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Report on CSW

UNANIMA intern Jean Quinn DW won the lottery for the single ticket we got for the opening session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). Here is her report in her own words: Ban Ki-moon said to the thousands of women gathered “You inspire me; you empower me, and I am energized by your energy and strength. You are here to change the world.” He said that during his nine years as Secretary General he has appointed more than 150 distinguished women to UN posts; created UN Women; set up the Every Woman Every Child movement (because no woman should die while giving birth); launched UNITE, a campaign to end violence against women; and was proud to be the first man to sign up for the HeForShe campaign to mobilize men and boys to fight violence against women. “I may be leaving my post at the end of the year, but I will never abandon the cause. I will always stand with you in the struggle for equality for all women and girls.”

The key message was articulated by Executive Director of UN Women Dr. Phumzile Mlambo – Ngcuka: Agenda 2030 says that sustainable development and economic growth are possible only through improving the economic, social, legal, and cultural status of women. The Beijing Platform for action and the Convention of the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) provide a holistic framework for that.

There was a vibrancy and energy around the hall during the session and we felt that global history was being made, where “anything possible is about to happen.” There were so many workshops and events across five different venues around the UN that it was often hard to choose where to go and how to get there! One example was a panel chaired by Rachel Moran of Ireland, herself a survivor of the sex trade and author of “Paid For,” a remarkable book about her experiences. This session was engaging and enraging for many reasons! The stories were diverse and spanned the globe, but in the end, had everything in common, and demanded the same solution: decriminalization of prostitution for victims, REAL options for women, and accountability for men.

–Jean Quinn DW