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YWCA Canada voices at the UNCSW68 | From Halifax to New York: Through the eyes of Thauana Morais 

Published on 07/05/2024 by Thauana Morais

Read: 2min

Thauana Morais, YWCA Halifax’s Entrepreneurship Program Coordinator, joined YWCA Canada’s delegation for this year’s United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW). With determination, she passed through the doors of the United Nations to share her own experiences from YWCA Halifax. 

The United Nations largest annual gathering on gender equality and women’s empowerment is a call on systemic thinking! As an early-stage tech entrepreneur, community builder, and educator, being part of this global gathering is an experience on so many levels.

My journey to the Commission on the Status of Women 68 (CSW68) was driven by a desire to connect with a broader community beyond my usual sphere in Halifax. Engaging with diverse voices from the not-for-profit, government, and private sectors is motivating. 

During the first days of the event, I understood that what unites us all at CSW was a shared commitment to advocacy and the exchange of best practices in advancing gender equality worldwide. Also, embracing a global mindset is essential in tackling complex issues like the gender gap. CSW is a platform to learn from and connect with decision-makers and advocates worldwide. One of the lessons I learned was to validate my approaches and practices on an international level. 

As an entrepreneurship program coordinator, empowering others to navigate the entrepreneurial ecosystem is a core part of my role. Participating in CSW has not only expanded my own opportunities and connections, but also enriched my ability to guide others towards success. 

The multidisciplinary ollaboration at CSW68 was tremendous, reinforcing my belief that human centered ecosystem building will provide foundations for success. The more we reinforce “ego-systemic” colonial approaches that are engrained in our societies, the longer all of us will suffer from inequalities. 

Several folks in my network have already expressed their wish to have the same opportunity. However, my representation carries a weight of possibilities for others in Canada facing similar barriers. At the same time, my representation signifies more than a professional achievement—it’s a call to action. Having a “foot at the door” means that there’s much more work to be done to ensure that other BIPOC professionals have the chance to participate in crucial conversations. Our presence is vital in shaping policies and practices that promote equity and inclusion. It’s a reminder of the resilience and determination within our communities. 

CSW also offered a stark realization of the privileges that shape our world. I acknowledge the privilege of accessing the United Nations grounds. Not everyone has the means and connections to seize such opportunities. My presence underscores the importance of organizations like YWCA Halifax and others from the movement in creating spaces for diverse voices. 

Being part of the YWCA Canada delegation brought validation and recognition for the impactful work we do as community builders. In all rooms I’ve been to, Canada’s “reputation” for advancing gender equality on both policy and practical levels resonates globally, and more BIPOC participation amplifies this commitment. 

My role in the YWCA Canada delegation symbolizes a small breakthrough in power and privilege—a recognition that opportunities like these are not easily attained for individuals like myself, but also a reminder of the importance of advocating for inclusivity and representation at every level. 

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