The 57th Session of the Commission for Social Development will be held in New York from 11 – 21 February 2019. The priority theme for the session is ‘Addressing inequalities and challenges to social inclusion through fiscal, wage and social protection policies.’ Among the ways of taking part in the commission are the following – attending the session, preparing a written statement, delivering an oral statement, engaging in side events/parallel events and joining the discussion wherever it is happening. We have prepared a written statement which is now on the Commissions website in Spanish, French, and English
‘En nuestra experiencia, como organización que trabaja a nivel comunitario, las políticas de protección social y las políticas que garantizan un salario mínimo vital a todos los trabajadores son fundamentales para reducir la pobreza, lograr la igualdad entre los géneros y promover el trabajo decente y la inclusión social.’
‘D’après l’expérience acquise dans le cadre des travaux que l’organisation mène au niveau local, les politiques qui assurent à tous les travailleurs une protection sociale et un salaire minimum vital sont fondamentales pour réduire la pauvreté, atteindre l’égalité des sexes et promouvoir l’emploi décent et l’inclusion sociale.’
‘In our experience, as an organization working at the grassroots level, social protection policies and policies that ensure a living wage for all workers are fundamental to reducing poverty, achieving gender equality, and promoting decent work and social inclusion.’
Sign up for NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC to express interest in delivering an oral statement during the general discussion will be open online from 7 January to 24 January 2019. What points do you suggest we make at that time? Write your suggestion in the comment box and we will use them.
I was invited to do this for the NGOCSW Committee one month ago – it has taken so long to get around to posting it. The reason whey it is surfacing again is that the NGO Committee on the Rights of the Child have invited me tomorrow to share the same reflection with them. The key issues addressed in CSW61 can be gleaned from this graphic on the UN Women Website and interspersed throughout the analysis of Ms. Lakshmi Puri, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women. The link is below.
Agreed Conclusion of CSW 61 is a lengthy document and can be accessed HERE in English, Spanish, French and Arabic. An understanding of the document and some key elements for Good Shepherd may be had from the analysis Here or a direct link Analysis of Agreed Conclusions of CSW61
A fuller document is presented by Ms. Lakshmi Puri, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women Report of CSW 61 and Analysis of the Agreed Conclusion
A parallel event on Wednesday March 22nd entitled ‘Inherent Dignity, Real Choices: A Preventive Approach to Ending Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation’ celebrated women who are no longer ‘left behind’ and a woman – Marietta Latonio – who has made the differences.
This was a collaborative event with Mercy International, UNANIMA International, the NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons, Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary and US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking. The event was recorded and uploaded on You Tube
Marietta Latonio, advocate, researcher, professor of social work, and monitor and evaluation officer at Good Shepherd Welcome House, Cebu in the Philippines was awarded a ‘Woman of Courage’ by Sr Jean Quinn, Executive Director of UNANIMA International in recognition of her work and dedication. It was stressed that she is a woman who gives of herself. Remember she co-researched with Angela Reed ‘I Have A Voice Trafficked women – in their own words’
We were honored to have H.E. Mrs Irene Susan B Natividad, Deputy Representative of the Mission of the Philippines Mission to the United Nations attending the event. Later in the evening we discovered that Her Excellency is a niece of Sr Mary James Wilson RGS. Small world!
Great pictures – Marietta, H.E. Mrs Irene Susan B Natividad (in the center) and Jean Quinn. Angela Reed – the moderator of the event standing in the back. The event opened and closed with a group named ‘Raging Grannies’ a socially conscious non-violent group who bring lots of fun and laughter to the cause. Lyrics to Love and Justice:
Chorus: Love and Justice be my flag I’ll live my truth what e’re will be I swear that I cannot rest till there is equality Love and Justice be my flag I’ll live my truth whatever comes so many rivers to cross till our journey’s done
More connections – one of the members of the group worked as a social worker in Good Shepherd Services NY many years ago! A central part of the event had the recorded voices of women from Welcome House, Cebu who are now empowered women through care and education.
Mariana Vanin – Programme and Communications Officer of Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) (pictured above) was a panelist with Winifred Doherty. Winifred noted the similairites in approach offered at Welcome House in Cebu and at Ruhama, Dublin Ireland. The advocacy work of Ruhama was instrumental in the passing of the new sexual offense criminal bill whereby anyone who buys sex is prosecuted and women in prostitution are decriminalized. Prostitution is violence.
