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The Young People's Working Group 

The IHEID EQUALS-EU Young People’s Working Group (YPWG) is a group of young  women dedicated to advancing gender equity, and in particular, digital inclusion. Under the EQUALS-EU project umbrella, we host events, advocate for digital inclusion, and are assisting the co-creation of an inclusive Innovation Camp dedicated to empowering women and minority genders and bringing together diverse voices and perspectives to create novel solutions for the digital inclusion of women and girls.

Meet our Team

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Carolina Earle (she/her)

Project Coordinator
Carolina manages the entire team with great energy and passion ensuring that all activities and projects are smoothly executed leading up to the Innovation Camp 2022 in alignment with the overarching ethos of gender equity and promoting the inclusion of underrepresented groups.  

Why is gender equity important to you?  

I am interested in gender equity as I believe that realising gender equity is foundational to the ability of all people to pursue and realise their dreams, live free of fear, and in harmony and peace. I am interested in gender equity because its realisation is fundamental the safety and the self-realisation and joy of those I love; to each one of us upon this planet: past, present, and future; and to the world I hope to one day see forged, urgently...This being a world which (at minimum) engenders less fear, less pain, less violence, more peace, and more love...and this also being a world in which the pain and loss wrought as a result of gender-based violence and discrimination will seem like ludicrous ways to live and to exist to the people in the very near future. 

Why are you interested in the gender digital divide? 

The "digital" world - both in its presence as much as its absence - is a space which touches all of us, and all aspects of our lives. It affords us with endless possibilities for personal growth and empowerment, enjoyment, and connectivity, and yet, clearly harbours many ills both through abuse of its tools and/or their design. With advances toward a gender equitable world already failing, and the world in tandem becoming ever exponentially more digitised and reliant on the "digital" too, it is of uttermost importance that we do not allow - as has already happened - further inequities to be entrenched through the digital world; ensure that its boons are inclusive, equitable, and accessible for all; and, that gender responsiveness, ethics, and equity is integrated into the digital world in the same way it is coming to be integrated into our lives. Now is the time to reverse damages, and forge a new, more equitable future. Already, I feel privileged to learn of (and I hope, from) the myriad organisations, community groups, and individuals who have long been fighting to close this divide, and who are equipping the next generation to do so too. Their creativity and passion is inspiring to me, and I feel humbled to be working on the EQUALS-EU project with such an empathetic, caring, and powerful team.

Why are you interested in innovation and/or entrepreneurship? 

I am interested in innovation and entrepreneurship as I believe together these are powerful tools by which we can foster and elevate new, creative, and necessarily hitherto unthought of solutions to some of the worlds most complex issues. In particular, creating meaningful ecosystems to support and sustain gender responsive innovations will be a powerful mechanism by which we can elevate new leaders, and their inventions geared toward a new, and fairer world.

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Samhita Bharadwaj (she/her)

Instagram Lead
Samhita is responsible for coordinating and delivering exciting, streamlined Instagram content to drive inclusive and widespread engagement with IHEID EQUALS-EU, using Instagram as a community-building and pedagogical tool to help inform followers of key developments in the Innovation Camp and its key focus areas. 

Why is gender equity important to you?  

I am interested in gender equity because I believe that it has a lot to do with how we interact with ourselves. Often, we are too harsh on ourselves and while striving to be and achieve the best. When we are denied an opportunity or treated unfairly just because of our gender, it can add to the burden of harshness that we already self-impose. It can limit us in expressing our full potential and in being our own personal best. I am interested in gender equity because it can actually have the power to make one feel alive, well and fulfilled. 

Why are you interested in the gender digital divide? 

 

I am quite new to technology myself but I do know how empowering it feels to know how to use it. Technology does have the power to make people think well and contribute better. It can give purpose. I am interested in the impact that awareness on digital technology has on girls and boys. Its their personal fulfilment and their human experience that make me happy and fulfilled. 

Why are you interested in innovation and/or entrepreneurship? 

I am interested in innovation because everything around us was an innovation at some point. It is made to improve something or some situation. I like it because it is meant to (if correctly used) improve people's lives. How that innovation impacts a person or a situation is the most important and interesting to me.

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Silvia Ecclesia (she/her)

Wesbite and Blog Lead
Silvia is responsible for co-ordinating and delivering exciting, streamlined Blog content to drive inclusive and widespread engagement with IHEID EQUALS-EU Innovation Camp and its focus areas; the YPWG’s projects; EQUALS-EU more generally. 

