The Commission on the Status of Women 67th session ended on March 18th and was immediately followed by the opening of the 68th Session. Two themes are allocated per session – a priority theme and a review theme. The priority theme for CSW 68 in 2024 is ‘Accelerating the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective.’ The Review theme is: ‘Social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls (agreed conclusions of the sixty-third session). Both themes are of special interest to us. While linking directly with our position paper on Economic Justice the topics are intersectional and crossing cutting across all six position papers. Throughout the years our advocacy at the United Nations has been strong and consistent on the implementation of rights-based social protection.
On March 23 Winifred Doherty spoke on the direct impact of corporate activities both on the ground and across their value chains, which disproportionately undermine women and girls’ human rights, in Africa primarily, and across the world. The invitation to be a panelist came from the Africa Europe Faith and Justice Network Ireland. I connected the dots from Kolwezi in the Democratic Republic of Congo to Good Shepherd Province NewYork/Toronto, an investor, so as to undertake advocacy with Tesla, a multinational automotive and clean energy company headquartered in Austin, Texas on behalf of the local community – children and women in Kolwezi who human rights are violated on a daily basis by the ‘Pharaoh’ of today. No one of us can do this work alone. We need to network with multiple other organizations with expertise in the area of concern e.g. Investor Advocates for Social Justice in NY. The preliminary documentary Maisha and the BBC Documentary both show conditions on the ground in Kolwezi.
Another advocacy moment happened on March 28 with an invitation to be a panelist at a C20 India Working Group Human Rights as Human Values. You may well ask what is C 20 India. C20 India 2023 is one of the official Engagement Groups of the G20 that provides a platform for Civil Society Organizations (CSO) around the world to voice people’s aspirations to the world leaders in G20. It gives CSOs a forum to protect the agency of this sector, reflect the primary and common concerns affecting the people of the world, and to promote social and economic development with the vision of leaving no one behind. See more