Negotiations on the CSW 58 Agreed Conclusion are ongoing …

A blog written by a friend of mine Joni gives a good overview of CSW 58 entitled  The ABC of CSW58                             By Zoe Nussy, Michiel Andeweg, Joni van de Sand, Heather Barclay

Click here

This is a very accurate account of issues presented during CSW 58.

Continuing CSW 58 Reflection – Side Events.

Towards the end of last week and into this week (March 17th) the focus has been at two levels:  presenting good practice during side events and secondly following the negotiations that are ongoing with regard to the outcome document through morning briefings and caucus meeting.  Apart from two specific side events, one focusing on Social Work and a second on Women and Girls’s Circles I followed and supported various side events addressing issues of prostitution and human trafficking.

The International Association of Schools of Social Work invited me to be a panel presenter at their side event entitled Social Work’s Response to Poverty as Violence Against Women. (March 12)  The panelists covered many areas highlighting the flexibility with which social work addresses the multidimensional aspect of poverty in many corners of the globe.   The social work interns Lindsay and Carlos presented on the pervasiveness of poverty and violence and the effect of migration policies on women and girls. I shared on ‘Good Shepherd’ work in Ethiopia.   Rebecca Davis, NGO Representative, International Association of Schools of Social Work, Director and Associate Professor, Center for International Social Work Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey presented on ‘Strengthening Child Welfare and Protection Systems to Address Poverty and Gender-Based Violence in Sub Saharan Africa’.  As Rebecca presented I was remembering the work prepared by Clare Nolan for capacity building sessions on Child Protection Policies in our ministries in the DRC.  Rebecca referred to the Child Protection Policy and Procedures Toolkit prepared by UNICEF.  Maybe this is a good opportunity to review child protection policy in your ministry.  Access the toolkit

 IASSW Panel - CSW 2014

From left to right Rebecca, Lindsay, Carlos, Winifred and Jean.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      JuliaThe second event was sponsored by a number of like minded organizations  –  Earth Policy InstituteInternational Public Policy InstituteWomen’s World Summit FoundationMillionth Circle,  Circle Connections, We Are EnoughGather The WomenWomen of Spirit and Faith – focusing on women, sustainability and circle leadership.  Julia, a girl advocate from the Working Group on Girls brought girls to the circle. The event was entitled  ‘Implementing Women and Girl’s Circles: A tool to vitalize progress with the Millennium Development Goals’  A snippet from Julia’s presentation can be accessed here.

Panelist; left to right: Dr. Pam Rajput, Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen, and Julia. Moderator Ann Landaas Smith, Enough:The Rise of the Feminine and the Birth of the New Story Read more

The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women had two excellent panels: ‘Survivors Speak:  Prostitution or Sex Work? When Terminology and Legalization Collide with Human Rights’ and the second  ‘Strategizing to Prevent AIDS and Gender Violence: Setting Goals to Advance Millennium Development. See flyer advertising the events.  Rachel Moran from Ireland presented on both panels. The sharing of experiences by women who were in prostitution was very compelling.  Some of the issues address can be read in the oral statement made to the Commission this morning (Thursday March 20th)  CATW oral statement to CSW.

The NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Person also had two side events Human Trafficking is Not Decent Work and From Objectification to Dignity – positive media representations of girls and women. The second was co-sponsored by the Mission of Ireland to the United Nations together with a with a number of other NGO’s  including Good Shepherd.  Panelists were

  • 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
  • Youth Activists – Students from the Academy of the Holy Angels in Demarest, New Jersey, who created Project Stay Gold

Andrew Tarantowicz, an intern at the GSIJP Office provided the following write up of this event.

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Pervasive societal issues 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 and to change perceptions on a product, but the root of this enticement is in how society views that product.  Women are 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 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 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 women in prostitution 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 planned 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 commercial  sexual exploitation 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.



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!

