Attending the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations Headquarters with American Mothers Inc. was the reason for my first trip to New York City. I was excited to meet other attendees from around the world, and learn about the issues facing women in their respective countries.
Something I really enjoyed was the desire of the other attendees to meet new people. I started my first day of the session standing in quite a long line to get my badge to access the sessions at the UN. What could have been a really bothersome part of the trip turned out to be a blessing. I met a delightful woman from the Middle East who I later had the opportunity to spend more time with at dinner. These kinds of connections reiterated my belief that no matter where we’re from, friendship and kindness are a universal language.
There are numerous panels to attend during the sessions, and it’s hard to pick and choose as they all look fascinating. One of the panels that stood out to me on the first day was Women in Media put on by the Netherlands. I really enjoyed hearing from Edith Lederer about how she broke through barriers as the first female reporter to cover news from war zones for the Associated Press. She was a very inspirational speaker.
That evening at our hotel, we happened to be sitting at a table next to the Former French President Francois Hollande. One of our AMI members spoke fluent French, and asked him if we could get a photo together. He asked what organization we were with, and I appreciated a comment he made about the importance of mothers.
I was able to attend a panel discussion titled Mental Health: Break the Silence, Reduce Inequalities & Promote Social Inclusion. There were several standout speakers at this panel, but the founder of Global Girl Power really had an amazing story to tell. She had been a child bride in India. She now lives in Canada, and no longer lives in the previous situation. She works to unite women through the mission of Global Girl Power, a “global movement committed to the empowerment of women, girls and youth through leadership training, mentorship.”
What I most took away from my experience attending the Commission on the Status of Women at the UN is that no matter where we as women come from, we all want the same things. We want our voices to be heard in the decision making of our governments, and we want to have safe living conditions for ourselves and our families. May we keep striving for this until all women have it.
Emily Brooks is an artist, small business owner, philanthropist, and model in Fargo, ND. She launched the business Taea Made in 2012, and she serves as Director of Marketing for Fargo Pinball, which she has owned with her husband and brother-in-law since 2015. She is a Teacher of Therapeutic Art for the Psychiatric Intensive Outpatient Program for The Village Family Service Center. Emily also writes travel articles for Creek Living Magazine.Emily is a member of The Arts Partnership, Pride of Dakota Network, and former president of FM Modern Sewing Guild. Emily graduated from the University of North Dakota with a B.A. in Communication. Emily was recognized as North Dakota’s Mother of the Year in 2018.