Young women from Stroud have been adding their voice to global talks with world leaders about issues affecting women all over the world.

The 28 students from Stroud High School joined a conference held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from March 11 to March 22 to talk about the isuuse facing women all over the world.

They were taking part in the Commission on the Status of Women and joined representatives of Member States, UN entities, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from all regions of the world who also attended the session.

Over the two week period the Stroud High students attended the event to contribute to the talks which looked at how the UN is achieving global sustainability goals, in particular with reference to gender.

Among the issues that the students debated were women in sport, body image and the media, violence against women and girls, child widows, child marriage, the effects of mobile technology in developing countries and challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality.

Two students who attended the trip, Eleanor,16, and Bethany, 17, told the SNJ about what the trip had been like for them.

“The trip has given me a real insight into the world,” Eleanor said. “And it’s inspired me to make an impact on global gender inequality.”

Bethany said that she had been proud to hear Eleanor’s speech to delegates, which included high-ranking officials from the UK government, and said that people had been keen to hear what the pupils had to say.

“One woman who had come from Philadelphia told me that we were the perfect example of women making a difference,” Bethany said.

“She gave me some really great advice - telling me that we had a right to speak, to be heard.”

When asked why it was so important to be part of the discussions both young women were passionate about how global communities needed to confront global inequality to make positive progress.

“We all need to do what we can to make an impact on global inequality,” they explained.

“And it’s not just women that can make a difference - men need to join the debate too. so that they can understand how we can all change our attitudes - and start ensuring that equal rights are given to everyone.

“We need to start working together, and look at how we can close the gap on our polarised views.”

Both young women said that they were looking forward to sharing what they had learnt during their time away with not only the students at the High School but at other schools across the county.

Stroud High School head teacher Mark McShane said that it was important for young people to understand global challenges.

“ It is important that our young people understand the challenges facing the world,” he said. “It is both a humbling and inspiring experience”.

l To find out more visit the pupils' CSW62 blog at