Meet Georgia! Georgia is one of our Speakers Bureau members. She’s part of a network of young people from across Canada who advocate for the advancement of girls’ rights and gender equality both locally and globally. She shares with us what being a part of the Speakers Bureau means to her, and what she has learned by speaking out for gender equality.
As a girls’ rights activist, public speaking is a necessary evil. I am terrified that my stutter will overpower my words and the message will be lost in a sea of syllables I cannot produce, and I can only hope that my passion for gender equality will be expressed.
This past May, I pitched a speech to Plan International Canada’s Because I am a Girl Speakers Bureau as part of the Storytellers Symposium event, wherein participants would deliver a talk about a feminist issue of their choice. The writing process for my speech on Gender-Based Violence in Schools involved biting off my fingernails while studying reports on the international state of girls, topics the Speakers Bureau are well-versed in.
The most valuable resources, however, were my fellow activists. The Plan Public Engagement team, a group of kind, intelligent women who treat adolescents believing that we can understand complex international development issues, assuaged my doubts about my speechmaking abilities. By speaking in front of my fellow speakers and Plan staff — women I respect for their tireless dedication to advocacy — I felt proud to support girls’ rights by sharing my insights, and the evil of public speaking dissipated. It became clear that eloquence is not inherited, but achieved through a determination to honour a worthwhile commitment.
Presenting to a supportive, receptive group of women only reinforced my knowledge that the Because I am a Girl community is utterly unafraid of any challenges that may arise, because we stand together.
Joining the Speakers Bureau has offered me life changing opportunities to advocate for social justice, create impactful strides for gender equality and have youth voices be heard in the conversation about girls’ rights!
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