Women's Leadership and Political Participation - Economic Empowerment -  
Ending Violence Against Women - Peace and Security - Governance and National Planning - Post-2015 Development Agenda and SDGs
(Sustainable Development Goals) - HIV and AIDS
President's Message

A warm hello to everyone!

The few months since I took office have been a whirlwind of activity! In August, I traveled to Oslo, Norway to meet with UN Women national committee leaders from around the globe. After a productive few days of exchanging ideas, we all returned to our home countries filled with new ideas and even more energized to serve and support the goals of UN Women to achieve gender equality and empower women worldwide.
In mid-October, I flew to New York for meetings at the UN Women offices. It was an incredible experience to interact with key UN Women senior staff leading the strategic partnership and private sector divisions as well as the HeForShe project. My day ended at the UN Trust Fund for Violence Against Women and Music for Life International's Scheherazade concert at Carnegie Hall where Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, spoke about ending violence against women. We plan to work even closer with UN Women in the future to the benefit of both organizations and the greater global mission.

During each of my meetings with UN Women, our mission was clearly articulated -- to raise awareness of the needs of disenfranchised women and to increase funding to support UN Women initiatives. As Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka reminded me, "We must be single-minded about the fact that change for women and girls more than ever before is possible in our lifetimes."
Those words must be our call to action! During the next two years, I plan to visit all of the USNC chapters, reuniting with the members I know and getting to know the members I haven't had the pleasure of meeting, yet. Together, I am certain we can be instrumental in creating a better future for women and girls.

My goal as president of USNC-UN Women is to bring about change that is irreversible, sustainable and substantive. To accomplish this change, we need to be committed to revitalizing and reinventing ways to gain support. By collaborating and encouraging like-minded people and organizations to join us in our mission, we can collectively and universally work to implement the newly crafted sustainable developmental goals.  

Join me in becoming better communicators of the needs of women - both locally and globally.

Join me in stepping up our roles as capacity builders because no goal can be met without adequate financial fiscal support.

Thank you for the work you do to bring about change for women everywhere.

Lalita Janke

Did You Know?  

UN Women has been instrumental in helping women in Nepal since the devastating earthquake! They've provided 5,000 dignity kits to women in need, established information centers in 3 districts and multipurpose women centers in 5 districts throughout the country. In addition, they are also providing psycho-social support in 3 earthquake affected districts.

This fall, countries around the world joined forces at the United Nations to adopt a set of global goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda.

The ambitious agenda seeks to end poverty by 2030 and promote shared economic prosperity, social development and environmental protection for all countries. The new agenda is based on 17 goals, including a stand-alone goal on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls as well as gender sensitive targets in other goals. UN Women played a critical role in ensuring gender equality was included in the Sustainable Development Goals.

This is the first development agenda that has been negotiated by all Member States and that is applicable to all for the next 15 years. The outcome reiterates national ownership and leadership in the implementation of the agenda.
UN WOMEN: Youth Leaders Tackle Violence
Photo Credit: UN Women/Urjasi Rudra

The third in a series of "Train the Trainers" workshops took place in New York last month with youth being educated on how to prevent violence against women and girls in their own local communities.

UN Women's Voices Against Violence project, in partnership with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and with the support of Zonta International, brought together 45 youth leaders from the girl guiding movement in Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Egypt, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Slovenia, Tunisia and the United States, to learn how to deliver a unique non-formal education curriculum that aims to prevent violence against women and girls.

With content appropriate for young people aged 5-25 years, the curriculum helps them identify the root causes of violence against women and girls, challenge myths and harmful social norms that condone such violence, and promote equal roles and healthy relationships.

To learn more about these empowering workshops and the difference they are making in countries around the world, click here.

Almost a million people have now viewed the TED Talk that centers on UN Women's HeForShe campaign.

The facilitator of the presentation was the incredible Elizabeth Nyamayaro, Senior Advisor to the Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. She is also the head of UN Women's groundbreaking initiative, HeForShe.

As Elizabeth explains in her speech, " The initiative is based on a simple idea: that what we share is much more powerful than what divides us. We all feel the same things. We all want the same things, even when those things sometimes remain unspoken. HeForShe is about uplifting all of us, women and men together. It's moving us towards an inflection point for gender equality." 
To watch Elizabeth's entire TEDTalk, click here. 
CARNEGIE HALL : Benefit Concert
October 19th marked the grand finale of the Scheherazade Initiative, a musical concert project which brings together global leaders in the artistic, musical and diplomatic communities to raise funds and public awareness of violence against women and girls.
Photo Credit: UN Women
Created through a partnership between Music for Life International and the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, the initiative uses the power of classical music to connect audiences around the world to the innovative and effective strategies pioneered by UN Trust Fund grantees to eliminate violence against women and girls.

Donating their artistry to end violence against women, 90 principal musicians from 40 of the world's great orchestras, ensembles and academies performed together at Carnegie Hall, for a special benefit concert benefiting the initiative.

The star-studded ensemble was led by Concertmaster Elmira Darvarova - the first female Concertmaster in the history of the MET's Opera Orchestra - who delivered a masterful performance with the quivering of her violin strings.
To read more about this magical musical event, click here.

Making a Difference!   

Every month, more than 5,000 Syrian women and girls visit UN Women's safe spaces in Jordan's Za'atari refugee camp for economic opportunities, protection referral services, day care services, and life skills classes.
CHINA: UN Women Goodwill Ambassador

Photo Credit: UN Women
During a four-day mission to Beijing and Hangzhou in late October, UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri appointed Chinese actress Hai Qing to be China's first UN Women National Ambassador.

