Alumni goes to UN for women’s conference

The Commission on the Status of Women is a part of the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

The main goal of the CSW is to work in global policy decisions pertaining to gender equality and the advancement of women.

This year, the CSW met for the 56th session at the UN Headquarters in New York City.

Each year, the conference takes on a different theme pertaining to the rights of women.

This year, the conference focused on the empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges.

One of the key issues debated at the conference was sexual and reproductive rights of women.

Although abortion is a highly sensitive topic, it is one that was discussed heavily at the conference.

I attended this conference as an intern with C-FAM, the Catholic Family Human Rights Institute, a pro-life, pro-family non-governmental organization.

During the conference, I worked with 10 other interns from the U.S., Austria, Mexico and Argentina in attending parallel events regarding rural women as well as writing about our experiences on a blog for the International Youth Coalition.

A remarkable moment at the conference for me was the viewing of a documentary on human trafficking entitled, “Nefarious: Merchant of Souls,” which was an emotional and powerful documentary on the horrors of the biggest criminal industry in the world. It shows how widespread human trafficking is and how impactful it is to those who partook in acts of sexual trafficking. Relevantly, the upcoming Women’s Symposium at Oakland University will feature a special discussion on human trafficking.

The recent mandate by the Obama administration for religious institutions to provide contraceptives and other forms of birth control to its employees has been a highly debated topic in recent news.

Personally, I believe the right to life is the most fundamental rights that must be protected.

Women deserve better than abortion and children like women also deserve rights. At the UN conference, I got a sense of not only how bureaucratic the UN is, but also how gender was such an important concept and phrase which was used in most literature I came across.

Women’s rights and abortion were simultaneously used throughout various talks I attended, however, China’s one  child policy is an example of how abortion is more harm than good.

A lecture I attended by Dr. Susan Yoshihara, senior vice president for research and director of the International Organizations Research Group, talked about how the whole idea of population control in China and sex-selective abortion.

The CSW conference gave me a better understanding of how human rights are enforced and enacted at the international level, it also alerted me to the importance of standing up for the unborn, for they also an important part the future of society.