CSW 56 Monday 27th February
Today Shabina and myself went exploring around the UN to understand how it and CSW works.While it was disapointing to leanrn that each NGO only gets one secondary pass, as fortune would have it, as we were sitting down nervously trying to work it all out, the Australian NGO delegation walked through the door. It was so reassuring and quite a relief seeing some familiar friendly faces right when we were so disoriented. They took Shabina along with them and I headed outside. I realised that it may have been a stroke of luck missing out on the General Assembly as I had a bag full of flyers to hand out and a crowd full of eager women excited to plan their week ahead. I handed out as many flyers as I could for the next hour, advertising APWWs three events that week:
- Gender and Diaster in Asia and the Pacific
Tuesday 28th February 2012 8.30-10am
CCUN Building 8th floor Boss Room
- Joining the Dots: Exploring the exonomic empowerment of women in conflict affected areas by combing UNSCR 1325, CEDAW, BPFA and MDGs
Wednesday 29th February 2012 12.30-2.00pm
CCUN building 1st floor Church Centre Chapel
- Young Women’s Forum – young women from the Asia Pacific region speak out on Sexuality
Friday 2nd March 2012 8.30-10am
CCUN Building Ground Floor Drew Room
That third event is the one I presented at, speaking about, “The Same Sex Marriage Debate in Australia.”
That afternoon I tried to attend a number of parallel events behing held at the Church Centre. Unfortunately, despite arriving on time, each room was at capacity. This issue was raised at the Australian Government debrief which was held at 6pm that evening. A number of women mentioned that it seems that there is not enough room allocated to NGOs, which is a shame, given that the number of NGOs in attendance is increasing each year. Hopefully next year more space will be allocated to NGOs, and larger rooms provided for the more popular events and topics.
The debrief that evening was a really valuable experience as all the women involved in NGOs were able to meet and discuss their experiences and continue to plan for the next two weeks. It really does feel like a little community within a larger one. Its satisfying to hear that people are experiencing the same frustrations but also the similar excitement that I am. We were also able to meet with a number of NGOs from the Asia Pacific. It was interesting to hear their particular experiences and made me realise, that while we work as hard as we can to improve the lives of women in the region, there is still so much that we could be doing, so many other areas that we could be looking in to. However, it is encouraging to know that there are other capable strong women working together in these areas to make change.
While today provided its share of frustrations, I think it was valuable in that I learnt something about adapting to changing circumstances and thinking on the run. Also, by noticing any shortcomings in procedures, it allows us to plan for future events to ensure that we wont fall victim to the same issues.