Nova Scotia Voice of Women in New York for UN workshops

The group attended a number of workshops at the 60th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women that allow women from around the world to network and discuss shared challenges, including one about stopping violence against aboriginal women.

The 60th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women a chance to network

Rachele Conway at the United Nations. (Submitted by Rachele Conway)

A group of women from the Nova Scotia Voice of Women for Peace — a group founded by the late Muriel Duckworth, a peace activist — are in New York this week for the 60th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations.

This year's conference theme is women's empowerment and its link to sustainable development. 

The group attended a number of workshops that allow women from around the world to network and discuss shared challenges, including one about stopping violence against aboriginal women.

"They're really successful in lowering levels of violence in urban centres in Australia," says Sarah Morgan, a director at NS-VOW.

"There's a lot of education for families, and they talk about how colonization has been the cause of a lot of violence. They get into the root causes. I was really impressed."

New perspective on Canada

Meghan Doucette and Rachele Conway, both 24, were part of the delegation. 

Doucette is a 2015 graduate of Dalhousie with a degree in management, majoring in environment, sustainability and society. Conway is in her final year of history with a minor in psychology.

Doucette was struck by a workshop that gave her a new perspective on her own country. 

"One thing that really stood out for me is that Canada spends millions of dollars in the cadet program every year, but we don't have any program for youth to take that's involved with peace." 

Conway's big takeaway was from a workshop called Who Profits on the Exploitation of Women's Bodies, which featured a discussion of issues around pornography. 

"The statistics that stood out to me included the average age of a young boy who starts watching pornography is 11 years old, and that age is getting younger."

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