Day 4

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

CSW 2011 delegates at the UNThe day started off with everyone going their separate ways to all kinds of interesting events, while I checked my e-mail and was pleased to find an email from my mission promising that they will read our suggested admendments to the agreed conclusions.

At 9 am I met up with Bernadette (WAGGGS’ Advocacy Coordinator) to go through our oral statement, which with a bit of luck I would be delivering at the official part of today’s negotiations. Luckily Bernadette knew who to look for at the UN, and shortly after I was signed up as the second NGO speaker at the panel 1: Access and participation of women and girls to education, training, science and technology, including for the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work. Bernadette told me to smile my best Girl Guide smile and I was good to go.

At the panel discussion I was really impressed by the knowledgeable panel and wish you could all get a chance to listen to Sanjit ’Bunker’ Roy (Indian social activist and educator), who I found really inspiring – and funny too. It proved to be pretty hard to keep track of the countries when they got the chance to comment (or actually officially ask questions, but it was more like statements prepared in advance than actual questions to the panel), and then I became preoccupied by how I would deal with the unexpected fact that I would have only two minutes to deliver my three-minute speech. I ended up speaking too fast for the interpreters to keep up, but I am satisfied with speaking up on behalf of WAGGGS, the European Youth Forum and Pax Romana on the essential role of non-formal education.

Later that day, the Icelandic Director of the Gender Equality Center answered my question on how we actively involve girls and young women in improving gender equality in education with ”It was the third time I listened to you – you are a good role model.” The Finnish Minister for Culture and Sports, a former Scout himself, responded calling us ”One of the greatest Movements on earth”, and I found the Nordic side event where I got these great responses really inspiring as they addressed a lot of issues and views of interest to me.

After the event I finally got a chance to meet some members of the Danish delegation, and we set up another meeting tomorrow which I am looking forward to. The day was far from over yet, so I went to Soroptimist International's reception and had a good time almost getting recruited before I had to literally run off to the WAGGGS delegation debriefing. I love the supportive and cosy atmosphere at the debriefings, and to hear about all the exciting events my fellow delegates have attended and the great work they have done advocating for our key messages and suggested admendments to the agreed conclusions.

We then prepared our side event for Friday and other important stuff. I somehow ended up being the one emptying the flipcams of the videos we look forward to sharing with you soon. Before I was done, we were in the middle of a girl talk that made it seem like I would never get a chance to write this blog entry. Fortunately I am more of a night owl than the others, so with three of them sleeping peacefully next to me I can finally sum up this day as simply fantastic.

Mia Rangholm Varming, Denmark

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