May 22nd – UN Women – Launch of Beijing+20 Campaign.

Taken from SAY NO  UNITE To End Violence Against Women Facebook

Beijing + 20

 

Spoiler alert: We’re launching a year-long campaign on gender equality on 22 May! We’ll have fantastic content and monthly social media activities for you, all under the theme of “Empowering women, empowering humanity. Picture it!”. In 1995, the Beijing Platform for Action created a blueprint, a promise for gender equality. 20 years later, progress has been made, but challenges remain. How do you picture gender equality? What action will you take to close the gap? Get excited with us! #Beijing20

Click here to see a short video clip.

 

Campaign: No to sex tourism! buying sex is not a sport!

Online signature campaign in 4 languages.  Your signature could make the change.  Full explanation in the text.  Read and then sign!

MANIFESTO – No to sex tourism! buying sex is not a sport!       Join the Campaign to End Sex Tourism and Sexual Exploitation. Your signature could make the change;

ENGLISH: Go to the following link

MANIFIESTO ESPAÑOL- No al Turismo Sexual ¡Comprar sexo no es un deporte!                                                                                                       Tu firma es el cambio; Adhiérete a la Campaña para Erradicar el Turismo Sexual y la Explotación Sexual Comercial

 ESPAÑOL   Ir al siguiente enlace:

MANIFESTO EM PORTUGUÊS – Não ao turismo sexual comprar sexo não é um esporte

Você assinatura é mudança; Aderir à Campanha pelo Fim da Turismo Sexual e ExploraçãoSexual

PORTUGUÊS   Sign here

MANIFESTE EN FRANÇAIS  – Non au tourisme sexuel Acheter du sexe n’est pas un sport!                                                                                                Votre signature peut être le changement;                                                      Adhére la Campagne pour éliminer le tourisme sexuel et l’exploitation sexuelle

FRANÇAIS   Allez au lien suivant

‘From Objectification to Dignity – Positive Media Representations of Women and Girls’

This side event during CSW 58 was a collaboration between the Mission of Ireland to the United Nations and a number of faith based NGO’s including Good Shepherd. It took place on March 18th, 2014 in Conference Room C in the United Nations.   Andrew Tarantowitz, an intern with the Justice Peace office attended the event and wrote the following report.

  • H.E. Tim Mawe – Deputy Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations.
  • Leif Coorlim – Executive Editor at CNN International and Editorial Director of CNN The Freedom Project
  • Pauline Moreau – Ireland, Department of Justice, Gender Equality Representative
  • Youth Activists – Students from the Academy of the Holy Angels in Demarest, New Jersey, who created Project Stay Gold

There are pervasive societal issues that need to be addressed before we can change how women are perceived.  Society holds women to a standard of attractiveness, with less focus on more important qualities such as intelligence.  Women are portrayed in advertisements as body parts.  This is partially the fault of the advertising industry and also society as a whole.  Advertisements attempt to entice you and to change your perception on a product, but the root of this enticement is in how society views that product.  Women are therefore objectified as a result of the way society views them, in selling products that are related and unrelated to women and girls.

Men are also expected to keep to a certain standard.  There are advertisements that display how to be manly.  This affects men and women, as attributes are assigned to women and are shown to be negative to the male image.  This demonizes women and ensures that they stay objectified.

A great way to fight this perception is to contact MISS Representation.  It is a non-profit that aims to curb the growth of harmful advertising.  They are active on social media as well with #notbuyingit.  They were instrumental in changing the focus of the godaddy.com ads that portrayed women in an unnecessary, sexual light, just to sell their product which has nothing to do with women.  The outcry at this harmful portrayal was effective in making change, proof that our voices can be heard.

There is also an inherent problem in the media where in an effort to increase the amount of stories on the air, the integrity of some stories is sacrificed.  Focus is sometimes given instead to the quantity of stories, not their quality.  This prioritization can make it difficult to focus on important stories that are related to women’s rights or on human trafficking.  The fact that the many people still do not know about the human trafficking and prostitution that occurs during large sporting events such as the Super Bowl is an example of the media’s lack of focus.  If the media can begin to shift its focus to telling stories with more depth, such as with impact journalistic initiatives like The Freedom Project at CNN, then there can be a change in the perception of women.  This will make the problem of trafficking harder to hide.

The genesis of The Freedom Project was a story that Leif Coorlim and fellow CNN journalists were chasing in Cambodia.  They went undercover to a Karaoke bar that had a selection of prostitutes in the back of the building.  There were girls with different colors representing whether they were Cambodian or Vietnamese.  The CNN crew chose the girl that they believed to be the youngest.  They brought her up to a room and interviewed her.  What they found was that she was 14 years old and had been trafficked.

The next step was to contact the Human Trafficking division of the police in Cambodia.  This led to a plan of a raid on a Friday.  When CNN showed up to this raid, the police told them that it was cancelled as the girl had paperwork that identified her as 19 years old.  The frustration over this injustice spawned The Freedom Project.  Eventually, it was discovered that the head of the Human Trafficking Division was involved in the trafficking and a light was shown on the corruption of the government.

