Earlier this year, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women conference in New York thanks to AYLI.
Since then, my eyes have been opened to how we can still engage with the United Nations and international community from afar. Just this week, I prepared an oral statement which (despite technical difficulties) was read to the United Nations Committee on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) at its 70th session in Geneva.
As a History PhD student researching 1970s Vogue through a feminist lens, the review theme of women and media at CSW62 caught my attention immediately. I attended 10 sessions focusing exclusively on media over the 10 days of CSW, with topics ranging from community radio in Africa to Hollywood representation imbalances to Danish short films on elements of the UN Sustainable Development Goals featuring Helen Mirren as narrator, and many other sessions included some form of discussion of the impact that media representation or access has on women in rural communities/women human rights defenders/women in politics etc.
Although I’ve been home from the USA for almost a month now, the issues raised at CSW62 are still percolating (very distracting for me now that I’m meant to be fully focused on my PhD research again!) In my last blog, way back in NYC, I shared some of my most interesting notes from each day of week 1, so for this third (very delayed) blog, I decided to revisit 3 sessions from week 2 that are still buzzing around in my head a month after the fact.
My experience over the last few weeks at UNCSW62 has been busy – busy in that meaningful, productive sense that one feels as an impetus pushing you further along, and to further auspices.
The past week has been totally overwhelming and totally awesome. I’ve been summarising my notes from each day for a select audience of my friends and family, so here are some of the highlights from my summaries of each day; some square brackets with my extra meta-thoughts on re-reading this stuff; and, to start off with, some key thoughts I have in general. Enjoy the madness and excuse the messiness, this is what my brain looks like now!
The level of chaos in the hallways at the UN falls somewhere between a high-school corridor during the rush between classes, and the zoo stand at the Dunedin Forsyth Barr stadium. To start with, every time I went to a civil society session, I felt like we were playing a very heated, very loud, very political, and very exhausting game of sardines.
One of our delegates had the opportunity to speak while at the UN. Read what she had to say about equitable digital access for all.
“Cool! What does that actually mean?”