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11 March 2021

DC for CEDAW: Gender Equity Coalition


Join UNA-NCA on Thursday, March 11 from 1:00-2:30pm ET for its DC for CEDAW Coalition Call. Register to attend here.

Through a coalition of organizations, institutions, universities, and individuals advocating for gender equity, our campaign seeks to have the principles of the Convention on the Discrimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) adopted into city legislature across the National Capital Area, starting with the District of Columbia. 

On March 11, we will brief new and potential coalition members on our primary objectives and opportunities to get involved, brainstorm strategies for effective engagement and mobilization, and contextualize local CEDAW implementation in the broader context of the fight for gender equity in DC and beyond.  

What is CEDAW? 
CEDAW is a human rights treaty passed in 1978 and signed by President Carter, but never ratified by the US Senate. This makes the US one of only six UN member states to have not ratified the treaty. The aim of Cities for CEDAW is to “Make the Global Local” and protect the rights of women and girls by adopting the principles of CEDAW in cities and towns across the United States. CEDAW offers a comprehensive international women’s human rights treaty as an overarching framework for advancing political and economic equality for women in the US at the local level; while at the same time elevating the important benefits from US ratification of the treaty at the federal level. Learn more about CEDAW here

Why CEDAW in DC? 
In 2015, UNA-NCA and coalition members successfully partnered with DC Councilman David Grosso to introduce a bill to: 

    • Amend the Office of Human Rights Establishment Act of 1999 to require that all District government agencies conduct gender analyses within their departments and require the Office of Human Rights to produce an annual report for the purpose of implementing a citywide action plan to ensure equality for women and girls in the economic, educational, political, social and cultural arenas pursuant to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women; 
    • Cited as the “Local Implementation of the Convention of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women Amendment Act of 2015”

However, a hearing about the bill (despite cosponsorships from all DC Councilmembers) was never scheduled. 

What does our bill call for? 
The key provisions of the 2015 bill are: 

    • District government agencies will be required to conduct gender analysis reporting according to the guidelines developed by the Office of Human Rights (OHR)
    • The gender analysis will include the collection of disaggregated data and an evaluation of gender equity in the District government agencies operations
    • Each agency will designate a management or executive level employee to serve as a liaison to the OHR and coordinate the completion of the gender analysis
    • OHR will develop timelines for completion of the gender analysis
    • Annually, OHR will develop a citywide action plan to address any deficiencies identified in the gender analysis reporting
    • OHR will present the annual action plan to the Mayor and monitor the implementation of the citywide action plan
    • OHR will make available to all District government agencies training in human rights with a gender perspective 

Register to attend here.

Please direct all inquiries to Shayna Vayser at shayna@unanca.org.  

18 March 2021

Women Leading Change: The Intersection of Faith & Empowerment

Join the Rumi Forum and UNA-NCA as they host a panel to explore the connection between faith and women empowerment with a particular focus on women leadership. This NGO Committee on the Status of Women (CSW) side event will highlight the potential of faith in efforts for women’s participation in decision making, elimination of violence, achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls within the framework of the SDGs. Panelists will shed a spotlight on the role of women leaders of faith as key stakeholders and entrepreneurs of change in achieving these goals. Jill Christianson, UNA-NCA Board Chair-Elect, will moderate the event. 
Speakers will include:
  • Dr. Semiha Topal, William & Mary University, Religious Studies, Visiting Assistant Professor
  • Samirah Majumdar, Pew Research Center, Research Associate
When: Thursday, March 18, 2:00-3:30pm
Where: Online
Cost: Free, but registration is required

21 March 2021

2021 Call for Nominations for UNA-NCA Officer and At-large Positions

According to Article X of UNA-NCA’s bylaws, the Governance Committee of the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA) will constitute itself in a Nominating Committee from time to time. The Nominating Committee invites UNA-NCA members to submit names of candidates, including themselves, for vacant officer and at-large positions on the UNA-NCA Board of Directors. The Nominating Committee is chaired by Vice Chair of Membership and Volunteer Engagement Kristen Hecht, and includes members from UNA-NCA’s Board of Directors and Advisory Council: Bailey Dinman, Judith Edstrom, Jordan Hibbs, Ambassador Steven McGann, and Dr. Iqbal Unus. Ex-officio members include Board Chair Stephen Moseley, Board Chair-Elect Jill Christianson, and President Paula Boland.

UNA-NCA's bylaws stipulate that each member who has been in good standing for the preceding year should be given the opportunity to submit the name of any member in good standing for nomination for any vacant office or for membership on the Board of Directors.

We invite your suggestions for nominees for the positions listed below. Names, contact information, and a 100-word statement of the nominee's qualifications should be submitted by the end of day on March 21, 2021 using this form

Because UNA-NCA elects officers in alternating years, there are many positions in which the incumbent is either completing a term or can remain in office for another term if re-elected. Current members on our Board of Directors who are eligible for a second term are asked to complete the nomination form to confirm their continued interest in the position. For current members on our Board of Directors who are completing their second term, Article IV of our bylaws indicate:

“Any Board member who serves two full consecutive three-year terms shall be ineligible for reelection as an at-large member until a year has elapsed after expiration of the second three-year term unless that Board member is a member of the Executive Committee of the Organization. Any Board member who has served two consecutive three-year terms may be reelected to fill a position as an officer of the Organization.” 

The Nominating Committee seeks candidates that include, but are not limited to, stakeholders from corporate, philanthropic, government, foreign policy, international relations and academic leadership. The committee also seeks nominees that will bring a diverse range of perspectives and represent attributes across many dimensions, including race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, education, socioeconomic class, and geographic region. UNA-NCA seeks to create a balance of individuals on the Board of Directors who are already engaged with the organization (e.g. committee members and leaders, volunteers, supporters, etc.) and those who may be able to offer outside perspectives, experiences, and expertise.

After consideration by the Nominating Committee and voting on by UNA-NCA’s membership, the election results will be presented at the Annual Membership Meeting on June 15th. 

Officers (two-year term)

Vice Chair of Communications
Vice Chair of Development
Vice Chair of Finance & Treasurer
Vice Chair of Membership & Volunteer Engagement
Vice Chair of Programs
Vice Chair of Strategy & Operations
Vice Chair of Young Professionals
Student Representative (one-year term)

Members-at-large of the Board of Directors (three-year term)

Eight positions open.

The Officers (UNA-NCA Executive Committee) meet every other month and are expected to commit 5-10 hours a week to the organization. The Officers and Directors at large are expected to attend and participate in Board of Directors meetings (minimum of four per year).

According to the bylaws, Board members define the strategic direction for UNA-NCA to fulfill financial and managerial oversight responsibilities,  volunteer time to UNA-NCA Committees, recruit members, help to identify new funding sources, assist in fundraising, and make annual gifts that represent significant and meaningful commitment, with full appreciation for the person's financial ability and other obligations.

The Board has adopted an annual contribution policy of $500 ($200 from each Board member and $300 “give or get”). The policy enables every Board member to be recognized as a Global Citizen in the UNA-NCA Annual Report. Board participation and compliance with this policy will be taken into account by the Governance Committee. 

If you have any questions about the positions vacant please do not hesitate to contact Nominating Committee Chair Kristen Hecht at KHecht@unanca.org  and President Paula Boland at paula@unanca.org or at 202.223.6092.