We’re proud that “one of our own” is at
the UN Commission on the Status of Women
Last weekend, as our celebration of International Women’s Day was wrapping up, one of the guests at our luncheon program slipped quietly out the door. She caught a plane and flew to New York City, United Nations headquarters.
Michelle Rodriguez will be in New York City for two weeks. She is participating in the 58th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW-58).
Any meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of Women is bound to be an auspicious, high-profile affair. Official delegates from 45 UN member nations are in attendance. Credentialed delegates from Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) also attend from around the world. It could be a mighty intimidating event for a 20-something young woman from Oklahoma.
Michelle is taking it in stride. She has been attending various seminars, panel presentations, and side meetings. She has also been posting a few pictures on her Facebook page.
|Michelle attending a session on human trafficking|
We checked with her via email earlier this week. This is what she wrote:
“Today, so far I have participated in the following sessions:
“United States federation for Middle East peace – ensuring equal access to education and training for girls and women
“World health organization (WHO), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Global Women’s Institue, George Washington University – the role of the health sector in addressing violence against women
“Council of Europe, US and Austria – Trafficking in human beings- a severe form of violence against women and girls and a flagrant violation of human rights
“PLAN international – how to end child, early and forced marriages.
“It’s very individualized about five side events per session time – they are each about 1 hour and 30 minutes, and run from 10am- 7pm. Then have the NGO briefings daily. I will be going to one tomorrow at 1:30pm with the other SustainUS delegates….
“I’ll bring back awesome books and information! I am about to attend the human trafficking session now, looking forward to it!”
Michelle is attending CSW-58 as part of a delegation representing “SustainUS,” an international NGO that is focused on empowering young people to advance sustainable development.
Over the course of the last 10 years, “SustainUS” has sponsored delegations to international conferences on climate change, sustainable development, social development, women, and biological diversity. More than 500 young people have participated through the Agents of Change program sponsored by SustainUS.
Michelle was selected for the Agents of Change program following a rigorous application and review process. We’re glad she was invited, and we’re especially happy that she is able to give us first-hand reports on the important business that is being conducted at CSW-58.
We’re proud to say that “one of our own” is attending the UN Commission on the Status of Women. We hope to hear more from Michelle after she returns to Oklahoma.
During the inaugural meetings of the UN General Assembly in London in February 1946, Eleanor Roosevelt, a United States delegate, read an open letter addressed to “the women of the world”:
“To this end, we call on the Governments of the world to encourage women everywhere to take a more active part in national and international affairs, and on women who are conscious of their opportunities to come forward and share in the work of peace and reconstruction as they did in war and resistance.”
A few days later, a sub-commission dedicated to the Status of Women was established under the UN Commission on Human Rights. On 21 June 1946, the sub-commission formally became the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), a full-fledged Commission dedicated to ensuring women’s equality and to promoting women’s rights.
Today, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. The CSW is instrumental in documenting the reality of women’s lives throughout the world and shaping global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women.
During the Commission’s annual two-week session, representatives of UN Member States, civil society organizations and UN entities gather at UN headquarters in New York. They discuss progress as well as emerging issues that affect gender equality and the empowerment of women. Member States agree on further actions to accelerate progress and promote women’s enjoyment of their rights in political, economic and social fields.
The priority theme of CSW-58 is, “Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls.”