Liz Lum – Women Deliver

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2020

Liz Lum

  • Age: 21
  •    |   She/her/hers

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Young people must work together by building movements and networks that are representative and inclusive so that no one is left behind. Let us create, claim, and influence our spaces.

- Liz Lum

Bio

Liz Lum is a young activist and leader in the fight for gender equality and inclusive societies. She has participated in girl leadership programs where she developed skills in advocacy, policy design and implementation, and media branding.

Liz has led initiatives on issues such as providing emergency pad kits for girls in schools and works with various organizations and young people on these issues.

She is an Adolescent Girl Advisor at the Global Fund for Women USA, a Women Deliver Young Leader, and a nominee for the International Children’s Peace Prize 2020. Liz is a young board member at COMAGEND Cameroon, where she works with internally displaced girls on SRHR/HIV service delivery policy monitoring and implementation. She represented Cameroonian girls in Addis Ababa for the Beijing25 Regional Consultation-2019 and during the first Africa Comission on the Status of Women in Nairobi-2022. She graduated as a Youth Envoy for Peace and Democracy and participated in the Tanzania International Model United Nations.

Liz’s ultimate goal is to create a world where women and girls are not just beneficiaries but also equal partners in leadership, policy, and decision-making processes.

What ignited your pursuit for gender equality?

The first time I bit my tongue in the face of gender injustice, I was ten years old and in the final year of primary school. I remember my friend and classmate, Fatou, as a "maths genius" and the catalyst for my advocacy work. Fatou, a Muslim girl, was taken away to be married at just 12 years old. She had told me she didn't want to be married, and she always talked about her dream of becoming a medical doctor. I wanted to talk to her mother about it, but I feared the repercussions of disagreeing with an elderly person. While I was trying to get help from my mom, Fatou was suddenly taken away from our town, and to this day I can't find her. I was devastated and needed to make sense of what I was feeling - feelings of disappointment and a hunger for justice. Fortunately, my mom made me attend girl leadership programs where I learned how to vocalize these feelings, develop action plans, and work towards gender equality. I then decided that I wasn't going to hesitate, sit back, and watch other people make decisions about girls' lives.

Please share your biggest wins as an advocate for gender equality.

One of my biggest wins was serving as an adolescent girl advisor with Global Fund for Women in participatory grantmaking. I applied for that position because of the cause for gender equality. I count this as a big win because through the organization, I have been able to reach girl-led groups, movements, and organizations all over the world through provision of funds and access to resources to execute developmental projects.It was also an opportunity to learn, connect, and work with other board members toward SDG17.

Outside of your gender equality advocacy work, what do you enjoy doing?

Outside of my advocacy work I enjoy reading and traveling.