This year the Feminist Task Force was proud to host two incredible young girls from El Salvador to the UN’s 57th Commission on the Status of Women. The week started with a bang, as the girls joined with girls from other delegations to attend the Working Group on Girls annual Teen Orientation Day, and listen to honorary guest Michelle Bachelet of UN Women. After getting inspired at the Teen Orientation Day, the girls were given the option to participate in the drafting and writing of the Girl Statement, produced by girls on behalf of the UN each year.
After a weekend of getting their feet wet, the girls were finally ready for the official start of the CSW! The Feminist Task Force was involved in hosting a variety of amazing events this year in collaboration with the Loretto Community and the Working Group on Girls. Along with our suggested WGG events, the girls participated as panelists in two events hosted by the Feminist Task Force. One of these events was the very first Girl’s Tribunal on Violence, held at the Salvation Army on March 5th. Here Angelica, spoke of her experiences of violence in her community in El Salvadore. This event was both powerful and emotional, as 9 girls from around the world came together to share their personal stories about violence in their schools, communities and the media and how it has effected them. Their testimonies were witnessed by esteemed jurorists, Dan Seymour of UN Women, Faith Nenkai Metiaki, student activist at the University of Nairobi/former UN youth Delegate to the CSW, Prince Zeid R’ad Zeid Al-Hussein, permanent representative ofJordan to the United Nations and Abigail Disney, filmmaker, philanthropist, activist and producer of “Pray the Devil Back to Hell”.
Along with the Girls Tribunal on Violence, Karla spoke on a panel for another side event hosted by the Feminist Task Force, the Loretto COmmunity, the Office of the Chaplain, Sister of Mercy, Siglo XXIII/SERR, the Mennonite Central Committee UN and Women’s Earth and Climate Caucus. The side event tookplace on March 3rd and spoke out against harmful mining practices such as mountain top removal, coal plants, the extractive development models and their effects on women, the environment and their communities. Panelists included speakers such as Sarah Augustine, co-director of Suriname Indigenous Health Fund, Nelly del Cid, Honduran Activist, Kathleen Stone of the Office of the Chaplain, Sally Dunne, UN Representative to the Loretto Community and FTF’s very own Honduran Activist, Karla Artiga, speaking on behalf of student’s movements at the Technologie Universidad in El Salvador. The event was moderated by Rosa Lizarde of the Femnist Task Force and speakers focused on a series of mining related issues spanning the Americas; from the Tar Sands of Canada, to mountain to removal of Appalachias and indigenous lands and harmful mining practices in Honduras and El Salvador.
Among the events that the Feminist Task Force hosted, were other such high energy side events and the girls were encouraged to attend asmany events in the UN Church center as they wished. All in all theweek was a tremendous success. We hope that next year FTF will be able to bring more girls from abroad to share their experiences, get connected and get empowered.
– Reported by Erica Carlino, Visual Coordinator, FTF Staff