Three Questions with: Yusra Hasan (Young Women’s Council)

1. What do you see as the top issues facing young women in Australia?

I believe a myriad of issues face young women in Australia today. Of these I believe that sexual and domestic violence continues to be a massive issue, and one has proven to have catastrophic consequences for women and girls across the country. Tied to this I would say it’s vastly important that a holistic and culturally responsive approach is taken to this and that service provision continues to improve as a response.

Another issue that I’m especially passionate about is ensuring that young women are empowered to pursue the pathways they want – in education and employment – and that they are also empowered to take up positions of leadership.

2. Why did you join YWCA’s Young Women’s Council?

I joined YWCA’s Young Women’s Council because I’ve always been passionate about gender equity and intersectional feminism.

The YWC seemed like a wonderful way to not only connect with other like-minded young women, but felt also like a great platform for advocacy and self-learning.

Part of why I wanted to join is that I wanted to be an illustrative example (to other girls and young women from African or migrant backgrounds) that feminism is also a space for young women like me, and that it’s a space that can hold and embrace multiple identities and ways of being.

3. Who is your feminist hero?

My initial response to this question was (of course) Beyoncé, but also the likes of women of colour like the wonderful Ava DuVernay  and Alice Walker who are influential in very different ways, but in whom I also saw parts of myself reflected.

My ultimate feminist hero, however, is my mum. I learnt all I know from her. Patriarchy and sexism exist within every culture; witnessing my mother’s resilience in the face of the patriarchy manifested in our own was so empowering for me growing up. Being a single parent and migrating to Australia by herself my mum faced significant challenges, but she remains today the strongest (and fiercest) person I know.

YWCA Australia wishes to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we work, live and play and pay our respects to Elders past and present. We recognise First Nations people as the custodians of the lands, seas and skies, with more than 60,000 years of wisdom, connection and relationship in caring for Country.

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