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In 2020, GWL Voices established its inter-generational flagship initiative that fosters academic engagement, intergenerational dialogues, research, and knowledge exchange between GWL Voices’ members and the next generation of women leaders. The initiative has expanded from five partner universities and institutions in 2020, to now partnering with eighteen universities and youth groups across five continents.

Her Turn: The initiative needed for an equal future

Globally, according to a 2022 UNICEF report (Girls’ education | UNICEF), 129 million girls are out of school. Several challenges also confront girls on their academic journey. One such challenge is the need for more mentorship. During Phase One of Her Turn, it is critical to connect young women with prominent and experienced women leaders whose paths and stories can inspire and motivate them to chart a successful career path in international affairs.

What we have achieved so far 

Students’ engagement and institutional interest have increased significantly since the initiative’s founding. The initiative has expanded from five partner universities and institutions in 2020, to now partnering with 18 universities across five continents.

Due to the program’s success and impact, demands to expand Her Turn at other universities and regions have also significantly increased. For example, we plan to increase our partnership from 18 institutions to 30 universities covering the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Africa, Asia, and Europe, in the next two years, incorporating grassroots leaders who are equipped with the skills and tools to contribute to decision-making and driving change across GWL Voices’ thematic areas globally. 

In 2024, Her Turn’s network/youth participation is expected to increase with young people’s active participation in the “Women’s Turn to Reshape the Future: GWL Voices Dialogue”. 

Her Turn’s Approach

Her Turn is implemented in two phases guided by a three-pillar approach to ensure impact. The phases and pillars align with GWL Voices’ five core themes of gender and multilateralism, women and climate justice, women, peace, and security (with a focus on forgotten conflicts), women’s economic empowerment, and gender-based violence.

 Phase One: University Engagement 

  • Pillar 1: Her Turn Lecture Series 

A series of academic lectures and courses featuring the voices of GWL Voices members around gender and multilateralism, women and climate justice, women, peace, and security (forgotten conflicts), women’s economic empowerment, and gender-based violence in partnership with a vast network of universities. This would be done in the format of a class session. The lectures are held in a closed-door format that encourages openness and freedom of exchange.  

  • Pillar 2: GWL Voices’ Knowledge Hub on Women and Multilateralism 

The Her Turn initiative through its knowledge hub focuses on women and multilateralism to support research and policy briefs developed by young female scholars around the themes of GWL Voices’ work and other thematic areas related to women and international affairs. This serves three purposes: first, as a repository to assist scholars along their academic journeys, second as a source of valuable information and analysis to inform the advocacy work of GWL Voices and third, to foster the exchange of practical knowledge and innovative Research among universities and students that are part of the network.

Pillar 3: Intergenerational Dialogues

 Using multilateralism to drive global action, GWL Voices goes beyond words, focusing on deeds and impact. Through its ongoing Intergenerational dialogues, GWL Voices facilitates the participation of young scholars in conversations with GWL Voices members on issues they care about. This creates a network across universities and schools globally through events encouraging learning and sharing of diverse perspectives. In addition, GWL Voices members are interested in learning about the younger generation’s views and sharing their personal and professional experiences to empower and support young scholars as they craft their careers and fulfill their aspirations. These dialogues are intimate and create a safe space for young people to express themselves. This is a smaller group. 

Looking to the Future 

Phase Two: Grassroots and Other Engagements 

During phase two, the initiative will be expanded in the next two years building on the progress of phase one, to include the broader society. This will be facilitated through the following pillars:

1. Deepening Network

  • GWL Voices will create and leverage the vast global network created through phase one to foster the sharing of ideas and knowledge amongst participants, all with the aim of establishing a community of specialists focused on women, gender equality, and multilateralism.
  • Offer guidance and support to help young leaders to organize events and activities that keep them engaged.
  • Foster partnerships and collaborations among scholars and with GWL Voices.
  • Participants and the broader community will leverage and contribute to GWL Voices’ knowledge hub on women, gender equality, and multilateralism as a tool and resource for their professional development. 

2. Grassroots and non-academic engagements 

  • Connect and engage with grassroots and non-academic constituencies to foster contextual learning, exchange, and knowledge sharing.
  • Request and incorporate participants’ input and ideas in the development of Her Turn and the development of policies that address their needs.
  • In-person and online community meetups and workshops 
  • Select GWL Voices’ grassroots champions to advance and deepen GWL Voices’ work with this constituency.
Watch the Her Turn video on our YouTube channel