Thursday, March 7, 2013

Snowing in the Big Apple

Hello from the Big Apple! It is day four at the CSW and I cannot express how thankful I am for the incredible experiences I have had so far. There have been so many opportunities to learn about what people are doing around the world to eliminate and prevent violence against women and to share what North Carolina is doing. As you may already know, we arrived in New York on Saturday and had Consultation Day with other NGO’s on Sunday. Because a few of the other fellows have written about Consultation Day, I will jump into the beginning of the week!

        On Monday morning I attended a panel on achieving domestic violence law in Mozambique. It was incredible to hear about the long process to obtaining a law against domestic violence, especially since there are several countries who still do not have laws against intimate partner violence. After this session, I went to Partnership Models to End Violence, a presentation hosted by WomenNC and the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women. It was exciting to learn about San Francisco because last year, there were ZERO domestic violence homicides in the city of San Francisco - incredible. There was also a lot of interest from the audience in WomenNC’s student fellowship program (Beth, Jeff, and Becca did a wonderful job!) Next, it was time for our presentations- we were all anxious and excited. I was very pleased with our panel and I think everyone did a fantastic job. The audience seemed interested too because they asked lots of questions and wanted to talk with us afterwards. The final two sessions I attended on Monday discussed sports as an innovate strategy to address gender-based violence and early childhood education strategies to prevent violence against girls. Finally, we all went out to dinner to celebrate being done with out presentations. It was a great day!

      Tuesday was another full day. We met at 8:15 for a group picture and then headed to the Church Center.  The first session I attended covered Violence Against Women and HIV/AIDS. There were many important leaders from different regions of Africa, including the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, involved in this governmental session. The second panel of the day specifically addressed Faith’s Response to Domestic Violence; the panelists shared stories about roadblocks the faith-based community is guilty of , but also shared encouraging stories of success. Next, Marzy and I went to a panel hosted by ActionAid International that shared experiences from seven different communities and what these communities were doing to combat a specific issue of violence against women and girls. Lastly, I tried to go to a session about the economics of domestic violence but they were full! On Tuesday night, we attended a reception (complete with delicious food!) with hundreds of other leaders from governmental and nongovernmental organizations around the world. Overall, another great day!

        Stay tuned for stories from Wednesday about a session inside the US Mission to the United Nations that featured James Cole, the Deputy Attorney General of the DOJ, and Lynn Rosenthal, the White House Advisor on Violence Against Women! So happy to be here and looking forward for the days to come!


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