|Amanda Epe speaker
Stop The Violence Conference NCC
As an author and leader of an empowering girls programme I accepted the guest invitation to join the panel. The panelists shared personal stories of challenges faced as women and how we were able to rise above the struggles faced. The cross-cultural panelists ranged from a number of professions to inspire the students of the possibilities of a career choice, including leaders in STEM, Banking Directors, education and the charity sector. Hard work was an ethic shared by many of the panelists, young people were also advised about avoiding any shortcuts or self-limitations because of gender.
Greta Thunberg was highlighted to encourage the girls of the strength of the 16-year-old role model, despite her diagnosis of Asperges learning disability she turned the description around from disability to superpower. This is an example of the power of your words, your definition, and your story.
The Q&A discussion included the issues of sexual harassment, FGM, bullying, and violence, and students were advised to contact their safeguarding school officer and to know that confidential referral systems and help are always available to anyone in need.
Taking the first step to end the violence that a woman may experience takes extreme courage, but there is strength in not suffering in silence. In the first instance, support groups were women who support other women can be the stepping stone to speaking up and speaking out in a safe environment. Like young Greta, girls and women have the intrinsic power to define and defend themselves, and therefore change the narrative to orange the world.