For two weeks in March, Valerie Gunn and Jacqueline Russell, both members of the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) Parksville Qualicum, joined more than 25,000 activists from around the world in this year’s virtual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW).
The UNCSW is the principal intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. Due to the pandemic, the annual New York City conference took place in a hybrid format of mostly virtual meetings, which concluded on March 26.
Since the commission was established in 1946, civil society organizations like CFUW have taken a leading role in strengthening political commitment to gender equality and advancing the dialogue on the empowerment of women and girls. The CFUW focuses on the prevention of violence against women, mitigating the impacts of climate change, and establishing a public system of child care as strategies to advance the status of women in Canada and abroad.
It is a non-partisan women’s organization with consultative status with the United Nations. From nearly its 100 clubs across Canada, CFUW sends 20 official delegates to join official representatives from UN member states, UN agencies, and other accredited civil society organizations to discuss the progress and gaps in advancing the status of women in all regions across the globe.
Gunn and Russell found their experience encouraging but disappointing in that many aspects that Canada wanted were not agreed on by all member states.
They look forward to sharing the information they learned with members of CFUW Parksville Qualicum and community leaders in the area.
— NEWS Staff, submitted