Meet Talisa Avanthay, Communications Assistant
Talisa joined the World YWCA in 2019 with experience of bringing effective communication systems into the development world. Passionate about defending freedom of speech and information, gender equality and the fight against early and forced child marriage, she is keen to stand up for the rights of young women and girls. She is a part of the Global Engagement and Strategic Communications Team, where she is the hand behind our social media.
As a young woman, what drives you? What is it that you are passionate about?
As a young woman, I believe we are at a turning point in our society. Everybody has the power to share their own vision of the change they want to see in this world. I am passionate about the new media systems through which we can be heard. I strongly believe in freedom of speech and believe that change starts with sharing a voice. Today, we have many mediums- art, stories, music, social network, blogs and videos like our SheSpeaks website, at our disposal. I am passionate to work on such mediums to engage and utilise them with larger audience. These are key platforms to launch movements that will help create better policies for gender equality.
What is the one thing you want to change in the world around for women?
If there is an issue I wish to make an impact, it is the long-grown tragedy of human trafficking and child marriage. The act of denying someone of their basic rights as human beings, and considering women them merely as a product to serve a purpose makes me extremely angry. This has worsened as women are being considered as mere tools for financial gains. Women need to be economically empowered to become leaders instead of being used as tools for financial gains.
What is the one thing that makes you believe there is hope for womens rights organisations?
The women’s right organisations working around the world at present and for the coming generations are keeping my hope intact. More and more young women are advocates and activists for gender equality for feminism, climate change, etc. When I see young girls like Greta Thunberg raising their voice, I am seeing a future with more young women who won’t be afraid, who won’t be impressed and who won’t stop until they have achieved their goal. I think that further we advance in time the more women will speak louder, and louder and louder, and it won’t be possible to silence these voices anymore. Then, rights wont be denied.
What made you join World YWCA, a young womens movement?
I remembered when I received the phone call from my current supervisor, informing me I will start working at the World YWCA, my heart jumped. I was so excited to join a movement with such a long history of working on the fore front, fighting for women rights and evolving and adapting to our current political environment. The movement is so unique in itself, with women and young women working towards the goal of gender equality at the very core, demanding changes as they want. I was impressed by the strong connection with young women and its intergenerational lens worldwide with different cultures and communities. I saw what a Feminist should look and act like- diverse yet inclusive, driving solidarity and sisterhood. The World YWCA is not only a great organisation but it’s a movement that through ages has and will continue striving for women globally to have access to their rights.
Whom do you consider as your role model and why ?
For me, my grandmother was a feminist role-model. She always taught me that no one can silence you nor tell you what you should or shouldn’t do just because you are a woman. I admired her because she always fought for her rights, no matter the pressure of her family and of her environment. She guided me into my first intergenerational learning.
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