Project Stay Gold is an initiative started by students and now facilitated by both students and teachers from New Jersey that want to stop human trafficking and the sex trade here at home.  They are active on social media and have the bonus of being peer educators to youth in America.  This can really affect students and begin the process of educating the new generation on the problems that face the world.  This will create young activists who can make it their mission to change the world.

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Victory for the women and girls of the world!

CSW 58 A

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Victory for the women & girls of the world.                                                                                                                           #CSW58 #agreedconclusions reached!                                                                                          pic.twitter.com/t5WaO9wkqN

CSW 58 B

 
CSW 58 D
 
United Nations CSW ‏@UN_CSW  18h  #Civilsociety                          delegates cheer for the adoption of the                     #CSW58 #agreedconclusions 
 
CSW 58 E
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
UN Women @UN_Women    Our ED @phumzileunwomen with the Working Group on Girls at the Teen Orientation to . @UN_CSW   8:50 PM – 10 Mar 2014                                                                                                                                            USG Phumzile Mlambo addressed the WGG Teen Orientation on Sunday March 9, 2014
 

Draft Agreed Conclusion as of March 21

Adopted by consensus just after midnight. Click here for the text              Good Shepherd Statement Click here

How does the text compare with recommendations made to the Commission in the written statement submitted by Good Shepherd?   Acceleration in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals can be achieved now by:

  • Reallocating resources;
  • Cutting down on military expenditures and redirecting them to the Millennium Development Goals;
  • Addressing the debt issue. (According to data from the World Bank, in 2010 alone, developing countries paid out $184 billion on debt service, or about three times the annual resources required for the fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals);
  • Implementing and allocating a financial transaction tax for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals;
  • Honouring official development assistance already pledged but not paid;
  • Implementing the full spectrum of girls’ and women’s human rights according to international human rights mechanisms and agreements, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime;
  • Implementing Security Council resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2011) and 2106 (2013) on preventing all forms of violence against girls and women;
  • Implementing International Labour Organization recommendation No. 202 on national floors of social protection, the Declaration on the Right to Development and the Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights;
  •  Implementing the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

With regard to reallocating resources we made 4 suggestions – two sources were referred to and two were not.  There is no mention of cutting down on military expenditures and no reference to the potential sources of revenue that can be gained from Financial Transaction Tax.   The agreed conclusions make reference to debt and official development assistance (ODA)

There are 4 references to debt.  Paragraph 21 The Commission expresses deep concern about ‘indebtedness’ in some countries and widespread fiscal strains that pose challenges for global economic recovery…  Paragraph 22 recognize that the long-term sustainability of debt depends on (my interpretation) business as usual model – ‘export prospects of debtor countries’ and ‘sustainable debt management’.  There is no hint of any structural transformation nor any mention of Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Paragraph 17 states that ODA remains inadequate to the task. Further austerity measures have impacted women and girls negatively. Paragraph 23 The Commission recognizes significant underinvestment  in gender equality and the empowerment of women  … that limits progress on the MDG’s for girls and women of all ages.  …It stresses that the available resources, through domestic resource mobilization and ODA, and their allocation remain a concern and are often inadequate to the task. Paragraph 25 has references to national machineries for the advancement of women and the need to endow these machineries  with the necessary human and sufficient financial resources to enable them to function effectively.

Under the heading ‘Maximizing investment in gender equality and the empowerment of women’ on page 21 (v) reads increase and ensure the effectiveness of financial resources across all sectors to achieve gender equality … through mobilization of financial resources from all sources, including domestic resource mobilization and allocation and increased priority to gender equality in ODA, and the creation of voluntary innovative financing mechanisms, as appropriate. Finally (z) reads increase resources and support for grassroots, local, national, regional and global women’s and civil society organizations to advance and promote gender equality.  What support are your receiving from your government to operate services promoting gender equality?

The weakness in all these references in the agreed conclusions is that no concrete funding has been identified for implementation of any aspects of the MDG’s.

The second set of recommendations concern girls’ and women’s Human Rights.  In the draft of February 4th, 2014 there was no mention of the Convention on the Rights of the Child nor the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime and its supplementary Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking, Especially Women and Children.  I am happy to see them in the agreed conclusion.   The full list of Security Council Resolutions were names including the latest one 2122 (2013) that was passed after submission of the statement.  The Commission also added relevant Security Council resolutions on children and armed conflict. Of course, CEDAW and  the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action remain central to gender equality.  However during the negotiations some member states were invoking ‘sovereignty’ at national level in relation to the implementation of women and girls human rights?

Lastly, while ILO Recommendation 202 on national floors of social protection was not named there are six references to social protection. In paragraph 10 (MDG 1) notes the lack of access of people living in poverty to social protection and pensions.  Paragraph 12 (MDG 3) notes insufficient social protection and insurance coverage for women.  In the section under Realizing women’s and girls’ full enjoyment of all human rights (g) social protection is named as a way of addressing the multiple and intersecting factors contributing to the disproportionate impact of poverty on women and girls over their life cycle.   In (n) universal social protection is promoted and (o) prioritizes social protection policies  and lastly (r) that in crises funding for essential services and social protection systems be promoted.