So… I might not have mentioned anything to Antigone’s loyal readers, but I was invited by FAFIA (the Canadian Alliance for International Action) to take part in its delegation to the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women’s 52nd meeting focusing on the priority theme of ‘Financing for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women’. I will thus be reporting from the UN’s headquarters in New York over the next two weeks!

Today, we had Assistant Secretary-General Ms. Rachel Mayanja talk to us about the work that the UN has been doing through the Commission, through CEDAW (the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women) and through Unifem. As the Special Advisor on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, Mayanja posed the question that will be addressed at the Commission: “How can we close the gap between the policies the UN has adopted and what happens on the ground?”

The highlight of the day though was the Keynote Speaker, Dr. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak! As an English student, I have read a lot of her theoretical work. It was great to hear from her and she had some interesting things to say… including:

As we quite correctly push for a higher body count of women in politics, we must understand that gender equality does not automatically follow. The oppressed become sub-oppressors very quickly.

Anyways, I hope you will enjoy the highlights! It should be an amazing experience!