"The importance of documentation at birth cannot be overestimated: Without a birth certificate, as a girl grows up it will be difficult, if not impossible, for her to attend school or get a job. She will not be able to own her own land or start her own business. She will not be able to vote. She will likely be confined to the home and left unpaid. She becomes an invisible member of society."
- Tiffany Taylor, U.S. Youth Observer to the United Nations; Huffington Post: Why Every Girl Should (Literally) Count [Full Text]
The Global Divide: Health Inequalities Among Women and Children
"At the very least, we should all aim to educate ourselves on the multifaceted ways in which women are oppressed. We have to start looking at gender oppression through a more holistic lens, one that does not stop at economic and/or political inequalities, but also health-related inequalities such as in sexual and reproductive health."
- Tiffany Taylor, US Youth Observer to the UN [Full Text]
"There is no doubt in my mind that men actively participating in the fight for equality among women is both timely and a necessity. In order for any type of progress to be accomplished, there must be a diverse group of people advocating for change. However, through observing many events at the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, I have learned that in order to create a more inclusive environment concerning women’s rights, and human rights in general, it is imperative to encourage more women, especially young women, to speak up and encourage more men, especially young men, to listen."
- Tiffany Taylor, US Youth Observer to the UN [Full Blog Post]
US Youth Observer Tiffany Taylor met with one of the Somali Delegates who is also a youth activist and politician at the 58th Session of the Comission on the Status of Women  in NYC.

US Youth Observer Tiffany Taylor met with one of the Somali Delegates who is also a youth activist and politician at the 58th Session of the Comission on the Status of Women  in NYC.

U.S. Youth Observer after meeting with two of the Somalian delegates about initiatives that economically empower women at the Comission on the Status of Women in New York.

U.S. Youth Observer after meeting with two of the Somalian delegates about initiatives that economically empower women at the Comission on the Status of Women in New York.

Tiffany Taylor, US Youth Observer to the UN, joins the US Delegation at the Comission on the Status of Women in New York. Follow her on twitter @USYouthObserver.

Tiffany Taylor, US Youth Observer to the UN, joins the US Delegation at the Comission on the Status of Women in New York. Follow her on twitter @USYouthObserver.

U.S. Delegation to the 58th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women

The Department of State is pleased to announce the U.S. Delegation attending the 58th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) to be held, March 10–21, 2014, at UN Headquarters in New York.

  • Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Co-Head of Delegation
  • Ambassador Catherine Russell, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, U.S. Department of State, Co-Head of Delegation
  • Ambassador Elizabeth Cousens, U.S. Representative on the UN Economic and Social Council, Deputy Head of Delegation

They will be accompanied by the following five Public Delegates:

  • Jimmie Briggs, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Man Up Campaign
  • Caren Grown, Economist in Residence, American University
  • Ambassador Betty King, former U.S. Representative to the Office of the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva and former U.S. Representative to the UN Economic and Social Council
  • Sharon Kotok, former advisor to the U.S. Department of Stat
  • Nora O’Connell, Associate Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy, Save the Children

Other members of the U.S. Delegation include technical experts from the Department of State, including the United States Mission to the United Nations and several bureaus and offices; USAID; and the Federal Emergency Management Agency of the Department of Homeland Security; as well as officials from the White House; the U.S. Youth Observer to the United Nations; and Representative Barbara Lee, a Congressional Delegate to the UN General Assembly.

The theme of this year’s session is “Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls.”

The CSW session is being live-streamed here. For more information, please click here.

"The facts must shock every conscience into action. All told, about 120 to 140 million women in countries around the world have undergone FGM/C and another 3 million girls are at risk each year. Just as gender-based violence knows no boundaries, this tragedy spans the globe, including among many migrant communities in the United States. These aren’t just statistics. They’re a challenge to the decency of every single one of us. These are real people – little girls, some younger than 10 years old – daughters, sisters, and wives - subjected to this horrific practice."
- Secretary of State John Kerry, Statement for International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting
“The participation of these women will be invaluable because like other women before them, including in Sudan, Uganda, Iraq, and among Israelis and Palestinians, they raised unique issues during negotiations. Women focus on the need to re-establish civilian security; they emphasize the need to maintain and rebuild communities; and they focus attention on the needs and interests of the displaced. Women are well-connected to war-affected communities back home; they help create lines of communication to increase local knowledge and ownership of talks and support for negotiated solutions”. -Carla Koppell Read More

The participation of these women will be invaluable because like other women before them, including in Sudan, Uganda, Iraq, and among Israelis and Palestinians, they raised unique issues during negotiations. Women focus on the need to re-establish civilian security; they emphasize the need to maintain and rebuild communities; and they focus attention on the needs and interests of the displaced. Women are well-connected to war-affected communities back home; they help create lines of communication to increase local knowledge and ownership of talks and support for negotiated solutions”. -Carla Koppell Read More

"Looking back on the years since the new millennium began when we challenged ourselves as a global community to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, we can see that we have made progress…But the goal where the least progress has been made is the one that strikes at the heart of issues related to equity and equality for women, and that’s MDG 5, reducing maternal mortality and providing universal access to reproductive health, including family planning."
- Assistant Secretary Anne Richard’s Closing Remarks at the Third International Family Planning Conference (Read More)

Secretary Kerry: “challenges like reproductive health care and family planning are bigger than the political boxes that some try to force them into. These are basic human necessities that hundreds of millions of women are forced to go without. For some, it’s because they can’t afford or don’t have access to these services. For others, it’s because their husbands or their communities simply don’t support their use…That’s why the United States and our partners must continue our life-saving work to advocate for sexual health and reproductive rights”. 

Heroes Changing the Status Quo for Women and Girls

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the challenges facing girls and women around the world. One in seven girls in developing countries will be married before age 15. Approximately 800 girls and women die every single day from pregnancy-related complications. But awe-inspiring everyday heroes refuse to accept these statistics. 
 
Two of those heroes – Kakenya Ntaiya and Dr. Laura Stachel – are being recognized as part of CNN’s Top 10 Heroes of 2013. Both women are an inspiration, working to solve some of the most pressing issues facing girls and women today. Learn more about their stories.

Watch live now: Happening now at the UN - Security Council debate on ‘Women, Peace & Security’ - Watch live at http://webtv.un.org 

Empowering Women through Land Rights

USUN Rome hosted Amanda Richardson from the nonprofit Landesa to help teach people about the importance of securing women’s rights to their own land. Hear Amanda explain why this work is so important!

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