58th Commission on the Status of Women: An Amazing, Inspiring and Empowering Opportunity

March 28, 2014| by Janeth Moreno, Delegate of UNA Women

This was my first experience as a delegate attending the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). The commission took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from March 10-21. The theme of this commission was implementing the Millennium Development Goals. Around 6,000 leaders from around the world shared their talent, passion, and expertise on matters including: ensuring gender equality, human rights, and education; improving health conditions; eradicating poverty; ending violence against women; and stopping human trafficking. During the commission I participated in official events sponsored by UN Country Missions and also in side events organized by the UN Women, NGOs, and other civil organizations.  

CSW_1Global campaign launched “Say No to Exploitation of Humans for Profit”One of the side events that inspired me the most was “Utilizing Grassroots Power and Technology Toward Zero Exploitation of Women and Children.” This was a fascinating event where leaders came together to educate and raise awareness about the exploitation of women and children. We discussed that to understand why violence against women exists we have to look at the heart of the problem and find solutions. This event also served to launch a global campaign called “Say No to Exploitation of Humans for Profit.” A video was also shown to raise awareness of this terrible problem. Deeply committed to this cause, I joined the rescue team of the organization named “Trafficking in America Task Force” to provide legal assistance for survivors of human trafficking.

Another event that I enjoyed was “Gender equality=The Aha Moment.” Here it was presented that we all can have an “aha moment” in which we start looking at what is happening around the world. It is this moment when we start caring for others and looking for solutions to impact their lives. We also discussed the importance of empowering women to eradicate prejudices, end sexism, and achieve gender equality. One of the panelist said, “If you think you are facing a sexist question or comment, ask them the following question, ‘Would you say that to me if I were a man?'”  Sometimes people do not realize the connotations of their comments and we are responsible for raising awareness.

CSW_2An Official UN Country Mission event

Poverty in rural areas was another important topic during CSW. Some ideas were provided to improve living conditions of women in rural areas such as the importance of access to ownership and access to finances to end poverty. The importance of implementing more educational programs to integrate rural women was mentioned, along with how the integration of new technologies can make a difference.

CSW_3Me at the UN Headquarters 

To conclude, my experience at the CSW was an amazing, inspiring and empowering opportunity and I am very thankful to the United Nations Association of the USA for its involvement in empowering citizens to learn about these current global issues. I believe as society we need to get involved, raise awareness, and spread the word, because only our work and commitment can make a difference.