Why is gender equity important to you?  

I am interested in gender equity because, as a girl and woman, I had never thought of myself as any less than others and when, as a kid, I realized that some people underestimated me just because of my gender I started doing all I could to prove them wrong. Gender equity is important to me because it does not only mean 'include the women' but it means changing the mindset and values of people and make them understand that gender equity is important for all.

Why are you interested in the gender digital divide? 

 

I am interested in the gender digital divide because I think that cyberspace and new technologies actually give us the opportunity to finally disrupt the 'real life' gender divide but, once again, the patriarchal structures are trying to keep women and other minorities out of it. I think that closing the gender digital divide might actually empower us in having a new space free from gender discriminations.  

Why are you interested in innovation and/or entrepreneurship? 

Some people are still attached to past values and mindsets that have been overcome by the new generations, therefore, I think that innovation and entrepreneurship are key for creating new solutions, especially when put in place by young people. 

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Ciara Rainsby (she/her)

Events Lead and Graphics Coordinator 
Ciara is responsible for co-ordinating and delivering exciting and innovative events oriented toward breaking down and rendering intelligible “Feminism and Women’s Leadership in International Law and Policy” to a non-expert audience; as well as delivering graphics to drive inclusive and widespread engagement with IHEID EQUALS-EU. 

Why is gender equity important to you?  

From a personal note, during my whole life, my dad has been the stay-at-home parent and my mom the 'breadwinner' of the family - and a true role model for me because of her being usually one of the only women in a room full of men due to her level in the company. Even though this is becoming more and more common, from a young age, many people - the same age - when they find out about my life follow up with something along the likes of "And what does your dad do as a job?" and I go “My mom does....” In these small notes, I have caught the unconscious biases that exist in every person. For this reason, I got interested in learning more to make myself aware of these unconscious biases to the point of taking gender studies classes as well as working for an NGO whose mission is to empower women in particular through education. 

Why are you interested in the gender digital divide? 

 

Through my academic and professional experiences, I have learnt the true value that education brings to every human being. As education becomes more versatile, with technology being significantly involved in achieving a level of education as well as being a type of education in itself, it's important to not leave anyone behind. As the digital gap for women and girls remains important, I feel it my duty to help bridge this gap. 

Why are you interested in innovation and/or entrepreneurship? 

Everyday, we are innovating in our own way, whether that is internally or externally. Everything has the power to be innovative and potential to be transformative. That's also why entrepreneurship is interesting to me, because the power of ideas and change are what keep society going. Humankind as a whole is inherently linked to these two concepts so it should be natural for anyone to be involved in some shape and form with these concepts. 

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Hanlu Hu (she/her)

Instagram Lead
Hanlu is responsible for coordinating and delivering exciting, streamlined Instagram content to drive inclusive and widespread engagement with IHEID EQUALS-EU, using Instagram as a community-building and pedagogical tool to help inform followers of key developments in the Innovation Camp and its key focus areas. 

Why is gender equity important to you?  

Only when I studied gender, I realized how most of my personal struggles are connected to gender inequity. It reconstructs the way I see the world and myself. I simply want to make more people understand this and build a better world where gender no longer creates constraints or boundaries.

Why are you interested in the gender digital divide? 

 

The digital world is the most efficient tool to solve any problems nowadays, and it directly touches upon our daily life and leads towards future trends. So tackling the gender digital divide is definitely an important step to make a difference.

Why are you interested in innovation and/or entrepreneurship? 

Innovation gives actors more incentives and free will to invent and make changes. Also working for yourself guarantees efficiency and motivation.

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Erika Tascón (she/her)

Community Outreach Lead and Events Lead
Erika is responsible for identifying key civil society organisations in Geneva (and Switzerland) championing underrepresented groups. Similarly, helping to identify key student organisations in the IHEID Swiss universities championing and focusing on the Innovation Camp’s key focus areas. She is also responsible for co-ordinating and delivering events oriented toward rendering intelligible “Feminism and Women’s Leadership in International Law and Policy” to a non-expert audience. 

Why is gender equity important to you?  

Gender equity is a concept that means that society is committed towards promoting a fair development for men and women, taking into consideration the nature of our different necessities. 

Why are you interested in the gender digital divide? 

 

I am interested in the gender digital divide and I want to contribute to the discussion through my master thesis.

