Daily Archives: April 11, 2011

Why I’m Attending-part 1

Consuls Ball banner
With less than 3 weeks until our major spring gala, the Consuls Ball, we wanted to debut a blog series sharing why YOU should consider attending the Ball, straight from the mouths of past attendees who are returning to celebrate again with us this year.  Our first testimony comes from Linnea Löf, who attended the Ball last year and actually serves on our event committee this year!

“My husband and I attended our first Consuls Ball last year (2010) because we believe in the importance of global educational programs like the Model UN and we want to show our support.  We had such a fabulous time that we definitely plan on attending again!  The event was gorgeous — an elegant location, exquisite food, open bar, great music, lively dancing and international attendees — we felt like we traveled the world in one glorious evening! The Colombian Consul shared our table so we had the opportunity to hear the kind of support she provides to people and organizations from her country here in Boston.

Linnea Löf (2nd from R) and guests enjoy the 2010 Consuls Ball

One of the live auction items was a stay at a 5 star resort in Sicily which we bid on and won!   We are excited to share this unique evening with friends this year because we know it will be an international gala not to miss!

-Linnea Löf

Join Linnea and 350+ other Boston business and diplomatic leaders on April 29 for THE global gala of the season in New England.  Get your tickets now!

-UNA-GB staff

100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day

 

 

Tuesday marked the Centennial Anniversary of International Women’s Day, a celebration of the economic, political and social achievements of women past and present that is observed around the world. This year is also notable for being the first International Women’s Day for UN Women, created by the UN General Assembly on July 2010 and formally launched just last month.  The theme this year is “Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All”.  Last week, Secretary General Ban Ki Moon highlighted the imperative need for the inclusion of women to achieve greater strides in meeting the Millenium Development Goals.

“Gender equality and women’s empowerment are fundamental to the global mission of the United Nations to achieve equal rights and dignity for all… But equality for women and girls is also an economic and social imperative. Until women and girls are liberated from poverty and injustice, all our goals — peace, security, sustainable development — stand in jeopardy.”  – Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

The call to make equality a reality that was present in Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s Message was also present in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s, where she called for more ways to include women in the international dialogue and provide access for all women to live with access to education and free from violence.

At the 1995 Beijing Conference, Clinton famously asserted that “human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights.”  This was further seen at Tuesday’s 14th Annual International Women’s Day Breakfast hosted by Simmons Institute for Leadership and Change, and co-sponsored by the United Nations Association of Greater Boston, with the theme “Unequal Treatment Under the Law: Women in the Criminal Justice System” which drew over 200 attendees from throughout the Boston area.

Karen Holmes Ward moderated the event and introduced panelists, Ph.D. Erika Kates, Representative Kay Khan, Sheriff Andrea J. Cabral, and Girl Scouts Beyond Bars past program participant and current manager Dawn Coleman. Each of the panelists offered a unique perspective as they educated the audience on the challenges women face due to current laws and policy. The statistics were shocking and reinforced the statements made by many attendees that this breakfast was addressing an invisible issue within our national community. The moving personal account of Coleman’s own oppression within the justice system made both the extremity of the inequality and the timeliness of the issues clear to audience members. To close, Sheriff Cabral recognized many of the programs designed to give women agency and voice in this arena while also emphasizing the importance of us all in bringing to action the work that still needs to be done.

With March also being Women’s History Month, there are events being held throughout the month that focus on education and advocacy surrounding women’s issues.  Check out this month’s events!

Tuesday March 8th

International Women’s Day Celebration

Hosted by: Women’s Information Network

Time: All Day

Location: Back Bay Sheraton

NERD International Women’s Day Mixer

Hosted by: New England Research and Development Center

Time: 6-8 pm

Location: Microsoft New England R&D Center, One Memorial Drive, Cambridge MA.

Ladies Who Launch Networking Mixer

Hosted by: Ladies Who Launch

Time: 5:30 PM

Location: Top of the Hub

Saturday March 12th

Run for Congo Women

Hosted by: Women for Women International

Time: 10 am

Location: Boston’s Esplanade

Contact for more details!

Monday, March 14th

International Women’s Day Film Screening, Reception, and Panel

Hosted by: UNA-GB and My Sister’s Keeper

Time: Reception at 6:00 pm, Film Screening at 6:30 pm.

Location: Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc
10 Winter Place. Boston, MA 02108

COST: $10 Member/Student | $15 Non-member

RSVP NOW!

Friday, March 18th

V-Day Boston 2011: Spotlight on Violence Against Women and Girls of Haiti

Hosted by: UNA-GB and Suffolk University’s Center for Women’s Health & Human Rights

Time: 6:00 PM- 8:00 PM

Location: Suffolk University, 73 Tremont St, Boston, MA

Learn more and RSVP now.

