Grace Ochieng' '12, of Rongo, Kenya, will will gain experience in the art of advocacy as a delegate to the annual Commission on the Status of Women meetings, to be held from February 22 through March 4 at United Nations headquarters in New York City.
Ochieng' is one of 23 women students chosen from across the nation to participate in the Practicum in Advocacy at the United Nations, a week-long program which offers an opportunity to observe how the UN works to address issues requiring multilateral engagement and coordinated action between governments and civil society groups. This year, the Commission's priority theme is "access and participation of women and girls in education, training, science and technology." They will also review work from last year's theme, focusing on "the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against girl children."
Ochieng's temporary delegate status will allow her to attend official and non-government organization (NGO) sessions, and contribute to the official documentation of both official and NGO meetings. She must also create an advocacy project when she returns to the St. Lawrence campus.
The practicum on the Commission on the Status of Women is sponsored by the Center for Women's Health and Human Rights at Suffolk University, Boston; the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and the National Women's Studies Association, with assistance from Physicians for Human Rights.
A previous recipient of a Projects for Peace grant, Ochieng' also recently was awarded a travel enrichment grant, to study in Chile for the spring 2011 semester, at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso. In Chile, she will interview women about their movements during Pinochet's rule, and she also plans travel to and study in Argentina, to learn more about the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, and the group's activist strategies. She is a global studies and government major, with a minor in Spanish.
Posted: February 4, 2011