Reflections from the UN Commission on the Status of Women

Saffina Jinnah, a Guider from Vancouver, is attending the UN Commission on the Status of Women, being held from March 10 to 21 at the UN headquarters in New York City

selfMy Brownie unit is the reason I wanted to attend the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). I want them to live in a world that invests in girls and empowers girls.  I want them to know their worth and maximize their potential.  As a youth delegate last year, I knew I could contribute my experiences and knowledge this year as a Coordinator.  Guiding has provided me the leadership skills I need to assist the WAGGGS delegation.

The life of a delegate essentially consists of early mornings and late nights (and extra shots of espresso)!  As I write this at 2:00 a.m., I am reflecting on the day of advocating and lobbying.  Who did I meet with?  Which government and/or United Nations official delegate did I share WAGGGS’ key messages with?  Did we have a connection? Every day, we try to reach these influential people and have the voices of 10 million girls of 145 countries heard, and it is no easy task!  Some nights end in frustration, some in success…but you always have your fellow delegates who are awesome and supportive!  Even if you reach one person, you know you have made a difference in the life of a girl.

The CSW is a great place to foster friends, learn about yourself, and challenge yourself.   Furthermore, CSW offers youth an incredible opportunity to practice developing policy, advocating effectively, and utilizing social and oral skills in various settings – all  of which I did!  By attending various sessions with inspiring speakers and panelists, I also broadened my knowledge and networks.

Perhaps one of the best moments of CSW was hearing the Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, speak: “Gender equality is not a women’s issue – it is an issue for us all.”  Amazing.  We all want a world where women and girls are respected, valued, and equal in all aspects of life and at every stage of life.  This is our chance to make change and be heard!

I am so grateful to be a part of the Guiding Movement!   

By guest blogger Saffina Jinnah

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