Justice Peace Workshop – Ngong, Kenya

On Saturday evening January 13th a very successful 3 day Justice Peace workshop was completed at Ngong, Kenya.  It was attended by 12 sisters in Temporary Profession, 4 Novices, together with Sr Teresa, Formator with the Temporary Professed and Sr Catherine the community leader in Ngong.   There were 3 Resource Person – Donatus Lili,  NGO Regional Designate for RIMOA, (center) Michael Owino Coordinator of the Mission Development Office East Central Africa (right) and myself.  It was an experience of team work and integration of justice peace with ministry against a backdrop of spirituality.

See the suggested Schedule for Nairobi – January 2018     Invariably too much was planned but what was accomplished was substantive and with some depth.  Having been warmly welcomed by the community in Ngong, Day 1 began with introductions and sharing by each participant of experiences and the meaning of justice peace in her life.  Samples of sharing included standing firm and fighting corruption by not signing on a document; helping girls to bring cases to court in order to claim their rights; being an advocate in the court for children; having the courage to point out a judge  who was corrupt; advocating and representing children rights  with parents; being observant in the Metatu ( public transport) and noticing a girl who was being trafficked and taking appropriate action.  Some comments and reflections noted that there is no peace without justice;  the necessity of peace and justice to self; justice begins at home with self, within the community, and with staff by implementing just procedures; justice peace cannot be separated from compassion, forgiveness and reconciliation; justice and peace necessitates an analysis of root causes, calls for risk taking and is a process, a journey; being an agent of justice peace in society, within ministries,  within families, and it starts with me; being in solidarity with others; reflecting the face of Jesus in all circumstances.

Session two shared on the GSIJP Office – the who and the what, outlining structures and the job description of the Justice Peace Contact.  Winifred outlined some of the recommendations from the  workshop in 2016 as many of the participants had attended that workshop.  There was a review of vision and mission and the Congregational Direction Statement. See Thursday January 11 2018 Session 1& 2

Session 3 and 4 was learning around the Sustainable Development Goals using the lyrics We-Love-the-SDGs-Study-Guide-v2 and youtube  Group work followed making the connections between the various goals and presenting finding linking goals with what is happening in ministries especially the centrality of SDG 5.  This included familizariation with the targets of SDG 5 – no discrimination, no violence, no harmful traditional practices, recognize unpaid care work, women’t leadership, and sexual and reproductive health  and rights.  Thursday Session 3 & 4 on SDG’s January 11

Day 2, session 5 and 6 focused on the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women.  CEDAW is the bill of rights for Women.  Donatus shared on her experience of being in Geneva and presenting a CEDAW report on Fistula.   Donatus began with an overview of the human rights mechanisms and then focused on presenting the 30 articles of CEDAW Convention.  Some articles of particular interest to us are Article 1 which defines discrimination against women to cover all facets of human rights and fundamental freedoms.  Article 3: Women are fundamentally equal with men in all spheres life  and countries must take measures to uphold women’s equality in the political, social, economic, and cultural fields.  Article 6 is an important one for Good Shepherd as countries are urged to take steps to suppress the exploitation of prostitution and trafficking in women.  Article 7 is about women’s right to engage in political and public life with the right to vote, hold public office and participate in civil society. Article 9 has to do with nationality.  Women have equal rights with men to acquire, change, or retain their nationality and that of their children.   Article 10 addresses the right to education, article 11 the right to employment and article 12 the right to health.  Article 13 Women have  equal right to family benefits, financial credit and participation in recreational activities. Article 14 concerns rural women and article 15 addresses equality before the law.  Women have the right to enter contract, own property and choose three place of residence.  Article 16 Women have equal rights with men in matters related to marriage and family relations.   The following articles 17 – 24 are related to the Committee on CEDAW and reporting procedures followed by Articles 25 -30 on the Administration of the Convention.  

Winifred led Session 7 and 8 Introducing the United Nations and presenting in depth the Social Protection Floor Concept as outlined in ILO Recommendation 202.  See  Friday January 12 Session 7 & 8  (The Declaration on Human Rights was not presented – time factor).  The decision of the group was to hear about Social Protections Floors.

Session 9 was led by Michale Owino, Mission Development Office Director for Kenya.  Sr Rose Mary, the monitoring and evaluation office attended this session.ahZCXEVkTuOgsgwLANQcPA

Michael presented in a very thorough and reflective way the Mission Development Office – team, broad objectives, focus areas, resource mobilization, co-ordination – communication, monitoring and evaluation, capacity building, workshops with project directors, centralization, mainstreaming justice peace, spirituality and Mission Partner development.

The final session was filled with appreciations for the opportunity to learn and share.  I appreciated the interest, and participation of each person. Karibu!

new doc 2018-01-21 15.32.16_1

IMG_0231

Asante Sana!

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

Donatus 1

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!

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!

March 8 – Happy International Women’s Day

Happy Women DayFrom the GSIJP Office in New York and  CSW 57 with my colleagues Ferew Lemma (Ethiopia) and Wanching Chen (Tiawan) we wish you ‘Happy International Women’s Day.

Ferew

Wanching The song  ‘One Woman’ was launched today at the Celebration in the United Nations with Mr Ban Ki Moon, Ms Michelle Bachelet and H.E. Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the UN.    Listen to the Song

The 2013 theme for International Women’s Day, “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women”

Quoting from Ms Michelle Bachelet  ‘My message today is: We cannot move backwards, we must keep moving forward. It is what we owe to millions of women fighting for their rights around the world.

We find ourselves at a tipping point in history.

Never before have we witnessed such global momentum and mobilization by men and women, girls and boys, demanding an end to violence against women and girls. …”  Read More     ” The 57th Commission on the Status of Women must uphold, and should advance, the full human rights of women. This is what women and girls all over the world expect from us!”

IMG_1373

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

Niluka

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

RISE together event at UN Headquarters

The United Nations Secretary General’s UNITE to End Violence Against Women campaign held a RISE together event on February 14th at 12.30.  The UNITE campaign and UN officials came together to RISE to end violence against women and girls.  Deputy Secretary-General of United nations Jan Eliasson addressed all gatheredIMG_1148

IMG_1139

IMG_1131IMG_1132IMG_1134IMG_1135IMG_1137IMG_1140IMG_1149IMG_1156IMG_1146IMG_1157IMG_1148