PatHERways International: Seminar in Cascais, Portugal, March 2018 by Adiam Yemane
Last year I started participating at PatHERways London. For me it has been a fantastic opportunity to meet other like-minded women and to have the safe space to develop projects. Following from that I was invited to participate on the International level. I remember how excited I got when I got one out of two spaces, I felt very lucky.
I had few expectation and looking forward to network with other youth workers who are fighting for Human Rights on an international level and within their individual communities. PatHERways International was how I expected it to be and MORE.
I thought it would be all women and all from European countries. Instead, I was delighted to meet people from three continents, seven countries, and many heritages. We also had men and women participating and this allowed it to be more diverse. However this got me thinking who is really fighting for gender equality? specially in this communities that I have never visited in the past.
I connected with each group and I also gathered basic information from them. The Mozambique group shared the difficulty in getting women to participate in such activities as gender equality is still not accepted with in the rural communities. After several conversations with professionals from Peru, I realised that we have the same issue we are dealing with but from different angles. The cape Verde group had such inspiring individuals involved in different projects working to develop their system, as a politician, teacher etc. Timor group mentioned the positive changes that are happening in Timor after the new independence in May 2002. The group from France are working on Family Planning department and during their presentation they shared the negative reactions people have given in the past and how they are working to tackle the issues people have around family planning. Then we had two organisations from Portugal, HeforShe and Ecos. Ecos is currently supporting young entrepreneurs studying event management and the young people were great supporting us (participants) and the facilitators during the seminar. Last but not least is the London group we represented Ubele and the work that we are all doing individually. I'm grateful to have met the ones I did for the first time as we will continue this great connection.
I met great people during the seminar and I realised that no matter where in the world there are people with common goals fighting the same fight and in this case we want to better the world for the next generation. So I am very excited to have had the opportunity to network with such professionals and I look forward to the global development we will all accomplish.