The one minute video that took me to the United Nations
By Melissa Dessavre
To commemorate the fifty-ninth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), Mexico’s government together with UN Women and the National Institute of Women organized a contest which consisted of a one minute video on the status of women and girls in their respective countries.
I participated in the contest and submitted a video that dealt with Mexican women’s health and the country’s future if the Government takes preventative measures to fight diseases. Furthermore, I stressed the importance of women’s decision-making powers as they make up a majority of the population in Mexico.
Diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension and breast cancer, have been a real health problem for the last several years. Despite the Government’s effort to develop various programs, we still have much work to do. Additionally, both the Mexican Government and members of civil society have a huge challenge ahead of them: 3 out of every 10 women in Mexico have suffered some type of violence, according to the Women National Institute. This type of abuse causes emotional, physical, and psychological damage in Mexican women.
Surprisingly, my video won and I had the amazing opportunity to attend the fifty-ninth session of the Commission on the Status of Women held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 9-20 March 2015. I was able to be present at some sessions and side events and I also got to experience first-hand how the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the UN and the delegation worked during the last three days of the Commission. To witness and to be involved in how countries, NGO’s, and civil society really struggle and discuss the impact of politics in gender equality was a great opportunity and a great responsibility. This year the CSW worked really hard in order to preserve the progress and reinforce the inclusion of gender perspective in all Member States and inside the UN. Women from all over the world wishing to transform their countries and defend the rights of the women that they represent was an inspiration for me. I realized the importance of bringing and maintaining those ideas in my own country.
The Commission on the Status of Women provides a space where Member States are willing to listen and seek changes to their policies. Proposals from NGO’s and civil society, and the steps other Member States are taking to reinforce gender equality and encourage empowerment of women makes the CSW a rich fountain of ideas. My desire, as the desire of every woman in the world, is that those ideas could actually be transformed into actions.
For my Government to participate in an international event such as the CSW and to be a reference for other countries made me proud to be Mexican. We still have a long way to go but at least we are on the right track. Part of the effort includes several campaigns on issues including health, education, and politics. Their goal is to create awareness and to involve men and women in the solution of problems. We as Mexican women need to understand that our role, our vote, our opinion and our work can really change the course of our country.
We need a deep and strong reform in our cultural system, and perhaps the only way to do this is to change and improve our education system. From teaching that men are not better than women and vice versa, to teaching how we need to work as a team with equal opportunities in order to achieve the country of our dreams. A country where we can have the same opportunities to accomplish our goals, be as successful as we desire to be, and have the knowledge that we our important in every aspect.
The 59th Commission on Status of Woman has been one of the most incredible experiences in my life, but also one of the most challenging and transforming. Humanity still has more to do in order to create an equal world. Gender equality and the empowerment of women are just the beginning. My responsibility after the CSW is to keep promoting equality in my country by engaging with people about the cause. Changing my own ways and making an impact on my family, my community, my city and my country will be a major challenge. I hope that more and more young people get involved with these issues so that they can have the opportunity to actively participate in the decision-making process, and that we, as young women, will be committed to spreading and defending every aspect of our rights.
About the Author:
Melissa Dessavre, age 21, is a student of International Relations in Mexico. She has worked in different associations of empowerment of women and medical care in poor villages, including her hometown of Puebla.
The Building Bridges Team is now in Morocco and is collecting the views of young people on the grassroots level on the post-2015 development agenda. Last week the team held a youth conference in Marrakech and in attendance were the Dutch Ambassador, the Wali of Marrakech and UN Women. The conference addressed many different aspects, such as social development, gender equality and education. You can follow the Building Bridges journey and the results on their Facebook page. To connect, share and inspire!
The Inter-agency Network on Youth Development (IANYD) held its annual meeting on 24-25 March in New York. UNDP took over the role as rotating co-chair of the Network for 2015-2016 together with UNDESA as permanent Chair. The youth focal points of the 43 member entities reviewed progress made in 2014-15 and discussed opportunities for collaboration for the coming year.
UN Entities Highlighted News
UNDP FYR Macedonia: Youth work together to build the Roma Information Center of the future
Young Roma and non-Roma graduate students (in IT, economics, and social sciences) in FYR Macedonia were challenged to design a prototype of a Roma information Center to help provide better, more appropriate and sustainable services for Roma. More
UNDP FYR Macedonia: Increased internship opportunities for unemployed youth
In Prilep, FYR Macedonia, a local civil society organization, working in partnership with the Municipality of Prilep, has succeeded in gathering more than 250 representatives from universities, high schools and private companies to participate in events aimed at raising awareness about internship opportunities. As a result, six young people have been enrolled in a three-month internship programme. More
UNDP: A Model of Youth Inclusion: Preparing the National Youth Strategy
Young people from across the country will work together with UNDP and the Agency of Youth and Sport to develop the new National Youth Strategy for 2016-2025. “The most important thing is for this process to be as transparent, participatory and youth-led as possible,” explains UNDP’s youth project coordinator Dejan Dokuzovski. “We want to make sure the Strategy fully meets the needs of young people”. More
UNDP FYR Macedonia: Helping young people make the transition from education to work – FYR Macedonia’s first Youth Info Clubs
The aim of the Youth Info Clubs is to strengthen the links between potential employers and new graduates. The clubs not only provide students with career advice and up-to-date information on all the latest employment opportunities, but also offer guest lectures with career advice from private companies, public administration officers, NGOs and international organizations. More
ILO: Arab Youth Employment Conference: Promoting Innovative Solutions to Longstanding Challenges
The Arab Youth Employment conference aims to bridge the evidence gap on youth employment and create space for partnerships to form, scale up, and replicate successful initiatives. The conference is organized by Silatech and will be held in Amman, Jordan on April 28-30, 2015. The ILO will organize two sessions on improving labour market outcomes of young people in the Middle East and North Africa through evidence-based programming and policymaking.
