On Feb. 28 of this year, Women’s NC held it’s 10th annual Localto-Global forum.It’s an opportunity for the organization to speak on its success gathering North Carolinian support for The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), a treaty that outlines the various forms of discrimination women face and seeks to eliminate them. The forum also gives graduate students the opportunity to present their research and underline the key reasons why CEDAW is necessary.
Women’s NC is an accredited Non-Governmental Organization working in conjunction with the United Nations, specifically acting as a consultant on women’s issues, from grassroots to global. The organization’s role both on the local and international stages makes it a unique platform for young women to speak, and that was certainly the case at the Local-to-Global forum. One of the central topics of the dinner was the intersectionality between women’s issues and racial issues. Young scholars, alongside Women’s NC representatives, presented their research into core issues in the state of North Carolina, ranging from menstruation to immigration problems for women into our state. Dr. Wendee Wechsberg, director of the RTI Global Gender Center and the panel moderator of the forum, noted, “we have to talk about things that are uncomfortable” as she opened the forum for presentations.
However, these scholars came from all but one of Women’s NC’s partner colleges. Young women from Duke, NCSU, UNC and Bennett College, but not one student from Meredith College presented on stage. Although Meredith is in partnership with Women’s NC, and there were Meredith students attending the dinner, there was a distinct lack of angelic presence at the forum’s microphone. Elaine Marshall, North Carolina’s Secretary of State, was present at the dinner as well, and one comment from her hit a little too close to home. She said, “There isn’t a lack of awareness, there is a lack of action.” Meredith College is already in partnership with Women’s NC, and now is the time to become active on the local and global stages. Meredith is Going Strong, and to keep that momentum, it’s our responsibility to make everyone else Strong with us. To find out more about the leadership training, research programs, volunteer opportunities and other ways to become involved with Women’s NC and CEDAW, visit www.womennc.org.
By Savi Swiggard, Staff Writer