The workshop then moved on to discussing security concerns during travel, and it was interesting to note that women in the UN, not unlike most other organizations, have to put up with accommodations that are not particularly safe, for the sake of saving a few dollars. Sometimes it is a matter of a conflict region, or an emergency, and in this case, there are very few options. However, in certain cases, it is just a matter of one cheaper accommodation over another, and the UN Women’s Security Section is working extremely hard to have a more concrete method in place for ensuring safe and secure traveling options for women.
We finally moved to practicing some actual self-defense moves that might make a genuine difference. Having participated in a self-defense course in graduate school, it was great to go over all the techniques again. And to end the workshop, we discussed the most important aspect of security training: WEALTH (weapon, escape routes, accomplices, (body) language, terrain and hands). All the tools one should always be aware of when walking/traveling alone; being simply aware of what can be used to save oneself if the situation so arose.
It was a fantastic workshop, and I believe that women of all ages should be taught some form of basic self-defense. Unlike men, many of us don't participate in contact sports, have martial arts training, or have been in a bar fight, which makes us uneasy with the thought of hurting another person. However, what we learned that day was that when it comes to the question of saving our life, a little grit definitely goes a long way.