Through AAUW’s special consultative status with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, we attend briefings, organize events, and participate in coalitions to take action on issues that impact girls and women: access to education and training, women’s economic security, opportunities in STEM, ending human trafficking and working with Commission on the Status of Women.
AAUW International Impact
We work to advance equality for women across the globe. Barriers still keep education, security and economic vitality out of reach for millions. Support and access to resources, education, health care and job opportunities are essential to give women pathways to thrive.
AAUW has awarded fellowships to more than 3,500 women in more than 150 countries.
We also work closely with the United Nations and U.S. Department of State to improve the status of women throughout the world.
AAUW Special Consultative Status with U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs
AAUW UN Representatives
Gloria L. Blackwell, AAUW UN Main Representative and Senior Vice President of Fellowships and Programs
Before joining AAUW in 2004 she was the director of Africa education programs at the Institute of International Education (IIE) managing multiple girls’ education programs in sub-Saharan Africa. She also managed fellowships programs during her decade at IIE and has held positions as a Peace Corps staff member and volunteer in Africa. She holds a master’s degree in education and human development from George Washington University, a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from Georgetown University, and studied at the American University of Paris. Gloria is committed to supporting opportunities and advancement for women and girls globally. Follow @AAUWGloriaB on Twitter.
Raina Mckoen, AAUW United Nations Youth Representative
Raina is a student at Lehigh University, pursuing studies in international relations and French. She is passionate about gender equality, global affairs, and animal rights, and looks forward to bringing her passion and AAUW’s mission to the United Nations. Her hobbies include hiking, reading, art and travel.
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.
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the UN body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. It is key in promoting women’s rights, providing data on the status of women’s lives around the world, and implementing strategies on gender equality and the empowerment of women. Every year AAUW attends this two-week convening of member states, UN entities, and ECOSOC-accredited nongovernmental organizations from all regions of the world.
For two weeks in March, the UN turns the focus of the United Nations toward gender-related issues worldwide. At the same time, civil society is given the opportunity to participate in the NGO (nongovernmental organization) CSW Forum. Joining thousands of women representing more than 100 nations, AAUW UN representatives, staff, and members present AAUW research and programs that help girls and women advance throughout the world.
The Department of Public Information (DPI) was established in 1946 to promote global awareness and understanding of the work of the United Nations. DPI undertakes this goal through radio, television, print, the internet, video conferencing, and other media tools.
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.
CoNGO is an independent, international, and nonprofit membership association of nongovernmental organizations whose objective is to secure, safeguard, and facilitate the participation and consultative relationships of NGOs in United Nations decision making, conferences, and debates.
AAUW participates in working groups at the United Nations, including the Working Group on Girls.
International Visitor Leadership Program
AAUW partners with and regularly hosts groups from the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program.
Good Global Citizens
Global competence helps all of us to be better citizens who understand global issues and their implication to the world we want our children to inherit.
AAUW Leadership Role in Creating the U.N.
AAUW board member, Barnard College President and founder of the International Federation of University Women (now know as Graduate Women International (GWI)) Virginia Gildersleeve was one of eight official U.S. delegates – and the only woman – appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945 to the United Nations Conference on International Organization (UNCIO) (the San Francisco Conference). That event was pivotal for post World War II negotiations and resulted in the establishment of the United Nations.
Gildersleeve stated “I do represent our women, but I hope I also represent my fellow citizens as a whole. Women the world over are determined to prevent another war, though we must not talk as if fathers minded less than women when their sons are killed in battle.”
She noted her appreciation of AAUW with its many branches and “disciplined and intelligent membership” to make a contribution to the restoration of education and community in post-war life.