Emerging Leaders Program: Gender Equality

This past spring, 12 UNA-USA student and young professional members participated in the UNA-USA Emerging Leaders Fellowship focused on gender equality. By participating in the fellowship, UNA-USA members gained new leadership skills, developed project action plans, networked with members from across the country in their cohort, and received a certificate of participation. Each month featured a new topical webinar and assignments to complete as a cohort. Below is a recap of the program assignments and webinars so that you can learn more about gender equality and lead an initiative with your chapter!

Call #1: Introduction to Gender Equality and the Sustainable Development Goals

During our first call, we introduced ourselves and talked about women and gender issues that we were particularly passionate about. We also discussed what gender equality is, why it is important, and UN programs and resolutions that have and continue to support gender equality and women’s empowerment. We also learned about UNA-USA’s efforts to promote gender equality through UNA Women. Watch the webinar.

  • Assignments:

Call #2: Gender Equality at the UN

For our second call, we heard from Michelle Milford Morse, Vice President for Girls and Women Strategy at the UN Foundation. She leads the foundation’s organization-wide efforts to promote gender equality and the rights and agency of all girls and women, working in collaboration with the United Nations and its partners. Our fellows had a great discussion with Michelle on topics such as global health, women’s leadership, and access to education. Watch the webinar here.

  • Assignments:
    • Identify a gender equality issue you would like to work on (ex. Increasing girl’s access to STEM education, training women to run for office, studying the community health resources for women in your community, hosting a women’s leadership forum, etc.) and post about it on the Facebook group
    • Review a UN treaty/resolution that addresses gender equality (ex. Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Beijing Declaration, Platform of Action at the 4th World Conference of Women, etc.)

Call #3: Event Planning & Marketing 101

Our third webinar focused on the importance of event planning and factors to consider when planning campus or community chapter events focused on gender equality, women’s empowerment or other topics. You can watch the webinar here and use the event planning guide to help you plan for your chapter’s gender equality-related event.

  • Assignments:
    • Share your progress on planning an event or initiative with your chapter

Call #4: Managing Effective Partnerships

For our fourth call, we focused on the importance of partnerships and collaborations with organizations outside UNA-USA. Our fellows learned how to create a stakeholder map to designate interests & involvement of partners. You can watch the webinar here.

  • Assignments:
    • Identify three community organizations/individuals you can partner with to host a gender equality event in your community; share those organizations and why you chose them on the Facebook group

Call #5: Final Action Project Presentations

For our final call, we had the opportunity to hear our fellows present their final project ideas! Fellows discussed what aspects of gender equality their projects address, partners they are working with, the potential outcomes of the event, and the timeline for when they plan to complete their projects. It was inspiring to hear the fellows discuss events they were planning to implement that addressed topics of importance to them. Some of the projects discussed were:

  • Hosting a panel discussion and screening of “Period, End of Sentence”
  • Hosting an event highlighting the importance of women entrepreneurship globally and hosting a competition where students create business plans
  • Screening “Knock Down the House” and other movies that highlight women in politics to empower others to run for office
  • Partnering with the refugee agency HIAS to highlight the struggles and resilience of refugee women
  • Conducting a SafeZone Training conducted in three languages (reflecting the demographic of the region) emphasizing gender equality as a human right

Overall, it was an incredible end to a great semester in the Emerging Leaders Fellowship program! You can watch the final webinar here.