On 18th October 2017, students and teachers from the FYSForums project partner schools in Italy, Poland, Cyprus, Lithuania and United Kingdom participated in a online webinar, which served as the Project’s third year kick-off meeting before taking action over the next few months. It was a wonderful experience bringing together many students of all ages, ranging from secondary to high school.
The distinct perspective of all the participants clearly emerged when students were asked to voice their expectations on the future of gender equality. There have been many interesting hunches, often reflecting the different degrees of urgency and awareness of gender-based issues in each country.
For example, some Lithuanian students have drawn attention to the need to ensure that women easily access healthcare, while some English students focused on the different issued of gender equality. Polish teachers brought to light the need to raise the public awareness on gender-based issues to help women to break through socio-economic barriers; on the other hand, Italian students have pledged to set up talks and other events to sensitise their peers to female genital mutilation. Finally, Cypriot students have explained how important would be to bring gender equality to the rural areas of their country. All schools have also set out their proposed action plan with a view to the next webinars, next Forums and the final international Forum which will be held in Rome, on the 16th of April 2018.
This kick-off webinar proved a fabulous opportunity for the participants to the FYS-Forums project to share previous experience and works. No matter the technical problems some school faced, all participants were truly enthusiastic about the multi-cultural and pluralistic composition of the project partnership, as well as the quality of the ideas arisen. If “well begun is half done”, then we have great hopes for the future of the Forum!