On February 20, more than 275 people gathered to discuss advocacy, issues affecting women’s rights, and gender equality. The event titled Girls Stand Up was co-sponsored by Pace’s department of Women’s and Gender Studies and the Working Group on Girls (WGG), a coalition of nongovernmental organizations concerned with women’s issues.
Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile and current Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), opened Sunday’s session with an inspirational keynote speech aimed at empowering women. Following several workshops, Laymah Roberta Gbowee, Executive Director of the Women Peace and Security Network Africa and gender equality advocate, closed the day by speaking on a woman’s need to fight for her beliefs. Pace student Diana Sapanaro wrote on the Dyson College blog, “This woman was so riveting! It is hard for me to put into words how she made me feel… I feel so thankful to have been involved in this conference because I met so many amazing women and girls who had such a positive influence upon me. I am so excited to attend the parallel events at the UN Commission on the Status of Women this coming week!”
The event invited participants from 45 non-governmental organizations to prepare them for the 55th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, which is scheduled for February 28 in New York City.