Nicolls to speak on gender equality panel at New York event

Noelle Khalila Nicolls Gender Equality 0 Comments

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I’m back on the speaking tour; this time I’m headed to New York City. I was invited to speak at an event on equality and nationality laws during the high profile United Nations meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). At the event, I will be representing a local, civil society organization, Citizens for Constitutional Equality, which I supports as part of my community service.

The event on March 12, 2015 will be hosted by the Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights, an initiative of the Women’s Refugee Commission; an international, non-governmental organization (NGO). This is the first time a civil society member of the Bahamas national delegation has been invited to be a speaker at an NGO Side Event. Unfortunately I am no longer on the national delegation.

The Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights is a coalition of international and national organizations that promotes gender equality in nationality laws so that women and men can confer, acquire, change and retain their nationality on an equal basis. The campaign includes a Steering Committee of Equality Now, Equal Rights Trust, the Institute on Statelessness and inclusion, UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), UN Women and Women’s Refugee Commission.

It is a great opportunity for me to be invited to speak at this NGO Parallel Event. There is always a need for more voices particularly from civil society to engage in constructive conversations about the rights of citizens and to assist the government in public education on these issues. As a private individual I am passionate about human rights and women’s rights and participation in this event is a great honour.

At CSW the government of The Bahamas will present an official status report. The 70 members of the national delegation are financing their own way. However, they have been accredited by the government to attend the events at the United Nations.

Outside of those events in their personal time, members of the delegation representing a cross-section from government and civil society will attend side events held independently by non-governmental organizations. These events are designed for civil society/non-governmental participation. While the Minister is the only person who speaks on behalf of the government at these events, other members of the delegation ask questions and engage in Q&A in their personal capacities.

At this point I am still not certain if I going to still be on the delegation when I reach New York, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. For now, I am just excited about the honour to be speaking at this side event.

Update (3/8/15): I am no longer on the national delegation.

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