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United Nations event sharpens Renee's focus on human rights violations

Published:24 March 2016

CQUni Global Voices delegate Renee White pictured TOP (right) at the United Nations, BELOW LEFT with campaigner against domestic violence Rosie Batty, and BELOW RIGHT with Caitlin Wilson (Deputy Head of Mission to the United Nations, New York) and Amy Coetzee (Global Voices, CEO).

CQUniversity Public Health student Renee White recently visited New York to attend the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW60).

The Ingham-based student was part of a Global Voices delegation co-sponsored by CQUniversity.

"Over the course of five days I sat in on some incredible side and parallel events run by women from all over the world," Renee says.

"CSW60 was basically a lot of events being run by different governments, some in conjunction with each other, talking about issues that were relevant to their countries and what they were doing to combat that.

"I attended a lot of sessions, addressing the gender pay gap, abortion, the legality of prostitution, and child marriage.

"There were many powerful speakers who taught me a lot about issues I was not necessarily aware of, and made me question what I am doing to begin to address these human rights violations.

"It was a good opportunity to compare the plight of Indigenous women of our country (which is my area of research and interest) and that of Indigenous women of other countries - in particular Canada, where Indigenous women are suffering a disproportionate rate of murder and rape compared to the non-indigenous population.

"Seeing that megastar Canadian politician PM Trudeau has appointed an Indigenous woman as Minister for Justice has given me hope that Australia can begin to make an equally strong commitment to Indigenous equality.

"As part of this event I was required to write a research paper about something pertaining to women in Australia.

"As the wife of an Aboriginal man and the mother of two Aboriginal daughters, the status of Indigenous women in Australia is something I worry about daily as my daughters grow up. And so, I wrote my research paper about suggestions for how to advance the place of Indigenous women in Australian society through education."

LINK for Renee's research paper http://globalvoices.org.au/research/2016/3/16/renee-white and her Blog is available via https://reneewhitepbhl13003.wordpress.com/ .

* Founded in 2011, Global Voices is a public policy and international affairs non-profit organisation with a mission to provide opportunities for young Australians to engage with international policy. Global Voices partners with Australia's leading universities to provide fully funded delegations for young people to participate in the world's most prestigious summits. Our delegations have travelled to forums including the World Bank & IMF, the OECD and the United Nations. Global Voices delegates receive exclusive access and exposure to high level foreign policy negotiations as well as the opportunity to meet and network with business leaders, Australia government representatives and international decision makers.