Ms. Qing is widely known for her acting, but in her new role she will be focusing her attention on the Step It Up For Gender Equality campaign in China, advocating for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 5 and the realization of Planet 50/50 by 2030.

To learn more about Ms. Qing's new role, click here
DC CHAPTER : Celebrating the Beijing Declaration

CeCe Cole, president of USNC-UN Women National Capital Chapter was joined by Lalita Janke, president of US National Committee for UN Women in Washington, DC on October 28th for an evening reception and program celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations, the 20th Anniversary of Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action, the 5th Anniversary of UN Women, the 1st Anniversary of HeForShe, and the Launch of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The program included attendees from the international community, diplomatic corps, and speakers from a host of supporting organizations who are stepping it up by partnering with USNC-UN Women National Capital Chapter to achieve full gender equality with the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, HeForShe, and The Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action.

The National Chapter sends their special thanks to Susan Cutri, for the partnership, full support and help in making this event a great success!

16 Days of Activism!

Each year, USNC participates in the 16 Days of Activism. From November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to December 10th, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the globe.

To learn more about this important campaign, click here. 


On November 7th, the Gulf Coast Chapter will have its first HeForShe program at its Fall Breakfast.

The program - Men Stopping Violence Against Women - will be presented by two incredible men in the area - Neil Phillips and Derek Thompson.

Neil Phillips is the Founder of Visible Men Academy. He has over 25 years of experience as an educator, entrepreneur, coach, and youth advocate. Neil is regarded as a national thought leader and renowned speaker on black male achievement, minority education, character development, and youth empowerment. A Harvard graduate, Mr. Phillips created the Visible Man SHINE culture which serves as the core value of Visible Man Academy (Selflessness Honesty Integrity Niceness Excellence). Mr. Phillips will be discussing how the SHINE program works in teaching young boys to respect women.

Derek Thompson is Victim Service Mentor and VP of Programs with More Too Life. He is passionate about More Too Life and its mission to change the way pop culture views sexual exploitation, while providing aftercare services to see victims go from victim to survivor, survivor to thriver, and thriver to champion. Derek brings prior youth development and mentoring experience to the role, as well as a passion for combating all forms of human trafficking. In 2004, after learning about the prevalence of sex trafficking in the U.S., he became an active participant in the anti-trafficking movement, using his skills and resources to educate the community, raise awareness and funds for victim care, and create demand prevention strategies that address root causes.

This topic is so vital to members that the breakfast has already sold out! 
CHICAGO : Three Events in Two Months
The Chicago chapter has been busier than ever, with three successful events in the past couple of months and preparing for a fourth event on November 12th!

The chapter has partnered with two local Sephora stores for their 2015 Values Inside Out program. On September 29th, the Sephora Northbridge store (located on Michigan Avenue) held an in-store fundraising event in honor of the partnership. Several Chicago chapter board members attended and enjoyed engaging shoppers on the work of UN Women and the USNC. In addition to fundraising at the registers in the two stores, Sephora will donate $4K per store to the USNC as part of the collaboration.

The chapter also launched a book club this fall, with the first meeting held October 11th at a local craft beer cafe. The first book selection was Jenny Nordberg's The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan. A small group was able to make it out to discuss the book. Starting in January 2016, the chapter will begin holding a book club meeting every other month. Future selections will include Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist and Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity.

On October 13th, Chapter President Linsey Maughan (right) and First Vice-President Elizabeth Toms (left) were among featured speakers at the United Nations Association-Greater Chicago Chapter's annual UN Day event. Maughan and Toms shared information on the work of UN Women and the USNC, the importance of the HeForShe campaign, and the integral role of gender equality in all 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Next up for the chapter is an event, featuring Marvin Brustin, Esq., the Honorary Consul General of Nepal, who will be speaking about his recent trip to earthquake-ravished Nepal. To learn more about this event, click here.

Photo: Chicago Chapter's Sephora In-Store Fundraising Event
GREATER LOS ANGELES: Art with a Heart 
The Greater Los Angeles chapter has been busy too, hosting an event centered around art.

For their October meeting, they invited Heart of Art Gallery, an art gallery in LA that represents art made by women and LGBTQ artists.

In addition to having a great turnout, it was also an incredibly inspiring evening filled with passionate conversation about local art, artists, and community activism!

You can find more information about Greater LA chapter events on their Facebook page by clicking here.

EAST FLORIDA: Tap Dancing & Board Rooms 
Our East Florida chapter is hosting a fundraiser later this month (November 18th) at the Vero Beach Museum of Art featuring Neale Godfrey, a former USNC board member.

With over 27 books sold worldwide and 13 appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show, bank executive, entrepreneur and best selling author, Neale Godfrey, has a thing or two to share about her roller-coaster of a journey all the way to the top.

Neale's one-woman show, "Neale Godfrey is Tap Dancing Through the Board Room," is about the lighter side of being one of the first women in banking in the early 1970's. The act takes her audience on a journey from Neale's very first interview for a bank executive position to later becoming a bank president, entrepreneur and a New York Times #1 Best selling author.

If you will be in the area and are interested in attending this event, tickets are $25 (includes food & drinks). 100% of ticket sales will support the efforts of the U.S. National Committee for UN Women. For tickets, click here.

We also now offer virtual memberships! To learn more,