Saturday, March 3, 2012

Enhancing CSW

I am so appreciative of WomenNC for giving me the opportunity to attend CSW. Meeting the other conference participants has certainly been a highlight of the past week.

While my experience here has been overwhelmingly positive, there are several thoughts I have in terms of restructuring elements of CSW to be even more effective. As the men and women who comprise CSW compile recommendations for the United Nations, I have a few recommendations for CSW.

1. Include more men. I won't discuss this too much, as this has been the subject of my past posts, but CSW needs to embrace more men into the framework of discussion. While men may sometimes be part of the challenges women face, they also have the enormous potential to be integrated into the solution.

2. Better integrate youth into CSW. Only several organizations, WomenNC being one, bring youth to CSW. Within CSW, youth need to play a larger role. Add a youth member to the CSW planning board. Incorporate youth into plenary speeches. Have youth representatives speak on specialized topics, not just in generic "rah-rah we are the future" terms. Do not dismiss the presence of youth. Support us with more than just lip-service. Reach out to us. Offer your advice and mentorship. We want to listen.

3. Focus on presenting implementable solutions, not just general recommendations. If CSW sessions emphasizes solution-based approaches, focusing on best practice models of existing businesses and organizations, CSW attendees will leave with more tangible ways to move forward. We need to move past the regurgitated, albeit important, statistics about the status of women. Best practice models help us to gain a deeper understanding.

CSW has been unbelievably powerful, but I believe that by making such adjustments CSW will better shape the changes it seeks to create.

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