Ros at the UN
On March 19th 2018, CCI’s Professor Rosalind Gill addressed the United Nations 62nd Commission on the Status of Women in New York. The Commission was established the year after the end of the second world war and is the principal global intergovernmental body dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. Professor Gill spoke at an historic meeting organized by the UK’s Government Equalities Office and the National Alliance of Women’s Organizations – the first time that a joint Government and civil society event has taken place. Professor Gill joined a panel of three others from India, Nigeria and Bulgaria to discuss the Commission’s review theme on women, media and information and communication technologies.
Speaking to a packed room of international delegates, Professor Gill discussed the topic of ‘sexualization’, arguing that the discussions about it have become more complex in the wake of the global campaigns about Me Too and Time’s Up, shifting debates from a concern with morals to one focussed on power relations. She also drew attention to some of the newer issues facing women such as online hate speech, trolling, sexting and revenge porn that rarely get discussed under the heading ‘sexualization’. Finally she argued for the need for an approach that is both ‘sex positive and anti-sexism’, that can turn away from the fear and shame surrounding sexuality to fashion more open and inclusive education for girls and young women across the world.
Professor Gill said: ‘It was an honour and a privilege to take part in the Commission on the Status of Women. Despite frustrations about the slow pace of progress, the UN remains central to helping to build a more fair and equal world. CSW is extraordinary for the wealth and diversity of the voices it brings together and the opportunity to have genuinely transnational conversations.’