Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the kickoff of the #16DaysOfActivism. We partnered with the African Union Youth Envoy for a High Level Intergenerational Dialogue where we presented the Africa Young Women Beijing+25 Manifesto and handed it over to the leadership at the African Union, UN Women, Action Coalitions leaders and Generation Equality Forum.
Good morning/ Good afternoon/ and Good evening, Excellencies and distinguished
guests. All protocols observed. My name is Aissata Camara and I am the co-founder of There Is No Limit Foundation. It is a pleasure to join you today on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and during the African Youth Month to raise the voices and hopes of Young African Women.
Before I begin, I want to thank all the partners and teams that made this event possible. I
would especially like to thank the African Union and its Youth Envoy, my sister Aya
Chebbi, for their collaboration and leadership. I also share our sincere gratitude to the Wallace Global Fund and Susan Gibbs for their unwavering efforts to empower Young African Women through our work to end gender-based violence specifically, female genital mutilation.
It is important to remember the context within which we are meeting. The world
continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. And unfortunately—women and
girls are being negatively affected socially and economically. We are also seeing higher
instances of domestic and gender-based violence further deepening inequities.
Our organization, There Is No Limit Foundation works daily to deliver critical services
focused on quality education, entrepreneurship, and health. We are active on the continent—in the Republic of Guinea, my native country, and Cote d’Ivoire. We also work with diaspora members in the United States. We carry out our programs because we believe deeply that people have a right to live in dignity and security. That’s also the reason we focus our efforts on the most marginalized members of our society, people living in extreme poverty, with disabilities— many of
them are women and children. Since 2008, we have empowered over 30,000 people and our message to end violence against women has reached over 10 million people.
25 years ago, when I was around 7 years old, UN member states agreed that women’s
rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights and adopted the Beijing
Declaration and Platform for Action. There is a lot to celebrate about that moment. There is a lot to be proud of since then. But there is also a lot of work to do to ensure the rights and equities of women and girls everywhere; especially those of young women living in Africa and the diaspora are protected.
Young African women, like me, must have a seat at the table. We must be given opportunities to access decent work, to live without discrimination, to take leadership positions locally, nationally, and internationally. When faced with a breach of our rights, we must have access to strong judicial systems that see us as whole human beings with inalienable rights. Young African Women also cannot be left behind in the digital revolution. We must lead it. We deserve to live in a conflict free world; a world where guns are silenced and peace reigns.
We want to live without domestic and gender-based violence. As a society, we must not
allow over 200 million additional girls to be subjected to female genital mutilation. We
must end this practice and other harmful practices stunting the prospect of young African
women. These are the reasons I am proud to stand with my sister Aya and all other young African
women to raise our voice; to add our perspective to the global discourse on women and
My organization, There Is No Limit Foundation, makes the commitment to push this
manifesto forward and to enact the changes it calls for in the communities we serve and
around the world. So, on this historic day, I congratulate young African women everywhere for continuing to speak up, to break the silence, and to drive change.
Many years from now, when we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beijing platform, I
hope we will count this manifesto amongst the sparks that lit the way for the
empowerment of young African women.
Thank you for your attention. Merci beaucoup.
See below the event’s host and speakers.
Recoding of the event – video