Sunday, February 28, 2010
Today featured regional break-out sessions where NGOs separated to discuss regional plans of action. The event concluded with a call to action and a group song. An interesting day, and a tiring one. Each region had many serious concerns, and watching the regional dynamics was fascinating. Later in the day an introductino to the UN was provided for any that needed it. It was another great day, but very tiring so a more detailed blog will be added later. Tomorrow we have a tour of the UN scheduled, and many high-level and parallel events will be kicking off, so I will have a lot to discuss.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
After my first full day in New York I have been registered for the UN, have taken the Metro, and have seen many NGO representatives. NGOs that attend the UN CSW go to a forum and kick off the experience. To see more detailed information about the Forum, go to http://www.ngocsw.org/en/events/2010-forum. Since I was getting my UN badge, I regretably missed the panel which included Charlotte Bunch. Hopefully I will get another chance to hear her. The afternoon panel was very good, as you probably noticed from my afternoon blogs. I especially loved the challenging discourses that were beginning to take place and look forward to the many more to come. This evening we had the WILPF orientation for all WILPF members attending the UNCSW. It was a good meeting and allowed us the opportunity to get to know some of the WILPF members. Tomorrow will be day 2 of the NGO Forum, and as I am able I will blog the experience.
The GEAR (Gender Equality Architecture Reform) Campaign is urging the UN to create the new UN gender quality entity. For more information or to sign the petition, go to www.amnesty.org/en/gear. To join the GEAR campaign, email email@example.com.
Completed registration for the NGO Forum, finished lunch (complete with a chocolate chip filled brownie), and now waiting for the next panel: The State of the World's Women: Patriarchy, Violence Against Women and Girls, Women's Health, and Climate Change.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Though I got in closer to 6pm than the original 10:45am scheduled, it was a good arrival and I have gotten settled in nicely. I did learn some important things, like a single refers not to a room on your own but your own bed rather than sharing the bed itself. This is just fine though because my roommates are FANTASTIC! I couldn't be happier with them! And pairing participants in this way makes it so much easier to ensure that everyone gets to really know new people while here rather than sequestering off. I also got to meet the other participants in the Practicum tonight over a fun dinner in our Practicum community/headquarters room. There are so many great women with fascinating and diverse research /advocacy agendas participating! I am really looking forward to hearing more of their research and getting to know them as well as network with other amazing persons at the UNCSW. The first full day begins tomorrow, and I will continue updates as time permits. I am excited to get the day started and to go get my UN pass since it will be first time there. The only other UN building I have been in has been the ICTR Outreach Center, which will undoubtedly be discussed at some point in this blog. For now, sleep well; I certainly will be after such a long day of travel!
The first thing that Carrie Walker (last year's Practicum attendee also funded by the Transnational Feminism Kelly Fund Group) said about the Practicum is that it is exhausting but rewarding. Students' days are filled with attendance at multiple sessions, instruction in advocacy techniques, and making connections with many advocates. I am excited about the access this Practicum allows, and I hope to learn more about what is done at an international forum to advance the status of women. Attending this year is additionally exciting since many panels will be looking back at 15 years of Beijing in order to access its effects and determine where to go in the future. I am expecting an informative and invigorating experience that will find some indication of the successes and failures of Beijing, and point us in new directions to address the issues of women, both pre-existing and newly emerging.
The WILPF (Women's International League for Peace and Freedom) Practicum in Advocacy at the UNCSW (United Nations Commission on the Status of Women) offers students the opportunity to see international advocacy for women's concerns firsthand. Only about 20 students are selected, meaning that opportunities to interact with WILPF-connected NGOs and with other feminist students are ample. I have been interested i this Practicum since I first learned of it last academic year. Given my interests in gender, rights, and activism, I thought that this would be a rewarding experience for me. Students get to choose particular supplemental sessions to attend and get to witness UNCSW discussions themselves. I plan to attend sessions related to women's human rights, violence against women, and post-conflict status of women.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
The Practicum begins tomorrow, Friday, February 26. For more information about WILPF (Women's International League for Peace and Freedom) or the Practicum in Advocacy, go to http://www.wilpf.org/practicum_UN_2010.