 

Tuesday, March 22nd

The Challenges of Practicing Law in Sharia Courts in Nigeria

Hosted by: UNA- GB’s Women’s Forum

Time: 4:00 PM- 6:00 PM

Location: Suffolk Law School, 120 Tremont St, Boston

Free

RSVP Now!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Paradise Beneath Her Feet: How Women are Transforming the Middle East

Time: Reception at 6:30 PM | Talk at 7:00 PM

Location: 6 Hilliard Pl. Cambridge, MA 02138

Cost: $15 Member Ticket | $20 Non-member Ticket

RSVP NOW – Limited Space Available!

 

Celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day either by coming to one of the events in the area or by learning more about your local and national policies and taking action within your community to ensure women’s voices are heard!

-Alex Teague & Katie Miles.

 

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

On June 22nd, 2007, the US Senate passed a resolution designating January 11th as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Human trafficking is modern day slavery that involves the sexual and labor exploitation of millions of men, women and children worldwide.  Human trafficking has no borders. It is estimated that 800,000individuals are trafficked across international borders worldwide. In the United States alone, 18,000-20,000 victims are trafficked into or within this country every year.  It is estimated that nearly 80% of those individuals are children.

UN Involvement:

The UN is actively involved in the fight against human trafficking.  In July 2010, the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, which urges governments to take coordinated, comprehensive and consistent steps to combat such trafficking and to adopt a human rights-based approach.  To support the action plan, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons with humanitarian activists Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, the following November.  The Trust Fund is administered by the UNODC which is additionally advised by a Board of Trustees appointed by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.  The Fund provides humanitarian, legal and financial aid to victims of human trafficking with the aim of increasing the number of victims who are rescued and supported, and broadening the extent of assistance they receive.

What you can do today:

Today, anti-trafficking organizations across the U.S. are hosting events to raise awareness for the issue of trafficking.  There will be several events held here in Boston- we would love to see you if you are around!

Not For Sale Massachusetts will be staging a FREEZE  to raise awareness of modern day slavery on 1.11.11.  A FREEZE is where a large group of people stand completely still in a natural pose for three minutes starting at the same exact second. After the three minutes are up, everyone walks away normally and we will hand out flyers with more information.

Date: January 11, 2011
Time: 12:00-1:00pm, lunch hour
Location: Faneuil Hall Marketplace -inside Quincy Market 
4 South Market Building
Boston, MA
RSVP and learn more here.

The New England Coalition Against Trafficking is promoting a moment of silence at 11am on Tuesday as well.

UNA-GB is also a signatory on an open letter to Boston residents about the prevalence of human trafficking and what can be done to combat it.  The Human Trafficking Awareness Day letter and Suggested Action Steps can be found online here.

You can also stay posted on events today by following #HTAD2011 or the Not For Sale campaign  on Twitter.

We hope to see you at today’s events!

-Alex.

International Day of the World’s Indigenous People

August 9 was established as the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People by the UN’s General Assembly in 1994 with the  goal to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous people and to recognize significant achievements and contributions of the population. Recognizing indigenous filmmakers was the theme of the 2010 observance, with films being screened at the UN Headquarters.

In addition to recognizing the accomplishments of indigenous filmmakers, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday addressed the urgency to improve the lives of indigenous people. “Indigenous peoples still experience racism, poor health and disproportionate poverty,” Mr. Ban said. “In many societies, their languages, religions and cultural traditions are stigmatized and shunned.” (Source)

He indicated that statistics from the January UN report on the State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples included disturbing statistics: indigenous peoples are 600 times more likely to contract tuberculosis than the general population in some countries. Also, an indigenous child can expect to die 20 years before a non-indigenous fellow citizen.

Even with these shocking figures, the Secretary General continued that the situation has seen improvement over the past few years. “Since [the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by the General Assembly in 2007] we have seen more governments working to redress social and economic injustices, through legislation and other means, and indigenous peoples’ issues have become more prominent on the international agenda than ever before,” Mr. Ban said.

Even though there has been considerable progress in advancing the rights of indigenous peoples in the past few years, the recent statistics clearly demonstrate a drastic need for more improvement for the lives of indigenous peoples. The United Nations and other organizations are essential in this ongoing process.

In Cambridge, MA, the organization Cultural Survival partners with Indigenous communities to help them achieve their goals and defend their land, languages and cultures. To learn more about how you can help indigenous peoples in the New England area visit Cultural Survival’s website http://www.culturalsurvival.org/

Christina