On March 8th, the CCNY NGO Youth Representatives joined the United Nations conference celebrating International Women’s Day 2018.
Secretary General Antonio Guterres gave a speech announcing that gender parity has been achieved within the UN in the leading branches of the organisation such as the Senior Management Committee.
The theme of this year is “The Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”, which echoed the conference that will take place at the UN on the 12th and 13th of March.
Nevertheless, this year, International Women’s Day comes after an unprecedented movement fighting for women’s rights, equality, and respect, and against gender violence that was largely covered during the conference.
Movements like “MeToo”, “Balancetonporc”, and “End Marry Your Rapist Laws” who enable women to speak about their experience of gender violence were represented in the GA Hall.
“We are at a tipping point for the world”, said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women whilst talking about year 2017 as a real eye-opener.
As the movement against gender violence began in Hollywood, the UN invited actresses Reese Witherspoon (Academy Award–winning actor and activist) and Danai Gurira (Black Panther, Tony-nominated playwright, actor and activist) to be part of the conference.
The different speakers presented concrete actions to fight gender inequality and gender violence.
Danai Gurira insisted on educating the next generations to an equal representation of men and women in society, as she does playing a General in the film Black Panthers. She also encouraged all those who have attended, as well as viewers from beyond, to speak out for those without a voice.
With “Times Up”, Reese Witherspoon aims to raise funds to create safer working environments for women and an end to tolerance toward sexual harassment.
Julie Bishop, the Australian Minister of Foreign affairs, shared her desire for women from the Pacific regions in politics, and is establishing a program to pair potential Pacific female leaders with Australian female leaders.
All the speakers insisted on the fact that there is still a lot of work to do. Therefore, the upcoming 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women is the key event to follow to see the United Nations action plans are regarding women’s rights!