UN Commission on the Status of Women to outline robust set of actions for translating ambitious development roadmap into reality for women and girls
Date: 10 March 2016
Oisika Chakrabarti, Ph: +1 646 781-4522; Email: oisika.chakrabarti[at]unwomen.org
Sharon Grobeisen, Ph: +1 646 781-4753; Email: sharon.grobeisen[at]unwomen.org
Zina Alam, Ph: +1 646-781-4783; Email: zina.alam[at]unwomen.org
(New York, 10 March)—Following a milestone year in international development in which world leaders endorsed the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the 60th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will focus firmly on implementation of the ambitious agreement. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by UN Member States in September 2015 are a universal roadmap for people and planet, addressing the key challenges of the 21st century, such as poverty, inequality and climate change. Gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls is a goal in itself, and recognized as a central means to achieving the SDGs. Success depends on rigorous implementation.
The Commission is the single largest forum for Member States and other stakeholders to commit to new actions for advancement of women and their empowerment. This year’s CSW is the first after the adoption of the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The session thus will build on the momentum garnered in September 2015 when, in conjunction with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, more than 90 governments answered UN Women’s call for action to “Step It Up for Gender Equality”. World leaders pledged measurable actions to tackle structural barriers and remaining challenges to the achievement of gender equality in their countries. Civil society and businesses leaders complemented these pledges committing to combat stereotypes and shift practices towards fostering greater equality and opportunity.
“This gathering of so many of the key partners in the implementation of Agenda 2030 makes this a crucial opportunity to combine our strengths and align decisively around the central issues for action,” said UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
The priority theme for the 60th session will be women’s empowerment and its link to sustainable development. Discussions by governments will focus on creating a conducive environment for gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, through actions to ensure enabling laws and policies, solid institutional infrastructures, adequate financial resources, strengthening of participation mechanisms, and investment in sex-disaggregated data, to guide national action.
Research underlines the benefit of women’s empowerment and gender equality for societies everywhere: for instance, if women played an identical role to men in labour markets, as much as USD 28 trillion could be added to global annual GDP by 2025. When women are at the peace tables, their participation increases the probability of a peace agreement lasting at least two years by 20 per cent, and 35 per cent over 15 years. And a child born to a mother who can read is 50 per cent more likely to survive. Yet, global reviews undertaken in 2015, during the 20 years’ commemoration of the historic Beijing Conference, revealed while there has been progress on women’s rights and gender equality, it has not been enough. Today, only one in five parliamentarians is a woman and women continue to earn less, have fewer assets and bear the burden of unpaid work and care.
Violence against women continues to affect one in three women, making it one of the most widespread human rights violations. The Commission will evaluate progress in the implementation of its agreed conclusions of 2013, on ending violence against women and girls, a pandemic that also comes with enormous economic costs to society.
The high-level meeting from 14-24 March underlines the determination of governments and activists to move the needle on women’s rights and gender equality. This year over 1,000 NGOs have pre-registered more than 8,100 of their representatives for the meeting. More than 200 side events will be hosted on the UN premises by Member States and UN entities, many of them in collaboration with civil society, about 150 of them in the first week of CSW alone, alongside 450 parallel events by NGOs, in the vicinity of the UN.
HIGHLIGHTS FOR MEDIA: [For press covering CSW60 at the UN Secretariat in New York, UN press accreditation is required. More information at: http://www.un.org/en/media/accreditation/ ]
Media Opportunities: Grassroots activists and women’s rights advocates are available for interviews. Short-list below, please contact media officers listed for details.
Events at the 60th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, 14–24 March 2016
Official meetings of the Commission are listed here: http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/csw60-2016/official-meetings
Live webcasts: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/csw/webcasts; and http://webtv.un.org/
All the above will also be webcast live at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/csw/webcasts; and http://webtv.un.org/
Information on all official events available at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/csw60-2016/official-meetings
Entire list of all official side events during CSW60: http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/csw60-2016/side-events/calendar-of-side-events; NGO-organized parallel events: http://www.ngocsw.org/ngo-csw-forum/ngo-parallel-events
Prevention Education in Action: Voices against Violence, organized by the Permanent Mission of Germany to the UN and World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, 21 March, 1.15–2.30 p.m., Conference Room A. Panelists include UN Women Deputy Executive Director, Lakshmi Puri, Political Coordinator of the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations, Thomas Schieb, and WAGGGS young women delegates.
