The weekend of March 20-22, 2010 was the Feminist Majority Foundation’s National Young Feminist Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. The conference targeted young feminists of high school and college age who were interested in learning more about the feminist movement, how to become active in their communities and on their campuses, and becoming more informed about various women’s rights issues. Young women and men were educated on subjects such as birth control access, abortion, human trafficking, women in the media, women’s health, fake pregnancy clinics, Title IX, queer feminist issues, sexual assault, women and the economy, and funding feminist policies.
The conference included outstanding speakers such as Eleanor Smeal, President, Feminist Majority Foundation; Alexandra Arriaga, senior advisor, task force on CEDAW; Gail Cohen, Chief Economist, Joint Economic Committee for the U.S. Congress; Alison Friedman, Senior Advisor, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons; Jehmu Greene, President, Women’s Media Center; Daphne Jayasinghe, Women’s Human Rights Advocacy Director, Amnesty International, and many other powerful women in all areas of feminist issues and research. The weekend ended with a day of Congressional lobbying on Capitol Hill, as well as a trip to the Sewall-Belmont House, the historic home of Equal Rights Amendment author Alice Paul and home of the National Women’s Party.
Two undergraduate interns from the Women’s Law Project’s western Pennsylvania office attended the conference, and thoroughly enjoyed both the conference and the city itself. They found the conference to be both inspiring and informative and especially enjoyed the day on Capitol Hill. After the conference they contacted many of the speakers to gather more information on their areas of expertise. The event was especially informative for high school women and men interested in the feminist movement and eager to get more involved in their communities and on their campuses.