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CSW63 Reflection by Tamar Haddad

Tamar Haddad/Photography by Kristen Opalinski

What if you had been part of Model United Nations and got the chance to be part of the actual United Nations policy making? What if you’ve always dreamed of working at the UN and realized, after participating in UN’s Commission on the Status of Women, that you can be qualified to work there, even when you have convinced yourself for years that you are not? What if one experience changes your whole life, and you still cannot believe you got to be part of it? ... UN CSW63!

I was lucky enough to be the youngest member of the Lutheran World Federation’s delegation for the 63rd UN CSW. Sthela Gun Holly Hanitrinirina and I, both receipts of the ELCA International Women Leaders scholarship, stood in line for almost two hours for tickets for a session with the UN Secretary General and the head of UN Women. At first, I complained about standing for too long, until we got to sit in the very front row facing these two very inspiring people.

Almost 90 percent of the conference room was full of women from all over the world who wanted to make a change regarding their status. It was overwhelming. I felt like I was not alone. Other women are not satisfied with being treated as second class citizens too ... so many of them ... and it was great seeing the ways they could make a change.

Most of the sessions I went to gave me so many ideas on how to make a change about our status as women in my home country, Palestine, and even in the Middle East as a whole. Talking to the panelists was very helpful too. The suggestions they gave are something I can work on. CSW was simply a motivational push not to give up and go make some change ... especially when it comes to gender equality. I am very grateful for it.

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