By: Mahlatse Ramoroka ’19
I am a South Africa national, currently part of the IPED program through the South African Centennial Scholarship. I am interning with United Nations Women at the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO). The mission of UN Women is “to enhance accountability, inform decision making and contribute to learning on gender equality.” The IEO facilitates the monitoring and implementation of wider gender stratification throughout the bodies or agencies of the United Nations. The primary focus of the office is on adopting gender-responsive, decentralized and cooperative evaluation systems at a national level that strengthen the capacities of women and girls across the board. My responsibilities as an intern include handling administrative duties, conducting research on the UN’s System Wide Action Plan (SWAP), taking notes in meetings, and analyzing evaluation reports. I have been doing some detailed research on goal 6 – clean water and sanitation – of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with particular attention to applying the UN-SWAP framework to the WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) sector, gender equality and institutional governance.
One of the most significant highlights of my internship is being able to participate and observe, by attending and helping at events, how gender equality is championed. On the 22nd of November 2017, I attended the launch of the campaign that seeks to end violence against women and girls, led by the Executive Director of UN Women, Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ncquka. The campaign was launch under the theme “Leave no one behind: End violence against women and girls”.
Interacting with people from different countries, at different levels of the organization has been another life-changing experience for me. I am enjoying my experience at UN Women, at it continues to afford me various learning opportunities.