The Power of Your Story: a Guide for Advocates

To kick off the Women Deliver 2019 Conference in Vancouver, Canada, Girls’ Globe & Say It Forward co-hosted The Power of Your Story: a Guide for Advocates. Our interactive session brought together advocates and storytellers from around the world to demonstrate just how powerful stories can be.

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To begin – a panel, moderated by Girls’ Globe blogger Sanne Thijssen. We heard moving personal stories from Alaa Al-Eryani, who talked about her experience of marriage and divorce as a young woman in Yemen, and from Paula Espinosa Valarezo, who described herself as a ‘legacy advocate’ thanks to the powerful women who came before her.

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Blessing Timidi, an SRHR advocate from Nigeria, took to the stage to explain how her story influences and strengthens her advoacy. She told us: “your story is never stagnant. Stories evolve all the time.”

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Julia Wiklander, Girls’ Globe’s Founder & President reminded us why it is so important to share your story, and went on to share her advice on building the confidence you need to do so.

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Next up were some practical tips from Girls’ Globe Editor-in-Chief Eleanor on writing your story down. Here are her top 5:

– Keep your inner critic in check
– Choose your publishing platform wisely
– Keep a journal
– Be personal
– Read as much and as widely as you can

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Finally, Emmy Award winning filmmaker Elisa Gambino shared loads of advice for filming your story:

1. Hold your phone steady
2. Decide if you want to look directly at the camera
3. Don’t fight the light
4. Invest in a small microphone
5. Don’t give too much or too little headspace

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Strengthening the ways you communicate your vision, skills and experiences can inspire others to invest in your work locally, nationally or internationally. Your personal narrative can be as compelling as your advocacy message.

Your power is in your story.

Join the conversation with #ThePowerOfYourStory.

In Conversation with Beverly Nkirote Mutwiri

Beverly Nkirote Mutwiri is a sexual and reproductive health and rights advocate from Kenya. She speaks to Girls’ Globe about the challenges she has encountered as a young woman in a patriarchal society.

“In many SRHR spaces we have male dominancy, and at times it can be very intimidating, especially to a young woman.”

This video was made possible through a generous grant from SayItForward.org in support of women’s advocacy messages.

If you liked this post, we think you’ll love our interviews with KingaWinfredScarlett, Natasha and Tasneem, too!

In Conversation with Kizanne James

Let us introduce you to Kizanne James. Kizanne is a physician from Trinidad & Tobago working on reproductive health and rights.

In this conversation with Girls’ Globe, Kizanne speaks about the challenges she has faced as a woman – and especially as a black woman – working in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights in the Caribbean.

“We were taught that if you had sex or you had a boy touch you, it’s like a tomato – the more that a boy touches you the less valuable you would be. And that’s not the same narrative for boys.”

Kizanne explains that it’s being grounded in her values that helps her to handle difficult circumstances. In the face of negativity or even hateful abuse from those who disagree with her, knowing her work and advocacy empowers women and girls to make decisions about their own lives keeps her motivated.

“Regardless of what I may be feeling, or the negative voices or concerns people may have…I feel like I’m on the right side.”

This video was made possible through a generous grant from SayItForward.org to support women’s advocacy messages.

If you liked this post, we think you’ll love our conversations with KingaWinfredScarlettNatasha & Tasneem, too!

In Conversation with Tasneem Kakal

Tasneem Kakal is an advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights. Born and raised in Mumbai, she spent 5 years taking a daily train to and from university. In this interview with Girls’ Globe, Tasneem tells us what the experience taught her about navigating public space as a young woman.

“I would walk up the stairs and go to my platform in this huge crowd of people. And I realized I was doing something that I didn’t know I was doing…”

We all have the right to move through the world without fear. Public space should be accessible to all, regardless of gender. By raising her voice and bringing attention to the everyday nature of inequality, Tasneem stands in solidarity with other women and girls.

“I had to push the boundaries, little by little.”

This video was made possible through a generous grant from SayItForward.org to support women’s advocacy messages.

If you liked this post, we think you’ll love our interviews with Kinga, Winfred, Scarlett and Natasha, too!