By Katie Blawie, SNDatUN intern and delegate to the 60th Commission on the Status of Women: I had a wonderful time attending the 60th session on the Commission of the Status of Women (CSW) at UN Headquarters in New York City in March 2106. While I attended other commissions/conferences during my time as an intern with SNDatUN these past six months, nothing could compare to or prepare me for my experience at CSW. Seeing thousands of passionate women (and men!) working together from around the world was incredibly inspiring, humbling, and eye-opening. And I got to experience all of this with both my mom and my godmother by my side, which was truly special and something I will cherish for years to come.
I attended a couple of the government sessions, but found the NGO parallel events to be the most interesting. Because there were over 400 events to choose from, I was able to tailor my CSW experience to focus on the issues that mattered most to me. I went to events that covered topics including mental health, technology and cybercrime, engaging the private sector, and even a panel of brave North Korean female defectors.
To anyone interested in attending CSW in the future, my advice would be to try to not plan too much and to just go with the flow. With so many people and so many different events going on in various locations all at once, it can feel a little overwhelming at times. So I just took it one day at a time, and went to the events I was interested in until I ran out of energy for the day. The Commission spans two weeks, so don’t wear yourself out too early!
I hope to be able to attend future sessions of the Commission on the Status of Women, and am looking forward to seeing how both the Commission as well as the rights of women & girls evolve over time. All in all, I am very pleased with the outcome document of CSW60, and we must keep in mind that any progress is better than no progress at all.