The National Federation of Business & Professional Women Holds Parallel Event at the United Nations


As part of the 2021 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) event, the National Federation of Business & Professional Women’s Clubs (NFBPWC)will hold a parallel event on using impact activation events to help fast track a gender-equitable pandemic recovery.


To be held on March 18, 2021, the event will focus on how the pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities that adversely affect women & girls all over the globe, forcing a shift in priorities and funding across public and private sectors.


The sixty-fifth session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW65), the primary intergovernmental forum for discussing gender equality and empowerment, will take place virtually this year from March 15 to 26. This annual event is attended by member states, UN entities, and global UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) accredited non-governmental organizations.


With a goal to showcase innovative ways for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and activists to accelerate awareness and action for this issue, NFBPWC will host two screenings of the award-winning film Pioneers in Skirts – a film where viewers can see their role in the solution, feel hopeful, and are motivated to act. CSW65 attendees will be able to view the film for one week of on-demand screenings as well as during a March 18 one-hour LIVE Filmmaker Watch Party screening event, followed by an interactive expert panel discussion.



Representatives of Member States, UN entities, and ECOSOC-accredited NGOs from all regions of the world are invited to join the filmmakers and esteemed panelists for a post-screening impact discussion on how to use events like this one to advance women and girls’ status around the globe. The discussion will feature interactive elements to encourage audience engagement, as well as best practices for how to activate films and other media to influence empathy, bring awareness to solutions, and fast track progress towards the achievement of gender equality.


“Organizations like BPW spent the first part of the pandemic in shock over the backsliding of progress made towards the achievement of gender equality,” said Megan Shellman-Rickard, President of NFBPWC. “We quickly pivoted to taking action – and want to empower others to do so, too.”


With everyone going virtual and the need to keep awareness and progress moving forward, storytelling is even more important to keep audiences engaged in creating a successful mission. Stories have the power to change minds and move hearts. “Good storytelling like Pioneers in Skirts can engage the brain in ways other forms of communication simply cannot,” shared Producer Lea-Ann W. Berst.


“We are proud of the conversations audiences have after screening our film,” says the film’s Director Ashley Maria. “Viewers at this screening, and the Impact Relay* screenings around the world, will be empowered to share their truths, ask questions, and take action.”

To see the kind of conversations sparked by Pioneers in Skirts, watch the Meaningful Conversations highlight reel:


RSVP: For information on how to RSVP for both screenings and the panel event, visit https://www.nfbpwc.org/event-4123114.


About NFBPWC: The National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs (NFBPWC/USA) works to develop the professional, business, and leadership potential of women at all levels, and advocates for equal participation of women and men in power and decision-making roles.


NFBPWC/USA is an affiliate of the International Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW International) – which is also an NGO that has had general consultative status with the United Nations through the ECOSOC since 1947. At present, there are a total of 21 members serving as representatives of IFBPW at the United Nations and its subsidiary organizations, specialized agencies, and related organizations. For more information, please visit: https://www.nfbpwc.org.


About the film: Pioneers in Skirts® is a feature documentary examining the need for gender parity in our culture from the perspective of a female filmmaker who was frustrated with her own problems in the film industry.


In an inspiring portrait of perseverance and determination, director Ashley Maria expands her search to include other industries and society in general. She shares her own story, but she also follows the journey of 3 girls on a robotic team, their fathers, as well as a young mother – all while traveling the U.S., speaking to fellow pioneering women and topic experts who had solutions to share. By the end of her quest, Ashley finds out how we ALL can address the stereotyping and sexism that can chip away at a woman, hurt her potential, and make her feel like she must re-think her dreams.


For more information, please visit: https://www.pioneersinskirts.com.


*About the Pioneers in Skirts Impact Relay: The March 18, 2021 screening will be the kickoff event for the Pioneers in Skirts Impact Relay – where activation efforts surrounding nationally-focused screenings will be used to cast a broader scope of awareness for the need to address gender equality and human rights issues.


The impact campaign involves having prospective movie screening hosts to apply to be chosen for a free movie screening and filmmaker post-screening Q&A. Screening in a multitude of diverse locations around the globe, the team at Pioneers in Skirts aims to re-ignite governments, civil society, businesses, and other stakeholders to work to eliminate discrimination against women and girls and achieve equality in all areas of life.

With projections showing that women are being disproportionately affected by the pandemic, they want the Impact Relay to also be a push for women to be at the heart of pandemic recovery efforts.


About NGO parallel events: The NGO Commission on the Status of Women a group of New York-based women’s NGOs in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (NGO CSW/NY), organizes the civil society side of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). Running parallel to the events occurring within the UN Headquarters, the NGO CSW events provide civil society the opportunity to engage in the processes and events of CSW without ECOSOC-accreditation or a UN grounds pass. Over the two weeks of the Commission on the Status of Women, NGO CSW/NY organizes events that inform, engage, and inspire grassroots efforts and advocacy needed to empower women and girls. For more information, please visit https://ngocsw.org/ngo-csw-forum.

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