NEW YORK, March 9, 2012/Christian Newswire --
With the 56th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) drawing to a close, this year's representatives for the International Youth Coalition (IYc) are spending the Commission's last day attending final events and preparing to return to their careers and universities back home.
A week ago these twelve young adults flew in from around the world, putting their lives on hold to take part in the international debate on life and family at the United Nations. The theme of this year's CSW centered on the empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication.
"For a conference geared specifically toward women," says Columbia University student Courtney Kampa, "it was unsettling to see how little attention was paid to issues like sex-selective abortion or the soaring maternal mortality rates which are due largely to so-called 'reproductive rights.'"
Maria Avila Lizaur, a student at Ave Maria, was similarly struck. "It was sobering to see quality of life more valued than life itself. Many NGOs overtly stated goals of reducing the number of births for governments that cannot pay healthcare and education for its population."
Chris Kozak, a pre-law undergraduate student, remarks, "There are very ambiguous terms used by panelists and presenters here at the United Nations. I learned quickly that in order to get specific information, it's important to take yourself out of your comfort zone, and ask the hard questions."
According to Zaid Chabaan, a student at the University of Michigan, "Our diverse group was very knowledgeable about the CSW's central topics -- they've really inspired me to not only continue participating in the Right to Life cause, but to also work to raise awareness in schools and college campuses about the issues of human rights at the UN."
Florencia Moye of the John Paul Institute in Mexico also plans to bring her experiences home with her. "A woman is more a woman when she shares her power. This experience has strongly inspired me to work hard sharing the cause of 'the family' to my students in Mexico, as well as in my personal life to my loved ones, family and friends."
The IYc representatives reported and photographed their United Nations experiences on the International Youth Coalition's blog iycoalition.org. They plan to keep writing on the blog after CSW has ended to continue the debate and discussion.