By Annamaria Notaristefano, delegate of the World Student Christian Federation from the Student Christian Movement of Italy 

I knew that taking part in this CSW was something important but I didn’t know that it would be something great and even more than important. When I started to get into the work and understand the mechanism, I have to be honest, I was afraid. My fears were if I would be able to meet the expectations. The first day I only received and I had the sense of being useless at the Commission. But thanks to my new friends and to our leaders I started to feel more confident and so I started to give my contribution.

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Participating at this Commission is for me a change to be an active person who really cares about violence against women and girls. I was already aware about violence against women and girls but it was only a general overview. Attending at the parallel events trained and informed me more. Taking part in the UN work made me aware about how things can change and how often there are conflicts between member states and the NGO’s instead of collaboration.

I was in the conference room when the member states all declared that they had the will to empower and keep the fight against the violence against women and girls. But the facts are that they do very little. They are ashamed to tell the UN that there are little (or none at all) funds to invest in education and support. They are ashamed to tell to the UN that the economic crisis has forced them to cut welfare and social projects and support to the NGO’s.

But the worst thing is listening to a speaker declare that NGO’s should stay at their place and not to speak up, above all against the work of the member states and that the UN shouldn’t allow this behaviour. This means that to the NGO, little space is given. Our mission is also to keep up the fight against this vicious mechanism, a mechanism of lies and injustice. We must speak up! We must go and fight.

A testimony was shared at the International Women’s Day march. In spite of the bad weather and the snow we shouted that we are tired of injustice, inequality and violence.

Through all these things, my will to keep fight is become more passionate and the advocacy is because for me a method and an inspiration of how to work on these topics and try (at least) to give my personal contribute to this fight (war).