Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 64th Session March 9 – 20, 2020.

The March 2020 Commission on the Status of Women in New York, will mark the 25th anniversary of the 4th World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995. The Commission will review and appraise the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action over the past 25 years. It will further address current challenges experienced by women worldwide and link the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action with the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. A very interesting paper that situates the Commission is Democratic backsliding and backlash against women’s rights: Understanding the current challenges for feminist politics The paper is written by Conny Roggeband, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Andrea Krizsan. Center for Policy Studies, Central European University, Hungary and presented at the UN Women Expert Group Meeting in preparation for CSW. While the examples are from Western Europe I am sure that parallels can be found in your own particular region. Hard won gains for women over the 25 years are under attach from many areas such as political participation, labor market, care or violence against women. There is also an interesting perspective on the influence of Churches and some attempt to highlight differences between terms. Is the women’s movement the same or different to feminism? What is ‘gender ideology’? What role does ‘gender ideology’ play in the backlash against women’s rights?

An article in the New York Times dated December 4th reads ‘Across the Globe, a “Serious Backlash Against Women’s Rights” The rise of authoritarianism has catalyzed a rollback of gender violence protections and support systems. The article cited the reaction of Spain’s far right Vox party to the commemoration of the International day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women demanding the repeal of a law protecting women from violence claiming it is unfair to men. Other examples are highlighted from Turkey, Russia, Hungary and China.

The 16 days Campaign is highlighting the extent to which gender based violence continues. A headline ‘Many Europeans consider rape acceptable’ is shocking to read in an European Union report on perceptions of gender based violence

Link to report and map

On December 5 there were reports of an Indian woman who had been raped in March, on her way to court for a hearing of her rape case when she was set upon by 5 men, beaten and set on fire. She is now experiencing 90% burns over her body. The news today, December 7th has just reported that this young woman has died. Such is the backlash to her reporting the crime of rape.

December 6, of the 16 days was dedicated to feticide awareness. The 16 days Campaign is focusing on the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre when 14 women were shot in Canada in 1989. Women’s Aid (Ireland) released updated figures on femicide in Ireland in November 2019. “5 women have died violently so far in 2019. 4 women were killed in their own home.” See Irish Times December 7, 2019.

16 Days Campaign to Eliminate Violence Against Women

Good Shepherd in the Philippines are experiencing the backlash that comes from political engagement on behalf of vulnerable and marginalized people with Rural Missionaries of the Philippines. Sr. Elenita Belardo has dedicated her life to upholding the human rights of the rural poor. No doubt that girls, women and children are among these rural poor.

Sr. Elenita Belardo, National Coordinator of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines. COURTESY OF RMP Read more

The subject matter for the Commission on the Status of Women will focus on these issues among others as the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action provided a holistic approach to the issues experienced by girls and women. The GSIJP Office at the United Nations will be focusing on the trafficking of women and girls into prostitution. This too is a contentious issue. While UN Women recently declared ‘neutrality’ on the issue, read more Good Shepherd stance is far from neutral. Our position states that prostitution is violence against women.

The GSIJP Office has prepared a written statement to the Commission which has not been published yet. We have also engaged with other groups to support issues that are relevant and pertinent to our position papers. Among the groups are Working Group on Girls focusing on the Girl Child; Maryknoll on Women and Climate Change; and with Act Alliance in a statement entitled ‘Faith in Beijing+25, a collective of faith actors pushing back against the push back.’

The Feminist and Women’s Action group have collated the 12 critical areas of the Beijing Platform into 6 cross cutting themes (i)  Environmental conservation, protection and rehabilitation (ii)  Freedom from violence, stigma and stereotypes (iii)  Poverty eradication, social protection and social services (iv) Inclusive development, share prosperity and decent work (v)  Peaceful and inclusive societies (vi)  Participation, accountability and gender-responsive institutions. There will be a series of on-line dialogues on the various themes in the run up to CSW 64 and during the commission. The GSIJP Office is engaging with the third and fourth themes: Poverty eradication, social protection and social services together with Inclusive development, share prosperity and decent work. These issues take account of may of the issues in our position paper on Economic Justice

The New York Times Articles ends with this “The rollback of women’s protections doesn’t impact just women but goes hand-in-hand with an overarching decline in human rights. Or, as the U.N. Human Rights Council put it: “The corrosion of women’s human rights is a litmus test for the human rights standards of the whole society.”

