Thursday, March 17, 2016

Day 5: March 17th, 2016

Today was probably my favorite day at CSW60. I started the day at a US Mission to the UN panel event where one of our own WomenNC Fellows, Maddy, was a panelist! The panel was comprised of young women speaking about feminism, gender equality, youth empowerment, and Sustainable Development Goals. It warmed my heart to see so many young women speaking so eloquently and confidently about gender equality. Especially in the case of the teenage panelists, it was inspiring to see the level of conceptual understanding they had about feminism and structures of oppression....concepts I didn't have a grasp of till much later in my college career. To me, it signified that these concepts are gaining traction with younger and younger audiences, which will hopefully create a new generation of individuals who are well educated and aware of how gender dimensions impact the world.

I also attended an amazing UN panel about Trade & Global Value Chains, and their intersection with gender. This event synthesized my Business and International Studies academic background with my passion for gender equality, and I learned so much from the panelists. One thing discussed was how trade policies have to be careful and cognizant (through comprehensive gender analysis or impact assessments) prior to their implementation that they are not having unintended and disproportionately negative impacts on women. The panelists discussed how, often times, within the global value chain, gender segmentation at different nodes of the chain are based on gender stereotypes and essentialized ideas of what men and women can do, and these stereotypes can restrict women to less value added segments. It was an insightful discussion that showed me how supply chains and international trade, which could be potentially empowering tools for women, can sometimes unintentionally impede women's access and participation and exacerbate other human rights violations. Another realization I had was that I hadn't learned about the human rights impacts of international trade and business through any of my business courses...and this is a *huge* issue. Future business leaders should be taught about the human rights dimensions of trade and business, especially in an increasingly global world. It's a conversation I want to bring up with my business school upon returning to North Carolina.

The last highlight of my day was getting to meet UN Women's Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka! After seeing her at panels and events all week, it was so amazing to get to speak with her and thank her for her incredible work and leadership with UN Women.

 With the UN Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

That's all for now! I'm going to sleep early tonight so that I can be bright and ready for the big presentation day tomorrow! I'm so excited to share with the other CSW participants our research and the great work WomenNC is doing.

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