This is part of a series on the 54th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Click on a link to read further.
I’m sitting in the couched area outside of the Delegates Dining room as I type on the last day of the 54th Commission on the Status of Women. I’m waiting for a personal address from Hillary Clinton.
I haven’t been as good about blogging every day this week because it’s been a whirlwind of information, negotiations, and interactions.
Livetweeting through the commission has been rewarding and a challenge in itself. It allow me to immediately repeat or provide very limited and succinct interpretations of the days’ events in short continuous 140character bursts. At the end of the day it’s been nice, when I do blog, to be able to go back through my tweets and incorporate them into blog form. It does take time though. Chances are that when I get home I will write a bit more on the experience and do a post UNCSW blog entry trying to make sense of everything that I’ve learned and heard.
I feel kind of like I did last time I was here on that final day. As though I’ve finally settled into routine and made some kind of sense of all the craziness around me. As though I’ve finally made enough sense of it all to be better prepared for next year.
I sincerely hope and pray that I can come back next year. The theme will be the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination and Violence Against the Girl Child. I would really love to bring my 10-year-old daughter so that she can see the international machinery that influences us down to the practice of our local governments and societies.
This year on the official scene the most controversial resolution is on Maternal Mortality and Morbidity. The controversy stems of course from the more progressive states recognizing that access to birth control, comprehensive sex education, health care, and abortion are key factors in reducing the number of women who die preventable deaths as a result of pregnancy.
This year celebrated the 15 anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action which included things that would improve all aspects of women’s lives in this world. As such many women flocked here and outstripped the ability of the United Nations to accommodate us, especially because they are in the middle of much needed renovations.
Some of the women who came were in Beijing when the Platform was adopted, and have come back again and again for the 5 year interval status updates. Global progression on women’s issues is clearly a deeply personal thing to them, and the select women who come year after year clearly have a sense of community that crosses borders and culture.
The last time I was here I met Muriel Smith who is a former female politician from Manitoba who moved into doing financial literacy training for Northern Manitoba women. This year Council of Canadian Women and Unifem Chapter superstar Mary Scott blogged for Muriel when her health wouldn’t allow her to attend.
Long standing Participants are calling the next generation of feminists to continue the work that they have so directly effected through the decades. There seems to be a deep desire for the women who are just starting to come to be mentored by women who have come year after year, and there also seems to be a desire to mentor women from those who are ready to pass the torch to the next generation of gender equality crusaders.
I sit here and wait, biding my time to hear an address from a woman who has changed history, and I am deeply humbled by the fact that I have the opportunity to be here. Soon I will be home again and seeing the ways that the priorities for women set here will determine funding priorities at home. I will see how accountable the government is to the women at home. I will see and evaluate how well they live up to the promises they have made here, and I hope that everyone else does too!