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Post-Its to Myself: Young Leaders @ EDD17

Born out of a conversation between 3 excited new friends upon observing a participant bringing his toddler to the sessions at the 2016 European Development Days, Post Its To Myself is an initiative by EDD 2016 Young Leaders Elsa Zekeng, Ruba Ahmad and Vandinika Shukla.

This Creative Youth Activity initiated an interactive conversation, especially with men and boys emphasising the need for male champions of change who fearlessly crush gender stereotypes.

The activity included writing a 'Post It' to our younger self noting a moment when we could have or successfully did in fact stand up for gender equality, or one to our older self as a reminder to raise our voice and take action.

This activity hoped not only to galvanise a global drive towards questioning the status quo and establishing a new gender equal world, free of discrimination, unconscious biases and stereotypes, but also open-up an opportunity for reflection-from the pledge taker and his/her male or female peers.

Before this exercise participants were asked to respond to some tough continuum statements with an 'agree', 'disagree', or 'I don't know'.

For example: "Gender equality means no chivalry", "It is safer to be a man in my community", "Men hold more leadership positions because women are emotional".

What resulted was a safe space of personal stories and opinions. In the end, it became a reflective exercise not only for the participants but for us as facilitators as well. To hear about issues of multicultural manifestations of gender inequality, the stereotypes the world is yet to break free from when it comes to LGBTQI identities, and the expectations of millennials with regards to gender equality in their families, workplaces and communities.

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