ILO, German Chancellor and heads of other international organizations call for renewed efforts to spur global growth and employment
On the occasion of a meeting with the Federal Chancellor of Germany and the Heads of OECD, WTO, IMF, and World Bank in March 2015 in Berlin, the ILO Director-General underlined jobs for youth as a priority for the international community. The participants issued a joint statement and called for renewed efforts to spur global growth and employment, with a special focus on youth employment. More
UNEP: 24th International Children’s Painting Competition
UNEP invites children worldwide to submit their paintings for the 24th International Children’s Painting Competition. The theme is ‘We have the power!’ which focuses on sustainable energy. It’s open to children aged between 9 to 14 years. The competition encourages children to share their views on different environmental issues. Over the years the competition has inspired people all over the world to see the environment through the eyes of children. Deadline for submission is 31 May 2015. To participate, click here.
2015 UN-Habitat Mentorship Program
The UN-Habitat´s Youth Mentorship programme received massive interest from potential mentors in its second round of application. The mentorship programme is a part of the Urban Youth Fund´s non-financial support to increase the capacity of youth-led organizations in Africa, Asia Pacific, Arab States, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The Youth Fund partners directly with grassroots youth-led groups and provides a comprehensive financial and non-financial support program to innovative youth groups changing young peoples lives and their communities. To see the mentors selected, please click here.
UNDP Technology for Citizen Engagement Challenge: Meet the Finalists!
The UNDP Technology for Citizen Engagement Challenge has reached the concept stage! 73 ideas from 20 countries were submitted and the judges had the difficult task of selecting the 10 shortlisted ideas. These ideas have now been developed into concepts and uploaded on the Mahallae platform. Now it's your turn to let us know what you think before the winners are announced on 10 April 2015. Explore the concepts here and make comments and suggestions, endorse your favorites, and even contribute.
ESCAP: Thai National Training on Youth Volunteerism and Empowerment
Over 100 young people from Thailand participated in aforementioned training on 17-20 March 2015 in Bangkok. The event was co-organized by ESCAP and the Youth Civic Media Learning Centre under the umbrella of the Asia-Pacific Peace and Development Service Alliance. The youth were trained in leadership and media skills through interactive sessions involving experts from diverse sectors, and including academics and researchers from think tanks. At the event, development partners and philanthropic organizations provided additional perspectives on volunteerism, leadership and developmental issues. More
ESCAP: South Asia Subregional Consultation on Youth Volunteerism to Promote Participation, Development and Peace
ESCAP, the Nepalese Ministry of Youth and Sports, and the Global Peace Foundation convened the aforementioned consultation on 23-25 March 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. There were over 150 participants from 12 countries, including the Secretary General of SAARC, the Nepalese Minister of Youth and Sports, government representatives, civil society organizations, the private sector and development partners. The outcome document “Kathmandu Call for Action” recommended improved multi-sectoral coordination, partnerships and resource mobilization to increase youth participation in development. More
MGCY: World Humanitarian Summit: Youth in Action
The World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), an initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General, brings the global community together to commit to a new agenda for humanitarian action. An important part of this global community is youth: young people possess unique, innovative and effective solutions to contribute to and improve humanitarian action. The Major Group for Children and Youth facilitates the WHS youth engagement by mobilizing young people in humanitarian action, offering manuals for consultations, and much more. The WHS Working Group is open to any young person or youth-led organization! More
PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival on Migration, Diversity and Social Inclusion
The United Nations Alliance for Civilization (UNAOC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) invite young people across the world to submit videos to PLURAL+ focusing on the themes of migration, diversity and social inclusion. Top three videos will be selected and the winners will be invited to New York, all travel expenses paid, for the PLURAL+ Awards Ceremony in December 2015. PLURAL+ is a platform of global distribution for socially conscious and creative youth-produced videos, as well as a tool for youth self-representation and media empowerment. Deadline for submission: 15 June 2015
UNDP Uzbekistan: Young people embrace Do It Yourself (DIY) Labs as civic activism
Young volunteers in Uzbekistan are growing in numbers and joining hands for the DIY Labs across the country. Appearing first as a Garbage Lab, using old and used materials, then transforming into a DIY lab, young people are crafting with children from hospitals, creating playgrounds and restoring public buildings. With a particular emphasis made by the project on the sustainability of the launched initiative, the DIY Labs keep all the DIY volunteers engaged on a regular basis by serving their communities and various charity organizations through the organized and fully operational DIY Labs. More
UNDP Kosovo: Hacking development with young female coders
Girls Coding Kosova, a community of young women developers, participated in a workshop organized jointly with Open Data Kosovo and UNDP SAEK Team in November 2014. The workshop aimed to improve the digital capacity of young women coders, while at the same time teaching them about anti-corruption and gender stereotypes by analyzing data collected during a survey on gender and corruption in public administration. The workshop provided the participants with a hands-on approach in learning how to program with nascent and enabling technologies while acquiring new software development, data analytics, and problem solving skills. The outcome of the workshop was a survey data visualizer that has been made available online.
