As part of our celebrations for International Women’s Day throughout the month of March, our Brussels team was delighted to welcome Rodah Lochale to Brussels at the end of March. Rodah is a DSW youth champion from the West Pokot region of Kenya, and has spent the last few years working in her community against early and forced marriage and Female Genital Mutilation, and for the right of young people to be heard by community leaders and politicians.
Part of our work in Brussels involves advocating for European policy towards Africa to better take into account the needs of young men and women, and making sure that gender equality and rights of women are at the core of all of the European Union’s development objectives. With this in mind, we asked Rodah to come to Brussels, to bring the voice of East Africa’s young people here so that European decision-makers could here it. Her visit took place as part of our #RightByHer campaign, which advocates for the rights of women in Africa.
Rodah was a superstar throughout the week, and before she left spoke at an event co-organised by DSW and CARE International celebrating African Women. The key takeaway from Rodah’s speech? That, when the EU and the African Union sit down to thrash out their future relationship, young voices absolutely need to be heard because in West Pokot and the rest of the continent, they need support and leadership now more than ever.
Here’s a little snapshot of Rodah’s visit and her reasons for being in Brussels. Enjoy!