Welcome to the NCWC Blog about the CSW 2011!

Welcome to the NCWC Blog about the CSW 2011!! The National Council of Women of Canada will be attending the meetings of the Commission on the Status of Women in February/March 2011. Watch this site for news about this meeting, what is being discussed, and what are some of the outcomes.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Culture, Religion and Human Rights

June Zeitlin, Director CEDAW Education Project, from the USA was the moderator of this panel on a very important and interesting panel  – the purpose is to take recommendations to UN Women – Issues important in the US as well as other parts of the world.

Kartima Bennoune, just back from Algeria. Short DVD showed the recent protest in Algeria. Faces, and energy from Algeria demonstrations. Katima saw the protests – women played critical roles. Called for nothing less than total change. March for change – on the 12th of February. Took up a position on the sidewalk, refused to be removed. One of the prominent feminist says she’s been waiting for year. On Feb. 12, the women refused to cede to the police. Unyielding women who did not cede even to women police officers. Police men handled her – counter demonstrators pulled her clothes off, and helped male colleagues push her down. Observatory of Violence against Women. Abrogation of family code and on change agenda. Ameliorating the family rules. Salaries not covering the costs of basics. March – protesters demanding peaceful change. Women kicked by riot police, threatened sexual assault. Deeply moved. Algeria not given same coverage as Egypt. Social change most important. Understanding religion, and culture. None of these activists are only claiming freedom basic rights – nobody made claims as part of religion or culture. Basic rights as any other human right.  I believe we are undermining rights as full citizenship. Not a discourse of religion. Unapologetic support for universal human rights. Some universality most ardent defenders, are outside of US.  Bravery of Liberian people, recommended Libia leave the HR Council. 

UN Women will show support for universality of human rights.

Leila Ahmed 
This wonderful woman (Egypt) has been working on Islam women in America. Clearly the case of women and Islam, under tow of significance. Women’s  chador symbol of moral justice of the Afghan war. 

Broad themes – scarf, stereotypes. Religion, culture and human rights. Trend of influence of Moslem Brotherhood – revival. Islamists, people dealing with the revival, agree with non violence. How in America. – turned these assumptions. Scarf been cut from patriarcy, gender justice now. Issues of commitment to social justice, including justice for women. Findings Islam interpreted a number of ways, and demonstrate democratic input  – some forms of Islam will insist male superiority, others won’t.  Revolution across middle east and norther Africa. Women, some with hijab and others not, all part of movement. What does revolutionary movement have to say – about treatment of Moslems in Germany and the UK?.

Frances Kissling – Liberty University, pro choice Roman Catholic.  Fundamentalism – war stories. Early years, studied economics – country of hope, more jobs than workers, people buying homes,   Rreligious fundamentalism, Paternalistic fundamentalism. Tax on women’s reproductive health. Assault on basic family planning services. Assault on women’s rights in the economic arena. Francis talked about Liberty university – the conservative movement alive and well. Challenge at a cultural level.

5th world conference women, can we advance the agenda. Stypmied by fundamentalist agenda. Should we be preocupied by that. Seemed to have allowed religious fundamentalists, privileged space to continue. Role of all religion in the UN. Time for us as women, capacity to strategize and plan a meeting that can not be derailed from the core agenda of the meeting. We can do this, and  UN Women can and must lead the way. Fundamentalist Religions have been more destructive to the lives of women within the UN than any other body. Disruptive in other boides for children but at the UN have worked for a patriarchial society which identivies with a religious patriarchial system. Introduced a strong religious component. The 5th World Conference convenes the women of the world, and fearlessly refutes any religious fundamentalists.

All people have culture not just some – police dept in France, man killed, it is rage or something else, Women's oppression of women in sharia – politics or reality.

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