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

Final Panel - Where Do We Go From Here?

Yakin Euturk (Turkey) Moderator
Rapporteur for VAW in Geneva, and CSW in New York.  Spoke about the UN (gender) being fragmented, After 2009 for rapporteur report to CSW, which will be better. VAW intimately linked to women’s empowerment. Issue of UN human rights discourse fragmented. Codified law into social and economic, and political and civil. How can one achieve political and civil rights, without social and economic – both require positive action. States rarely react to social and economic rights. Real rights – question that the 2 rights are integrally related. Unless have economic independence and access to property, their capability to deal with violations, completely undermined. Develop a vision. Not about equal opportunities, important, structured inequalities. Cannot give equal opportunities with structured inequalities. Gender mainstreaming, what are we mainstreaming, most often male streaming. Needs to be revisited. Gender mainstreaming, Fragment the issues, each part taken place by a different UN entity - UN Women will be able to be the centre.

Farah Karimi, Director of Oxfam Novib, - 4 observations. Sells Change! What is question – important question is how change happens. What is your vision – what is aim? Universality and human rights – point of departure. Rights based approach, in whole development issues, Debate in the Netherlands – what are we doing - human rights organizations, Muslim organizations defining change. Our point of departure is human rights. Have to support those organizations. Change has to happen inside. Wonderful to see Egypt. These organizations very key – shouldn’t give up in what we believe that human rights exclusive to western societies. Revolutions, part of Iraian revolution – Movement mainly moved by youth at that time. Always inspiring to see mass movement created, and people on the streets. Triggers our imagination. In Tunisia and Egypt, crucial moment, Try to remain in contact, human rights organizations, so that the momentum towards a society that is rights based. Crucial to see where those societies are heading. Show more visibility. High expectations towards UN Women. Survey from 100 NGOs – VAW not surprising, rural women – day of working – should be accessible. We are going to have to be the change. UN Women will have to change other UN agencies and bodies. Funding agency, resources available. Governments – cutting 60 million euros. Most of money goes to projects. Painful to cut funding. How are we going to deal with that. Mobilize resources.

Maynaz Afkhami – President of the Women's Learning Partnership, very little we can add to add.  How UN Women situates itself with in the UN system. How we relate to this entity. Relationship would be very helpful Seems as if we talk about mutual responsibility, some sort of mutual give and take. UN agencies don’t usually feel responsible to civil society. If we want UN Women to be responsible, we need to empower it, so it can empower us. Raising conscious, of the importance of the UN itself. Need to make the entity know, and what UN all about. USA did so much for 8 years to harm the UN. Some in the USA still see the UN as the enemy. Raising consciousness. Governments – answering governments. If people think UN Women important, then will support. And can push governments. Financial crisis , affects funding. Not enough  inspiration for young people. Raise funds in non traditional ways. There is a difference between us and UN women – they can provide safe space, convening power. Allowing us to be heard by others. Making sure that other agencies, not just work better but be feminist in their outlook, Relationship we need to think more about. UN Women a global entity, important to clarify – idea, what ails us is patriarchy – patriarchy is the structure , thru out history, the relationship between members, vertical relationship always top down. Hierarchical system, duplicated in religion and governments. Need to change the culture. All men are created equally. In middle east, large groups, mostly men, shouting for democracy, people in that part of the  world – love democracy, but ask about women’s rights, gay rights, plunge to 25 percent. Have to talk about culture change. Have to learn ourselves. Concepts of tolerance inclusive, listening with tolerance. Whole lot of share experience. Transformative experience, guaranteed democratic interaction. Not dictated – provide space to do it together.
Look at wonderful declaration of human rights. Everyone has that aspiration. Don’t play politics with human rights. Universal human rights, contextual differences – Very interesting and good conversations.

How can we make UN more responsive, non state torture, torture in classic sense, inflicted by state, very technical definition. In responding to torture, have rehab programs. Politics around support for victims. VAW is about whole subordination of women. Talking about VAW in a narrow sense, build shelters and that’s it. Requires commitments, beyond harm done. Politically and culturally charged – very powerful groups are non state actors, need to keep pushing debate. Women’s issues moved from periphery to central stage. Link different mechanisms so not working in isolation. Bringing together 4 units enormously big decision. UNIFEM, DAW, OSAGAI, INSTRAW. Policy side to operational and field side. Field work and policy must be linked. Specific areas must be better linked. Talk about a more integrated system. Manage 2 funds - Gender \Equity Fund, and the VAW Trust Fund. What do we think needs to be funded, and demanding where money goes where there talk is. Every level of private and public sector – need for a wholistic agenda. Worrying about what is happening in the Netherlands – conservative – against migrants and Moslems. Right wing movement,  constituted against Islam, and allying with right wing Christians – around abortion. Rights of indigenous women now affected. Struggle for their rights. Islamaphobia – Deteriorating rights generally. Denegrade a group of people, important human rights – non state actors, very bad guys. Fundamentalists, they will become state actors. HR work naming and shaming.
Funding has an agenda – example of funding a jirga in Pakistan – by UNIFEM -   MDGs, very week about women and youth. How to make a real space at the UN level, and country and regional level. Reproductive health  after 7 years because women fought for it. HR Council supported gay and lesbian rights. More and more actors – new emerging powers, like China, and India, Understand funding environment - changing rapidly, private foundations, emerging powers, start dialogue with them.

Thanks to the Women's Learning Partnership for an excellent day!

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