Ending Violence Against Women: My Time at the United Nations Observing High-Level Panel and 3rd Committee Meetings
As I reflect upon one of the most important days of the year, the International Day for the Elimination of the Violence Against Women, I think about the progress the world has made and also how far we still have to go. Women, collectively around the world, hold more leadership positions now than during any period in history. However, there are still many problems plaguing women —particularly those from developing countries.
This international day of observance started to honor the legacies of three women killed in the Dominican Republic for being political activists. Sadly, the killing of women who “speak out” still occurs some fifty years later.
One of the things I’m most passionate about is learning effective ways to advocate for the end of violence against women. As the US Youth Observer, I’ve had the opportunity to meet people who are not only researching ways to end violence amongst women, but also putting theories into practice. For example, during a high-level panel discussion hosted by the Thailand Mission to the United Nations entitled, “Taking Action Against The Gender-Related Killings of Women and Girls,” I learned about feminicide — the killing of women by men because they are females.
It is hard to imagine that such a thing occurs anywhere in today’s world. Fortunately, we also live in a world where there are many organizations, such as UN Women, that are working extremely hard to end violence against women, and I envision a world where one day violence against women will be eliminated.
I was also able to observe the UN’s third committee meetings. The third committee covers issues related to social, humanitarian, and cultural rights. During this time, I was able to sit in and listen to many leaders speak about the importance of challenges throughout the Middle East, and the need for a conference on population health. My fellow international delegates wrote a resolution to the UN on behalf of youth internationally regarding our specific concerns.
Thus far, I have had an amazing time attending events at the UN and working with my international peer leaders. I have learned about many global issues, particularly those related to women, youth, and peace and conflict. At many of the events at the UN, I have been encouraged to get involved and to feel free to share my ideas and opinions on issues affecting millions globally. The UN has definitely made me feel important and that youth ideas, and in particular, the ideas of young women, matter greatly.