UNU-GEST fellows share their experiences around Iceland

Hassan Waddimba and Irma Šiljak outside the West Fjords Folk Museum in Ísafjörður
Hassan Waddimba and Irma Šiljak outside the West Fjords Folk Museum in Ísafjörður

During the last two months,  UNU-GEST fellows traveled around and shared their experiences within the field of gender equality.

Three fellows, Sanja Dojkic, Rayma Raja and Issiko Aramadhan, visited the secondary school Fjölbrautarskólinn við Ármúla (FÁ) in Reykjavík 11 March where they met with students within the age group 16-19 who are currently enrolled in gender studies. 

The course on gender equality is an elective course and Sanja pointed out how lucky the students were to have the opportunity to study gender studies at such a young age.

The three fellows shared their experience, Issiko about his work with Uganda Human Rights Commission, Sanja as a feminist activist in Serbia and Rayma about her work at the Eduardo Mondale University in Mozambique.

Photo of fellows and students at Fjölbruatarskólinn við Ármúla

On the 14th of March, Gabriel Ogbeyemi, Najlaa Atallah and Imeldina Matimbe Rego visited the secondary school Kvennaskólinn í Reykjavík. The lecture was open to all students in the school and was well attended. 

Gabriel shared his experience from Nigeria and talked about the country and its culture.

Najlaa talked about her experiences from secondary school and university in Gaza, and about her work with the gender unit in UNRWA in Gaza/Palestine and Imeldina told of her work at the Police in Mozambique and ways to promote women in the workplace. The students engaged in interesting discussions after the fellows’ presentations.

In April, Najlaa also visited Ingunnarskóli, where she met students in 9th and 10th grade who were participating in Erasmus exchange programme focusing on refugees. Najlaa briefed the students about her life and work with the Gender Unit in UNRWA in Gaza Palestine.

Photo of Najla'a  Attaallah at Ingunnarskóli Photo of Gabriel Ogbeyemi at KveenóFor the first time UNU-GEST fellows visited Akureyri. In partnership with the Directorate of Equality and the University of Akureyri, the fellows engaged in a noon lecture at the University. UNU-GEST lecturer and specialist at the Directorate of Equality Tryggvi Hallgrímsson moderated the session where Lensa Geleta shared her experience with the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association and Valens Mphezu as a gender role officer at the Ministry of Agriculture in Malawi. The lecture was well received by the audience. 

Photo of Lensa Geleta and Valens Mphezu at IACN

Photo of Valens Mphezy and Lensa Geleta at MA

In addition to visiting the Directorate of Equality, the UNU-GEST fellows and UNU-GEST project manager visited the Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network where they were briefed about the project on Gender Equality in the Arctic. After their meetings, the fellows briefed the students in the secondary school Menntaskólinn á Akureyri about gender in the context of Ethiopia and Malawi. The presentation was open to both students and teachers. Many of the students who attended are enrolled in an elective course on the Sustainable Development Goals and were very well informed. The students were active and engaged and asked number of challenging and interesting questions. The UNU-GEST fellows got to know the true Icelandic weather as their flight back to Reykjavík was cancelled and they had to spend a night in Akureyri.

In April, in partnership with the Multi-Cultural Information Centre in Ísafjörður and the University Centre in Ísafjörður, the UNU-GEST fellows Irma Šiljak and Hassan Waddimba visited Ísafjörður in beautiful weather. Irma and Hassan shared their experiences from Bosnia & Herzegovina and Uganda at the University Centre and at the secondary school Menntaskólinn á Ísafirði (MÍ). 

Photo of Hassan WaddimbaPhoto of Irma Šiljak

Irma talked about her work with the association Medica in Zenica, Bosnia & Herzegovina, which specializes in support to women and children who have experienced trauma and violence, and Hassan briefed the audience about his work with the East Africa Center for Disability Law and Policy, as well as Reform Africa, which is a small NGO he established designed to address the issue of plastic waste.

All the visits were very successful and hopefully UNU-GEST fellows will continue to have the opportunity to visit both secondary schools as well as partner institutes in Reykjavík as well as in the countryside.