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    Christine’s Experience at CSW62

    By Christine Humphrey, AW Surrey

    My first experience at the NGO CSW 62 Forum far exceeded my expectations. It was informative, challenging and inspiring. What I enjoyed most is the increased awareness of important issues created through dialogue at various side and parallel events and the common quest for gender equality from all the participating civil society organisations.

    Initially, I was overwhelmed with the CSW attendees queuing up to get into the UN building and rushing between venues, but when I passed the orientation stage, my enthusiasm increased and it didn’t matter if I missed a coffee break! There were 440 events and I was so proud to see FAWCO co-sponsoring a side event this year. Bravo to Erica Higbie!

    I started selecting events with a priority focus on ‘Education and Empowerment of Rural Women and Girls’ as this is our current Target Project but I found myself moving across to other interesting coverage on Human Rights, Political and Economic Empowerment, such as land rights, media, child marriage, and other SDG initiatives.

    The highlight of my week was the privilege to be at the Townhall meeting with the Secretary-General and Civil Society.

    I also attended the #MeToo movement event where the Goodwill Ambassador and actress Mira Sorvino spoke on Human Rights, Gender and Human Trafficking.

    I found the coverage on Women’s Economic Empowerment particularly interesting and encouraging in Saudi Arabia, as I have lived in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (1992 to 2003), and witnessed women constantly being undermined. Thankfully, we can celebrate some changes and progress despite continued challenges and resilience from some quarters.

    I was encouraged by the UN Secretary General’s welcome speech where he said, “women’s equality works for the world.” He added we can count on him and on the UN to keep making a difference.

    I highly recommend you to participate in this gathering if you can as part of the FAWCO delegation or be that inspiring role model for your children to participate in the UN Youth program available through FAWCO.

    Thanks to Laurie Richardson and the UN team for making all this possible.

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