Reports focusing on restorative justice and non-violent juvenile justice for children

Flyer Restorative Justice for Children

“This report examines the potential of restorative justice programmes to facilitate conflict resolution and provide appropriate protection to children. This applies to the justice system, whether children are victims, offenders or witnesses, but it also applies in a range of other contexts, including at school, in residential care units, in social welfare settings and in the community. ”   Click here to see the report  Promoting Restorative Justice for Children        A useful resource if you are working with children.

FlyerA Second report launched is entitled ” Creating a Non-Violent Juvenile Justice System” Report 2013.  This report was prepared by The International NGO Council on Violence Against Children.  It is easy to read and a helpful resource, laid out in a very attractive way with a foreword by Marta Santos Pais, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children.  The full report is available here

Ending Violence Against Women now translated in Spanish and French

It is with great pleasure that I post the web version of  ‘Ending Violence Against Girls and Women’  in French and Spanish.

New 11  Ending Violence Against Girls and Women  This paper is not intended to provide a comprehensive understanding of violence against women and girls around the world but rather to share information that may provide some insight into the work done by Good Shepherd Sisters in all major regions of the world.

New 11Mettre fin à la violence faite aux femmes et aux filles    Ce document n’est pas destiné à fournir une compréhension globale de la violence faite aux femmes et aux filles à travers le monde, mais plutôt de partager l’information qui peut donner un aperçu du travail effectué par les soeurs du Bon Pasteur dans toutes les grandes régions du monde.

New 11Poner Fin a la Violencia contra las Niñas y las Mujeres  Este documento no pretende abarcar exhaustivamente la violencia contra las mujeres y las niñas alrededor del mundo, sino más bien compartir información que pueda ofrecer una visión más profunda sobre el trabajo realizado por las Hermanas del Buen Pastor en más de 72 países de todas las grandes regiones del mundo en que se hallan presentes las Hermanas del Buen Pastor, según lo expresado por su declaración de misión.


Participation in the 54th CEDAW session and Global to Local Mentoring Programme


As a 3 month human rights intern with the Justice and Peace Office in Geneva, from the Province of Sri Lanka/Pakistan, it was a privilege As a 3 month human rights intern with the Justice and Peace Office in Geneva, from the Province of Sri Lanka/Pakistan, it was a priviled for me to attend the 54th CEDAW session at the UN and take part in a mentoring programmes which was conducted by IWRAW (International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific) an international women’s human rights organization.

CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women) mandates substantive equality and gender related laws, policies and programmes that are based on human rights. It requires state parties to condemn discrimination against women and ensure its elimination.  The states who have ratified the convention are obliged to submit  reports to the UN every five years and have constructive discussions with the CEDAW committee members on  the implementation of the convention in their respective states.

At the 54th CEDAW session scheduled from 11th February – 1st March 2013 the CEDAW committee reviewed 8 state parties – Pakistan, Austria, Hungary, Cyprus, Greece, Angola, Macedonia, and the Solomon Islands.

As an intern, for my learning I concentrated on the Alternative report of Hungary which was prepared by our sisters in Hungary. The weekend work shop with IWRAW helped me to understand the CEDAW convention as well as the process of the session, the NGO oral presentation, how to effectively lobby committee members and the follow up work that could be done once NGO representatives return home. We were 10 participants representing 5 NGOs from Hungary and Pakistan.

The first three days were spent in writing the oral statements and learning how to present it at the informal meeting between CEDAW and the NGOs. The three days programme focused on the following: how to effectively lobby the CEDAW committee members, an introduction to each committee member including their areas of interest, country rapporteurs, inviting the CEDAW secretary for meaningful dialogue, and conducting mock sessions etc. It helped all NGO representatives to be at ease in forwarding their concerns to the committee members.

Then from Monday to Friday we were at country sessions, presenting our oral statements for lobbying CEDAW committee members at lunch briefings, meeting them and feeding them information from the grassroots level, attending the sessions of reporting by the country delegation, listening to constructive dialogue between the delegations and the CEDAW committee members and daily debriefing with the resource personnel. It was an enriching experience for me. This training helped me to understand how effectively NGOs can work with the CEDAW convention before, during and after the session. Personally I felt that it would have been much better if I was able to come up with the alternative report of my own country. Whenever GS participates in writing alternative reports on our own country we must not miss this opportunity; because as an NGO working towards the empowerment of women, this will be the best opportunity to raise our voice for the voiceless who are violated and disempowered.

