Rosina heading to UN

University of Otago graduate Rosina Scott-Fyfe prepares to travel overseas as part of an international delegation to the United Nations. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
University of Otago graduate Rosina Scott-Fyfe prepares to travel overseas as part of an international delegation to the United Nations. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
Rosina Scott-Fyfe will make a little bit of history next week when she leaves Dunedin to become part of an international delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

Ms Scott-Fyfe (20) is the first New Zealand resident in the past 40 years to become part of the World Student Christian Federation's international delegation to the commission's annual meeting in New York, officials said.

She was ''very excited'' and also a ''bit nervous'' to be going to ''a big city like New York''.

The 57th session of the commission will take place at the United Nations headquarters in New York (March 4 to 15) and will focus on the ''Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls''.

Ms Scott-Fyfe, who recently completed a BA at Otago University majoring in Maori studies, said the trip provided a ''huge opportunity''.

There was ''still a huge gap between men and women in the world'' in terms of gender equality, and domestic violence remained a serious problem both in developed countries like New Zealand and developing nations, she said.

Fellow federation delegates included a representative from India, as well as others from a couple of countries in Africa, the United States and Europe.

''I'm really interested in seeing what the different issues are in terms of what they think, from their perspective, as well.''

Ms Scott-Fyfe is of Ngai Tahu ancestry and is a member of the Student Christian Movement (SCM) Otago. This year, she is the manager of the SCM Otago 83rd Book Exchange.

There were 40 applicants from throughout the world for the nine positions in the federation's latest delegation to the commission.

The Rev Michael Wallace, the vicar of All Saints' Anglican Church, Dunedin, who served as the federation's Geneva-based general secretary for six years until 2010, said it was a ''remarkable achievement'' for Ms Scott-Fyfe.

''We should be very proud of Rosina.''

This was a ''wonderful'' chance to lobby overseas Government representatives, and the female participants provided a ''fresh'' and effective alternative to the usual presentations to foreign diplomats, he said.

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