Why are you interested in innovation and/or entrepreneurship? 

Entrepreneurship is an adequate approach for offering new opportunities to everyone. However, we should still work towards the creation of a better ecosystem for entrepreneurs. Besides, innovation is a way to stand out and encourage people to use their skills and creativity. 

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Devika Vohra (she/her)

Multimedia and Sponsorship Lead
Devika is responsible for coordinating and delivering pedagogical multimedia materials oriented toward breaking down and rendering intelligible “Feminism and Women’s Leadership in International Law and Policy” to a non-expert audience. Devika is also responsible for identifying primary sponsorship need areas for the Innovation Camp and securing sponsorship from organisations aligned with the overarching ethos of gender equity, whilst also privileging collaborations which serve to uplift underrepresented groups.  

Why is gender equity important to you?  

I have been working on various gender-based violence prevalent in India, assisted various human rights petitions, and participated in various awareness programs to address this issue. I believe that making this world a better place by little steps each day and leading to reach gender equity is my true purpose in life.

Why are you interested in the gender digital divide? 

 

With our world moving into this new digital space sphere, women are again being left vulnerable. I want to change this notion of gender inequality, make this digital space more inclusive and diverse, and address the gender digital divide and the intricacies that lie in the intersectionality when discussing gender.  

Why are you interested in innovation and/or entrepreneurship? 

I am a social entrepreneur and have set up a social enterprise in my hometown Kanpur, India, which works to make re-usable sanitary cloth pads for women. Apart from that, I had an outstanding opportunity to participate in the C4SI competition and bagged the first position at The Graduate Institute, which tried to address the continuum of learning for girl children in India, post lockdown of schools due to COVID-19. Furthermore, I have taken social innovation and entrepreneurship courses at the London School of Economics and The Graduate Institute Geneva. 

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Anna Liz Thomas (she/her)

Awareness Raising Lead
Anna is responsible for coordinating the creation and delivering a pedagogical booklet with all the information for the Innovation Camp 2022's participants oriented toward breaking down and rendering intelligible “Feminism and Women’s Leadership in International Law and Policy” to a non-expert audience. 

Why is gender equity important to you?  

Gender equity is important to me because a fairer world is one that we must all aspire towards. As a woman, naturally, this would mean that I need to be involved in the work that is being done to ensure that women have a seat at the table at every level of governance and management.

Why are you interested in the gender digital divide? 

 

In an increasingly digital world, the gender digital divide can impact women's ability to self-determination and exercise control over their own lives. I have witnessed how the digital space can be disproportionately hostile towards women and minority communities, and can be toxic enough to stop women from participating altogether. In different contexts, digital connectivity and digital skills can also be the factor that determines whether women can participate in the work force, and take control of their finances. In these contexts the gender digital divide (both in terms of access to digital resources, as well as the assurance of a safe digital space) is an important area that needs to be worked on.

Why are you interested in innovation and/or entrepreneurship? 

I do not consider myself to be entrepreneurial, but I am interested in innovative processes behind technologies. I think digital design and innovation can have several spillovers and consequences, if not adequately regulated. 

Carlotta Osti (she/her)

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Multimedia Lead and Supporting Team member 
Carlotta is responsible for coordinating and delivering pedagogical multimedia materials oriented toward breaking down and rendering intelligible “Feminism and Women’s Leadership in International Law and Policy” to a non-expert audience. Carlotta is also supporting other team members with their tasks as needed. 

Why is gender equity important to you?  

Gender equity should stand as a core element for any society, hence my interest and activism in achieving and advocating for it.  It is about equal opportunity, equal access, political representation, equal pay and so on. It is about recognizing the needs of every member of our reality. I simply cannot imagine my world and life with the existing power imbalanced and not do anything about it. Gender equity is about each and everyone of us.

Why are you interested in the gender digital divide? 

 

Technology is an active element of our life, with the digital world being ever-present in the majority of our activities. Filling the digital gender divide is not only about having the right tools or competences; it is also about granting the same opportunities in the tech field to every gender alike without discriminations. We are excluding a large part of the population and as such, missing amazingly talented people.  

Why are you interested in innovation and/or entrepreneurship? 

I am interested in innovation as arguably every discovery comes from an innovative idea. Innovation entails creativity, passion, an intrinsic interest of the world and of its people. Innovation and entrepreneurship go hand in hand. We need people bringing forward new “cool” and “funky” ideas by also promoting and investing in them.