Sya's Blog

Syar S. Alia, from Malaysia's Young Women Leaders Programme.

First time at the international conference

Date: 30 November 2011

Twenty years can seem like a very long time when you think of how much technology, globalization and development has evolved, even more so when 20 years encompasses more than two-thirds of your personal lifetime. But after my first day at the Asia Pacific Civil Society Forum on Beijing +20 surrounded by 400 over women’s human rights activists - that number gained both a smaller scale and a larger significance. Hearing the history of the ongoing ever-evolving fight for our rights by women who were present at the Fourth World Conference, women who have seen laws change and mentalities shift, women who have brought causes from the grassroots to the global platform, women who are still going and gave no intentions of stopping - it was amazing to realize how much 20 years can contain, but also how short a time it is in the larger context of the women’s movement storied history.

Where will we be in the next 20 years? I couldn’t help but try to divine the future, trying to see if I would be in a room like this again, occupying a different position, speaking to this version of myself. The issues have evolved; inequality, oppression, injustice, violence, marginalization, and apathy are still monsters we have to fight. It’s humbling and very scary to join the march forward, but we step up, and step up, and step up.

Syar from Malasia. She is one of young Maliasians through the "Young Women Leaders Programme" who participated the Asia-Pacific Beijing+20 Civil Society Conference. See more on her activities to support Gender Equality on Twitter: @syarsalia.