Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna, in her opening remarks, said, “This is a moment of truth for us to take action. The opportunity to be able to be that strong woman, putting a household together, carrying the load of a partnership, raising children, caring for elderly parents and the opportunity to understand that I lead my community, I have that privilege of leading my community of Brooklyn.” Ms. Reyna cited her own situation of taking her 9 and 11 year-old to her job and leaving them there with behavior code, so she could attend the rally.Building out the coalition and campaigning to make New York City a CEDAW City is the ultimate goal of the NYC4CEDAW Act coalition and the organizations represented at Cadman Plaza Park. The Deputy Borough President told the gathering that the women’s bill of rights has to engage women in a meaningful way. She listed action items of improving the lives of millions of women and girls, educate the US public on the importance and relevance of CEDAW, recognize CEDAW principles in communities across the United States. The local initiative is what matters, she stressed.
Soon-Young Yoon was also conferred a citation for the exemplary leadership she has shown by organizing the US Cities for CEDAW’s national campaign initiative. While Sheila Katzman, Chair, NYC4CEDAW accepted on behalf of NYC44CEDAW Act, Houry Geudelekian, co-Chair, NYC4CEDAW Act accepted on behalf of Ms. Yoon.
Following this presentation, a group of some 230 women began the march across the Brooklyn Bridge to City hall. A parade of women and some men dressed in red Tee shirts and white caps with NYC4CEDAW Act emblems, placards displaying messages of “Stop street harassment of women” and “Stop discrimination – equal rights to everyone!” and banners representing member organizations. The Chants, carried by the wind, were heard far and wide across the bridge. The questions of curious onlookers and tourists were answered with an explanation of the campaign and a cap.