Back Row – Angela Reed; Cecelia O’Dwyer; Jean Quinn. Front Row – Mariana Vanin; Winifred Doherty; Marietta Latonio.
The annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 61st Session begins on March 13th and concludes Friday March 24th. The theme this year is ‘Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work.’ There is a small of library of information on the UN Women Website Preparations i) Regional CSW61 Preparatory and Consultative Meetings ii) Multi-Stakeholder Forum and iii) Expert Group Meeting
Perspectives of NGO can gleaned from 220 statements on the Official Documents page. I would like to draw your attention to Statement No 13 in all official languages of the UN – French, Spanish, English, Arabic, Russian and Chinese. This is the statement submitted by ‘Good Shepherd.’ Does it reflect your view and experiences?
When I wrote this statement I had just listened to Ms. Dambisa Moya , a global economist speak at the Second Committee of the General Assembly. Dambisa suggested six ‘headwinds’ that indicate a growing disadvantage for women and girls seeking economic empowerment. The results of the ‘headwinds’ are i) a jobless underclass; ii) continuing population growth and underinvestment in quality education; iii) reinforcement of pre-existing obstacles to girls and women including; lack of women’s access to land rights, girls’ disproportionate time in carrying water, and increasing feminization of agriculture; the green economy/green growth has not led to more equitable land and resource distribution; iv) income inequality; v) the impact of austerity measures further impoverishes women and girls; and vi) economic policies that actually widen inequalities and impact most negatively on those ‘left behind’ posing a threat to the future of the planet.
Are the girls and women that you work impacted by one or more of these headwinds? Where do human rights and dignity, gender justice, economic justice and climate justice fit in?
Women’s economic empowerment must pay attention to the plight of girls, who are the agents of change for the future. We are calling for improved nutrition, health and education for all girls. If not today’s generation of girls will continue to populate the jobless underclass, work in the informal sector, receive low wages, be landless and be vulnerable to exploitation and gender-based violence.
The accompaniment of girls an women who are furthest behind is the hallmark of our Good Shepherd Ministries. See Maisha Documentary film based on our project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Recall the #16Days16Stories project of the 16 Days to End Violence Against Women. Read I Have A Voice – Trafficked women in their own words These are ongoing projects addressing the headwinds on a daily basis.
What can you do: It is not too late to take the link to the statment and send it to your national delegation who are attending CSW 61. There are very specific asks at the end. i) Fully resource and implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; ii) Urgently invest in girls’ economic empowerment; iii) Challenge and dismantle the power structure that subjugate girls and women – an example of this is the new law in Ireland decriminalizing women in prostitution but persecuting the buyer of sex. A long struggle but worth the effort. When I came to the UN in 2008 Ireland had not yet ratified the Palermo Protocol (2010) and now the Nordic Model is being implemented. (2017); iv) Implement National Floors of Social Protection (ILO Recommendation 202)
I am happy to share with you a very interesting resource created by the Justice Promoters Team of the Sisters of the Presentation, Dubuque, Iowa. It is entitled ‘A Living Lent that Changes the World.’ It presents a schedule for Learning, Acting, Praying, Sharing, Planning, Giving and Advocating each week of the Advent season taking a justice issue from the Sustainable Development Goals – Starting with Goal 8.
The High Level Political Forum (for those who love acronyms HLPF) starts on Monday July 11th. Full details of all that will take place is on the website Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform If you have a smart phone you can down load the app HLPF and have immediate access. The website is only in English (apologies). The HLPF is the central platform for follow up of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. By clicking HERE you can see easily the sustainable development goals which is the subject of the review. Commitment to implementation began in every country on January 1, 2016. The theme of this years’ review is ‘Ensuring That No One Is Left Behind.’ There are the official meetings of the HLPF and multiple side events.
