Concluding reflections on CSW 63

Last week at the April Meeting of NGOCSW Jourdan Williams and myself presented a brief overview of the CSW63 Agreed Conclusion. The Agreed Conclusions are in the 6 Languages of the United Nations. See

Link to PowerPoint Presentation

Shannon Mahedy a GSV (Good Shepherd Volunteer) attended the two week of CSW 63. She wrote a reflection paper on here experiences.

Inclusive Social Protection for Women and Girls: Best Practices and Equity

Winifred focused on social protection and the girl child. “Sister Winifred Doherty, Member of Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd spoke of male privilege, saying we are a long way from the realisation of the rights of the girl child. Females of all ages face vulnerabilities no matter where they live, from birth to 18, they are particularly vulnerable to human rights violations. Doherty spoke of the low value of the girl child and the many harmful practices such as FGM and forced marriage, and how women and girls are affected disproportionately by many global challenges such as climate change, conflict and migration. She spoke of cultural/sociological/traditional norms; with patriarchy as a root cause.” quote from the article. Read the full paper here

Moderating a panel with Member States – Bangladesh and Denmark on behalf of NGOCSW, NGO Committee for Migration, and the Peace Foundation. The event was entitled ‘Gender Violence: Prevention, Protection and Social Inclusion. Ms Kalliopi Mingeirou, Chief of Policy, Ending Violence Against Women, UN Women was a panelist also. Opening remarks were made by the Honorable Deputy Minister, Ministry of Education, Bangladesh Mohibul Hassan Chowdhoury MP and the keynote by Dr Abul Hossain

International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women and Girls

The International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women will be celebrated at the United Nations on Monday November 19th ahead of the the start of the 16 days campaign to end violence against women on November 25th which is a Sunday.

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The theme adopted for he 16 days is Orange the World: #HearMeToo     Under the theme Orange the World: #HearMeToo, the UNiTE partners are encouraged to host events with local, national, regional and global women’s movements, survivor advocates and women human rights defenders and create opportunities for dialogue between activists, policy-makers and the public. As in previous years, the colour orange will be a key theme unifying all activities, with buildings and landmarks lit and decorated in orange to bring global attention to the initiative.

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JuliaJulia Quick writes Good Shepherd Services in Malaysia have planned 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based violence focusing on girl-child.   Below is the write up by Ms Chin Poh Choo, Director of Good Shepherd Services, Malaysia.

*Good Shepherd Services, Malaysia Goes Orange*  They have been ‘Orange’ for a number of years.  This photo recalls 2016


This year, 2018 Good Shepherd’s 16 Days of Activism will shine a light on the Girl-Child.
A 16 Days Reflection Booklet containing courageous stories from girl-child survivors and reflection on perspectives of  sexual gender-based violence in the context of indigenous communities in Sabah, will be launched to kick-off the campaign on 25 November 2018 in Tambunan.  The printed booklet will be in Bahasa Malaysia while the English version will be available online.

A #HearMeToo 6km run along the scenic rice fields in Tambunan which is expected to draw a field of  about 400 runners from the district will follow after the official launch.

Tambunan is the site of GSS’ community-based program on the protection and safety of the Girl-Child which involves 18 villages over a span of three years.  Through the project we have managed to  engage  with state government agencies and key stakeholders in communities to dialogue on native customary practices and laws on the issue of SGBV.  It is hoped that at by the end of the third year, communities will be mobilized and
empowered to spearhead the advocacy for positive changes to the customary laws and practices that can provide a more comprehensive protection for the girl-child in indigenous communities.

Daily events  throughout the 16 days will be conducted across the various Good Shepherd  ministries, educations institutions and communities in Sabah and in Ipoh.


SutisaFrom Nong Khai, Thailand – Sutisa Utalun writes “I and all the Good Shepherd Team have just finished our third meeting with Government partners regarding the upcoming event on ending violence against women and children.  The event will be held on November 30th and we expect up to 5,000 participants in the event.  Sutisa posted some pictures on her Facebook on November 8th

Sutisa 4‘Thank you to the governor of Nong Khai, the great mind and the Deputy Governor of  Nong Khai,  who sees the importance of the collaboration of our brothers in all sectors, engaging  in joint resistance and opposition to all kinds of violence, including the slave trade in the form of human trafficking in this new era.   The event will take place at the cultural courtyard of the royal culture of the royal sirindhorn of the royal family of Thailand  from 13:00 pm -16:00 pm.”  Sutisa hopes to meet all the brothers and sisters. See you soon!

Orange the World




Expressing dismay over the choice of keynote speaker representing CSO’s during 25 September opening plenary UN Sustainable Development Summit

My organization together with 28 others have expressed dismay over the choice of keynote speaker representing CSO’s during 25 September UN Sustainable Development Summit.  See full list of Speakers  We addressed a letter to the President of the General Assembly 69th Session, H.E. Mr. Sam Kutessa with copies to UN NGLS and UN DESA, civil society section.  Copy of signed letter


“It is with a sense of dismay that we read that Mr. Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International is selected as the keynote speaker during the 25th September opening plenary of the UN Sustainable Development Summit 2015 on behalf of CSOs. The dismay results from the recent controversy over the adoption on August 11, 2015 of a resolution recommending that Amnesty International develop a policy that supports the full decriminalization of all aspects of prostitution or what Amnesty International calls “sex work.”

While we welcome the decriminalization of all women engaged in prostitution and the protection of their human rights, we note that this resolution fosters the decriminalization of the ‘commercial sex industry’ that includes pimps, brothel owners and buyers of sex, who are the main perpetrators of violence and abuse against those in prostitution. Prostitution is not ‘decent work’ and is rather a denial of the dignity and worth of every woman and girl. Prostitution is a continuation of a patriarchal system, a form of slavery, and violence against women. The existence of the ‘sex industry’ is one of the root causes of human trafficking for sexual exploitation.   Amnesty International’s proposed framework to decriminalize pimps, brothel owners and buyers of sex is in direct violation of the 1949 Convention on the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others, CEDAW, the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

It is regrettable that your selection of Mr. Salil Shetty as the keynote speaker was made at this time. During the Financing for Development Conference in Addis Abba (July 2015) CSOs were expressing concern about the strong tendency towards the instrumentalization and commodification of women in the economy and the market place. This Resolution proposed by Amnesty International is in direct opposition to the United Nations aspiration to leave no woman or girl behind in our collective quest to achieve gender equality. Amnesty International’s resolution in effect is endorsing male demand for ‘sex’ and ensuring the availability of a supply of women framing the argument within a distorted Human Rights Framework.”

After sending the letter to the President of the General Assembly there have been six more signatures: .

  1. The Women’s Front of Norway, ECOSOC Status
  2. Ruhama, Ireland  – Sarah Benson CEO
  3. Dr. Oranna Keller-Mannschreck,
  4. Anna Fisher
  5. RadFem Collective
  6. Davis Wendy,