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Working with UN Women to Catalyze Action for Women and Girls

October 19, 2021

MAAIS student Melanie Miulli will be spending time in New York City this fall thanks to an internship placement with UN Women, the United Nations organization that focuses on gender equality and the empowerment of women. As a dual degree candidate in international studies and social work, she was looking to fulfill her MSW advanced practicum requirement though engagement with a globally-focused organization. The internship, working with the UN Women’s Action Coalition Secretariat, will give her that opportunity. “I’ll be utilizing my unique background in public relations, social work, and international studies throughout the role,” said Miulli.

The Secretariat supports the work of the Generation Equality Forum, a civil society-led global effort launched in 2021 to catalyze collective action in support of women and girls in light of the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration. The action coalitions will focus a wide range of stakeholders on six areas for progress: gender-based violence; economic justice and rights; bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights; feminist action for climate justice; technology and innovation for gender equality; and feminist movements and leadership. Since June, Miulli has supported the multi-stakeholder partnerships team working directly with the private sector and philanthropic foundations.

The internship provides an opportunity to leverage her prior experience working on gender equality issues to better inform global engagement and multilateral initiatives. “I am especially excited to witness firsthand the efforts being made towards women’s economic justice and environmental justice goals, especially within the garment industry,” said Miulli. “This interest comes from my previous background working with survivors of labor trafficking and exploitation.” Through this engagement, she will have access to some of the fashion industry’s most sustainable brands and their Corporate Social Responsibility leaders and will work to ensure they are meaningfully engaged in the commitments set forth by the six action coalitions.