Part of the official meeting is the presentation of 22 national reports on implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Good Shepherd is present in 1o of the 22 countries -Colombia, Egypt, France, Germany, Madagascar, Mexico, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Switzerland and Venezuela. A direct link is HERE and the reports are in French, Spanish and English depending on the language of the country. (The French report is not yet posted)
Apart from inputs from governments there are inputs from Intergovernmental Bodies and Forums – including the Commission for Social Development, Commission on the Status of Women, Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Human Rights Council , Human Rights Treaty Bodies, International Labour Organization (ILO) and International Dialogue on Migration These are points of contact that the GSIJP Office follow at the United Nations throughout the year. The full list can be accessed here
A third group is Major Groups and Other Stakeholders We are members of the Women’s Major Group and have signed on to that paper. Click HERE The paper is divided into six areas 1. Introduction; 2. The Women’s Major Group; 3. Addressing the systemic causes of ‘being left behind’; 4. Key areas of action for implementation, follow-up and review to ensure no one is left behind; 5.Ensuring that the Review of 2030 Agenda Leaves No One Behind; and 6. Conclusion.
The focus on addressing systemic causes of ‘being left behind’ is central to our work at the United Nations. ‘Identifying and responding to the intertwined systemic issues of neoliberalism, fundamentalisms, militarism, racism and patriarchy, and their correlation to inequality and gender inequality, are essential for the successful implementation o the 2030 Agenda and shout be an important focus of follow up and review processes at all levels…” and address the systems that negatively affect the lives and lived realities of all girls and women of all ages.
In section 4 there is a call for a) inclusion and participation of grassroots women’s organizations in planning, implementation and monitoring of the 2030 Agenda at the local and national level. The advice of 19 year old Berryl from Kenya sums this up quite succinctly: “Bringing girls and young women to the table during the discussions about the SDGs is important because girls are the experts in their own lives. Girls and young women in the communities should be taught about the SDGs and how they affect their lives so they can monitor the implementation and how well the governments are doing. I think that world leaders need to:
- Give better support to girl advocates by providing resources and encouragement.
- ….allocate budget[s] for implementation of the SDGs, especially Goal 5 and Goal 16.
- Invest in girls and their access to education
An educated, empowered girl is good not only for the family but also for the community, country and the world.”
b) Financing and capacity building for women’s rights groups at all levels.
c) Gender disaggregated data
Section 5 states that women’s groups must be meaningfully engaged at all levels of the implementation, follow up and review from the national level to the global.
We also have a voice in the Major Group of Non Governmental Organizations See HERE
Another set of inputs can be found in Partnerships and Voluntary Commitments
Throughout the HLPF the GSIJP Office are using the brochure prepared by the Good Shepherd International Foundation ONLUS ‘Promoting Inclusive Development for Women and Children.’ highlighting Participation, Empowerment, Livelihood and Human Rights in programs focusing on community development and economic justice; child protection and education; girls and women’s empowerment; and migrant and anti-human trafficking. See the brochure by clicking on the link
Good Shepherd International Foundation Brochure – Where are the SDGs?
How We Help
- Community Development and Economic Justice
- “Projects to eradicate extreme poverty” (SDG 1)
- Market research, business training and planning, micro‐finance and micro‐credit to start micro-enterprises to raise level of income (SDG 8)
- Advocating to change unjust structures discriminating women and to break the cycle of poverty and exploitation (SDG 5)
- Children Protection and Education
- “Programs protect and promote the rights of the most vulnerable children” in a holistic model of care
- Psycho‐social assistance (SDG 3)
- Nutritional Support (SDG 2)
- Remedial education to be mainstreamed in the school system (SDG 4)
- Awareness of human rights and activities for social cohesion and peace building (SDG 16)
- Girls and Women Empowerment
- Projects “help to achieve SDG no.5”
- Engaging women and girls living in poverty (SDG 1), at‐risk of exploitation or victims of violence (SDG 16)
- Counseling, psycho‐social assistance (SDG 3)
- Reintegration in formal education (SDG 4)
- Skills training, access to micro‐finance and micro‐credit, support to income generating activities (SDG 8)
- Migrants and Anti‐human Trafficking
- Programs to protect children, girls and women who have been trafficked or victims of commercial sexual exploitation (SDG 5, 8, 16)
- Programs in border areas, where the rights of children, girls and women migrants are most at risk (SDG 8)
- Psycho‐social support programs for children and women refugees (SDG 3)