Wednesday, March 11, 2015

CSW Day 4--Justine Schnitzler

Blog Post: Day 4

Today was an absolute whirlwind. I began my day in a session dedicated to understanding the effects political instability has had on Palestinian women. I was very disheartened to see so many individuals in the session came solely to propagate anti-Palestine views, when the panelists came to discuss not politics, but the humanity of women trapped in conflict zones. Regardless of personal feelings regarding Palestine statehood, real women live in Palestine, often without choice.
            The second session I attended, regarding innovative solutions to improve worldwide maternal health, was a real treat—primarily because an organization I worked with in high school, called Days for Girls, had a representative on the panel. Days for Girls attempts to “get back” the days girls miss from school and social activities while menstruating in many developing countries through handmade “kits”, which include hand-sewn reusable, sustainable cloth sanitary pads. I was so excited to see their mission shared at a panel, with so many other great speakers.
            The third session I attended was regarding the effects of armed conflict on women in the Arab world. Truly, I was completely blown away by the amount of information I was able to obtain in an hour and a half. My favorite quote of the event came from a panelist who said, “We come from the womb of Arab countries. We do not need a savior narrative”. It really made me think about how NGOS (and myself) can be most effective in helping in conflict issues—how to treat those in need with respect and the understanding that they need the opportunity to thrive within their own society, not us “creating” stability for them.
            Finally, I attended an event on youth in feminism in the same room that the WomenNC Fellows will be presenting in tomorrow (!). It was a fun event geared toward discussing how to overcome the limitations youth often place on themselves when striving to become feminist leaders.
            I cannot believe our panel is tomorrow. This week is flying by, and I can’t wait to share my knowledge with the rest of the conference.



  1. Interesting that there are multiple messages, of "we don't need a savior" and "we are enough". It seems that women everywhere want to seize their own power and craft their own solutions. Women really can change the world, because they have the focus and the incentives of commitment to their children and their cultural communities. This is sounding like a "movement" with great women leaders! 'Bout time!