The moment I read about the G(irls)20 Summit I was immediately drawn to the concept and the vision. When I realised that they were allowing an opportunity for an Indigenous Delegate to participate, I knew I needed to apply. The idea of 20+ young wāhine (women), sitting at the table, discussing global issues and leadership is such a powerful image. The G(irls)20 Summit is a movement that I wanted to be a part of, not just for myself but for the future young wāhine of Aotearoa (New Zealand) to see themselves belonging on a world stage.
I am super excited about the opportunity to draw on the experience and perspectives of my fellow delegates so that I can grow and sharpen my approach to leadership and social change back in Aotearoa. Being immersed in an environment that encourages confident leaders, provides equal spaces and enables conversations to resolve our global issues are critical elements of the Summit. It is not an equal or easy world young Indigenous wāhine and I feel that this opportunity is a beacon of hope to remind us that we have absolute value and strength at the decision-making tables.
Being the Indigenous delegate for this year means more than I could actually describe. It is a voice that is absolutely necessary for decision-making and rarely sought. For me, my whakapapa (genealogy) connects me across Oceania and as a young wāhine descended from a Māori -European mother and a Samoan-Tongan-Fijian Father, I am a cultural representation of profiles who desperately need to be heard and valued. I wanted to participate in this Summit so that I could gain an insight about our world from the perspectives of other young wāhine and be inspired by their stories and their visions for their homeland.
We need to be surrounded and supported by inspirational, like-minded people who believe in us to get our ideas and dreams off the ground, and I feel this Summit creates that exact environment. I have always had big dreams to contribute to the equality of wāhine in leadership and in education, and I see this as a stepping stone in the right direction towards turning those dreams into actions and those actions into good change for the future young wāhine, from Aotearoa and beyond.
By: Arizona Leger, 2019 G(irls)20 Delegate, Indigenous