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.”

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

Arabic

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

Human Rights, Sustainable Development and Climate Policies: Connecting The Dots. A Toolbox published by Franciscan International.

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Here are the links to a toolbox for Human Rights 2018 published in three languages:  A Toolbox

 

FI Spanish

Aquí están los enlaces a una caja de herramientas publicada en tres idiomas:   Caja de Herramientas

FI French
Voici les liens vers une boîte à outils publiée en trois langues:  Boîte à Outils
What dots would Good Shepherd be connecting?  Human Rights, Gender Equality, and Poverty Eradication in the context of Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals!
¿Qué puntos estaría conectando el Buen Pastor? Derechos humanos, igualdad de género y erradicación de la pobreza en el contexto del desarrollo sostenible y los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible!
Quels points le Bon Pasteur se connecterait-il? Droits de la personne, égalité des genres et éradication de la pauvreté dans le contexte du développement durable et des objectifs de développement durable!

Responding to Violence Against Women in Kenya

Sr Donatus Lili who is the NGO Regional Representative for Good Shepherd in Africa has been attending the 68th Session of CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women)  held in Geneva from October 23, 2017 to  November 17, 2017.   Among the counties presenting this year where Good Shepherd is present were Burkina Faso, Guatemala, Kenya, Paraguay and Singapore.  The various reports and documents are uploaded HERE   Donatus has prepared a report on behalf of Good Shepherd in Kenya on Fistula.  Read the very interesting and informative REPORT prepared by Donatus.

IRWAWWhile in Geneva Donatus had the opportunity to be engaged in the training session sponsored by IWRAW Asia Pacific the only regional/international NGO working with the CEDAW Convention as a main tool for change in the Asia Pacific. We see a critical role for ourselves in filling the gap between the promise of women’s rights and their actual realization.  This group do incredible work prior to each meeting of the CEDAW Committee.

Donatus 3Madam GBEDEMAH Hillary, the rapporteur for Kenya to CEDAW (standing) during a briefing on Wednesday November 1, 2017 prior to the review.                                                         

It was not possible for Donatus to make an oral statement but she did present a copy of her proposed statement to the rapporteur.  NGO (CONGREGATION) written statement to 68th CEDAW Session

The review for Kenya was held on Thursday November 2, 2017  All the documents can be accessed HERE and the UN Webcast Morning Session and the Afternoon Session

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Donatus (center) with  Ambassador Dr. Stephen Ndungu ‘Karau  and on the left Mr. Andrew M. Kihurani, Deputy Ambassador,  Permanent Mission of Kenya to the UN, Geneva.  (Photo taken at the the UN, GENEVA)

Good Shepherd NGO Representatives New York and Geneva – ending violence against women and girls

VAW 1 20`13Good Shepherd NGO Representatives to the United Nations in New York (Winifred) and Geneva (Hedwig Joehl) unite with our partners around the world to end violence against women and girls. In January 2013 we published a report of our work in 24 countries. Respondents from Egypt, India and Myanmar all reported that an “environment that easily accepts acts of Violence against women, that normalizes the fact that women are beaten, and that considers women inferior to men” pose a challenge to introducing concepts of gender equality and women’s rights. Read more English  French  Spanish

For the 16 Days of Activism against Gender based violence see 16days2013 and #orangeurworld with actions to end violence against women and girls!

Share with us what you are doing for the 16 days of activism. Orange Good Shepherd world, your Twitter account and Facebook page.

Working to end violence against women and girls every day!

16 Day of Activism Against Gender Based Violence November 25 to December 10

16 daysThe theme for 2013 is ‘From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women!’  Informative materials are available at Click here in  العربية,Bahasa IndonesiaBosanskiБългарски,中文 DeutschEnglishEspañol,Français (Côted’Ivoire)Français (Tunisia)ÍslenskaItaliano, Kalenjin,ភាសាខ្មែរLatvijaNederlandsPolski,Portugués, Românăрусский,SlovenščinaSrpskiSvenska,             Türkçe,украї́нська мо́ваXhosa.

The campaign emphasizes that women’s rights are human rights and acknowledges the role of patriarchal systems that embody harmful traditions and legal policies that normalize violences against women, and deny women their rights to a life of dignity.

The normalization of violence was a point that we addressed in our booklet ‘Ending Violence Against Women and Girls’  See page 7Ending Violence 34 “Some respondents reported that in their respective cultures, it is common for physical or even sexual violence to be committed against a woman or girl as punishment, for a crime as defined by the perpetrator. To make matters worse, the reality is that many women and girls suffering from acts of violence accept this treatment either due to cultural or societal pressure, or simply out of a lack of knowledge of their human right to live free of such violence. For instance, in societies with traditional gender roles and attitudes toward marriage and divorce, it may be more difficult to leave a partner even if violent, thus women continue to endure ongoing abuse.  Respondents from Egypt, India, and Myanmar all reported that an “environment that easily accepts acts of violence against women, that normalizes the fact that women are beaten, and that considers women inferior to men” poses a challenge to introducing concepts of gender equality and women’s rights.

Two respondents from Uruguay and Venezuela, identified ‘Macho culture’ as a catalyst for violence against women, and a hindrance to achieving gender equality. Macho culture, which takes on different meanings depending on the culture, is problematic in that it puts pressure on men to dominate and exert control over women, in order to affirm their masculinity, even if it requires the use of violence.”

See French ‘Mettre fin à la violence faite aux femmes et aux filles

See Spanish ‘Poner fin a la violencia contra las niñas y las mujeres

See Chinese     終止對女孩和婦人的暴力 全球善牧24 個國家的服務調查

Follow what is happening on Facebook and use Twitter handles @16DaysCampaign; @CWGLR Rutgers and hashtag #16days

There is a 16 days Take Action Kit Here in multiple languages.  There is a Brochure, 5 Fact Sheets, Information on CSW 58, Suggested Grant Proposal Guidelines, Sample Social Media Posts and Logos.

Find your logo here

16_days_logo_english 16_days_logo_french 16dayslogo_amharic16_days_logo_filipino16_days_logo_spanish

The experiential journey as a three month intern in Geneva

Niluka 2

It was a call from Sr. Susan Chia, Congregational link councilor, who had visited the Sri Lanka/ Pakistan province for a workshop on “Participative model of Leadership” which made me realize the need to get experience in relation to the Human Rights Based Approach and the instruments which were available at international level which could assist us to be more effective at the local level. From that day onwards all the arrangement were made for me to have an experiential learning process in Geneva and I arrived here on 10th January 2013.  Read more…

Congratulation Sr. Niluka Perera from the  Province of Sri Lanka/Pakistan on this achievement and congratulations to your mentors Hedwig and Clare!