FEMST Minor, Gabriela Ochoa, Attends 63rd United Nations (U.N) Commission on the Status of Women. Here's what she had to say about the experience:
"The 63rd United Nations (U.N) Commission on the Status of Women took place in March at the U.N headquarters in New York this year. The theme of the summit this year revolved around social protection systems, access to public services, and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. I participated as a delegate this year representing the non-profit organization called Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom (WILPF), one of the first non-profit organizations to have consultative status to the U.N. I was able to experience first-hand the discussions and processes that lead to U.N decisions on women’s rights and issues all over the world. As a delegate I was able to interact with government officials from all over the world at various panels and workshops discussing women’s issues ranging from reproductive justice to the discussion of the prevalence of femicide in Latina America. Due to my experience as a Latina with a low-income background and my educational experience at UCSB as a Global Studies major and Feminist Studies minor, I was able to look at the issues being discussed through an intersectional lens. Through my preparation for the summit, I learned about taking notes on who was in the room, whose voices weren’t included, and how they were trying to frame the issues, ultimately leaving out certain groups of women in the framing of them. One of the most important takeaways from this experience was my observation of the large disconnect between people with power and people on the ground. This was largely visible in the panels and workshops where the rooms were not filled with the people most affected by these policies. While this trip was both physically and emotionally exhausting due to the constant emotional labor that came with talking about my own experiences as a woman of color and even experiencing racism and ageism at this summit myself, it only reinforced my goal to be a part of this line of work where I can be that representation that is missing."
Below is a photo of Gabriela at the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women.