Ms. Tennille Amor
Tennille Amor, from Trinidad and Tobago, is a creative writer, performer and activist. She is currently working with UN Women and is the co-founder of E.P.I.C. (Everyday People Initiating Change), an organization which drills clean water wells and contributes to community growth and development in the United Republic of Tanzania. Her debut album, “EVOLVE through LOVE,” will be released in the Spring of 2016, and includes the songs “Lion” and “I am a Girl.” Her work focuses on SDG 5 and she speaks English.
Ms. Patricia Munabi-Babiiha
Patricia Munabi-Babiiha, from Uganda, is the Executive Director of Forum for Women in Democracy, whose work focuses on women's political leadership in Africa, gender budgeting and mentoring for transformational leadership. Her work focuses on SDG 5 and she speaks English.
Ms. Maria Judite da Silva Balerio
Maria Judite da Silva Balerio, from Brazil, works in the indigenous community of Lagoa Quieta, in a municipality of Brazil, where she focuses on empowering indigenous youth and women, particularly survivors of domestic violence. She also works on political empowerment and sustainable development issues, and has been active since the age of 15 with the COAPIMA (Coordination of Organizations and joints of Indigenous Peoples of Maranhão), an indigenous organization representing the 11 indigenous peoples of the State of Maranhão. Her work focuses on SDG 5 and she speaks Portuguese.
Ms. Priscilla Magamba Busabono
Priscilla Magamba Busabono, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, is a youth advocate for women’s rights and a prominent civil society activist in her community. In 2013, Busabono was invited to the World YWCA in Geneva, Switzerland to participate in efforts to advance the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), where she gave a speech focused on rape, violence, armed conflict and on the leadership of young women in building peace in the DRC. Her work focuses on SDGs 5 and 16, and she speaks English and French.
Prof. Heather Cameron
Heather Cameron, from Canada, is the founder of Boxgirls International and The Camp Group "Think Tank and Do Lab", and Assistant Professor of Inclusive Education at the Freie Universität Berlin. In 2010 she was honoured by the German Association of University Professors with the prize ‘University Professor of the Year’. In 2010 she was selected as an Ashoka Fellow by the Ashoka: Social Innovators for the Public. In May 2011 she received the Young Leaders Award from the BMW Herbert Quandt Foundation. As a social entrepreneur, Prof. Cameron works around the world for girls’ education and rights. She leads projects for refugee children in German cities, designs girls primary school leadership programmes in the townships of Cape Town and as an international gender and education expert for the German Development Cooperation, runs workshops and creates curriculum tools for the Ministry of Education in Afghanistan. Her work focuses on SDGs 4 and 5 and she speaks English.
Ms. Nandini Chami
Nandini Chami, from India, is a youth activist working on use of mobile technologies in governance. She is a Senior Research Associate for IT for Change, where we works on research projects in the areas of e-governance and democracy, women's rights in the digital age and the political economy of ICTs for development. Her work focuses on SDG 5 and she speaks English.
Ms. Visaka Dharmadasa
Visaka Dharmadasa, from Sri Lanka, is the founder and Chair of the Association of War Affected Women and Parents of Servicemen Missing in Action. Her work focuses on the inclusion of women at all levels of peacebuilding and decision making. She was awarded the prestigious Humanitarian award for 2006 by Inter Action of Washington D.C. and in coordination with the “1000 Peace women across the globe” movement, she was nominated for a collective Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. Her work focuses on SDG 5 and 16 and she speaksEnglish.
