Monday, March 4, 2013

Yesterday I attended the Consultation Day for the United National Commission on the Status of Women.  It was a unique opportunity as I do not have a UN badge or am not a representative of a non-governmental organization.  I went because of my class called Experiencing the UN that I am taking with the College of Education, in the Comparative and International Education Program at Lehigh University ( was volunteering for the day.  I was able to meet and interact with many  of the participants as I greeted them outside to   Because of my previous work with gender-based violence prevention, I found this year’s theme- prevention of violence against women and girls (VAW) to be especially engaging and was thankful that I was able to sit in on some of the sessions throughout the day.  I found two of the speakers from the day especially engaging. 

The first was Ms. Mallika Dutt, CEO of Breakthrough. (  The biggest campaign of her group was Bell Bajao or Ring the Bell (video- It focuses on bystander invention by ringing a doorbell to distract men in potential violent situations of domestic violence.  They have a series of videos that have gone viral.  I had actually seen one before so it was great to hear the CEO of the organization speak.  In addition, I got to meet her and there is a picture of us together below.  The great thing about the campaign is that it that they are expanding it to men.  On March 8, 2013 (International Women’s Day), Breakthrough is launching a campaign tied to Ring the Bell called One Million Men- One Million Promises.  It is a way for men to engage in the movement to end violence against women. 

The second woman was Ms. Nancy Schwartzman (  She made a movie called The Line where she tells her story about not being the “perfect” victim of sexual assault and how she came to terms of being a survivor, not a victim.  In it, she examines where people draw “the line” for consent and shows how multiple forces contribute to the rape culture that exists here in the United States.  In addition, she also created the app called Circle of 6 and has won several awards for it.  The app allows an individual to reach out to their “circle of 6” friends when they need help.  They can ask for advice, a ride, or have someone call you for an interruption.  It uses GPS to tell friends where the user is even if he or she may not know and gives the user resources to national hotlines or by location. 

I am a woman who is growing up in the age of technology.  The internet was invented when I was six years old.  I own an iPhone, have a Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest account.  I watch You Tube videos as a pastime.  I do my research online instead of in a library.  I am in the technical age and the fact that these two women were able to capture that was really exciting for me.  

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