Meet Annika van Driel
Annika van Driel is one of two Young Women selected to attend the 2023 World Council as a New Zealand Delegate
Where were you born?
I was born in Eindhoven in the Netherlands! I moved to New Zealand very young and was raised here by my two wonderful parents.
What helps keep you motivated?
I am always working hard to create things. I love watching concepts form into drafts and finally into a finished project. As a graphic designer and social media co-ordinator I feel honoured to be trusted to tell the stories of women in our community in a variety of ways, and love to see the social impact.
What currently keeps you busy (work, study etc)?
I work part time at the YWCA of Hamilton as the social media co-ordinator. When I am not working I am studying Spanish, catching up with friends, and getting involved in all sorts of creative projects! Right now I am learning how to use watercolours.
What drew you to the YWCA?
I am a tomboy-ish sort of child who has always been pushed to fit into the traditional mould of femininity. I found myself suffocated by it at times. Now, I am learning to embrace the feminine parts of myself which come naturally to me.
The YWCA came into my life when I was looking for women to share my experiences with, and while I was learning that there is no one ‘right’ way to express my womanhood. The YWCA is an amazing place to let go of both the shame I felt for not being able to fit into the mould, and to honour the parts of myself that are that way because I am a woman.
I hope that the work I am doing at the YWCA will help other young women to begin their journey in understanding the diversity of womanhood. We as women have the strength to empower each other and tackle big issues. Stereotyping was my battle, but there are many more problems that women are facing. Women’s health awareness, domestic violence, lack of representation, the gender pay gap, sexual violence, are some of issues that women are facing in our communities today.
What are you looking forward to most at the World Council?
The YWCA World Council provides an amazing experience to meet women from around the world and connect over the topics of women’s rights and women’s empowerment. I am looking forward to engaging in discussions which shine light on the issues women face from around the world and making meaningful contributions to support them.
I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know my fellow New Zealand delegate, Hawwa, and taking conversations from the World Council to make action to support sisters, friends, and strangers (for now) in my region.