07 October 2017

Gender Justice and Equality Project [STUDY VISIT], London - UK

The first part of this project took place in Yerevan (Armenia) and it was a training course, while the second part was a study visit which took place in London (UK) . 36 participants from different European and Caucasian countries took part in the project. The main aim of the 2 stage project was to increase the awareness of youth workers and youth leaders about gender equality issues and perspectives in Europe and to provide the participants with skills to develop good quality projects locally and under the “Erasmus+” program focusing on the topic of Gender Equality. 

In London we visited Mosaic LGBT + Youth center, a London-based registered non-profit organization that is designed for LGBT+ people, as well as those who are questioning their sexuality and/or gender identity, aged thirteen to nineteen. This organization has three central aims – to support, educate, and inspire their young persons and work in a fair and inclusive way, actively promoting justice and equality of opportunity across inter sectional identities. Besides the service of ‘Youth clubs’ which offers great affirming peer to peer support network so needed in very much straight world we all live in, this organization works in collaboration with high school delivering sexuality awareness and anti-homophobia workshops and mentoring young people who are LGBT+ or unsure of their sexuality and/or gender who cannot or will not access the Organization’s Centers.

Moreover, a lot of the work in schools starts as awareness raising and many of the organization’s partners noticed a great reduction in homophobic behavior and language as a result of the organization involvement. The evident positive results of their activities and the collaboration with public institutions stress out the importance of the education and awareness in fostering gender equality.

Another important and large English organization is the Stonewall whose mission is to create a wide network to enable individuals to reach their full potential and to support those who cannot yet be themselves. Stonewall runs a series personal and professional development programes to enable people to connect with and influence others to challenge homophobic, bi-phobic and trans-phobic bullying, celebrate difference, improve inclusion and increase the visibility of role models. This organization is significant enough to manage to lobby private organizations and public institutions to increase their attention toward gender equality and all the unfair discrimination related to gender. 

This is an important point since it represents a successful attempt of a NGO to pursue a relevant result as prompting political institutions to take care of gender justice and to legislate in order to ensure its implementation.

The work of these NGOs demonstrates to be effective practical solutions for women’s empowerment in the short period and important endeavors to pursue gender equality in the long term. Undoubtedly, the efforts of these organizations underline how the civil society, including campaigners, volunteers and simple inhabitants, along with the public institutions, can play a fundamental role in the implementation of social gender justice.

Besides the great amount of information we gathered during this study visit, we also had time to visit this fascinating city, London. We have visited the most important touristic attractions like Big Ben or the Coca-Cola London Eye and a few famous museums. We felt really enthusiastic and lucky to be able to visit one of the most famous capitals of the world. Moreover, we had the chance to meet again with our friends from different countries and have some fun together. Finally, we can say that not only the topic of the project and the visits were amazing, but also this fairy city left us dreaming for the time when we will go back.