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Meet your Director, Valeria Popolizio!

Valeria is a senior political science major at UConn. This is her third year participating in UCMUN. Last year, she was the director of the Commission on the Status of Women, and she previously served as the assistant director of the International Law Commission. Outside of UCMUN, Valeria enjoys participating in leadership workshops through the UConn Leadership Office, attending events at PRLACC, and occasionally writing for the UConn Daily Campus as a campus correspondent. Valeria loves watching Parks and Recreation, going on new adventures, and spending time with her family, friends, and dog. She is enthusiastic to work with delegates and encourages them to email her with any questions at 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.

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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.