Alyssa Mouton heads to U.N. to learn advocacy skills at Commission on the Status of Women Conference
Alyssa Mouton (MPP/MPH '14) will gain experience in the art of advocacy at a practicum held March 8 – March 15, 2014 in conjunction with meetings of the United Nation's Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the principal global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to gender equality and the advancement of women. Mouton is one of 20 women students chosen from across the nation to participate in the practicum, which offers an opportunity to observe how the United Nations works to address issues requiring multilateral engagement and coordinated action.
The practicum is sponsored by the Center for Women's Health and Human Rights at Suffolk University, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and the National Women's Studies Association. Participants will gain temporary delegate status, attend official and non-government organization sessions, and contribute to the official documentation of meetings. Mouton will also be required to create an advocacy project when she returns to the University of Michigan campus.
"We teach the women how important citizen engagement is," said Laura Roskos, co-president of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and activist in residence at the Center for Women's Health and Human Rights. She and Amy Agigian the Center's founding director, serve as faculty. "They figure out the ropes, learn how to network with NGOs, meet government officials and participate in turning specific proposals into documents that can be adopted by U.N. bodies. This success empowers them to engage in successful civic campaigns in their home environments."
This will be the third practicum at the Commission on the Status of Women. The CSW focuses on gender equality and the advancement of women, with the U.N. drawing representatives of governments to address the problems facing women around the world. This year more than 4,000 registered representatives from NGOs will lobby the delegates about current issues and work to put new ideas on the table.