On October 11th we launched Hub For Change, marking the event with a digital media focused Google Hangout. UK team member Harry reflects on the launch, drawing out some of the highlights from the discussion...
Finally it’s here! On international Day of the Girl we launched our website Hub For Change .We have worked tirelessly to create a platform for all young people to be educated, inspired and equipped to make a change in their local community.
We set stage for our launch with a Google hangout talking digital media & girls' rights - I chaired the discussion, joined by young writer and Youth for change member June as well as Catalina Ruiz-Navarro from Colombia, a journalist and activist who challenges the societal view of women in Latin American.
We spoke about the issues facing girls in their attempt to be more integrated in the digital world, and how making conscious efforts to include women and girls in this community is key to giving them a voice.This was such an exciting opportunity to talk about the issues facing women and girls regarding the digital age and really highlighted some of the key barriers.
Catalina detailed that the internet is very ‘scary’ and ‘dangerous’ place for women because of all of the hate speech they receive as a result of expressing their views. However, she also said that this should not stop us from making safe spaces on the internet like Hub For Change where everyone can express their views freely.
Another theme throughout was the idea of there being a gap in the access to the internet between boys and girls, and how we as young people need to work at closing it. June said that "if we don’t have women and girls voices involved in this medium we will leave girls behind". This shows how important websites like Hub For Change are going to be in making sure women and girls to get the opportunity to express their views without fear.
We were also joined by Youth For Change members from Tanzania and Bangladesh who engaged in the chat with questions relating to practical solutions on how to include the rural society in this conversion, and how girls can find online communities of support
I’m really excited to see the impact Hub for Change is going play in giving the voiceless young people a megaphone into the digital world both on and offline.
Catalina recently contributed a chapter to Plan UK's latest Girls Report - 'The Unfinished Business of Girls' Rights'. You can read the full report here, and find Catalina's chapter on page 96.