Ms. Lydia Alpízar Durán
Lydia Alpízar Durán, is a Costa Rican/Mexican feminist activist based in Mexico City, and is the Executive Director of the Association of Women’s Rights in Development (AWID). Ms. Durán is a sociologist by training and co-founder and advisor of the ELIGE Youth Network for Reproductive and Sexual Rights. She was a member of the International Council for Human Rights Policy. AWID is a global feminist membership organization and one of the most important spaces for women’s rights groups to engage in. Her work focuses on SDG 5 and she speaks English and Spanish.
Ms. Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda
Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, from Zimbabwe, is a trained human rights lawyer with extensive experience in conflict resolution and mediation. For some 20 years, she has been working on issues of women and children's human rights, with a special focus on crisis countries. Active in the women's movement, she has more specifically focused on issues of violence against women, peace with justice, property rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights and HIV and AIDS. Her work focuses on SDG 5, and she speaks English.
Ms. Jeanette Suka Ila
Jeanette Suka Ila, from Papua New Guinea, works as a full-time peer educator, teaching young women and men in some of the country’s most isolated rural areas. She is also a youth advocate for community leadership focusing on sexual reproductive health rights for young people throughout PNG. Suka Ila has facilitated trainings in schools and communities on youth development and violence prevention, and mentors young women who face challenges particularly in regards to cultural and traditional taboos. Her work focuses on SDG 5 and she speaks English.
Ms. Rokeya Kabir
Rokeya Kabir, from Bangladesh, is the Executive Director and founder of Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha (BNPS). BNPS is one of the leading women's organizations in Bangladesh that has served, since 1986, about 200,000 women directly. She is a front-line women and human rights activist in Bangladesh with more than 30 years of professional experience in the field of women's rights, human rights and the rights of minorities. As recognition of her work, she has been nominated as one of the "1,000 Women for Peace" for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2005. She frequently writes on national and international political and economic issues and has more than half a dozen books to her credit. Her works focuses on SDG goals 4 and 5, and she speaks English.
Ms. Ezgi Koçak
Ezgi Koçak, from Turkey, is a seasoned youth activist who has been working in national and international women’s rights and LGBT movements for seven years. She has given consultancy to women's organizations internationally and has solid experience in reporting and monitoring human rights violations through the lens of gender equality by combining her academic and advocacy skills. Her work focuses on SDG 5 and she speaks English, Turkish and French.
Ms. Kate Lappin
Kate Lappin, is the Regional Coordinator of the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD). APWLD is a network of 200 women's rights organizations and activists working in 25 countries of Asia-Pacific, based in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Kate has worked for 20 years in the promotion of women's rights. She is a member of UN Women’s Asia-Pacific Civil Society Advisory Committee, sits on the Executive Committee of the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition and the coordinating committee of the Southeast Asian Women´s Caucus on ASEAN. Her work focuses on SDG 5, and she speaks English.
Dr. Crystal Lee
Dr. Crystal Lee is a Dine' (Navajo) woman from the United States, from the tribal clans of Tachii’nii (Red Running Into Water people), Tabaaha (Water’s Edge people), Tsenjikini (Cliff Dwellers people), and Kin I ichii’nii (Red House people). She was raised on the Navajo Reservation and Diné cultural knowledge and traditional life have strongly influenced her professional activities. Currently, she is working in collaboration with Indigenous peoples across the world to advance research and advocacy in the areas of sexual/reproductive health, health disparities, disease prevention, indigenous healing, cultural awareness and sustainability and education. Dr. Lee is a scientific health researcher at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, School of Community Health Sciences, Center for Health Disparities Research. Dr. Lee also founded and is the Executive Director of a non-profit organization, United Natives, that serves to help Native American youth in the spaces of leadership, community, education, health and culture. Former United States President Bill Clinton recognized Dr. Lee’s efforts to assist Native American youth through his Clinton Global Initiative. Her work focuses on SDGs 3 and 5 and she speaks English.
Ms. Monica Novillo
Monica Novillo, from Bolivia, is a women’s rights advocate with over 20 years of experience in advocating for gender equality. She is the Executive Director of the Bolivian civil society organization Coordinadora de la Mujer. Novillo focuses on developing advocacy strategies and proposals to advocate for legislative and public policy reforms on substantive issues relevant to women’s equality, as well as on women’s participation in law- and decision-making processes. Her work focuses on SDG 5 and she speaks English and Spanish.