On Day 12 ‘Orange the World Campaign’ Good Shepherd Sisters in the Philippines are featured in the Global Sisters Report

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“Wearing orange on the 25th of every month is a practice followed by a number of sisters and staff of the Religious of the Good Shepherd, Province of the Philippines-Japan. But on Nov. 25, Good Shepherd-run institutions and centers in the Philippines were especially ablaze in orange to commemorate the start of the 18-day anti-violence against women campaign in keeping with the United Nations’ “Orange Day” campaign to raise awareness and prevent violence against women and girls.’  Read the full story at Global Sisters Report    Congratulation to all and well done!

 

Another 16 days Campaign To end Violence Against Women and Girls is about to begin!

Yes, another 16 days campaign is about to commence and it is impressive to see ‘Good Shepherd’ globally engaged in the ‘Orange the World Campaign’.  Actions, programs, and advocacy towards ending all gender based violence particularly domestic violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking is not merely a 16 days campaign for Good Shepherd but 365 days, year in year out.

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English A press release from UN Women is available in multiple languages.  It is entitled ‘As global mobilization soar, UN Women brings survivors of violence and advocates to center stage on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls.

Spanish  Comunicado de Prensa: En este momento en que cada vez hay más movilizaciones en todo el mundo, ONU Mujeres centra la atención en las sobrevivientes de la violencia y las personas activistas en el Día Internacional para la Eliminación de la Violencia contra la Mujer

French Communiqué de presse : Pour la Journée internationale pour l’élimination de la violence à l’égard des femmes et des filles, la mobilisation s’amplifie partout dans le monde. À cette occasion, ONU Femmes place les survivantes de la violence et leurs défenseurs au devant de la scène

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The Center for Women’s Global Leadership is focusing this year on Violence in the World of Work.  See more HERE

See resources from New York City 16 days Campaign  and Activism Events

International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women and Girls

The International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women will be celebrated at the United Nations on Monday November 19th ahead of the the start of the 16 days campaign to end violence against women on November 25th which is a Sunday.

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The theme adopted for he 16 days is Orange the World: #HearMeToo     Under the theme Orange the World: #HearMeToo, the UNiTE partners are encouraged to host events with local, national, regional and global women’s movements, survivor advocates and women human rights defenders and create opportunities for dialogue between activists, policy-makers and the public. As in previous years, the colour orange will be a key theme unifying all activities, with buildings and landmarks lit and decorated in orange to bring global attention to the initiative.

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JuliaJulia Quick writes Good Shepherd Services in Malaysia have planned 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based violence focusing on girl-child.   Below is the write up by Ms Chin Poh Choo, Director of Good Shepherd Services, Malaysia.

*Good Shepherd Services, Malaysia Goes Orange*  They have been ‘Orange’ for a number of years.  This photo recalls 2016

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This year, 2018 Good Shepherd’s 16 Days of Activism will shine a light on the Girl-Child.
A 16 Days Reflection Booklet containing courageous stories from girl-child survivors and reflection on perspectives of  sexual gender-based violence in the context of indigenous communities in Sabah, will be launched to kick-off the campaign on 25 November 2018 in Tambunan.  The printed booklet will be in Bahasa Malaysia while the English version will be available online.

A #HearMeToo 6km run along the scenic rice fields in Tambunan which is expected to draw a field of  about 400 runners from the district will follow after the official launch.

Tambunan is the site of GSS’ community-based program on the protection and safety of the Girl-Child which involves 18 villages over a span of three years.  Through the project we have managed to  engage  with state government agencies and key stakeholders in communities to dialogue on native customary practices and laws on the issue of SGBV.  It is hoped that at by the end of the third year, communities will be mobilized and
empowered to spearhead the advocacy for positive changes to the customary laws and practices that can provide a more comprehensive protection for the girl-child in indigenous communities.

Daily events  throughout the 16 days will be conducted across the various Good Shepherd  ministries, educations institutions and communities in Sabah and in Ipoh.

 

SutisaFrom Nong Khai, Thailand – Sutisa Utalun writes “I and all the Good Shepherd Team have just finished our third meeting with Government partners regarding the upcoming event on ending violence against women and children.  The event will be held on November 30th and we expect up to 5,000 participants in the event.  Sutisa posted some pictures on her Facebook on November 8th

Sutisa 4‘Thank you to the governor of Nong Khai, the great mind and the Deputy Governor of  Nong Khai,  who sees the importance of the collaboration of our brothers in all sectors, engaging  in joint resistance and opposition to all kinds of violence, including the slave trade in the form of human trafficking in this new era.   The event will take place at the cultural courtyard of the royal culture of the royal sirindhorn of the royal family of Thailand  from 13:00 pm -16:00 pm.”  Sutisa hopes to meet all the brothers and sisters. See you soon!

