UNCSW Update

March 30, 2020
By: 
Isabelle Watkins, Julia Chester Emery Intern

Today I am grateful for the people who step up.

Three weeks ago, I was supposed to step on a plane to New York City for the annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. My plans were made, my hotel was booked, and my bags were almost packed. For months I had been joining conference calls with staff and delegates traveling to UNCSW on behalf of the Episcopal Church. We had spoken at length about the role that we would play in advocating for the equal and just treatment of women and girls, conversations that largely played around the Beijing Declaration and the Presiding Bishop’s written statement on UNCSW. I was excited to take place in such an important and transformative event and to be surrounded by the type of people who step up in the name of gender equality. 

Three days before my flights to New York, UNCSW was postponed due to coronavirus. While I wasn’t in complete dismay, I was certainly shocked and disappointed. Covid-19 was beginning to creep into the U.S. but only to the extent that it was something to be aware of, not something that would alter everything. An event that is incredibly important and relevant, an event that I had been looking forward to for months was all of the sudden postponed - at this point, there weren’t even any confirmed cases in New York. I trusted that the right decision had been made, but at that point I knew it certainly wasn’t an easy one to make. 

Three weeks later, I am so grateful for the people who stepped up and made that call. I am grateful for those who spent all year preparing for UNCSW who were humble enough to step up and put the safety of others first. I am grateful for the UNCSW Episcopal Church Delegates and Staff who have stepped up and recognized that the work of UNCSW can be and should be done where they are now, not just at UNCSW. I am grateful for people who step up in the name of women and girls everywhere. 

Today I am grateful for the people who step up in light of coronavirus, in light of women, in light of things that matter. Thank you for stepping up.