Ms. Khalida Popal
Khalida Popal, an Afghani women’s rights activist working as a project coordinator with Cross Cultures Projects Association (CCPA) in Denmark, organizing women’s football activities, grass-roots football actives and seminars in Afghanistan. She also works with Hummel International as a project consultant and coordinator for the Afghanistan project. Before seeking and obtaining political asylum in Helsingør, Denmark, Ms. Popal was the Captain of the National Afghan women’s football team and Leader of Afghan Women’s Football Committee. Khalida is the main character in the Norwegian book “Heia Kabul!”, written by Anders Sømme Hammer. Her work focuses on SDG 5, and she speaks English, Dari/Farsi, Urdu and Danish.
Ms. Holly Ransom
Holly Ransom, from Australia, is the CEO of Emergent, a company specializing in the development of high-performing intergenerational workforces, leadership and social outcomes. Holly is renowned for generating innovative solutions to complex multi-stakeholder problems for corporations, governments and non-profit organizations, and for coaching and professionally mentoring leaders around the world. In 2012, she was the youngest person to be named in Australia’s ‘100 Most Influential Women’, and also became the world’s youngest-ever Rotary President. Her work with Rotary has played a key role in the global efforts to lift youth participation in the organization, more than doubling engagement in the last five years. Her work focuses on SDG 5, and she speaks English.
Ms. Nandita Shah
Nandita Shah, from India, is the co-director of Akshara, a not-for-profit women’s rights organization, and has over 30 years of experience strengthening women’s movements locally, nationally and internationally. Her expertise in building different public-private partnerships has led Akshara to institutionalized initiatives with police, transport authorities and local municipalities for creating gender-friendly cities for women. Her works focuses on SDGs 5 and 11 and she speaks English.
Ms. Jill Shenker
Jill Shenker, from the United States, has been with the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) since its founding. Prior to this, Jill was the coordinator of the Women's Collective of the San Francisco Day Labor Program, and has worked on connecting national campaigns to local organizing, and supporting movement-building collaborations. Her work focuses on SDG 5 and she speaks English.
Ms. Paninnguaq Steenholdt
Paninnguaq Steenholdt, from Greenlandic Denmark, is an indigenous female activist and youth advocate. She is a member of a student rights activist group that addresses the high rate of violence, abuse and suicide among youth in Greenland. As a board member and General Secretary of the only Greenlandic National Academic Students Organization, ’ILI ILI, she negotiates students’ rights with local politicians, and works on access to education for indigenous communities. Her work focuses on SDGs 4, 5 and 10, and she speaks Danish and English.
Ms. Olena Suslova
Olena Suslova, from Ukraine, founded the Women's Information Consultative Center in Kyiv, with the goal of creating a public discussion about gender issues in Ukrainian social and political life. She represented her organization at the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, and continues to promote women's empowerment through a range of activities. Her work focuses on SDG 5 and she speaks Ukrainian, English and Russian.
Ms. Louise Wellington
Louise Wellington is an Aboriginal Australian and indigenous female activist who has helped facilitate access to public services such as health and education for women, men, elderly and disabled indigenous people in remote communities throughout central Australia. Wellington has been involved with setting up the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance (NASTIWA) in Canberra, assisting the board of directors with membership, establishment and International Women’s Day projects that honour inspirational indigenous women. She is currently working as a marketing and business development manager in an indigenous-owned building and construction company that was set up to reduce reliance on government-funding and to enable sustainable living on homelands for Aboriginal people. Her works focuses on SDGs 5, 9 and 10 and she speaks English.
Ms. Teresa Zapeta
Teresa Zapeta is a Mayan indigenous woman from Guatemala, and has more than 15 years of work experience in advocacy for individual and collective rights of indigenous women and indigenous peoples, from NGOs, government agencies and international organizations. Her work focuses on SDG 5 and she speaks English and Spanish.