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    Impressions from our Youth Delegate

    By Claire Castellon (daughter of Karen Castellon, AWC Berlin)

    Editor's note: Claire is 12 years old and in the 6th grade at Berlin International School.  She is a Cadette in Berlin Troop #502 of the USA Girl Scouts Overseas. We are delighted that she was part of the FAWCO delegation at CSW62! 

    The person I remember the most is Fatima (Shafi), the Pakistani pilot. She spoke as part of a panel called, “It is my given right to live life on my own terms” on Tuesday, March 13th. This panel was sponsored by the International Federation for Peace and Sustainable Development, a non-profit “connecting continents for peace.” Fatima got a degree in electrical engineering and then became an officer in the Pakistani Air Force. She served for five years becoming the first woman in the history of Pakistan and the Pakistan Air Force to serve as an engineering officer in a fighter squadron. What I remember about Fatima is that she did not stand up to all the boys looking at her. Instead, even though people gave her looks, she didn’t care and kept on going. She pursued her dreams.

    Hearing the Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, made an impression because he spoke many languages and answered the questions in the language that the questioner used. We heard him speak English, Spanish and French.

    Participating in the Girls Caucus was fun. We reviewed the draft document for CSW62 (REV1) entitled, “Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls” and were asked for our input. Three girls led the session, two of them were Girl Scouts from New Jersey. First, they changed the title of the document to be about the empowerment of “girls living in rural areas” instead of “rural girls.” Also, they wanted to produce a document to reflect the girls’ point of view only and therefore, they crossed out any references to women.

    We broke into 5 groups and were asked to choose an area of the document to review. I chose Group 4 which included the sections on education, digital education and ICT, health (an area in which we added specific language around access to feminine hygiene products), forced labour and trafficking, resilience, national statistics capacity/data, and ODA and South-South cooperation. In this last section, my mom pointed out that having a modern tax system is good for girls because it allows a government to provide for infrastructure for the people such as transportation, education and other resources. The girls had originally crossed out this language but then added it back in. Another section that they crossed out was about funding for businesses but we talked about entrepreneurship and how girls could have a business. In Girl Scouts we sell cookies so we can learn a bunch of skills.

    I heard a lot about widowhood. In the Girls Caucus, a girl from India talked about how in some areas of the country when a woman is left a widow and her husband is being cremated, the community throws the widow on the pyre as well. In essence they are killing her as if it is a crime for her to be without her husband. Even though there are laws against this, it is illegal, it still happens.

    Finally, I liked hearing from the Irish Ambassador, Geraldine Byrne Nason, on Wednesday morning.

    I got a new patch for my Girl Scout uniform that says “United Nations New York” and also bought a pin with the UN symbol.  CSW62 UN Patch Claire



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