IANGEL Bridge Fellow Johanna Kanes attended the CSW Young Professionals Beijing+25 Event on May 30, 2019, honoring feminist author and women’s rights advocate, Charlotte Bunch. The event included a screening of the documentary film, “Passion and Politics: the Life and Work of Charlotte Bunch” and was followed by a discussion with Charlotte herself.
Next year (2020), will mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The 64th Commission on the Status of Women will focus on the progress made in the 25 years since the Beijing Declaration and a review of what will come in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular gender equality.
The CSW Young Professionals event included networking for the attendees, many of whom were CSW 63 volunteers or participants. Attendees included private sector workers in tech and finance, non-profit fellows, recent college graduates, and UN interns. Houry Geudelekian (NGO CSW/NY Gender Program Coordinator), Ivy Koek (Vice Chair, CSW Executive Committee), and Saphira Rameshfar (Recording Secretary, CSW Executive Committee) facilitated the event.
The film, “Passion and Politics: the Life and Work of Charlotte Bunch” focuses on Charlotte’s life of activism, from her early days in the Christian Civil Rights Movement, to founding the Furies Collective (a lesbian separatist movement in the Women’s Liberation Movement), to working for international gender equality through teaching activist leadership around the world. The film presents an in-depth look at women’s activism and how Charlotte has contributed to the fight for women’s rights around the world. Particularly inspiring was the message of continued activism in the face of backlash, depression, and uncertainty. The film showed that there are many ways to be a women’s rights activist and that it is important to keep doing what you can.
After the film, there was a roundtable discussion with Charlotte on activism and in anticipation of Beijing+25, what lies ahead for the equality movement. Many of the young professionals contributed their reflections on the film and thoughts about activism. Major themes that were discussed included how young women can insert themselves into the equality movement while honoring the work of older generations, what activism looks like in the millennial generation, inclusivity in activism, and making activism a long term part of your life. Charlotte was an inspirational speaker and it was truly a pleasure to learn about her work and her life. IANGEL thanks CSW Young Professionals for a wonderful evening.