Faces and Experiences of today’s Feminism Leaders – Beijing+25 Youth Task Force

Photo UN Women

The Beijing + 25 Youth Task Force comprises 30 young leaders. The are representative of the global community and come from differing background and experiences. 7 come from Africa – Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe; 5 from Latin America -Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru; 7 from Asia Pacific – Australia, China, India, Japan, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka; 4 from Europe – Germany, Netherlands, Turkey, UK; 3 from the Middle East – Iraq, Palestine, Tunisia; 3 from North America – US, Canada, and Newfoundland.

On the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, UN Women’s “Generation Equality: Realizing women’s rights for an equal future” campaign demands equal pay, equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work, an end to sexual harassment and violence against women and girls, health care services that respond to their needs, and their equal participation in political life and in decision-making in all areas of life.

Intersectionality is a characteristic of the group. In their persons and in their experiences they bring enriched perspectives to the vision that is required towards Beijing + 25 and onward to Beijing +50. Together they highlight many salient issues of concern ranging from – Human Rights and Gender Equality, LGBTIQ Rights and sexual diversity, Sexual and Reproduction Health and Rights, Rights of Adolescents, Indigenous Peoples and Migrants, and Climate Justice, while taking up specific issues including economic empowerment, cooperatives, female entrepreneurs, gender based discrimination, FGM, menstruation issues, situations in rural areas, political empowerment, addressing conflict situations and peace building, human trafficking, HIV AIDS, new masculinities, and a consciousness of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). One issue that is not mentioned is ‘Early, Forced and Child Marriages’. Read more and meet the members of this Beijing+25 Youth Task Force Team.

The Working Group on Girls is thrilled to have Aasha Shaik represent Girls on the Beijing +25 Task Force (see top of page 2). If you are wondering what intersectionality means read Aasha’s short bio. Aasha will specifically elevate the voices and needs of girls globally bringing forward the marvelous achievements of the women who ensured that the ‘The Girl Child’ was part of the Beijing Platform for Action – the L Platform. Aasha will continue to elevate the voices and girls globally re-invigorating the L Platform for our times while upholding girls’ rights within the campaign ‘Generation Equality.’ 

Photo of Mary Purcell taken form Obituary

Mary Purcell was one of those women. She passed on July 28th, 2019 at the age of 92.  Mary was one of the founding co-chairs of the Working Group on Girls when it was established under UNICEF in 1994. She represented the group during the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, serving as an ardent and essential advocate for the rights of the girl-child. Her voice and work were crucial in the establishment of the L Platform of the Beijing Platform for Action, marking the first time girls’ rights were highlighted specifically at the United Nations.  Mary’s legacy as a tireless leader for girls’ rights continues today in the leadership that Aasha will bring to Beijing +25 Youth Task Force and all WGG members to Generation Equality.

The Good Shepherd Network was honored to have two youth mission partners – one from Sabah, Malaysia and one from Bogota, Colombia make application for the Beijing +25 Youth Task Force. While not selected we know that both young women are engaged in stellar ministries in their home countries – human rights education, anti- human trafficking programs, and economic empowerment. See Malaysia and Colombia

Day 3 of CSW 63 – Featuring the NGOCSW Morning Briefing

Webcast of NGOCSW Morning Briefing featuring Women’s Human Rights

Asa Regner is the Assistant Secretary-General, Deputy Executive Director of UN Women. Asa is from Sweden and was appointed to this role in March 2018. Read more Andrew Gilmore is Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, heading OHCHR’s office in New York. He outlined the distinction between ‘pushback’ against women’s rights and ‘backlash’. Pushback is resistance to the human rights agenda whereas backlash is a reaction to the same agenda. We hear with increasing frequency these words both in discussion and examples in people’s lives. Reprisals are a growing phenomenon. Persons and groups are prevented from co-operating with the United Nations, and in some cases there are reprisals and punishments for having cooperated with the United Nations. Women Human Rights Defenders are particularly vulnerable to reprisals, on line harassment, sexual assault, and targeting of family members. Haydee Castillo was on the panel too sharing on the situation in Nicaragua.