Orange the World

 

 

 

It’s November – Get ready to add your voice and your action to end all violence against girls and women 2017!

The 16 days campaign to end violence against girls and women is at hand.  It begins on November 25th and ends on December 10th.

According to UNICEF’s latest report, “A Familiar Face,” 9 million girls were victims of forced sex last year. Only 1% reached out for help. Help us stop the sexual exploitation of girls who can’t speak out.  Read the report   Use your social media by  clicking HERE  #HerToo  #MeToo #NowYouKnow.

Orange the World

Taken from the website of UN Women the link to the full document is 16 Days 2017 Action Plan Final

Because it is thanksgiving weekend in the USA the following areKey Activities

The 16 days of activism against gender based violence is in multiple languages and maybe more helpful in creating awareness Choose your language  However the tool kit is only in English.

UN Women have a report Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces.  “A series of stories illustrate what authorities, grass-roots women, women’s organizations and other community partners can do as part of a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to prevent and respond to sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence against women and girls in public spaces. Many of their initiatives have successfully enhanced safety, including through a focus on the most impoverished urban areas.

English   Spanish   It is not available in French.

16 Days Campaign to end Gender Based Violence November 25 – December 10

Today is day 3 of the campaign.  Mercy Global Action at the UN in partnership with Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd are engaging in the full 16 days of activism.  #16Days16Stories is part of the UN sponsored 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence. Our campaign focuses on the experience of formerly trafficked women and girls who give testimony to gender discrimination and marginalization from childhood into early adulthood.  Their stories, told in their own words, highlight the many human rights violations and cumulative disadvantages in their life journeys. Through their stories, survivor advocates provide key insights into preventative measures to end human trafficking.

The launch video and 16 stories can be accessed by clicking on  #16days16stories  Each day a new video is uploaded.  On the 25th we heard from Aleta who said “from the time I was born I labelled myself as a disgrace because I was born as a result of my parent’s extramarital affair.” On the 26th Emerita who was born in 1992 in Mindanao said “I am the fourth of five children. My father worked in a fishing company owned by his friend but was later fired by the owner because my father had a mistress in the office,” and today November 27th  Katrina shared “when I was two, my mother and father left us in the care of our elder brother, who was 12 at that time. They went to Cebu for work, an island far away from where we lived…”  Having read to the testimony of each women the viewer is asked to reflect for a few moments;  presented with points to ponder and suggested actions to take.

A Guide to using the Videos was also prepared.

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The 16 days of activism against gender-based Violence Campaign has as its theme this year ‘From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World’ and proposed that organizations around the world plan a twitter teach-in.   If interested in knowing more about a twitter teach-in  Click Here!    @gsijp  @mercyworldwide are the Twitter handles using #16days16stories and #GBVteachin   The Twitter Teach in @gsijp @mercyworldwide follows the points to ponder and take action of the 16 videos.

Read the book  ‘I Have A Voice – Trafficked Women in their own Words‘ by Angela Reed.  Tomorrow Leah tells her story.  (Please note the videos are available on Vimeo at HERE

Good Shepherd orange countries around the world

Good Shepherd Sisters and Mission Partners orange countries around the world.  They not only orange for one day but they work tirelessly for 365 days addressing and ending gender based violence through service provision, awareness and ensuring that ‘no girl or woman is left behind.’

Review the public service announcement ‘Behind Closed Doors’ created in Malaysia in English, Tamil, Malay, Chinese.  See here

Visit their Facebook page and see groups from Kuala Lumpur, to Sabah to Ipoh – Malaysia on Facebook

Malaysia   Orange The World in YouthPREP Centre, Sabah

Close by in Thailand 1000’s  are engaged – Read moreSisters Thailand

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See Sutisa Utalun’s Facebook page for more news  Great displays of color and men and boys are engaged!

Mercy Sisters International had an event on Monday November 23rd at the UN, NY to mark the 16 days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence. It was facilitated by Angela Reed from Australia who had done a study on trafficked women and girls in the Philippines.  Flyer advertising the event The link to some photographs from the event

Are you following us on our new Facebook Page Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd- Justice  Peace  Facebook  and Twitter Account @gsijp