Addressing Issues Related to Women’s Leadership, Syria

The SSND delegation at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women includes, from left, Sydnee Milis, Brenae Clarke, Sister Eileen Reilly, Michelle Hawkins, Catherine Haight, Zecilia Alamillo-Roman, Adrianna Coronado, Julie Tatlock, Maria Perea and Sheila Suda.

March 16, 2016

The issues being addressed at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) resonate deeply with the members of the delegation representing the School Sisters of Notre Dame.

Many of the students from Mount Mary University who are part of the delegation have been active advocates in their community on concerns related to Syrian refugees and education. Others are looking to better understand the many layers of the issues so that they can be better leaders.

For Michelle Hawkins, a session on the crisis in Syria and women’s presence in the peace process was particularly relevant. As the recipient of her school’s Blessed Theresa Gerhardinger Award, Michelle already has been recognized for her work educating others about Syria and the refugee crisis.

“I’m really passionate about this issue, and I hope to bring new information back to our campus,” Michelle said. “I want to work in the future to bring peace to Syria.”

Sheila Suda found that a session focusing on women and girls and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), provided an opportunity to further understand the complexity of achieving the SDGs and how many issues are multi-layered.

As a social work major with a political science minor, Zecilia Alamillo-Roman said this experience has given her a new awareness for global and social issues and how women are affected and involved.