Aug 4 2023

17-Year-Old Sarah Attended the Women Deliver Conference. Here’s What She Learned.


This July, four Global G.L.O.W. youth leaders had the opportunity to attend the 2023 Women Deliver Conference (WDC) in Kigali, Rwanda —the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the rights and wellbeing of girls and women. 

Our Youth Delegates — GLOW Club alumni Sarah, Delicia, Dolice, and Zawadi — previously implemented a Global G.L.O.W. Community Action Project in their home community of Rwinkwavu, Rwanda that helped bring over 50 girls who had dropped out of school back to the classroom. At the Women Deliver Conference, they were able to build upon their advocacy experience by learning from activists, grassroots leaders, and policymakers to develop new ideas for projects that can transform the lives of girls in Rwanda. 

We supported these youth delegates because we know that young people, and adolescent girls in particular, are the future. Their lived experiences and unique perspectives are absolutely vital to conversations about global gender equality. They are capable of determining their futures, advocating for their rights, and standing for justice in the face of discrimination and adversity. 

At the conference, 17-year-old Youth Delegate Sarah (pictured above on the far right) learned directly from Malala that even young girls like herself can change the world. Read on to learn more of her takeaways from the Women Deliver Conference, in her own words. 

My Voice Should Be Heard By Everyone

By Sarah, 17, Rwanda

Attending the Women Deliver conference was very important because I learned how a young girl like me can do something important and rely on myself while advocating for girls in my community. Because the conference was centered on gender equality, I want to emphasize girls’ rights. I want to make girls’ issues easy and understandable for everyone. 

Meeting other young girls and leaders at the conference taught me that I can stand in front of people and speak. My voice should be heard by everyone even though I am young. By raising my voice in advocating for girls, I hope other girls in my community and around the world can feel like they are powerful. I want to show them that nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it. 

“My voice should be heard by everyone even though I am young.”

My favorite moment of the conference was hearing Malala speak. Many people would not risk death for what they believe in. But even after being shot, Malala continued with what she started. I want to be like Malala! Hearing her speak made me feel like I can achieve the goals that I have started. I hope to tell other girls in my community that they are powerful and to help them feel like they are stronger. 

“I hope to tell other girls in my community that they are powerful and to help them feel like they are stronger. “

I met so many different people at the conference, and it taught me that it’s important to listen to what others have to say. You never know who or what might help you in advocating for others. Even if you are with people you don’t know, try to socialize with them so you get to know each other and learn from each other. 

From left to right: Youth Delegates Sarah, Dolice, Zawadi, and Delicia

Now that the conference has ended, I’m back in my community and committed to sharing with other girls in my community everything I learned. The most important thing I want to tell them is to live life with a goal. Avoid being food without salt. Be a girl with a goal. Make life better for you, your country, and society.

Special thanks to Ready for Reading, who operate Global G.L.O.W. programming in safe, small group after-school sessions for Sarah and other youth participants with trusted local mentors. Learn more about Sarah’s Community Action Project here

Global G.L.O.W. partners with community-based organizations in 30 countries to operate mentorship-driven programs for girls ages 10-18. Our SEL-based curriculum gives girls the tools to express themselves, advocate for their rights, and challenge the most critical barriers to achieving gender equality. Support our work at globalgirlsglow.org/donate.

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