Hungarian students try out the equipment before a session at CSW63.
American students try out the equipment before a session at CSW63.

Paying tribute to fallen UN personnel

At 11 am on Friday, a wreath-laying ceremony was held at the United Nations to pay tribute to the fallen UN personnel aboard Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302.  In remarks during the ceremony, UN General-Secretary António Guterres said of the fallen colleagues, “together, they … were a mirror of the United Nations:  they really represent what the United Nations is, and the best of the United Nations.  Women and men; some in the beginning of their careers, others closing in on retirement; each on an individual mission, but at the same time together, representing our larger quest — doing their part, in solidarity with all of us, to build a better world, brick by brick, deed by deed, day in and day out. As we continue that mission, let us reflect on their lives, let us honour their service and let us be inspired by their extraordinary example.” (Read full remarks;  view video)

Body Confidence

Body Confidence was the title of an event Sister Eileen attended and it was also a new term to her. Speakers from the Girl Scouts shared the programs that they have developed to educate girls about “body shaming and body confidence”. They asked questions like, “Why is it that we focus so much on appearance?” They reminded us that complementing one person in a group on her appearance or weight loss, or haircut can feel like an insult to the other person in the group whose appearance is not commented on.  The speakers challenged us to focus less on appearance and more on each other’s gifts, talents, accomplishments.

Social protection, public services and sustainable infrastructure are closely interrelated

The 10th plenary meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women featured an interactive dialogue focussing on “harnessing synergies and securing financing”.

The three parts of the CSW63 theme, social protection, public services and sustainable infrastructure, are closely interlinked and work best in an integrated system. A few examples: education is a public service that needs the physical infrastructure, including school buildings with safe sanitation facilities for girls. Social protection provides women and girls with health-care coverage; a safe and affordable transportation infrastructure enables them to reach the health-care facilities; sufficient and well-trained staff deliver the service that responds to their rights and needs.

Panelists highlighted how interconnections between the three focus areas can work together to strengthen women’s income security, capabilities and rights. Synergies matter. We know about unintended consequences of what we think are good actions. For this reason, the needs of women and girls need to be included when designing and planning programs, services, and infrastructure.

This was a very enlightening session. You can view it on the UN Web TV. Or read the UN news report.

Valuing unpaid work and caregiving

During the 10th plenary meeting, the importance of unpaid work and caregiving primarily done by women was highlighted. Policies can help in revaluing and redistributing this work between women and men, between families and the state. Several side events also focused on women’s unpaid work and caregiving including one sponsored by the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the UN and Catholic Women’s Forum.   Several graphics (on this page), created by UN staff for CSW63, also highlight the need to address women’s unpaid work and caregiving.

Learn more