10 Minutes with Isatu Ville, WSCF Delegate
Interviewed by Alvaina Daniels, Ecumenical Women Intern-Communications
EW: Good Afternoon. How are you today?
IV: I’m doing fine.
EW: Thank you for taking you the time to talk with me. I wanted to ask you a couple of questions about your experience at CSW.
EW: What organization are you here representing
IV: I am here with the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF).
EW: What issues brought you here to CSW? What issues interest you?
IV: The theme of this CSW, which has to do with decent work, access to education for the girl-child, training and development, science and technology, which were all prior interests before coming here.
EW: Tell me about your experience this past week.
IV: My experiences have been very good. My coming here to CSW was like an eye-opener for me. I’ve now come to understand how policies are made, and the extent to which they affect mankind the world over. This space has also afforded me the opportunity to know how documents are made.
EW: So you’ve been over to the UN.
IV: No. Unfortunately, I was not able to register on time. Only two from my group had the opportunity to gain access to the UN. So, I was not able to attend all the functions.
EW: Next year. Make that happen! You’ll love it there.
IV: Yes, I already hope see because one of my desires is to really go there and see what happens, how issues are debated, because now what I am into now in is strictly on the level of NGOs, of civil society organizations, which I have already been involved with back home.
EW: So how do you feel about the creation of UN Women?
IV: I feel good because even when I read some of the document, I was thinking it would overshadow some of the work that has already been done by other groups within the UN, like UNICEF and UNIFEM. But this document afforded me to understand that this will enhance the work. That there should be a separate bureau solely focused on women’s issues, which will give it more weight for full implementation, monitoring, and evaluation.
EW: So you’re a younger delegate. What would you like to say to the older generation?
IV: To those at CSW: “It’s about time we move away from the traditional. We have been pushing issues that have been carrying us backward.” To those in the African continent: I’m one person with an opinion. One of the reasons we’re not making progress in Africa is because of those traditions of culture, practices that we have. Policies are curved they are less effective in most parts of Africa because they tend to measure the application of power in line with our cultural practices. So if they are not conforming to our culture practices, then we ten to overlook them. So I think that we must move away from them and be sincere and work together. The older generation needs to work with the young people. We want them to allow the young people to bring in new ideas.
EW: To give them space to make that progress.
IV: Exactly because at the end of the day we are the ones that will be left to carry on these things, these developments, these progresses.
EW: What would you say to your peers right now?
IV: Its time that we take education, seriously. One of the key things is that we need to make the kind of change we want to see in the world. If we are not educated then it is going to be difficult to make any impacts because we already know the issues and we do not know how to push them and to solve them. We need to pay attention and be very attentive to these type of conferences where we come. Its not for fun. Its about learning how we can be able to honestly understand what is happening and what changes we can make to pay for our own world.
EW: Is there anything final you would like to say?
IV: We need to be very serious and focus on what we want. We must allow others to be involved in advocacy. People always coming here, but not many changes are made. More doors must be opened for others to bring in new perspectives and we need to take this seriously.
EW: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us.