was a life changing experience for me.