In summary, the data presented in this paper serves to support evidence of the widespread prevalence of VAWG and illustrates practical measures that have been taken, with success to combat such violence. Ending Violence Against Girls and Women Web Version
United Nations – Muslim and Western nations overcame deep divisions to agree on a landmark United Nations Code to combat violence against women and girls. Continue to read
Women, led by Yoo Soon-taek, wife of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and actresses Susan Sarandon and Monique Coleman, march outside the U.N. general assembly building to mark International Women’s Day. Photo by: Mark Garten / U.N.
The Guardian has this report on the successful conclusion of CSW 57 Check out the whole article
Here is a snippet with links: ”But the agreement was hard fought and civil society groups expressed “deep concern” over attempts by some conservative member states and groups to derail the process and undermine previous agreements.”
The song ’One Woman’ was launched today at the Celebration in the United Nations with Mr Ban Ki Moon, Ms Michelle Bachelet and H.E. Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the UN. Listen to the Song
The 2013 theme for International Women’s Day, “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women”
Quoting from Ms Michelle Bachelet ’My message today is: We cannot move backwards, we must keep moving forward. It is what we owe to millions of women fighting for their rights around the world.
We find ourselves at a tipping point in history.
Never before have we witnessed such global momentum and mobilization by men and women, girls and boys, demanding an end to violence against women and girls. …” Read More ” The 57th Commission on the Status of Women must uphold, and should advance, the full human rights of women. This is what women and girls all over the world expect from us!”
The United Nations Secretary General’s UNITE to End Violence Against Women campaign held a RISE together event on February 14th at 12.30. The UNITE campaign and UN officials came together to RISE to end violence against women and girls. Deputy Secretary-General of United nations Jan Eliasson addressed all gathered
As a follow up to my posting of March 15th, 2012 read Norway’s statement at the conclusion of CSW 56 http://www.norway-un.org/Statements/Other-Statements/CSW56-Norways-statement-on-final-day/
Yesterday March 14th the UN Journal indicated two things a) that the CSW informal conclusion were convened from 10.00 – 1.00 and 3.00 – 6.00 p.m. and b) that the Commission on the Status of Women would hold its 19th meeting in order to conclude its work for the 56th session.
Today, March 15th, I went for the meeting. CSW 56 ended with NO agreed conclusion! In the final remarks the Chair of the Bureau – H.E. Ms Marjon V. Kamara (Liberia) expressed her disappointment and said that she would prepare a Chair’s Summary to reflect agreements reached. Ms Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director, Under Secretary General for the United nations, was also present and expressed her disappointment despite the many good discussion, initiatives, participation and involvement by both member states and NGO’s. Michelle Bachelet noted that there were 2,015 NGO representatives from 429 organizations present and that there were 300 parallel events outside the UN discussing, sharing and networking for the empowerment of rural women. Member states had 70 parallel events some in collaboration with NGO, sharing best practices and strategizing for the future. So one wonders how in the context of so much activity promoting the empowerment of Rural Women, a state of ‘impasse’ is reached when it comes to negotiating the agreed conclusions? In my experience of the conditions in which rural girls and women live from Ethiopia, to Egypt, to Kenya, to Madagascar, and from Sabah, East Malaysia to India and Thailand why can the member states together not put forward agreed conclusion to uphold the human rights of girls and women and to provide basic services of water and sanitation, education and health? Why do member states not want to invest girls and women to develop agriculture ensuring national food security and food sovereignty? Why did member states not work on having agreed conclusions implement ting the social protection floor initiative globally, guaranteeing human rights and basic services coupled with a cash transfer to every rural girl and woman? Wouldn’t that be progress? Such provision would certainly limit the supply side of girls and women fleeing poverty and finding themselves trafficked for sexual and labour exploitation.
No agreed conclusions for CSW 56! Regrettable said the spokespersons for the CARICOM Member States to the UN , Iran, Denmark for the EU, Zimbabwe for the African States, USA, Peru, Pakistan, Norway, Cuba, Nicaragua, Iceland, Switzerland, Mexico , Russian Federation, Canada, Russia, Turkey, Japan and Australia. (Cuba, Iran, Japan, Nicaragua, Russian Federation, Zimbabwe and the USA are members of the Commission). All member states that spoke paid tribute to the Chair of the negotiations H.E. Carlos Garcia from El Salvador and other Bureau members. But why were there no agreed conclusions? NGO’s were permitted to be present during the first reading of the compilation text on March 2 but after that negotiations were in ‘closed’ sessions. A negotiating text was shared with NGO’s on March 8th. You can read this text at http://www.ngocsw.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/2-March-CSW-Compilation-Document.pdf CSW was adjourned on March 9th to give time to complete the negotiation.
