Wednesday, March 10, 2010

CSW - Day 6

This was the last day of the Practicum. There were fewer sessions as well because it was the weekend. In the morning I attended a session discussion the impact of Beijing on rural women, with emphasis on rural women in the U.S. This was a very interesting panel, and following this I took some time to wrap things up. The following day I flew out of New York and (obviously) arrived safely back in Lincoln on Sunday night. An additional post wrapping up the experience is forthcoming, so stay tuned.

Friday, March 5, 2010

CSW - Day 5

Today we got a briefing from women with the New England Women's Forum talk with us. Later I attended the CSW Panel Commemorating 30 Years of CEDAW. This evening we also got to see the WILPF panel on women as peace-makers, featuring WILPF President Angie, a woman from the DRC, and a woman from Sudan. The Sudanese Ambassador to the UN also came. We finished the day with a farewell dinner. It was yet another good day! The Practicum is officially over tomorrow morning, but I am in town until Sunday afternoon so I will be attending some more panels and possibly doing my one touristy thing: seeing the Statue of Liberty. That is not guaranteed though because there are still many panels I am interested in so it may have to wait for my next trip to New York. Again, I shall have to leave you with another brief update. Perhaps tomorrow I will finally be able to elaborate more.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

CSW - Day 4

Today was quite a long day. We met with a representative of the US delegation to the UN this morning to start the day off. Then I went to a really interesting titled ''Changing Fortunes: Post War Political & Economic Opportunities & Their Implications for Women's Participation & Empowerment in Countries Emerging from Conflict" featuring speakers from Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, and the DRC. I later attended a panel on the effect of the financial crisis on women, particularly Chinese women. The final panel of the day was put on by Femmes Africa Solidarite and discussed the Gender Is My Agenda Campaign. I got the opportunity to meet the president of Pro-Femmes/Twese Hamwe at this panel. This evening we went to a showing of "Half the Sky Live," and then I returned home. It was a very good day, but I cannot elaborate more because I really need to get to sleep. There are many promising panels I must get to tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

CSW - Day 3

A very quick update tonight since we are meeting very important persons early in the morning. I went to a panel by ISIS today discussing women rebuilding in post-conflict societies, one on addressing demand for sex trafficking, and later a training in advocacy by WILPF. Very interesting topics. WIPLF is hoping to get a majority of UN member states to reduce military spending by 2015, which is the organization's 100th anniversary. Again, another very good and busy day.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

CSW - Day 2

This mornings adoption of a declaration reaffirming the Beijing Platform at the UNCSW was very interesting. Also fun were the comments from various member state representatives. In the afternoon I went to a panel by Social Watch discussing regional gender impacts of the financial crisis. It was definitely a good panel and included great audience participation. I also went to a panel on women, faith and development featuring a talk by Mary Robinson. The evening was filled with a reception at the Turkish Center, though sadly there was no Turkish food. We made up for it by getting some Turkish coffee and baklava later. Overall another good day with great conversation during the reception! Now off to rest for tomorrow.
I am listening to a presentation from Mary Robinson.
At there is a petition addressed to heads of state to ensure repeal or amend laws which discriminate against women.
I am currently at an NGO Briefing at the Salvation Army, then on to the CSW, then to a panel on regional perspectives of the financial crisis. Tonight I will go to a reception at the Turkish Center.

Monday, March 1, 2010

CSW - Day 1

Today I attended the Opening Ceremony of the UNCSW. It was very exciting. There was emphasis placed on progress made since Beijing, shared experiences, and good practices. Additionally, there was encouragent to add more action to commitments to the Beijing Platform. I was unable to stay for the entire session though because there was a scheduled tour of the UN. The tour went very well. We sadly did not get to see the General Assembly hall since it was closed for repairs, but instead we got to see the Security Council meeting room. There was a very cool picture of the UDHR in the shape of a person, which can also be seen at I later attended the Africa Caucus where the Beijing+15 Shadow Report for African States was discussed (access it at The meeting was very good, and VERY well attended. There was not a space left in the room or the spillover room. Gertrude Mongella explained the important role that the African caucus made at Beijing and how many of their proposals made it into the final Beijing Platform. I cannot stress how great of a meeting this was. Later in the evening, we had the great honor of having dinner with Senator Eve (Bazaiba Masudi Eve) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She told us her experience as 1 of 6 women in the Senate. It was a good night filled with lots of interesting discussion both at dinner and later with other Practicum students. Once again, I must cut this short since I am very tired.

Rwanda Summer Study Abroad Program

A couple of you have asked about the Rwanda Study Abroad Program. It is open to anyone, simply email Dr. Chantal Kalisa ( Click here for the Rwanda Summer Study Abroad Website, or click here for the Rwanda Summer Study Abroad PDF. Also, if you want to more from those of us who participated last year you can find us on Facebook at "Nebraska in Rwanda."

You can see a student-made video of the program by clicking on the following links:
15 Years - Part 1
15 Years - Part 2
15 Years - Part 3

The program, open to undergraduate and graduate students, is two-weeks long at the Interdisciplinary Genocide Studies Center in Kigali. During the program there are memorial visits, meetings with NGOs (many women's NGOs), lectures from a wide variety of interesting persons, and visits to other places in the country. There is also time to do your own research, and you can make the program reflect your own research interests. You can see pictures on my Facebook (for those who have friended me) or I believe there are also some on the Facebook site. The travel days this year will be June 29 and July 15, and the program will take place from July 1-15 . You are able to stay longer and arrange your travel to fit your own needs.

I am at the UN for CSW Opening Ceremonies, along with women and men from all over the world.