Secretary General held a townhall meeting with women gather for CSW 63 yesterday March 12. “To promote human rights for all, as gender equality is a central instrument for human rights.  To ensure development for all, as gender equality is a fundamental tool for development.” Read more

Attended the US Women Caucus at noon today. Guest Speaker Elahe Amani who gave an outline of the recent history of the Women’s Conferences, CSW and UN Women. “We do not come to CSW to attend parallel events but to hold Governments accountable and to advance progressive policies which if implemented would make a change.”
Elahe Amani
See the website

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

FI 2

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!

Launch of ‘Inherent Dignity’ an advocacy guidebook

 

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Here is the link to  Inherent Dignity which you can download for use.   The Launch was live-streamed on Facebook.   Please promote this guide in your networks.  It is a wonderful compendium of the human rights tools that can combat trafficking in persons.      The guide provides an overview of the abuses that assault dignity and then outlines the human rights mechanisms that champion the ‘Inherent Dignity’ of every person.  The guidebook ‘Inherent Dignity’ is focusing the response towards the transformation called for and committed to  in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – our hope for the future.   It is the one living in poverty, excluded, left behind, marginalized, discriminated against who is vulnerable to human trafficking.  It is the same dynamic of exploration and abuse that is  encapsulated in the current economic system – neo-liberalism – profit over people and planet.

There are some aspect of this guide book that I love    a) The title ‘Inherent Dignity.’   It is easy to read and provides the introduction to good discussion at the local and grassroots level.  The Guide says it is for local actors.  It is here that change will be effected – having the discussion in the family, in the local community with local leaders empowering people to know another reality, a reality of inherent dignity.

b)  The insight and statement  that human rights violations occur before a girl or women is trafficked … poverty, lack of access to education, health, domestic violence, sexual abuse, gender inequality … Angela Reed call it ‘cumulative disadvantage,’ cumulative human rights violations break down ‘inherent dignity’ and breaks the person – in spirit, in body, in mind must receive attention and be realistically addressed.  The guidebook also notes that human rights violations occurring during trafficking experience and after.

c) Highlights the active role that girls and women who have been trafficked have in prevention work is to be commended.

d) The language of rights holders and duty bearers give rise to the central role of participation of all in efforts to combat human trafficking.

e) The chart illustrating the paradigms – ways of understanding  the multifaceted drivers of human trafficking is very useful in discussion (see page 21) – users of the guide may identify others.

f) Read the experience of Cathy’s experience on Page 27.  And then see the analysis of Human Rights Violations that occurred before, during and after being trafficked.  Do you think there are girls and women with similar experiences in your neighbourhood?

 

Read ‘Inherent Dignity’  alongside the Good Shepherd Position Papers. It is a companion Document to the Position Papers   French      Spanish

 

 

Trafficking - 5.2 8.7 16.2 GPA CTP

What took place at the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) at a glance.

HLPF in NumbersHLPF VNR's

The 8 days concluded with a Ministerial Declaration.  The Ministerial Declaration did not happen by consensus as was hoped for but required a vote.  It was adopted by 164 votes in favour and  2 against  (Israel and the United States) and no abstentions.

The Russian Federation requested a recorded vote to delete paragraph 16 on gender equality.  134 Member States voted to retrain the paragraph, 10 were against and there were 10 abstentions.

Vote

UN Water in its report noted that the world is not on track with water and sanitation READ  SDG6_SR_2018_3_highlights_web_ENG and makes suggestions as to what to do.   Secretary General, Antonio Guterres addressing the HLPF said that while much progress has been made, the world has also backtracked in areas that are fundamental to the shared  pledge to leave no one behind.  For the first time in a decade, the number of people who are undernourished has increased, gender inequality continues to deprive women of basic rights, and investment in sustainable infrastructure remains “entirely inadequate” – all amid runaway climate change, eroding human rights and persistent pockets of poverty.

