from special correspondent
Mangalore: World YWCA programme associate Ramya Jawahar Kudekallu, a resident of Bangalore with family roots in Sullia in the district, recently attended the 24th Human Rights Council at the UN headquarters in New York and spoke on a panel.
In her paper "The Right to Development is the right to be heard, acknowledged and implemented", she advocated the inevitability of a change in the societal mindset in different countries of the world in the backdrop of violence against women worldwide. She also suggested ways and means to check such trends.
Among those who heard her in rapt attention included UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon and delegates and representatives from different countries.
With less than a thousand days left until the end of the current MDGs, world leaders are being pressured into working on the post 2015 Development Agenda.
She says she was absolutely ecstatic to be invited as a speaker at the side event ‘International Youth Leadership in the Right to Development’ at the Human Rights Council’s 24th session held late September.
The event was sponsored by the National Alliance of Women’s Organisations UK, and the Ariel Foundation international, and co-sponsored by the World YWCA and Inter-African Committee on Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Girls.
The event had the support of the Right to Development Office and UHCHR Institute for Shipboard Education. Ramya believes that the right to development is simply the ownership of human rights. The Declaration to the right to Development passed by the General Assembly uses powerful language such as ‘Promoting and encouraging respect of human rights’, ‘free and meaningful participation’ and ‘fundamental freedoms.’ But the reality is that over half of our world’s population neither has access nor is aware of these possibilities.
"The amazing thing about the World YWCA is that the essence of its work lies in the voices of young women. We prioritize young women’s leadership and take great measures to include reflections, suggestions and strategies from young women from all the regions of our global movement. It is important that these messages find places amongst local, regional and international platforms of advocacy. To fully satisfy the access to the right to development, it is critical we recognize the challenges young people face and find the APPROPRIATE solutions," she said as a panelist.
"The World YWCA resource ‘The Future Young Women Want- Global Call To Act’ is a fantastic reference to what young women from across our movement want to see in the post-2015 development agenda. Many of these recommendations are around ending violence against women, access to sexual and reproductive health rights, facilitation for young women to be on decision making platforms and free non discriminative access to education, economic empowerment and resources," said Ramya.
"The UNDP report on the MDG acknowledges that gender inequality is mediated through a number of channels ranging from social-economical suppressions to harmful traditional and cultural practices. This is where the YWCA steps in with its active work with young women so that we may find the courage and tools within ourselves and around us to hold our governments accountable.
She further declared, "As a law graduate, I always consider it a privilege to make any kind of recommendation at the Human Rights Council. The World YWCA has a profound way of creating opportunities and allowing the potential for growth. I hope our world leaders come to sound conclusions and that the next era of social justice and development surpasses the previous."
Concern for women - Ramya's earlier speech in Geneva:
Where Do We Go from Here? My Appeal to the Human Rights Council - Ramya Jawahar
(Ramya Jawahar, hailing from the well-known Kudekallu family of Sullia in Dakshina Kannada and residing in Bangalore, is a young advocate.
She is the daughter of Jawahar Kudekallu and Dr Amita Jawahar and grand-daughter of Savitri Ravindranath Kudekallu, hailing from Aletty in Sullia.
Ramya is currently based in Geneva, Switzerland as the world YMCA programme associate. She is one of the only two women selected for the position from among the world. During her college studies, she had been elected Union Assistant Joint Secretary of the student government in 2007-2008. She was a member of the winning throwball team at ‘Spiritus’ National Law Colleges' Sports for National Law School, Bangalore in 2007.
She was also first runner-up in the essay-writing competition ‘Exodus’ at St Joseph’s Arts And Science College, Bangalore in 2008, master of ceremonies and student representative at the governor's seminar with University of Yale USA professor Peter Schuck in 2009, best student advocate at Surana and Surana Stetson International Environmental Moot Competition in 2010, leader of the opposition at the Model Student Lok Sabha conducted by YMCA, Bangalore in 2010, participant at the Surana and Surana Stetson International Technology Moot Competition in 2011, guest panelist at the ‘Euthanasia Debate’ conducted by the YWCA, Bangalore in 2011, elected union president of the student government for 2011-2012, head of the the organizing Committee For The 1st Bishop Cotton Women’s Christian Law College National Moot Court Competition in 2011-2012.
Currently, as the World YWCA programme associate, Geneva in Switzerland, she has been a panelist on ‘Continuum of Violence’ hosted by the Permanent Mission of Canada in Switzerland at United Nations Human Rights Council, Geneva, a panelist on ‘Early and forced marriages’ hosted Plan International at United Nations Human Rights Council, Geneva and also on ‘Indian Women's Security, Rights, Empowerment and Equality’ hosted by the WILF and WURN at United Nations Human Rights Council, Geneva.)