UNDP FYR Macedonia: Finding work just got a whole lot easier with a new app that brings all the latest job openings directly to your mobile
The country’s one-stop app for job seekers, Prv.mk, helps young people find the latest job openings across the country, including internships, volunteer positions and entry-level job placements. The app was developed by UNDP, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, the National Employment Agency and the Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering at the Social Innovation Hub, as an innovative solution in the country’s efforts to tackle unemployment. One year after it was launched, the website has had over 1 million visits and the number of users has since been steadily increasing. More
UNDP Armenia: With Youth For Youth
Armenia’s first specialized Youth Studies Institute (YSI) is celebrating its two year anniversary on 7 April 2015! Two years of intensive work with 1,500 young people, 400 youth NGOs, and two major researches on "Youth employments issues in Armenia" and "Mapping of Youth NGOs in Armenia". YSI is also a member of the big European Voluntary Service family. Currently, YSI has international and local volunteers who help organize different youth projects. To make the Institute an open space for youth participation, a new project has been initiated called Free Space aimed at giving work space for young people. In return, YSI expects their active participation in the Institute’s work, creativity and a smile.
UNFCCC: Mexico’s new generation of climate change envoys
Through education, Mexico’s initiative ‘Low Emission Schools’ is mobilizing the next generation to tackle climate change. Mexico’s successful pilot program has combined climate action with climate education in 36 schools in 5 states. In each school a group of students between the ages of 10 and 16 became members of a ‘Green Team’ and learned the causes and effects of climate change and how to meet them head-on. The pilot program is the first phase of a larger plan to reach 2,400 schools by 2018. The program is a registered Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) with the The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). More
YOUTH must be a driving force during demolition of the imposed divisions in BiH society!
Tarik Skrgo is one of the founders of the Informative and Educational Youth Center (IECM). He has met with hundreds of young people from Bosnia and Herzegovina faced with prejudices resulting from national and religious affiliations in certain regions. Unfortunately, the communities of these regions do not allow the growing youth to realize the value of life from different national groups. The irony is that young people from Tesanj, Teslic, Maglaj, Zepce, Usora and Doboj-South are in the same situation as most young people in BiH. IECM works with youth from this region to accomplish the primary goal of demolishing imposed divisions and barriers. With the support of UNDP, the Center is working on enhancing the common workforce concentrations in these cities, where Tešanj is shown as an example of positive practice because its companies have begun to open facilities in Doboj and Teslic.
Youth in Action
Global Youth Connect is Accepting Applications for Summer 2015 Programs
Global Youth Connect (GYC) runs programs in Bosnia, Cambodia, Rwanda, and New York City. The programs help young leaders develop skills that are critical to grassroots organizing, conflict transformation, and human rights activism and leadership. Throughout the program, the participants become connected to an international community of youth activists that actively promote and protect human rights. For more information on how to apply, please see here.
This fact-filled Guide is designed as an educational resource that explores the ocean from the coastal zones to the frozen poles, the deep sea to the open ocean. It also demonstrates the many benefits of the ocean and explains how good management can help protect and conserve the ocean and ocean life. At the end of the Guide, examples of youth-led initiatives are provided, and an easy-to-follow action plan aims to help you develop your own ocean conservation activities.
The ILO Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis
While a large portion of the international community’s response to the ongoing Syria crisis has overwhelmingly focused on humanitarian aspects, the ILO has adopted a cross-cutting development-focused strategy in its support to host communities and refugees in order to maintain and reinforce the social and economic stability of the affected neighbouring countries. The ILO response includes initiatives to improve access to employment opportunities and livelihoods for young women and men in host communities and among Syrian refugees. More
This ILO report presents the results of the School-to-work transition surveys (SWTS) implemented in six countries in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region – Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Ukraine – in 2012 or 2013. The indicators resulting from the surveys and analysed in this report provide a much more detailed picture of the youth in the labour market in a part of the world where unemployment rates are among the highest in the world.