Sunday, March 15, 2015
Justine Schnitzler--Last Day in NYC
First, I have to apologize for the lateness of this blog post—between the whirlwind of the final day of sessions at CSW, rushing to a Colombian restaurant uptown with Isabella, and attending Les Mis on Broadway (!), time slipped away, and before I knew it, I was packing up for airport and flying home to Raleigh.
To wrap up CSW, I attended the all-day Inter-Generational Panel in the ECOSOC room, which, during the time I was inside, touched on many issues near and dear to my heart (and presentation topic.) I was particularly moved by one speaker, who discussed the idea that… “Slavery lasted for hundreds of years. Colonialism even longer. Overt male domination for a millennia. Antiquity of a prejudice is no justification for its perpetuation—gender discrimination must end”.
In between the morning and afternoon youth session, Isabella and I traveled to the Church Center for a session regarding reproductive healthcare sponsored by Planned Parenthood International. One of the best parts of the panel was a speech on inequality given by a public health official from India: ““We use so many passive sentences, like: ‘Women get pregnant. Women get raped. Women are not being paid enough’. Who is the other actor in this? These things do not happen in a past-tense vacuum. There are people deciding women’s work is not worth as much as men’s. This is society’s current value system. Is poverty an adjective? You don’t become poor like you become a guitar player. We must shift the discussion from poverty to inequality. It’s not just you were born without money. There are social systems is place that mean you were never going to have the same amount of money. Having money is more important than doing work. What is the machine that has perpetuated inequalities? That’s what we have to go after. “let’s maintain that way of life”. Can we not consume more equally, and less of it? Where are natural resources being spent? Government budgets need to go to the assets that benefit girls and women.” ß(This is just what I wrote down!)
After saying goodbye to the United Nations building (for now), I headed uptown with Isabella for some fantastic authentic Colombian food, followed by Les Mis. My last day ended on such a positive note, and waking up this morning to realize the week was over was truly bittersweet. I am so excited to take what I have learned back to NCSU, and I am so incredibly grateful to Beth, the entire board, Isabella for working so hard, and WomenNC for affording me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Thank you, thank you!