Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The United Nations with WomenNC: Day 4

Today was a full day of sessions in the United Nations headquarters. Known as “side events,” events that take place in the UN building are hosted by member states and their efforts to promote social protections for women and girls, among other things. Hosted by Spain, the first session I attended today was titled: “Unpaid Work: An Obstacle to Real Equality.” This was the first event that I attended this week that was not in English, so I had to use the translating devices provided. As a student studying language, I was very impressed by the speed and accuracy of the translator!
Putting the earpieces to use!

To start off the session, the moderator, Silvia Vallejo, said the following: “Care cannot fall exclusively on the shoulders of half the population - women.” The keynote speaker, María Ángeles Durán, really stood out to me among the group of speakers. A pioneer for research on the unpaid labor of women, Durán made several compelling points. She pointed out that there was a misconception that unpaid work doesn’t generate wealth, when in fact it provides more for those profiting from the labor. She also noted that the term “care” needed concise definition within the context of women’s rights discussion, as care can be passive or take other forms that are unexpected or disqualified by typical definitions.

The next event that stood out to me was the Women in Power event that took place in the General Assembly chamber. The GA is an iconic representation of the United Nations; it’s seen in countless news articles and publications, and is the site of debate for every resolution the General Assembly passes. As someone that’s aspired to work with the UN since early high school, getting to be in the chamber today and witness powerful women share their thoughts and experiences was an emotional experience for me. We heard from numerous heads of state, including the presidents of Nepal, Lithuania, Trinidad and Tobago, and Croatia, as well as the Prime Minister of Iceland and the Vice President of Colombia.

In the GA chamber!

The last event that impacted me the most today was actually not a registered CSW event, but a social for young delegates hosted by Professor Shruti Rana from Indiana University. There, my fellow scholars and I had the chance to meet with other student activists from Indiana, Russia, and Nepal, to name a few. It was amazing to be able to learn from my peers and share ideas and similarities with people I never would have met otherwise. I’m so excited to hear the Secretary General speak tomorrow at the United Nations!

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like you are taking full advantage of being at CSW and the special opportunities that you could not have anywhere else in the whole world. There, the whole world has come to you! Don't you just need to pinch yourself to realize you are finally THERE?! Enjoy...