The Round Table sessions of the World Conference on Youth (WCY) 2014 began at the Bandaranaike
Memorial International Convention Hall (BMICH) this morning. Speakers and Delegates representing over
110 countries divided into seven different themes, and Gender Equality was one of the topics discussed.
This morning’s discussions mainly dealt with issues hindering gender equality such as social stigmas and
lack of awareness.
Ms. Phillipa Gardner of World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts UK made the initial remarks at
the roundtable discussion. She stressed on the importance of women's participation in world issues.
"Women are vital to various world issues, energy, food security and health. These sessions will hopefully
light the way for a more gender equal society," Gardner said.
Expressing his views on gender equality, Managing Director/CEO of Chevron Lubricants Lanka MR.
Kishu Gomes said that parents tell the younger generation what is right for them, and that has created the
environment we are living in today. It is important to change public perception on gender equality, Mr.
The discussion deliberated at length on the importance of changing the public perception on gender
equality. Speaking at the occasion Ms. Smitha Mitra from U.N. Women said that gender is a social
construct, it should not be a limitation, it is a tool to propagate, institutionalize equality. The youth
representatives also voiced their opinion about gender equality at the session. Ms. Konda Delphine, a
representative from Cameroon, queried as to what is being done to change the mindset of women at a
local level. A representative of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth stated that the Lesbian and bisexual women need to be included in the discussions of equality.