Subject: [fem-women2000 384] Teenager from Panama is a transnational activist for women's rights
From: lalamaziwa <>
Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2000 06:45:22 -0500
Seq: 384

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 From: "liz" <>
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 Date: Sat, 10 Jun 2000 17:27:52 +0200
 Subject: [B5NGONEWS] Teenager from Panama is a transnational activist for women's rights

Global Women's Media Team/Electronic News Bulletin
distributed by Isis International-Manila

Teenager from Panama is a transnational activist for women's rights

By Maria Eugenia Miranda*

UNITED NATIONS, June 7- She will turn 18  this weekend, but a debut or
coming out party is far from the mind of Tania Rodriguez.

Rodriguez is attending the UN General Assembly Special Session on Women
2000 as a delegate of Panama. As such, she is attending a slew of meetings
and conference and is advocating her views as a supporter of women's rights.

"Women's rights are human rights," proclaimed Rodriguez, who as a member of
the Latin  American and the Caribbean Youth Network on Sexual and
Reproductive Rights, is no stranger to international gatherings.

The student of social work was also in New York in March for the
preparatory meeting for the UN special session, which aims to assess the
goals and obstacles to attain gender equality, development and peace five
years after the Fourth World International Conference on Women.
Rodriguez's involvement in the campaign for women's rights is vast. She
started with her advocacy work with the Panama's NGO "Fundacion Nueva
Identidad" when she was 15. She had appeared in a theater play for young
people that  promoted the prevention of HIV/AIDS among adolescents.

Rodriguez said she tries to attend as many sessions as possible even if she
struggles with her English. "I attend meetings where everything is in
English, but I don't give up. I try to understand what's going on," she
said with a smile.

She said that the simple act of representing her country in this
conference, also known as the Beijing Plus Five Review, is already "a
pleasure and an honor."

Rodriguez said that her best experience in the conference, attended by
delegates from governments and NGOs from 188 member states, is meeting
people all over the world and networking with them in the campaign for
women's rights.

"I don't refuse a friendship because the person doesn't speak Spanish. I
became a very friend of Tania Taitt, a young delegate from Suriname, that's
also on the Latin American and the Caribbean Network. She doesn't speak
Spanish and I don't speak English, but we understand each other very well."

When Rodriguez returns to Panama next week, she will have to take five
examinations from her university that she missed during her two-week stay
in New York.

But the plucky young woman is unperturbed. "I'm conscious on what I'm
involved, I know it's not easy. But with my heart I believe on what I do,
and that's why I do such an effort," she said. ###

* Maria Eugenia Miranda is a member of the Global Women's Media Team (GWMT)
for the UN General Assembly Session to Review the Beijing Platform for
Action.  The team is  composed of NGO women and women journalists from
Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe. The GWMT is
coordinated by Isis International-Manila and generously supported by
UNIFEM-East and Southeast Asia, UNIFEM-South Asia, Canadian International
Development Agency-Southeast Asia Gender Equity Programme, UNDP-Latin
America and the Caribbean, UNDP-Mongolia, British High Commission in
Vanuatu, Foundation for Sustainable Society, Inc; National Centre for
Cooperation in Development (NCOS-Pilipinas), World Council of  Churches,
and WomenAction.

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