Commission on the Status of Women (CSW58)
Reflection by Intern Katherine N. Moreira: This year’s theme of the Commission on the Status of Women was Challenges and Achievements in the Implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for Women and Girls. The aim of the Commission was to identify goals attained, as well as gaps and challenges. During this conference, representatives of UN member states, civil society organizations, and UN entities promoted the rights of women, documented the reality of women’s lives and discussed the need for equality and empowerment. The women themselves came in hopes that their voice would be heard by those who were deciding the future of women and girls all over the world. Countries represented at the UN gave their input and shared the common troubles women are experiencing: lack of access to education, technology, full employment and decent work, sustainable development. Most importantly the topic of elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls was thoroughly discussed.
I was particularly interested in learning about the trafficking of human beings, or modern slavery–the fastest growing organized crime in the world, one which generates seven billion dollars each year. Many women, girls and boys are abducted with the help of technology. Traffickers first get them to confide in them via Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Whatsapp accounts. Companies like Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo have committed to combating this crime through the use of text messages and facial scanning technology.
Reflection by intern Amanda Soliman: Before my experience of attending the CSW I would complain about school, money, or friends; now I will think twice before I complain about anything. At the CSW I heard some real complaints–about inequality and how it affects millions of women socially, politically, and economically. Many young people my age are facing poverty, depression and are unable to attend college. Women from all over the world attended these meetings. A lot of them were dressed in their traditional cultural attire. It was beautiful to see all these women from different areas of the world coming together in hopes of achieving the same goal. These women described the horrors of the violence they endure on a daily basis. As I heard the first-hand stories of survivors of human trafficking I began to feel that I am an extra pair of eyes and ears that will spread the word to my friends about human trafficking, poverty, and the inequality of women’s education. Now I see the bigger picture, and I feel truly and deeply involved in these issues.