The Royal Commonwealth Society is a proud champion of a wide range of values which the Commonwealth holds to be crucial to the progression of its member nations. One such value – Equality and Inclusion – is being pressed forward in a 2020 campaign led by Commonwealth youth around the globe, called Reform 53.
Reform 53 sets the demands from Commonwealth members for a wealth of legal changes to be prioritised: reforming forced marriage laws, decriminalising same sex relationships, and ending workplace discrimination for women, girls and LGBTQ+ people are just a few. In June 2020, 53 Commonwealth leaders will gather in Rwanda to discuss Reform 53’s actions and goals, and to put a plan in place to implement changes in Commonwealth nations in its interest going forward.
Reform 53 was founded and designed by members of the Commonwealth’s Youth Gender and Equality Network, or CYGEN. CYGEN is the Commonwealth’s representative body of Commonwealth youth working towards greater equality and diminishing discrimination on behalf of marginalised Commonwealth youth all over the world. In September of 2019, 12 youth activist leaders from global Commonwealth nations gathered in Seychelles to delineate the campaign’s demands and design. Now in full swing, the campaign calls on all Commonwealth youth to participate via social media with the hashtag #Reform53 and selfies taken with the campaign’s logo on the palms of hands.
To stay up to date on Reform 53’s goals and achievements, follow the Commonwealth Youth Gender and Equality Network on Twitter at @CYGENetwork. For more information about Reform 53 and CYGEN, refer to the Royal Commonwealth Society Secretariat website at https://www.royalcwsociety.org/cygenhub.
By Hannah E.