Thursday, March 13, 2014

Panels on panels on panels on panels

Hello all!

I hope everyone back home is well and having a relaxing week so far. It's still hectic in NYC, but the great-never-gonna-forget-this kind of hectic that sticks with you for the rest of your life. Over the past few days I have met so many incredible people and held such interesting conversations about various topics. Trying to keep track of all of them is like trying to untangle a ball of yarn, but taking it one day at a time has been helpful.

Today I attended 4 panels, and each was unique and offered an interesting perspective on a range of topics. First, Sarah and I went to attend the Girl Guides and Girl Scouts panel on the Post-2015 agenda, but we quickly learned that this event was cancelled. So was our back-up event. And our third back-up event was too far away to make it on time (you should know that I've been perpetually late for events). So, we ended up wandering into a panel about women's transformative policing and security development. Even though I wasn't familiar with the topic, I actually enjoyed the discussion a lot, and felt immersed in the presentations given by the IAWP and UN Women. The best part was the interactive aspect of the presentation, where I got to imagine myself as a Middle Eastern woman applying for a position on the police force (Fun Fact: They have to receive the permission of around 7 elders/family members in order to receive candidacy). Since I volunteered for the demonstration, I helped with the visualization of the frustrating amount of approval required to apply. Quick backstory: My volunteering was a result of my interest in working in law enforcement that one time my freshman year of college. Anyway, it was eye opening to see the radical difference in privilege and job opportunities provided in the US versus other countries. Of course, that's not to say that the issues involved with policing in America were overlooked by the panel (policewomen, like women in STEM, are severely underrepresented). At the end of the presentation, both Sarah and I stuck around to speak with various panelists and audience members about their ideas and positions on women and policing. It was a great chance to speak to women from all over the world (Finland, Boston, Seattle, and the UK!) with various backgrounds in criminal justice systems. I would say that walking into the IAWP's panel was an unexpected stroke of good luck.

Other panels I visited today were equally engaging. Whether it was girls addressing all of the MDG's from many perspectives, or analyzing the primary prevention of violence against women, all of the events were thought provoking, interesting, and, at times, entertaining. With 2 full days of CSW left, I'm excited to take full advantage of the remainder of my time in NYC, and hopefully I can return to North Carolina with an even broader awareness of the world around me.

Until next time!

Side Note: Sarah and I have decided to become detectives. (Sorry Sarah, I couldn't resist)

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