Emily’s Experience at the 59th UNCSW
It was such an honour to be able to attend the 59th session of the UNCSW in March 2015. This event provided the opportunity to be surrounded by such amazing, and inspiring individuals. As a fourth year student in sociology and criminology, it was motivating to listen to people who are truly passionate about the work that they do, and to hear of the more practical, as opposed to the theoretical side of social issues.
For me personally, the UNCSW further inspired my ambitions to become a human rights lawyer. The work that I found the most interesting was that of the women human rights defenders. I was able to hear the experiences of women from around the world ranging from Africa, South America, and the Middle East. These women specifically discussed not only the work that they do, but also the difficulties they face as women in this role, particularly the attacks/threats they encounter against themselves as well as their families.
I also got the opportunity to hear from political leaders around the world, from places such as Australia, France, and more. I was able to hear about the obstacles these female political figures faced throughout their careers, and what they are currently involved with in regards to promoting female equality. Apart from political leaders I also had the opportunity to here from young female leaders around the world and their work with equality. Listening to these young women and the work they volunteer to do was astounding, and left me with a sense of hope for female, as well as social equality around the world.
Aside from the UN events and the parallel events put on by NGO’s from around the world. It was also a great experience to meet the members of VOW present at the UNCSW. Again, with this group the passion for equality was quite prominent, and I felt proud to be a part of this inspirational group of women. I send out a huge thank you to the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, and especially Janice Alton for all of the work and planning she did for the UNCSW.
Overall, for me the UNCSW was a great learning experience. It was my first time participating in a VOW event and also anything related to the UN. I look at the opportunity as a learning experience that was helpful in motivating me to pursue my future goals and I hope to become more involved with VOW in the future.