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Celebrating young feminist action and solidarity

The Transform Education Newsletter- March 2023

04 Apr 2023


Hello Education Transformers,

During this first quarter of 2023, we meditated a lot on what Feminist Solidarity means to us. Fellow Education Transformers, Hawa, Farrah, and Pashtana shared that it is solidarity rooted in intersectional and intergenerational practices and that it centers the co-creation of platforms for all. We agree! Solidarity is an action word. It is standing shoulder to shoulder in the fight against the patriarchy or passing the mic on, it is sharing resources and opportunities with each other to achieve a just present and future.

What does feminist solidarity mean to you? Let us know here.

What have we been up to?

March was Women’s History Month and it also marked the 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women which took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Several Education Transformers were able to attend, amplifying their work and call to action for more meaningful intergenerational partnerships, feminist leadership, and gender-transformative education!

Our host organization, UNGEI led the way for intergenerational feminist mentorship creating safe and brave spaces for both older and younger feminists to learn from each other. Throughout the CSW67 Week of events, feminist leaders took part in events such as Feminist School, co-created by UNGEI and Gender At Work!

Intergenerational Lunch Event: UN Senior Women Leaders Retreat

Co-Chair of TE, Shamah Bulangis, and TE member and Founder of Learn Afghan were invited by the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth to attend an intergenerational lunch event during the UN Senior Women Leaders retreat. This lunch event provided a space for collective learning and reflection on personal experiences as feminist leaders. It was also an opportunity to co-create ideas on how the UN can improve its support for the youth agenda.

Global Partnership Forum on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) hosted by She Decides.

At the Global Partnership Forum on CSE, Shamah Bulangis, Co-Chair, TE highlighted the importance of teacher training to advance CSE. Teachers are vital agents of change to ensure accessible CSE in the classroom!

Curriculum change must be supported by robust and continuous teacher training to encourage teachers to challenge their personal biases and reservations toward CSE.

“We need to train the teachers too on CSE. The key is that it has to be part of the education system.”- Shamah Bulangis, Co-Chair, TE

Innovations for Gender Equality in and through Education in the Digital Age.

Co-hosted by Canada and UNGEI, this event explored the importance of including feminist digital pedagogies, online safety in education settings, virtual classrooms for teaching coding to girls in remote areas; international assistance initiatives in technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the Global South; and the importance of feminist technology and education networks. Through presentations and critical dialogue, they created a space for learning and exchanging perspectives and new ideas. 

Representing TE, Isabel, Co-Lead of the STEM Working Group, highlighted the importance of gender-inclusive education. In her remarks, she shared: “We must recognize that inclusivity in education is inherently tied to access.  Currently, girls and genderqueer youth are disproportionately affected by the lack of access to digital technologies.”

International Women's Day 2023

The theme for International Women’s Day this year was DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality. This theme is a continuous call to action for collective efforts to close the gaps in digital access and skills for all.

Co-hosted by TE STEM Working Group Co-Leads, Isabel and Armel, we held an Instagram Live conversation: We are All Innovators. This conversation explored the role of young women and girls in STEM education and the ways that we can utilize gender-transformative approaches.

Here are 3 key takeaways from our #IWD Instagram live cohosted by our STEM co-leads, Armel and Isabel. During this live, they shared their experiences as both STEM enthusiasts and learners and the ways in which we can all remove barriers to increase access to STEM education for all:

  • Gender-transformative STEM education removes barriers to access to STEM learning as it challenges gender stereotypes that exclude women, girls, trans and intersex youth.
  • You do not need to be born with an innate capability to enter into the field of STEM. We are all innovators!
  • When we talk about STEM, we are talking about the present and the future. STEM skills can be used in interdisciplinary interventions to create a just and inclusive world!

UNESCO Fireside Chat on Women and Girls, Innovation, and Higher Education

On IWD 2023, Women and girls from around the world were invited to join a fireside chat as “storytellers”, sharing their story on “innovation and higher education”. This event celebrated a diverse group of women and girls in innovation. Representing TE, was one of our members and Founder of Co-Visualize, Chuying to share her story and journey as an innovator in education!

"We need to support young girls in their pursuit of innovation, STEM, and data science, regardless of their starting points."- Chuying, TE Member, Founder of CoVisualize
Rewatch the event here.

Chalkback for Gender Justice

We chalked at the UN again! On IWD, we joined Chalkback Org, UNGEI, UN Women, Elige, and other activists, allies, and partners to share first-hand stories about advancing gender equality in the digital space.

Upcoming Events

UN ECOSOC Youth Forum

Members of TE will be attending the ECOSOC Youth Forum both in-person and virtually. Will you be there?

In case you missed it, virtual registration is now open!
Register TODAY to share ideas at the UN’s largest gathering of global youth and scale up efforts for youth engagement in advancing the #GlobalGoals ahead of the SDG Summit. 

Global Working Group to End School-Related Gender-Based Violence Asia and Pacific Learning Symposium

The Asia-Pacific region will be having its first regional learning symposium which will highlight programming to put an end to school-related gender-based violence. The symposium will be attended by a diverse group of youth activists and development partners working on strategies and interventions for SRGBV. The symposium also aims to strengthen partnerships for further traction in the prevention of, and response to SRGBV in the region.

Resources and Opportunities

AmplifyChange seeks to fund civil society organizations that aim to implement projects focusing on sexual and reproductive health rights.  The duration of an Opportunity grant can be 18 or 24 months. This funding round is open for applications up to £75,000 GBP. We encourage you to be realistic and apply for the amount that is best for your organization and project. Deadline to apply: April 20th, 2023

UNGEI has launched two new reports on its Knowledge Hub focusing on school-related gender-based violence in Sierra Leone. Read about implementing minimum standards & findings from research in schools & communities below:

Events you should go:

Interested in #GenderTransformativeEducation? Wondering how it promotes #GenderEquality and equitable education opportunities for all students? Join the Global Boyhood Initiative and experts for a panel discussion. Don't miss out, register now here.

Book Recommendations

Joyful Militancy: Building Thriving Resistance in Toxic Times by Nick Montgomery and carla bergman- Investigates how fear, self-righteousness, and moralism infiltrate and take root within liberation movements, what to do about them, and ultimately how tenderness and vulnerability can thrive alongside fierce militant commitment.

We are sending you love for this new quarter, inviting you to be gentle with yourself. We leave you with a quote from the book we have recommended:

“Any kind of systematic change we want to make will require us to work together to do it. And we have to have relationships strong enough to hold us…”


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Resistance and Resilience

Global Campaign for Education, UNGEI, ASPBAE, Transform Education (young feminist coalition hosted by UNGEI), Global Student Forum, NGEI, ESU, SAIH, GSF, MELAC, ACEA, NCE Nepal.