One of the Focus Areas of AEGEE is Equal Rights, with the aim to acknowledge and tackle discrimination based on gender identity, expression and sexual orientation, and to promote equality from an intersectional perspective. Contributing to that is the Equal Rights Working Group, which supports the Network in organising activities and sets up its own related activities too. Julia Roshan Moniri, member of AEGEE-Frankfurt am Main, is motivated to take on the leadership of this Working Group for the next term, starting on the 1st of August. About time that we get to know her!

Svenja van der Tol: For those who do not know you yet – can you shortly introduce yourself?
Julia Roshan Moniri: My name is Julia. I am from Frankfurt, where I built up AEGEE-Frankfurt and, last year, the first European citizens movement, Pulse of Europe. I was also in politics for seven years. At the moment I am finishing my degree in political sciences and philosophy. I love AEGEE, my family and my friends, my garden, sun and good conversations.

Why did you choose the Focus Area of Equal Rights in particular, instead of the other three options? Looking at your work experience for Pulse of Europe, for example, why did you not choose the European Citizenship Working Group?
The Working Group was looking for a new coordinator and nobody seemed interested. I followed the discussions inside the LGBT+ Interest Group that once helped shape the Focus Area and thought: „It is a shame nobody want to coordinate the Working Group. And it is a shame I never heard anything of that Working Group.” So I decided to apply spontaneously. Building up a citizens movement like Pulse of Europe is an extreme task that needs the highest skills of coordination, a high sense of structures and dynamics, very good people skills and much more. I hope that with these formal skills I can support the cause of the Working Group too.

How have you been informing yourself of the work of the current Working Group? Are you a jobshadower, for example?
I have not informed myself about the Working Group apart from having conversations with the current coordinator and following the Facebook page. I will join the equal rights conference in Leiden in May, which is correlated with the Working Group, and look forward to that.

Which practices that the Equal Rights Working Group is currently implementing would you like to continue in your term?
I have not decided on that yet.

Which three things would you like to achieve with the Working Group during your term?
Goal setting should be produced by a team. In general I would like to widen the participation and therefore the impact of the Working Group. The Working Groups of AEGEE are mostly unseen, and that is a shame. I hope to be able to implement dynamics that make the Working Group more reachable and seen and at the same time invite the network to give to and get from the Working Group what they could need.

Why would you prefer to be a coordinator instead of a Working Group member, and which experiences make you qualified?
Because nobody wants to be coordinator and we should not leave this spot vacant!

What is your opinion on the drafted Action Agenda objectives for the Equal Rights Focus Area? Which one are you most excited about, and why?
No answer

How do you see the role of the Working Group externally, for example looking at the position of the Policy Officer?
No answer

Besides interest in LGBT+ rights, are you also familiar with the other types of rights included in this Focus Area, and if so, can you give examples?
Apart from my interest in LGBT+ I am also familiar with various kinds of discrimination resulting from my law studies and law practices.

Do you have experience in and ideas for fundraising?
Not really.

Questions from the Network

Question one: What exactly do you mean by “structuring the WG” as the basic structure already is given by the CIA?
I mean possible optimizing-processes that can push creativity, activity, effectivity etc.

Question by Erika Bettin, AEGEE-Verona: In every WG there is a policy officer in charge of possibly drafting a policy paper. Of course, you will have to discuss the topic with the team, but what are some areas that can be tackle when deciding on the topic?

By Svenja van der Tol, AEGEE-Nijmegen

Find Julia’s complete candidature here.