Gill is a student at Memorial University, and was joined by Grace Hollett of Mount Pearl to attend the session in New York City. Both are members of the Canadian Federation of University Women.
This was Gill’s second year attending the commission, and she says it’s been a life-changing experience each time.
“Last year was the first time I attended, and I was completely overwhelmed with emotion that I was standing in the General Assembly building of the United Nations, not as a tourist, but as someone who could participate and help better the world,” said Gill. “It’s amazing to hear people from all over the world discuss issues that are facing their communities, to see different perspectives on issues, and to meet people of all different backgrounds from all over the world.”
The Canadian Federation of University Women is a voluntary, self-funded organization, with clubs and members located across Canada.
In order to attend the commission in New York, members of the CFUW were to submit applications, of which 20 would be chosen for the trip.
All 20 members of the CFUW that attended the 61st edition of the event last month participated in discussions, alongside federal government representatives.
The priority theme of this year’s commission was women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work, which Gill felt was very relatable, as a university student preparing to enter the workforce.
Gill explained that there were several groups and talking sessions at the commission revolved around the priority theme, where people could gather to discuss various related topics. Gill said there were particular panels at the commission that piqued her interest, including one presented by the Government of Denmark and the Government of the UK about sexual assault, a panel about engaging men in feminism and a panel about the dangers faced by indigenous women when relocating to urban centres.
Gill told The Compass that she feels this commission is important for women across the world, including Newfoundland.
“I think that this event is relevant to women all over the world. It is great to hear about issues faced in other parts of the world and how to get involved,” said Gill, “to hear about initiatives being implemented in other countries and then think about how to bring those concepts home with you, and to network with people involved in issues that women are facing.”
Gill said she learned a lot during her time in New York City, and is looking forward to applying those lessons to her daily life.