Women and the UN: Power, Progress, and Slavery
On February 10, 2011, Dr. Rebecca Davis Mathias, Director of the Center for Global Peace through Commerce, part of the Brennan School of Business at Dominican University in River Forest Illinois, made the opening remarks for a presentation by UNA USA Chicago-Kent College of Law Chapter’s, Monica Uribe entitled Women and the UN: Power, Progress and Slavery.
The presentation covered contributions, both past and present, of key women in the various UN organs as well as an overview of the organs (agencies) missions. A significant part of the presentation focused on Human Trafficking.
Highlights of the presentation included the following facts:
In as early as 1948, the UN focused on promoting gender equality. The UN Universal Declaration of rights, passed in December of 1948, included in article 1 of its charter “To achieve international co-operation … in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.”
Last year, on 2 July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly demonstrated its commitment to accelerating progress in accomplishing gender equality and women’s empowerment when it unanimously voted to create UN Women, a single entity which merged four of the world body’s agencies and offices: the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues, and the UN International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW). UN Women became operational on January 1, 2011 with Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile, as Under-Secretary-General for UN Women.
- 30/192 Member States are represented by women
- United States has had 3 female Permanent Representatives
- J. Kirkpatrick (1981-1985)
- Madeleine K. Albright (1993-1997)
- Susan E. Rice (2009 -)
- International Court of Justice has swore in its first females justices
- Judge Xue Hanqin (China) – June 29, 2010
- Judge Joan E. Donoghue (USA) – September 9, 2010
Human Trafficking Statistics
- 500,000 – 2 million people human trafficked annually; some estimates as high as 4 million
- Approximately 3 million trafficking victims are living in India, with only 200,000 rescued annually
- $7-12 billion annually, estimated revenue for human trafficking globally
- 20% of sex trafficking victims are children
- 66-83% of sex trafficking victims are women
- 244,000 – American children and youth are trafficked within the US
- 14,500 – 17,500 Foreign nationals trafficked into the US
- Nearly 40,000 runways are at risk of sexual exploitation in the US
- 12-14 – The average age of entry into prostitution in the US
The thirty minute presentation was followed by nearly 45 minutes of a question and answer period from the audience.
This event was arranged by Ivana Gentile, a senior at Dominican University who is the driving force behind creating a Chicago UNA USA presence at Dominican University. As part of the UNA-USA Greater Chicago College Consortium, Ms. Gentile collaborated with Claudia Jaccarino, VP Programs at UNA-USA Greater Chicago, and was able to source a fellow College Consortium student to be the speaker for this International Week event.
For more information about the UNA-USA Greater Chicago College Consortium, please contact Claudia Jaccarino.