Updated: Jul 7
The UN Women was created by the UN General Assembly as the United Nations Entity for the Gender Quality and the Empowerment of Women in July 2010. In 2015 the UN set itself a list of “Sustainable Development Goals” as a part of the Agenda 2030, which include Goal Number five as “Gender equality” and Number ten “Reduce inequality”. The UN Women supports UN Member States as they set global standards for achieving gender equality and works with governments and civil society to design laws, policies, programs and services needed to ensure that the standards are effectively implemented and truly benefit women and girls worldwide.
The topic of the UN Women at the OLMUN conference 2021 was “Promoting the Importance of Self-Determination of Women”. The committee was chaired by Pia Niederhoff and Marlene Möller.
The committee talked about abortion and the question of how far doctors can and have to be involved in the process. One more main topic of the UN Women was the FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) especially in countries like Somalia.
The FGM is a procedure in which the female genitals are cut off, injured or changed without a medical reason for it. It is estimated that about 200 million girls and women worldwide have had such a procedure and every year 3 million girls are facing the risk. Until today it is still practiced in at least 92 countries and poses a serious threat with severe short- and long-term consequences for women.
All member states of the EU have criminalized FGM since 2013, in the USA FGM is only federally regulated (as opposed to regulated by the state) since 2021 and Canada, Australia and New Zealand all have anti-FGM legislation. Contrasting that there are no specific laws or legal provisions against FGM in Asia or Latin America and in the Middle East only Iraq and Oman have anti-FGM laws. But just because there is an official law against FGM in a country, it doesn’t mean that it is not happening.
The delegates debated about the necessity of inaugurating a prohibition against FGM as suggested in a resolution. The discussion was intense due to the many different views depending on the belief of each individual delegation and there was a lot of pondering back and forth between submitted amendments and counter-amendments.
Another point of the committee’s debate was how prices for menstruation products can be cut. Additionally, the question if inequality and unequal opportunities for women are just a problem in non-industrialized countries or if that issue is relevant all around the world apart from the economic situation of a country emerged.
Because of the pandemic everything in the committee was a bit more difficult. But even though the UN WOMEN was an online committee and one can think the OLMUN would be less interesting online, the meetings were quite easygoing and funny too. It had happened that the chairs called each other by their own name and the committee’s ghost was a memorable phenomenon too. The ghost came late for every meeting and didn’t take part in any discussion. Moreover, the person stayed in the meeting room alone after everyone left. No one knows how they look like, because the camera was turned off.
In the end of the OLMUN week the Chairs read out loud the gossip box with a lot of cute compliments for them. In the “Speech of Thanks’’ it was said that despite COVID-19 it is important to maintain organizations like the OLMUN and to talk about recent relevant topics that need attention. The committee was very positive about the whole system of simulating the United Nations and motivated first-time delegates to keep participating in the next years in order to grow with it. All in all, the UN WOMEN was a success and helped to bring awareness to social and political issues such as the Self-Determination of Women.