I thoroughly enjoyed my attendance to the first WEP conference in Manchester and I am certain it will stay with me for many years to come.
The location was beautiful and well chosen,I especially enjoyed exploring the venue and taking in the sheer size and scale of the place itself,and the size of the group of people the conference had attracted.The stalls placed in the secondary rooms were really informative and and being given brief rundowns on who ran the organisations and what they stood for was an interesting and enlightening experience.
After taking our seats we sat down and we were introduced to the head of the WEP party. She then proceeded to give an incredible speech that involved an explanation of what the party stood for and what she stood for,how the party was constructed up from the ground up and how it was International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls,the names of countless victims of male violence being displayed on a familiar, symbolic orange background, it was really moving and something I'll never forget.
Next, there were some spoken word performances and in particular one from Justina Kehinde was really moving and kept me on the edge of my seat.
Next, Sandi Toksvig took to the stage and took us all by storm,mixing a humorous attitude with one of outrage when discussing women's history (or a lack of it thereof) what the party stood for and promises for the future.
She then called out for other women to join the stage and share their stories, poems and experiences on the open mic in front of hundreds of people.The stories shared were both incredibly inspiring and some parts saddening to hear. Women speaking of their experiences with domestic violence,women sharing their political experiences and women advertising good causes, all in front of hundreds of people. We were incredibly proud to have a girl my age from our group go up on our stage and talk about herself, her time at the conference and how she'd been inspired.
On the journey back, my mum signed up for a WEP membership and I hope to also join if there is a youth element.
I enjoyed feeding back to my peers and tutors at school about my experience at the party conference and I am grateful for their forward thinking in encouraging me to go, and also to my mum and volunteering colleagues for nurturing my interest.
I believe that I am the most likely to be the only person in my school that has ever attended a party conference and it is an experience I will never forget. I would encourage other young people aged 14+ to take an active interest in the political climate around them and utilise the vote which cost the suffragettes so tragically.
Attending the conference has also inspired me to run for Youth Mayor in my home city of Derby. I would like to make a difference in my own community and encourage others of my age to do the same.