I am grateful to the Congregation for giving me an experiential learning opportunity. I am confident that this will enable me to be more effective in my ministry.

Geneva, 17 February 2013, Sr. Niluka Perera

Good Shepherd will present a side event during CSW 57

Flyer for Side Event during CSW 57

Congratulations on a great initiative undertaken by Sr Therese Thong and her staff in Taiwan.  They registered for a side event during  CSW 57 .  Two staff are coming for the Commission – HUNG-SHIN  LIU and  WANCHING  CHEN.  Hung-Shin is the Deputy Executive Director who will present on Aboriginal Effort to Stop Domestic Violence.   He will be joined on the panel by Ferew Lemma, Executive Director of Nolawi Services, Ethiopia presenting on networking with Government and NGO’s on issues of violence against women.  Maureen McGowan, Director of Handcrafting Justice will address the role of economic justice projects in preventing violence against women and girls.  This side event is a truly international effort to ‘Stop Violence Against Women and Children’ reflecting multidimensional approaches used by good Shepherd Around the World.  The event will take place on Wednesday March 6, 2013 at 10.30 a.m.  If you click on the flyer it will enlarge.   Coming soon the results of the survey you contributed to in August 2012.

Congratulations Sr Niluka

IMG_6357 IMG_6456 IMG_6454 IMG_6457

Sr Niluka Perera, Good Shepherd International Justice Peace Intern from Sri Lanka:

– Receiving her UN badge;
– Receiving guidance from Sr.Hedwig Jöhl, GS NGO representative in Geneva;
– Attending work on the the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and
– Greeting and Networking with Ms Hiranthi Wijemanne, Sri Lankan member of the UN Child Rights Committee.

Clare Nolan, training facilitator is currently visiting in Geneva with Hewig and Niluka.

UNICEF Executive Director Mr. Anthony Lake visists in Tigray, Ethiopia.



In Ethiopia, UNICEF Executive Director sees equity strategy accelerating development

TIGRAY, Ethiopia, 1 April 2011 – UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake has been in northern Ethiopia this week, witnessing first-hand the progress made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals through an equity-based strategy that reaches out to the poorest and most vulnerable communities.
You can read the full article by clicking on the title above.  In the article it states that an estimated 2.8 million Ethiopian children do not attend primary school.  I wonder how many of these children are girls?  I would like if Mr. Lake had  mentioned what ratio of the children attending school were girls?  Has the community an awareness of a girl’s right to attend school?   ‘Teberh wants to be a teacher when she grows up and Goitom wants to be a pilot…’ I am happy to read that Teberh, a girl is one of the facilitators in the child to child strategy but the replies to the questions about what they want to do in the future indicates gender stereotyping exists.  There are many positives to recommend these sorts of programs – community based, needs based, and flexible.   I would have liked to read a little more about the education of girls.

Resource Tool – Good Shepherd Position Papers

The Good Shepherd Internation Justice Peace Team offers you a tool, developed with input from Good Shepherd people across the world and affirmed by the congregational leadership team.  We hope that these papers will be helpful to you in living our directions for mission and ministry.   Any one of the 6 position papers – Human Trafficking, Migration, Economic Justice, Prostitution, Girl-child and Ecology –  can be used as a reference or resource according to your Unit and regional realities and priorities:  Chapter Implementation:  Setting Unit Priorities: Formation Resource Material: Direction for Good Shepherd mission and ministry development and evaluation: Orientation for co-workers and partners in ministry: Development of local mission and ministry statements, polocies and practices: Advocacy Direction and Social Analysis.  The Resource Tools are in three languages English, Spanish and French

Resource Tool Herramienta de Trabajo   Outil de Travail                      

Prepared by the GSIJPO January, 2011   New York & Geneva  Contact:  Phone 1 212 599 2711  Skype:  clarenolan62