An interesting day at CSW – full of hope and despair

CSW63 – Tuesday 19th March, 2019, a blog by Sylvia Rose-Ann Walker, Ph.D SIGBI

  1. Daily NGO Briefing:

“The day began on a hopeful note with the declaration by Ms. Koki Muli Crignon of Kenya, the Facilitator of the Agreed Conclusions, that she has “ïncredible faith” in the process which will yield the agreed conclusions of CSW63. This declaration emerged during Ms. Crignon’s oral reporting on the progress being made by Member States and Civil Society representatives towards the Agreed Conclusions Document of CSW63. Advising that a third reading of the document had started on the previous afternoon, the Facilitator of Agreed Conclusions exuded strength and resolve as she reflected on her role and reminded the delegates in attendance that “if we all remain prisoners of hope, we will achieve something great”(Reverend Desmond Tutu).

  1. Latin America / Caribbean Caucus Meeting

In contrast to the NGO daily briefing, this regional caucus meeting was textured with both hope and despair. In terms of hope, it was suggested that shadow reports can be prepared by civil society groups in cases where national laws (example Argentina’s litigation policies) can sometimes block implementation of the agreements signed at the UN level.

Another hopeful idea was asking for non-regression principle and using #CSW63 to share the real stories of women in Latin America and the Caribbean. However, the agreements made at the CSW are “soft law” and not legally binding but states should still comply.

It is despairing that countries are taking individual positions rather than working in blocks. As such, an outcome document may not be possible from CSW63.

  1. PARALLEL EVENTS 

“The Safety of Women and Girls in Educational Settings” – hosted by the International Sociological Association and the American Society of Criminology Division on Women and Crime.

A key provider of hope in this session was the Guidance Note on campus violence prevention and response produced by the Ending Violence Against Women Section of UN Women. It offers ten (10) essential actions to address campus violence, the underlying principle being that university administration must be held accountable for addressing violence against women on campus and for promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment.

“The Role of NGOs in the Promotion of Social Protection Systems and Providing Services for Women and Girls” – hosted by the Working Women Association of Sudan (WOWA) and the International Peace and Development Organization (IPDO)

Hope and Despair were intermingled in this presentation by three women of the Sudan where despite deprivations resulting from economic sanctions and war, women are still able to ensure the dignity and welfare of their families through the organisations identified above”.

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