As NGO’s are not permitted to observe the intergovernmental negotiating process one must infer and read between the lines. For certain the ‘impasse’ was not reached due to inability to implement globally, the social protection floor initiative! Words such as ‘intransigence’, ‘inflexible mind sets’, seeking to ‘dilute international agreements’, ‘opposition from one delegation’, ‘several delegations tried to bring their own views and opinions to bear’, – these are the rationales we heard from member states that spoke. It seems that the ongoing struggle towards the empowerment of women suffered a defeat today with no agreed conclusions from the Commission on the Status of Women. Why is so threatening to have a girl or woman take control her own life? This is seen clearly when it comes to a girl or women, having a real education on the true meaning of sexuality and access health care. Why is it that the words ‘gender equality’ evokes such primal fear as to stop negotiations? But these same underlying ‘fears’ permit the degradation of girls and women subjecting them to human trafficking for sexual exploitation and labour, is abusive of them for prostitution, mutilating their bodies through female genital mutilation and cutting, forbidding them to have an education, condemning them to death for sexual transgressions, sexualizes them for profit while condemning them to lives of poverty and violence in remote rural areas without access to basic human rights and services. What can be done to bring sanity to the process? Regrets that ‘working methods take an undisciplined trend’ and regrets about the ‘inefficient use of time’ are not very helpful or empowering of rural women! ‘Moral hazards’! ‘Moral evaluations’ are evoked to prevent women being empowered! The CSW needs ‘rational decisions’ for all women!
The Commission for the Status of Women (CSW) opened this morning in New York. Visit the UN webcast where you you can follow the proceeding http://www.unmultimedia.org/tv/webcast/ You can read the various statements made from this website http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/56sess.htm ”The Empowerment of Rural Women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges” is the priority theme of the Commission. The Chair of CSW this year is Her Excellency Ms. Marjon Kamara, from Liberia. Ms. Michelle Bachelet – Executive Director of UN Women addressed the Commission and has mentioned the Social Protection Floor Initiative. Remember we Good Shepherd have been involved in supporting the campaign and adding our signatures of support. We need 1 million Signatures by June 2012.
Ms Silvia Pimentel – Chairperson of the CEDAW Committee also addressed the Commission.
Visit the website: All the relevant information is there. It is in three languages. This is the 15th year of the fund. http://www.unwomen.org/2011/11/un-trust-fund-to-end-violence-against-women-marks-15th-anniversary-new-call-for-proposals-announced/
The fund will receive application until January 19th, 2012 Guidelines for application http://www.unwomen.org/how-we-work/un-trust-fund/application-guidelines/ Applications must be submitted on line …..
As of November 2011, the UN Trust Fund’s grant portfolio comprised 96 projects in 86 countries for a total value of more than USD 61 million. More than 77 percent of these grants, amounting to more than USD 44 million, support civil society organizations. Grants awarded to governments and UN county teams amount to USD 5.9 million and USD 10.8 million, respectively.
On Monday June 27 UN Women will present their first Strategic Plan to the Executive Board for approval. This strategic plan, 2011-2013, sets out the vision, mission and priorities of the organization in supporting Member States and the United Nations system. The mission statement of UN-Women reads “grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, the composite entity will work for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security. Placing women’s rights at the centre of all its efforts, the composite entity will lead and coordinate United Nations system efforts to ensure that commitments on gender equality and gender mainstreaming translate into action throughout the world. It will provide strong and coherent leadership in support of Member States’ priorities and efforts, building effective partnerships with civil society and other relevant actors.” (A/64/588, para. 5).
The strategic plan will be reviewed in 2013. The plan contains three interrelated components: (a) a development results framework, (b) a management results framework, and (c) an integrated resources framework.
The plan has outlines 6 goals (1) to increase women’s leadership and participation in all areas that affect their lives; (2) to increase women’s access to economic empowerment and opportunities, especially for those who are most excluded; (3) to prevent violence against women and girls and expand access to survivor services; (4) to increase women’s leadership in peace and security and humanitarian response; (5) to strengthen the responsiveness of plans and budgets to gender equality at all levels. (6) The sixth goal involves support for a comprehensive set of global norms, policies and standards on gender equality and women’s empowerment that is dynamic, responds to new and emerging issues, challenges and opportunities and provides a firm basis for action by Governments and other stakeholders at all levels. The complete document is available at http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=UNW/2011/9
I invite you to become familiar with these 6 goals and to consider which ones you are addressing in your ministry – women’s and girl’s leadership and participation; women’s and girl’s economic empowerment; preventing violence against women and girls. Is your ministry in a conflict or post conflict zone? Has your government implemented gender sensitive budgeting? One main focus of UN Women is to support UN Member States – that is your government. Are women’s rights at the center of your your national plans?