Friday, September 12, 2008

AAUW: New U.N. Status

September 10, 2008
Contact: Lisa Goodnight, 202-785-7738,

AAUW Gains Special Consultative Status with U.N. Council
WASHINGTON – AAUW has gained special consultative status at the United Nations with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which initiates reports, makes recommendations, and promotes respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

For many years, AAUW has had a U.N. representative attending select meetings and monitoring issues affecting women and girls. The new designation allows AAUW to participate in international conferences, sign on to NGO statements, and share AAUW’s expertise.

“We closely follow a variety of international issues ranging from girls’ education to women’s economic security to human rights to women in peacekeeping,” said AAUW Executive Director Linda D. Hallman, CAE. “This new status will strengthen AAUW’s presence globally and provide us with greater opportunities to engage in U.N.-related activities and initiatives that break through barriers for women and girls.”

AAUW has a proud history in global affairs that includes awarding more than 2,200 international fellowships to women from more than 130 countries and partnering with leading international humanitarian organizations on initiatives to empower women.
Next year, AAUW will actively advocate for women at the 53rd session of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, which will focus on the equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men, including caregiving in the context of HIV/AIDS.

“AAUW can now advocate more effectively and support policies aimed at strengthening gender equality, especially in the areas of the economic, social, political, and reproductive health rights of women and girls,” said Carolyn Donovan, AAUW’s U.N. representative.
Currently, AAUW is encouraging its branches to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10 and to continue supporting ratification of the women’s rights treaty—the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

“AAUW members have long supported our efforts, from hosting international visitors to initiating forums and symposia on global issues pertinent to women and girls,” said Gloria L. Blackwell, AAUW’s director of fellowships, grants, and international programs. “We are thrilled that our role is expanding.”

AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research. Since 1881, AAUW has been one of the nation’s leading voices promoting education and equity for women and girls. It has a nationwide network of nearly 100,000 members, 1,300 branches, and 500 college/university institutional partners. Since its founding 127 years ago, AAUW has examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day—educational, social, economic, and political. AAUW’s commitment to educational equity is reflected in its public policy advocacy, community programs, leadership development, conventions and conferences, national partnerships, and international connections.

AAUW: Breaking through Barriers

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