On the Saturday 11th of May The Settlers High School team consisting of Tiffany Agulhas, Arlin Bantam and Hlengiwe Qwesha participated in a Mini Model United Nations Conference competition hosted at Chesterhouse School.  The conference focused on the Millennium Development Goal 3 which was created in 2001 regarding gender equality and women empowerment.

Sixteen schools participated in this conference and each school team represented a particular country. The teams were expected to state the importance of addressing the diabolical issue of gender equality and to discuss their particular countries progress towards millennium development goal 3 of 2001. In addition they were also required to construct a position paper explaining their solution to attaining gender equality and women empowerment in their respective countries. The Settlers High School team represented the country Nicaragua which is an impoverished country in Latin America. Nicaragua is still controlled by very traditional gender roles due to their rich culture and gender inequality therefore prevails.  Women are largely in charge of labour intensive task. These tasks are completed under harsh working condition and little or no remuneration. Furthermore Nicaraguan women still encounter acts of femicide and are denied the night to abortion. The Nicaraguan government strongly opposes women activists and is intent on ensuring that women remain subservient and socially and economically restricted. It is therefore imperative that a more united and universal approach was needed.

The Settlers team recognised that a vast amount of women were currently being exploited due to cultural traditions and a lack of education. To solve this problem they suggested that an international organisation funded by wealthier countries such as the USA and Denmark be established to recruit women from across the world and educate them at leading universities in first world countries. This would be done to ensure that all women receive adequate education. In addition the organisation would also provide the women with skills development for future entrepreneurship and activist training which would not only raise awareness concerning their human rights, but it would also equip them with effective strategies to promote gender equality in their respective countries. After completing their education, skills development and activist training the women would be expected to return to their countries for a minimum of 10 years to plough all the knowledge and skills they have acquired back into their countries. The team enthusiastically argued that the purpose of bringing the women out of their countries was to ensure that women were not restricted in any way due to a lack of resources in their country or a society unwilling to change their stance towards empowering women. The objective was to expose women to a greater level of gender equality to allow them to gain a broader perspective of what they were being deprived of through a masochistic society.

The team vehemently stressed that Nicaragua’s solution was in fact beneficial to all countries which allowed them to gain widespread support from most of the countries. Many countries specifically thanked Nicaragua for their innovation and this secured the Settlers team a surprising and well deserved second place overall for the best delegation in the competition!