WYA at the CSW


The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) started Monday and it is really quite different from the Commission on Social Development we went to last month! For starters, there are over 5000 NGOs attending this commission, which means that there are A LOT of extra people at the UN. Pretty much every session I attended (or tried to attend) was full. The good news is that there are a lot of people who care about women issues, both men and women, from all over the world.

I was fortunate enough to attend a parallel event sponsored by the Women’s Federation for World Peace International (WFWPI) and Bridgeport International Academy called Successful Strategies for Prevention of HIV/AIDS, a Responsibility Shared Equally Between Women and Men. It was an excellent session where the panelists highlighted the importance of the family as the

fundamental unit of society where HIV/AIDS prevention begins and care and support is provided. Ms. Motoko Sugiyama, Director of UN Office and Vice President of WFWPI, spoke of correlation between family interaction and sexual behavior as well as the importance of both parents in the development of their child(ren) in Japan. This resonates strongly with what we believe in at WYA, that the institution of the family is both irreplaceable and valuable to society and it is necessary for the international community to foster conditions that support and nurture the family.

It was also refreshing to hear from high school students at Bridgeport, Connecticut speak of their WAIT Team. WAIT is a performing arts group that educates young people about the dangers of HIV/AIDS, empowers youth to use their talents to make a difference in the world through skits, songs, presentations and dance, and model abstinence and faithful life partnership. Phil, another WYA intern, and I were able to introduce ourselves and WYA and congratulate them on their presentations and their work.

All in all, it was very encouraging to hear about various international HIV/AIDS prevention efforts that are centered on holistic development of the human person and I hope that the sharing of these strategies will diversify the prevention efforts currently undertaken by the international community in the fight against AIDS.