Yesterday, three fabulous NCRW interns* and I journeyed down to the concrete maze that is the United Nations to participate in a commemorative event celebrating CEDAW’s 30th birthday. The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, often referred to as the international bill of women’s human rights, was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1979. The Convention defines discrimination as
Last month, NCRW staffer Kyla Bender-Baird spoke on a panel hosted by NYU Wagner Women's Caucus along with Cheryl Huber of New Yorkers for Parks and The International Women's Health Coalition's Khushbu Srivastava. The panel discussed "The Impact of Women in Public Service." Cheryl's comments on the intersections of gender and urban planning brought up an often over-looked perspective.
Last year’s UN Security Council Resolution 1820 recognized sexual violence as a war crime. Its passage is often cited as a milestone. Given so many conflicts around the globe, however, what was this resolution’s real impact? If your heart drops every time you think about the continuing rape in the Congo, you are not alone! For NCRW’s upcoming Annual Conference we have assembled a special panel featuring experts on women, war and security.
I was recently in Calcutta, India, my place of birth, home to where my mother, a sibling, old friends, and sweet memories still reside. This is my other “home” where I try to get to every year to renew and regenerate myself, and recharge from the stresses of a running a two working parents’ nuclear household in frenetic New York City. My trip last month came after a two year gap; I felt the familiar overwhelming desire to be there, to be a part of the sights and sounds of an India that were at once familiar and yet distant to me. Having left almost 23 years ago to move to the US, I have a unique insider-outsider vantage point. I was born and brought up there; I know things instinctively – all the cultural puzzles, contradictions, nuances of language, wordplay and verbal cues, body language, subtle things - that only a native-born can ever know. But, having been away long enough, and trained in and working in a field where critical inquiry is required, I can no longer accept without questioning the status and daily conditions of millions of people living in absolute poverty, what Collier refers to as The Bottom Billion. Even as India’s economy grows steadily at about 8% a year, there are entire communities of people, some 300 million of them, who live under a $1 a day without regular access to food, water, housing, livelihoods, reproductive healthcare or education. Malnutrition in children under five is at a staggering 45%.