La Palma-Cerritos AAUW focused on international women’s issues in March

Hospitality committee members prepared a festively decorated table full of refreshments for members and guests of the La Palma-Cerritos American Association of University Women (AAUW) on Thursday, March 21, 2019, at Cerritos Park East. After members and guests enjoyed the refreshments and fellowship time, Co-Program VP Beverly Zwick introduced guest speaker Jackie Shahzadi.

Jackie Shahzadi, has been an active member of the La Palma-Cerritos AAUW for over 30 years. She is a Charter member of Women Graduates-USA, and is on the Board of VGIF, an international charity that provides grants for projects to help women and girls in developing countries. She is also is a member of Servas, an international peace and friendship organization. She has attended nine Graduate Women International Conferences around the world and led four study tours. She led the Women and Leadership delegation to Vietnam with Global Engagement Institute in 2015.

When she retired in 2017 as Chair of the College of Humanities and Sciences for the Southern California Campus of the University of Phoenix, she said that she looked forward to attending more Graduate Women Conferences around the world. Jackie just returned from attending a Planning Retreat for Women Graduates-USA in early March of 2019. She did not attend the Sixty-third Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York in mid- March of 2019, but shared information from Women Graduates-USA who did attend the meeting.

At the La Palma-Cerritos AAUW’s March 21st meeting, Jackie used a Power Point presentation to share information received from Women Graduates-USA. She also showed photos of some of her visits to different countries around the world in Southeast Asia and Africa, especially Rwanda. Women Graduates-USA co- sponsored two events at the meeting in New York: 1) a panel on “Deciphering the Money Maze” to help women become financially proficient and take control of their finances; and 2) a presentation to international women leaders about “Violence and Torture Against Women and Girls in Prostitution and Trafficking” to educate service providers.

Jackie said that an Oscar was won by Rayker Zehtabchi at the 91st Academy Awards in 2019 for her documentary film, Period. End of Sentence. That film called attention to the stigma surrounding women’s monthly cycles in India, and the taboos that women experience associated with menstruation in many poor countries. Some girls were not able to go to school during their menstrual period times if they did not have sanitary pads because they could not afford to buy them. Some girls dropped out of school because they could not catch up with schoolwork after missing four days a month. Some changes for the better occurred after people viewed this film.

Jackie ended her presentation by showing a listing of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that the United Nations General Assembly set in 2015 for the year 2030, in Resolution 70/1, to transform our world. Some Sustainable Development Goals are: 1) No Poverty, 2) Zero Hunger, 3) Good Health and Well Being, 4) Quality Education, 5) Gender Equality, 6) Clean Water and Sanitation, 7) Affordable and Clean Energy, 8) Decent Work and Economic Growth. (United Nations Strategic Goals numbers 9 to 17 can be found by sending an e-mail to UNSDG.) It will take public action by more governments around the world to achieve the goals of Peace and Justice for all by 2030.

President Harriet Moses thanked Jackie for her presentation and said the Nominating Committee had presented a proposed slate of officers for 2019-2020. With new members Norma Williamson and Ceci Van Zitter volunteering to serve as the next Co-Hospitality Chairs, the slate was complete.

Harriet said that additional nominations will be accepted at the next general meeting of the La Palma-Cerritos AAUW on April 18, 2019 meeting at Cerritos Park East at 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Guest speaker on April 18 will Dr. Shin Liu, on the topic of “The State of Community Colleges Today.”

For more information about the La Palma-Cerritos AAUW’s April meeting, contact Program Co-VP Beverly Zwick at 562-943-6149.