AAUW at the United Nations
As a nongovernmental organization, AAUW has special consultative status with the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. AAUW’s representatives attend briefings, organize events, and form coalitions to take action on women’s issues such as girls’ empowerment, human trafficking, and women’s opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
AAUW makes sure that U.N. policies include women and girls, signs on to relevant documents, submits research, and hosts parallel events for the Commission on the Status of Women.
Our Representatives at the United Nations
When AAUW’s U.N. representatives walk through those impressive assembly halls, they’re at work — attending briefings, organizing events, and forming coalitions to take action on women’s issues.
AAUW relies on a group of active members to represent us at the United Nations: a U.N. representative, two youth representatives, a former youth ambassador serving in an advisory capacity, and a girl advocate from the Working Group on Girls.
AAUW Main U.N. Representative
Melissa Guardaro has been the main AAUW U.N. representative since 2012. The former AAUW Rockland County (NY) Branch president cut her teeth doing international work at the branch level through programs like Great Decisions, and at the state level through discussions of Half the Sky and My Sister’s Keeper. She serves on the executive board of the Working Group on Girls and, for the past two years, has helped organize empowerment events for girls. A graduate of Fordham University in the Bronx with a bachelor’s in communications, Guardaro also has a master’s in marketing and real estate finance from Columbia University’s business school.
AAUW Youth Representative
Antoinette Gingerelli is a sophomore at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, studying political science and women’s and gender studies with a minor in Middle Eastern studies. She is an active member of Douglass Residential College, a women’s Leadership living-learning community at Rutgers, serving as a peer academic leader for the Human Rights House for the 2014–15 academic year. Antoinette is vice president of Douglass UNFPA (Friends of the United Nations Population Fund) and a research assistant in the Aresty Research Center. She became involved with AAUW through her attendance at the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) in 2014. Gingerelli is active in her community, serving as treasurer of Rutgers Women’s Political Caucus, public relations chair of the Rutgers Campus Coalition Against Trafficking, a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, a Democratic County Committeewoman for district 30 in her hometown, and a first degree Chodan black belt. Follow Gingerelli on Twitter to stay up to date on her work with AAUW.
Breaking news from AAUW’s team at the United Nations
Donya Nasser, one of AAUW’s first United Nations youth representatives, has been selected by the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA) and the U.S. Department of State to serve as the 2015–16 U.S. youth observer to the United Nations.
Nasser recently graduated from St. John’s University in New York City, where she made a commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative University and stayed active in AAUW as a member of the Student Advisory Council, an attendee at NCCWSL, and an AAUW U.N. youth representative.
In her role as U.S. youth observer to the U.N., Nasser will be attending high-level meetings and forums in addition to speaking to UNA-USA chapters across the country. She will also be blogging and tweeting about her experiences.
Be sure to follow Donya Nasser on Twitter @USYouthObserver for all her updates from the U.N.
Our United Nations Affiliations
AAUW has special consultative status with ECOSOC, which initiates reports, makes recommendations, and promotes respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Every year AAUW attends this two-week convening of member states, U.N. entities, and ECOSOC-accredited nongovernmental organizations from all regions of the world. Members and staff present AAUW research and programs that help women throughout the world break through barriers. The 57th meeting of the commission was dedicated to ending violence against women and girls.
UNA-USA is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to building understanding of and support for the ideals and work of the United Nations among the American people.
The U.S. National Committee for U.N. Women supports the mission of U.N. Women, which works toward social, political, and economic equality for women and girls around the world. Members and supporters are men, women, and children in cities around the country who give their time and resources to support a world where women of all ages have access to education and employment opportunities and sustainable livelihoods, enabling them to live free from gender-based violence.
This department works to advance the global agenda on women’s rights, gender equality, and the empowerment of women and to ensure that women’s voices are heard in international policy arenas.
AAUW participates in working groups at the United Nations including the Working Group on Girls.