Inspired by the @Sweden and @PeopleofCanada projects, FRIDA is inviting guest curators to contribute articles and posts on FRIDA’s website and social media for one week at a time.
We are pleased to introduce our very first #4FRIDA Curator: Sarah Soysa! Sarah joined FRIDA’s Advisory Committee this past July 2014. You can learn more about her below and get an idea on the kinds of posts she will be sharing with us this week!
Check out the full details of this project here. And always look out for the #4FRIDA hashtag that indicates a curated post.
So without further ado, we are pleased to introduce Sarah:
Who and where are you?
I am Sarah Ashaya Soysa from Sri Lanka currently living in Melbourne reading for my Masters in Gender and Development Studies. I am a feminist and I advocate for women and young people’s rights and choices on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Gender equality.
What do you consider to be the biggest issue facing young women, girls, and trans*youth in your region?
Access to accurate information and services on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights is a huge issue faced by young women, girls and trans*youth both in Asia and the Pacific, which stigmatizes them, violates their rights and refrains them from accessing health services which leads to their physical, psychological, emotional and social wellbeing. Age appropriate comprehensive sexuality education with proper teacher and parent training has a gap both in Asia and the Pacific.
Not only this, young women, girls and trans* youth do not have enough funding and technical support to accomplish their goals and innovative ideas specially on advocacy efforts in standing for their rights and justice. This is why I personally joined FRIDA to support them with their amazing work to empower and encourage them with both technical support and funding.
Lack of meaningful civic and political participation of young people creates a huge gap and barriers for young people to engage in meaningful decision making. More young women and trans* youth are needed in the policy making and political arena both in Asia and the Pacific. This will indeed reduce the gaps in the system which discriminates young people and violate their rights.
What does being a young feminist mean to you and what makes you most excited to be a young feminist?
I believe that all human beings should have equal rights, opportunities and access. I like to question and explore power imbalances and inequalities in civil and political arenas defending rights of young women, girls and trans*youth. I am personally interested in issues related to sexual and reproductive rights, violence in both public and private spheres, sexuality and equality in marriage, equal pay, safe abortion rights and stigma against certain communities.
Being a feminist I support young people and women to stand against discrimination, exploitation and injustice and I embrace their diversities as they are. I am proud to be nonjudgmental and be able to respect people’s choices in life. I am and will keep on fighting to have young people’s voices heard and included in all levels of decision making. I am a feminist and I believe in feminism. I think everyone should be a feminist and stop being afraid of all the adverse labels because feminism is all about respect and justice to all human beings.
Describe your ‘voice’ in three words:
Rights, Respect, Choice
Follow Sarah’s #4FRIDA posts on our Facebook and Twitter!