Gail Caltride, teacher at Notre Dame Preparatory School, and Sister Kathy Schmittgens, the international SSND Shalom coordinator, discuss their experiences from the first week of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women.
Students to Advocate for Women, Girls
Seven students and a professor from Notre Dame of Maryland University in Baltimore have joined the School Sisters of Notre Dame delegation for the second week of meetings at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
They will be advocating on issues of concern to women and girls and attending seminars, panels, workshops and discussions just as the the high school students did with the SSND delegation during the first week of the CSW.
Focus on Sustainable Development Goals
Sister Eileen Reilly, director of the SSND UN-NGO Office, used Sunday evening to bring the college students up to speed and provide an overview of issues and procedures at the United Nations. She focused on providing an introduction to the Sustainable Development Goals “because it is so much a part of every conversation at these events we are going to.”
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are particularly relevant to SSNDs because they intend to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. As a registered Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), the School Sisters of Notre Dame have a responsibility on the global level to educate and advocate on such issues of concern.
The CSW agenda for the coming week includes side events and parallel events on a diverse array of topics, including Women’s Economic Empowerment in a Humanitarian Context; Gender-based Violence, Health and Wellbeing; Gender Equality as an Accelerator for Achieving Sustainable Development; Exploring Primary and Secondary Education in a Developmental Context; Empowering Women Survivors of Slavery; and Water and Women’s Economic Empowerment.
“One thing I really want to encourage you to do is talk to people,” Sister Eileen advised the students. “When you are at these meetings and see people from all over the world, it is exciting. You may never have another chance to talk to someone from Latvia or Argentina or wherever.”