Drawing of six diverse women for International Women's Day

Dispatch from UNESCO India: Aleyna Aygor’s third blog from the virtual field

Photo credit: Lumina

By Aleyna Aygor, MIPP

As we are nearing the end of my internship experience with UNESCO New Delhi, this blog post will unfortunately be the last update I share with you – so let’s make the most of it!

To recap, I have been working on providing comments and editing student and teacher training modules about topics related to menstruation and personal hygiene for the past few months. The team recently finalized these modules and sent them to an editor to begin their publishing process. This means other interns in the Education sector and I had the opportunity to re-direct our attention to other tasks on our to-do list, such as starting to brainstorm, researching information and setting deadlines for upcoming projects.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, one of the last month’s priorities involved celebrating the 2023 International Women’s Day (IWD) with a digital campaign. The interns were given a chance to lead this campaign and propose ideas to commemorate the importance of the day. We specifically wanted the campaign to be inclusive and engaging, rather than sharing an informative social media post to acknowledge the date like most organizations and brands. For this reason, we decided to share a series of videos featuring women working with our partners from India and beyond, discussing what women’s empowerment and leadership mean to them in the digital age.

In addition to posting clips of their thoughts and perspectives on the topic, the interns also proposed to start a hashtag campaign on Instagram to encourage the readers/ viewers to reflect and share their responses to the following questions:

What does women’s empowerment mean to you?

What does women’s leadership mean to you?

What has been the impact of technology and innovation on gender equality?

Our proposal was quickly accepted and put into action within two weeks. While I was not in New Delhi to celebrate this occasion with my co-workers, there were also young student leaders invited to the UNESCO office to talk about what women’s empowerment, leadership, and technological innovations mean to them and their future. My fellow co-worker, who is also a Balsillie School of International Affairs graduate, was in New Delhi for the occasion and had the privilege of leading a circle discussion with the students. They reflected on the role of innovation and technology in gender equality and discussed the importance of women’s participation in technology sectors.

In addition, the students and the UNESCO New Delhi office staff had fun taking photos in an IWD-inspired photo booth and writing about their thoughts on the topics mentioned above. This event was really meaningful and celebrated by many of us wearing a purple item of clothing: the colour that is commonly known to signify justice, dignity and loyalty!

It is unfortunate that all good things eventually come to an end. My internship experience with UNESCO New Delhi also falls victim to this proverb, as I am approaching the last days of my role as a Junior Professional Consultant. With less than two months left of my contract, I reflect on what I’ve learned from this remote work opportunity. From technical skills to problem-solving and soft skills, I find that this position has allowed me to blossom into the person I was meant to become. Now, I look forward to taking confident steps and moving to the next phase of my life.

If you have read this far into my blog, thank you for following my internship journey! I am available via LinkedIn for any questions or advice about my internship or graduate school experience. Farewell!

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