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.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Way Forward, continued

The first panel Our Vision for UN Women, Views from the field -

Moderator, Lina Abou-Habib, from Lebanon
First speaker was  Wajeeha Al Baharna, from Bahrain – women from this region – lowest amongst other countries for women’s rights. Need more promotion of rights – personal, nationality, political, economic, 2 challenges facing women in gulf region – 1) comes from within community, women downgraded, reflect negatively on self esteem, and enjoying rights. They feel lost hope of any reforms, with the stereotype, 2) other challenge from international community – see wealthy, don’t need rights, everything provided. Being wealthy – doesn't mean we don’t want to claim our rights. These 2 types of stereotypes – work with other groups in Bahrain, and Saudi Arabi, - awareness of their rights, and claim their rights. More attention  to youth. Help to claim women’s rights. UN Women, see a  glimpse of hope, to see better life, future for all the women of the world. 

Asma Khader  – spoke about war affected countries – from Jordan. Coming from middle east – many conflicts – and demonstrations all around. Part of peace, and democracy in the future. Suffer – in past, men haven’t been able to sort it out. Women – do see with 1320 will protect women and children. These resolutions not known by men and others. Jordanian NGOs did work around implementation, now women part of peace force, but we need a plan, but can’t have a plan with out resources. First action plan by Arab countries,  75% of country under 30 years of age. Education has been good for women –but no matching jobs. Demand is huge, resources limited. Partnerships and learning from each other – build networks, meeting demands. Help local women reach up to UN Women. 

Sakena Yacobbi, from Afghanistan.Challenges - lack of education, economic resources. Security is major challenge – security is stopping the violence. Women and girls wanting to come to a centre to learn. Face day to day. Big issue. We are hoping UN Women will be a voice – for security. We have a peaceful and secure life

Mallika Dutt, India/USA, a moment of crisis and opportunity – jasmine revolution – led by young men and women, financial melt down, climate change, what our dreams are – transormative moment, not specific issues – Bachelet’s position is a tipping point, women taken seriously, and at the table, and transforming the table, Men’s leadership has been a failure, catalazye the women’s movment and redefining the table. 

Sindi Medar-Gould – women from Africa join with others to celebrate, looking at how we can help. Nigeria – we sign documents, sign them all, but no implementation. Deliberate strategy – know we can’t implement because of our constitutions. Women taken up battle – so we let women know – signed documents. Help to bring true meaning to gender mainstreaming. UN Women help to bring in feminist interpretation of what is meant by siging the conventions. Push envelope forward – 

Bachelet’s response, Sense of humour, don’t perform miracles. Situation not even – challenges are my challenges – not easy, can be useful – very complicated, and complex problems. Approaching – how we pass from rhetoric to action. Event on HIV/AIDs – history – how we transform leadership, make commitments, not promises. Believing – but need to build the case, need to know exactly what it cost and what is benefit.  Looks like women’s rights are human rights hasn’t opened the doors. Need to build the case. Went to Davos, to ensure gender equality, biggest gap is political, second is economic. Try to understand other’s point of view.  Very open and frank dialogue. 

When a woman comes to politics, the politics changes the woman, when many women come to the table, politics change
Questions – and answers – in favour of 5th world conference on Women – timing important.
Question from Egypt, and Pakistan – Egypt need to monitor – shoulder to shoulder at the square – need to to monitor daily, involve women in all restructuring. Work women at all levels.

Associaton for Progressive Communications – 1st thing that gets controlled is communications. Internet forums – come in and talk about who controls the internet. – mandate changing, and hierarchical forms. Women have a huge say in how internet governed. Involvement of private sector, and public private partnerships. Women having a voice – Bahrain exception to wealthy countries. Women very hard worker,  Women being with the men in the revolutions. Women very long history – national demonstrations in 90s. been tortured, doing job much better. Using new technologies. Very organized. Side by side with the men. Constitutional changes – When SC resolutions harm women – Palestinian question, 2/3 of refugees are women, suffering violence. 1325 in our time – use it to build decent changes. When spirit of change is there, in Tunisia, Egypt, any delay in working with groups that want change – lose the spirit. The moment comes when can’t wait any more. Private sector -  build equality inside private sector. Young people and IT – help the Tech festival. Other responses; - get involved – Afghanistan changing for the better. More awareness, peace education. Women, more and more involved. Women at the peace table. Saw restrictions, because of security. Security a hot issue day by day.  Value of the internet – Jasmine revolution – has an impact, and use it as an opportunity for women’s rights. Coorporate greed take seriously - contradictions in pursuing public private partnerships. Ensues a financial system that takes human rights seriously,

Strategy to deconstruct and reconstruct – men and boys against violence against women. No point in telling women that she has rights, and then going home to a man who does not agree. Don’t partner with oil companies. So many are corrupt. Can’t accept blood money. Until we find gender friendly corporation. Question about sexual and reproductive rights.
Working with men – how does gender equality look from the male side.
In the region, a campaign – 2006, working on a campaign – equality with out reservation - no reservations to CEDAW. Saudia Arabia signed it. Science fiction, many of the colleagues – so far no one has invested anything better. Hold governments accountable. Certainly more powerful than MDGs. Don’t reflect vision. Litmus test, will have inclusive democracies. Take CEDAW seriously.

Hard ot work in Afghanistan – because of security. One way is thru internet – set up training thru the internet. Sensitive to the culture – use it to advance. Assault on human rights in the US right now. What happening in the middle east with hope. Can use some of these tools in the US. Unravelling of rights, sustained assault – solidarity in political movements. We clearly in the US needs some help. Looking outside for some of these tools. Ask for wisdom and solidarity. What is the shape of the table – table is round, no head, no hierarchy. Voices of who are farmers, and sit on corporate boards, declaration of human rights, one value table where we ask about economic questions, respect each other and respect the environment, women’s voices – are proactive voice of political systems that we can thrive in. Question about democracy trying to shape in hierarchy, don’t respect legal commitments. CEDAW only instruments to frame our rights,  reservation for number 15. Problems of the IT. Western countries can interfere, but turned out to be powerful tool, in hands of young people. Access to the internet, and languages. Not only elite and well educated people have access. Within school curriculum. One of reasons CEDAW not implemented in Africa is because it is seen as the abortion bill. Reproductive rights – resistance to it, continue to have training, ngos, and community organizations. You have the right. Bahrain – equality without reservation campaign, lifting reservation campaign – conducted seminar discussions.discussion about 16 helping and improving engaging religion with this. Presented at a parallel session, how can we play with it, and change approach. How to promote women’s rights without engaging religion. Transfer from claiming our rights to living our rights.

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