Meet your Director, Valeria Popolizio!

Valeria Popolizio is a senior political science and human rights double major with a Latino studies minor. This is her third year as the Director of the Commission on the Status of Women and her fourth year in UCMUN. Valeria is passionate about advocating for equitable treatment of minoritized communities and breaking oppressive institutions. She is currently a BOLD Scholar and works for the Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center as the New England Latinx Student Leadership Conference Coordinator and the Senior Coordinator of the peer-mentoring program METAS. She loves listening to music, dancing, and stargazing (though she knows very little about constellations). Valeria is looking forward to meeting all new delegates and seeing all returners! If you have any questions you are highly encouraged to reach out! To contact Valeria please email valeria.popolizio@uconn.edu.


Meet your Topic Specialist, Sean Roach!

Sean is a sophomore and is currently an undecided major with an interest in communication and psychology. This is his second year participating in UCMUN, as he was the assistant director for the World Food Programme last year. Outside of UCMUN, Sean is the ACES Senator in USG, a research assistant in a psychology lab, and a member of Revolution Against Rape. Sean also loves hiking, camping, and spending time with his friends, family, cat, and dog. Sean is very excited to work with all of the delegates at this year's conference! If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to email him at sean.roach@uconn.edu.



Topic A: Child Marriages

According to UN Women, approximately 14.2 million girls are forced to marry at a young age each year. Typical child marriages are between a girl under the age of 18 and an older boy or man. Once married, a girl is typically expected to leave her family and her schooling to join her husband’s family, and oftentimes she begins raising her own children. This forced separation and subordination can have negative physical, mental, and economic effects on girls. For instance, girls who are forced into marriage are more likely to be affected by economic dependence, domestic violence, and obstetric fistula, and are more vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections. Though child marriages predominantly occur throughout areas in Africa and the South Asia region, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will be analyzing the effects of this issue throughout the world. In hopes of eliminating all forms of violence against women and reaching gender equality, the CSW will analyze current resolutions and programs in effect that are tackling child marriages and develop new initiatives that address the issue.

Topic B: Menstrual Health

Around the world, women, girls, and members of the transgender community are affected by social and economic deterrents directly and indirectly linked to menstruation. Society oftentimes treats menstruation as an impure and unnatural process. Social stigma systematically excludes women and girls from spaces in their everyday routines, such as schools and work. Since it is seen as a taboo topic, individuals are not taught about issues related to menstrual health, such as the importance of sanitation and the effects of menopause on a woman’s physical and mental state. Additionally, menstrual hygiene products are expensive and many facilities for menstrual hygiene management (such as public bathrooms) are unsanitary and provide an inadequate amount of resources. In 2013, the German non-profit WASH United created the first Menstrual Hygiene Day in order to break “the silence and neglect” surrounding menstruation. The CSW seeks to break this silence and empower women and girls by addressing the social stigma surrounding menstruation and the negligence of resources provided that affect individuals of ranging socioeconomic statuses worldwide.