If you have not already reviewed Good Shepherd engagement with the SDG’s the document is here in English and Spanish  Report HLPF 2018 GSIJP Office Final  and Spanish Report HLPF 2018 GSIJP Office Final

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HLPF 2017 (High Level Political Forum) has concluded

Yesterday, July 19th the HLPF ended with the adoption of the Ministerial Declaration but not without some challenges.  A vote was requested on paragraphs 4 and 21. Both paragraphs were retained the controversial issues being ‘self determination of people living under foreign occupation and language on multilateral trading systems.  A full account of the session can be READ HERE

The review of SDGs 1, 2, 3, 5, 9 and 14 is contained in paragraphs 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 of the Ministerial Declaration  The various paragraphs state the reality, and indicate commitment to close the gaps.   Paragraphs 1 – 13 are a reiteration of promises already made through use of the following verbs  – reaffirm (2), recognize (4), commit (3), foster (1), stress (1), note (1) reiterate (1)  (the number after the verb indicates the number of times the verb is used.)

Paragraphs 20 recognizes that despite some positive development more is needed – coherent policies and an enabling environment for sustainable development at all levels by all actors. The following listing is provided:  difficult macroeconomic conditions, low commodity prices, subdued trade growth and volatile capital flows, but  also natural disasters, climate change, environmental degradation, humanitarian crisis and conflicts.  Having said that yet there is conflict over paragraph 21.

The retention of the whole document is a step forward and much advocacy took place to ensure that there was a ministerial declaration.

 

I signed on this Statement by the Women’s Major Group calling for a strong declaration with full commitment to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls with the Means of Implementation SEE

During the negotiations on the Ministerial Declaration June 15 and 16  I delivered the following statement on behalf of the Women’s Major Group  Statement

During the negotiations I had the following Advocacy Points   Reviewing the ministerial declaration you will see that they were not included.  The most disconcerting one is the continued mention of ‘targeted measures’ in paragraph 14 in the context of a declaration to eradicate poverty, accelerate the pace of implementation, and decisive action is imperative and in response the best we can do is ‘targeted’ measures!  While children and youth are recognized within the Major Group system and there are stakeholders on aging and people with disabilities and a strong emphasis on a life cycle approach I continue to hold that girls are most vulnerable to being left behind and being the ones furthest behind.

 

Reviewing Goal 5 at HLPF!

SDG 5SDG 5 – ‘Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’  is one of the goals to be reviewed during this session of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF).  The Women’s Major Group is a recognized entity contributing to the HLPF.  Good Shepherd is a member of this group.   Earlier this group prepared a  POSITION PAPER

Do read the executive summary – two pages ‘ Gender inequality (SDG 5) is one of the most pervasive inequalities, evidenced by numbers of women living in poverty (SDG 1); discriminatory laws/policies targeting women, including
unequal inheritance or criminalization of abortion (SDGs 2, 3); predominant unsustainable industrial agriculture/fisheries models pushing out small farmers and artisanal fisher people, majority of whom are women (SDGs 2, 14); and reduction/elimination of essential services and infrastructure women and girls rely on, such as education/health services and social protection (SDGs 3, 9).”  The paper looks at 5 issues – Women’s Human Rights, Meaningful Participation, Civil Society Space, Finance and Accountability.

How does this compare with the the thematic review of SDG 5?   Link to Thematic Review     I attended this two day review in June – Expert Group Meeting on Strategies to Achieve Gender Equality and Empower all Women and Girls through the Gender-responsive Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development     I added my piece to the discussion – as various forms of violence were raised but not human trafficking.  See towards the end marker 2.52.40

See the other Webcasts:  Part 1; Part 2 above; Part 3  Reviewing these Webcasts will give you some idea of the complex and multi-faceted issues that affect women and girls and how important it is to connect the dots and see the inter-linkages across all 17 Sustainable Development Goals and in particular SDG 1, 2, 3, 5, 9,14 and 17 as being reviewed this year.

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The side event for the Women’s Major Group:

WMG Side Event

Zonta presents:

Zonta

There is a very interesting website Women Thrive  hosting a National SDG Advocacy Scorecard Results.  The score card is in English and French