The Durban University of Technology’s (DUT), international student, Somtochukwu Edeh is thrilled to have been part of the 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women, which took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in March 2018.

Edeh who is a second year Information Technology (IT) student at DUT was the only undergraduate student participating in this international event, which was attended by representatives of Member States, UN entities, and ECOSOC-accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from all regions of the world.

The theme of this gathering was, “challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls.”

Edeh was seconded by the Pleasant Gathering Club of Nigeria in partnership with the Pan American Pan African Association to participate in this event. His trip was funded by DUT’s Research Office.

Edeh said participating in this event has exposed him to the broader challenges faced by women and the girl child within our society and globally. “This has given me more courage to advocate for the advancement of women empowerment because now I have a better understanding of challenges they are faced with,” said Edeh.

“Now I have a better understanding of issues such as psycho-social issues affecting women, early marriage, sexual slavery, physical abuse and unemployment,” said Edeh

He added that attending this event has also broadened his understanding of the role of the civil society when it comes to women and girl child issues.

“I was very inspired by some of the things that we learned from this conference, and I’m already conceptualizing a programme called 18 Lessons, which will be a talk show, where people who have been victimized or abused can share their experiences. Through this programme students can gain courage to also speak out about their experiences,” explained Edeh.

Pictured: Somtochukwu Edeh

Nduduzo Ndlovu

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