Global Connections

International Impact

AAUW works to advance equality for women and girls across the globe. Barriers still keep education, economic security and leadership 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 and grants to 13,000 women in more than 150 countries. Our work also supports and is aligned with UN Women, the UN, the U.S. Department of State and multiple global coalitions to improve the status of women and girls throughout the world. 

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 2023

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime marks July 30 as World Day Against Trafficking in Persons to raise awareness and strengthen global efforts for the prevention and elimination of human trafficking. The 2023 theme, “Reach every victim of trafficking, leave no one behind,” centers survivors in these efforts.

Leave No One Behind: Combatting Global Human Trafficking

AAUW Chief Executive Officer Gloria L. Blackwell was joined by AAUW fellowships expert alumna Dr. Laura Dean, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Human Trafficking Research Lab at Millikin University, for an informative discussion on work to combat human trafficking globally and in the United States. 

68th UN Commission on the Status of Women/NGO Committee on the Status of Women

The 68th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women and NGO Committee on the Status of Women Forum review theme centered on social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

March 20, 2024

AAUW Parallel Event: “Busting Myths & Enhancing Support: Advancing Workplace Success for Women

AAUW’s virtual parallel event, moderated by Gloria L. Blackwell, featured a panel of three outstandingAAUW fellowships & grants alumnae—Emilia Brito, Dr. Nell Lake, and Dr. Sriparna Ghosh. Panelistsdiscussed the critical importance of policies that advance work and life, including affordable childcare,paid family and medical leave, flexible work schedules, and strategies to advance women’s economicsecurity.

AAUW Special Consultative Status with U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs

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, including  access to education and training, leadership, women’s economic security, opportunities in STEM, ending human trafficking and working with the NGO Committee on the Status of Women and the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

AAUW UN Representatives

Gloria Blackwell

Gloria L. Blackwell, AAUW Chief Executive Officer and UN Main Representative

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 and learn more about her here.

Kyra Szabo, AAUW United Nations Youth Representative

Kyra Szabo is a junior at Lehigh University, majoring in global studies with a double minor in business and anthropology. At Lehigh, Kyra is a global social impact fellow working on food production to fight malnutrition and stunted growth in Sierra Leone. Kyra is dedicated to ensuring that every person, no matter their gender or socioeconomic status, is given equal access and opportunities for success.

Zahra Hassan, AAUW United Nations Youth Representative

Zahra Hassan is a junior at Lehigh University majoring in political science. She is from East Lyme, Connecticut and has always had a passion for equity for women, which she hopes to advance through her work with AAUW.

From left to right: Gloria Blackwell, Kyra Szabo, and Zahra Hassan at Lehigh University
October 2022

Lehigh University

In October 2022, AAUW UN youth representatives Kyra Szabo and Zahra Hassan welcomed CEO Gloria Blackwell to the Lehigh University campus in Bethlehem, PA. The youth representatives organized and led an engaging panel discussion—featuring Gloria alongside Lehigh faculty and staff—on gender pay equity, economic justice, and the care economy. During her visit, Gloria connected with Lehigh students Jordyn Pykon and Mackenzie Lynch to discuss AAUW’s partnership with Lehigh and the vital importance of youth perspectives and voices in global issues.

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 and staff present AAUW research and programs that help girls and women advance throughout the world.

Watch AAUW’s parallel event at the 67th NGO CSW Forum, “Tech Power to Economic Power: Closing the Digital Gender Gap.” 

The Civil Society Unit is within the Outreach Division in the United Nations Department of Global Communications (DGC). The Civil Society Unit develops partnerships with civil society organizations (CSOs) and enhances the engagement of CSOs with the UN through informational briefings, events, and programs. 

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.

IVLP program attendees and AAUW staff

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.

A Global Commitment

“Along with our international fellowships, which AAUW has been awarding for over a century, we really have been engaged as an organization in international gender equity issues for as long as the organization has been around. … One of the things that we want to constantly demonstrate is that we do have a commitment not only to gender equity for those in our own country, but our commitment spans the globe.”