Submitted by – Vivian Walczesky, Governor
Each March, the Conference on the Status of Women is held in New York City for two weeks. Many of us Soroptimists attend during the first week when events are scheduled in the evening. During the day, delegates are attending meetings at the UN or parallel events at the Church Center across the street from the UN building. Depending on which sources provided the information, approximately 4000 to 6000 women from around the globe attended the CSW Conference beginning on March 12, 2017. The delegates from the Midwestern Region (Bev Bucur, Lee Ann Cochran, Vicky Hicks, Lata Shastri and myself attended an evening dinner at the Palm Too restaurant along with Soroptimist del-egates from Alaska, California, Washington, D.C. and Canada.
My roommate at the conference was Lata Shastri from SI Wyandotte, Southgate Taylor club. We have been attending the conference for several years and always stay at the same hotel and request the same room number since the view from our 40th floor room lets us see the Chrysler Building at night along with other landmarks in the area. It is a spectacular view. Lata and I also attended a rally at a downtown park, a session involving women cocoa farmers, the Taiwan reception , the 45th anniversary celebration of NGO CSW New York and watched Dr. Mabel Bianco receive her Woman of Distinction award. Bette Levy, one of our UN representatives, was one of the program emcees representing Soroptimist International. Lata, Lee Ann and I attended a play in Times Square entitled “The Perfect Crime.”
Some of the topics covered at this year’s CSW included education, poverty, domestic violence, trafficking and access to water. The Soroptimist delegates who attend this conference are also reading and reviewing the Agreed Upon Conclusions document along with other NGOs (non-governmental organizations). The second week of CSW is spent by the core delegates reviewing and changing the document to get it ready for submission to the General Assembly. The torch was also passed to the new Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres of Portugal, who gave his initial speech to a packed room inside the United Nations. Security was extra tight that day.
The time spent in New York at the CSW provides a window into the world of Soroptimist International and how the issues brought forth to the United Nations effect each and every woman around the globe, in each Soroptimist club from region to district to local clubs. I encourage any Soroptimist member to attend at least one CSW to experience the United Nations and New York City.
For more information on CSW Forum visit their website here.