Local Youth Ambassador says poverty is sexist

By Echo Reporter

Katie Black from Kingswood calls on world leaders to score knockout goal against poverty.

Just days ahead of the Euro 2016 football tournament in Paris, 250 Youth Ambassadors for The ONE Campaign from across Europe and Africa recreated a giant football pitch at La Défense, the business centre of the French capital, to highlight that ‘Poverty is Sexist’ and that world leaders must level the playing field for girls and women in developing countries.

Katie Black One campaign June 2016

Katie Black from Kingswood travelled to Paris as part of 25 Irish Youth Ambassadors from the anti-poverty group ONE to lobby representatives from the world’s richest countries to help end extreme poverty.

From May 31 to June 2, the unique ONE Summit brought together hundreds of young campaigners who used the opportunity of the OECD Forum to help put girls and women at the centre of development.

As part of the Summit the 250 ONE Youth Ambassadors, representing 50 nationalities and travelling from Nigeria and seven European countries, recreated a giant football pitch measuring 700 square metres, highlighting that this is a game they are playing to win.

They deployed a banner in the centre-spot, displaying their message to representatives of some of the world’s richest countries meeting at the OECD Forum: “Poverty is sexist. Level the playing field for women and girls”.

Katie Black, 22, from Kingwood said: “We have a powerful message for politicians: we want concrete action to build a more just world for all. We came to Paris to meet them and tell them face to face.”

During this Summit, they met with multiple international political leaders, including French Foreign Affairs Minister, the Minister for Development and Trade of the Netherlands, the Minister for Development from Slovenia and representatives for Germany, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and Australia.

As ONE’s Poverty is Sexist report shows, poverty and gender inequality go hand-in-hand. Today, 62 million girls are still denied access to education, three in four adolescents in Africa who contract HIV are girls, and a woman in Sierra Leone is 183 times more likely to die while giving birth than a woman in Switzerland.

Saira O’Mallie of ONE, said: “Our Youth Ambassadors showed that young people everywhere want girls and women put first in international development. There will plenty of opportunities for the Irish Government to take the lead. ”

Alongside the Summit the Irish Youth Ambassadors have been campaigning to ask their TDs to sign the ONE Vote support card that pledges to end extreme poverty. The Youth Ambassadors will be meeting with their TDs over the summer.

Previously, Youth Ambassadors have attended the G7 Summit in Munich and the UN General Assembly in New York.

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