Originally published on Union CSW
Joie Warnock, Western Regional Director
The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.
The CSW promotes women’s rights, documents the reality of women’s lives throughout the world, and shapes global standards.
Each year, the CSW focuses on one priority theme and member states negotiate ‘Agreed Conclusions’ on this theme.
This year, the priority theme of UNCSW62 is “Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and empowerment of rural women and girls.
In a week filled with inspiring discussion and debate - by women and girls from countries around the globe, I found the most powerful stories of organizing for change that I heard - came from much closer to home– from south of the 49th parallel in California’s Central and Napa Valleys.
“Empowering Rural Women and Girls behind the Digital Curtains” featured a panel of Women and Indigenous Farmworkers’ organizations that described the critical work they are doing to eradicate the oppression that Farmworkers, particularly Women and Indigenous Farmworkers face.
I learned that not only are working conditions difficult and dangerous with poor access to transportation, medical, educational and vital community services – California Farmworkers and their families but these workers are also combating increasing racism and discrimination.
The Organization “Act for Women and Girls” described the critical work they are doing to eradicate the oppression that lies deep in the roots of California’s Central Valley region. ACT has created a movement of social justice leaders who raise their voices to impact their community, state and country.