Comments on: Confusion and disorder reign at Beijing + 15 Wed, 16 Nov 2016 01:37:11 +0000 hourly 1 By: Bernice Dubois Wed, 24 Mar 2010 16:03:10 +0000 Warm thanks to Annette for expressing so competently what we all felt at this meeting.
May I just add that at the Beijing + 15 preparatory meeting for the European and North American region in Geneva last November, the 2 day NGO meetings were also not held in the UN, although no repairs were taking place there. A majority of States is sending us a clear message that we are not wanted, while simultaneously working to undermine the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Congratulations to Annette.
Bernice Dubois

By: margaret owen Mon, 08 Mar 2010 18:17:04 +0000 Congratulations for the brilliant expose of the chaos of the arrangements for the 54th CSW, in which, while describing some of the worst manifestations of the insult and indifference the UN has shown to the thousands of women gathering in New York, also managed to convey their unstoppable energy, creativity and determination to overcome all obstacles and go on doggedly in further work towards gender equality and the empowerment of women. Thank you Annette, also, for singling out the WNC (UK Womens National Commission) and our government Mission to the UN who we know are on OUR side, work with us, and support us. Wish same could be said for other government delegations who often either ignore or refuse to have any consultation and collaboration with their women’s civil society groups . Thank you TOO Annette, for mentioning the WIDOWS. Bless you for singling out, from among all the unaddressed, emerging issues this one almost the most neglected of all gender/human rights topics. Your blog was the best!

By: Annette Lawson Sat, 06 Mar 2010 22:27:24 +0000 Life improved at Beijing + 15 which I have now left although there is a nother week to go, with several remarkable and interesting side events and panels. And women present found innovative ways to be included and to participate in the serious business of the meeting. CSW does not usually have many resolutions but now this year, the resolution became a tool to express what really matters and propose actions to be taken by governments. Of course, any resolution must eventually come from governments but NGOs can draft them and get their governments to pursue them. One (likely to cause the most difficulty because of its inclusion of wording on reproductive and health rights and services) is on Maternal Mortality and morbidity – the Millennium goal which has not at all been achieved.

June Jacobs, a past President of the International Council of Jewish Women, and Trustee of NAWO, worked with others to produce a draft on violence against women in conflict, bearing in mind especially the dreadful events in Darfur and the DRC.

Then, led by the The European Women’s Lobby, the European Caucus (all the regions have caucuses), has drafted an excellent open letter to go to the Secretary General and to governments and the Chair of CSW (Armenia). The letter makes clear the fury of the NGOs at our treatment but is powerful and positive about what has to be done. I proposed at the morning gathering of NGOs on Friday, that all NGOs might come together and agree for it to go from the entire NGO global body attending Beijing + 15. Hopefully this will happen.

There was progress on getting the plight of widows worldwide dealt with: a meeting was held between Baroness Gould, Chair of the UK’s Women’s National Commission, and Campaigner, Margaret Owen from Widows for Peace through Democracy, with the Under-Secretary General on the matter, and many mentions of the problems were heard in speeches from the plenary sessions and panels.

Finally, what delight was experienced by all of us lucky enough to be in the Conference Room when at Equality Now’s joint event with the UN’s Human Rights Committee, Meryl Streep introduced Sarah Jones, and her one-woman show (actually acting seven women from all over the world and of a range of ages) called ‘Women Can’t Wait’! Using just a scarf as prop, Sarah Jones portrayed women as young as 13 from Kenya to maybe 60 from India, all of whom were suffering under discriminatory laws. She is brilliant and very, very funny while dealing with men’s power still to disadvantage women in ways they do not and never would accept for themselves. The scarf became handcuffs for the Agunot women of Israel who are shackled by their husbands who refuse to grant them a religious divorce although women cannot refuse a divorce to their husbands and although Israel’s civil courts do not discriminate.

The fact remains that as we laughed we also recalled that ten years ago this same performance artist had already argued and demonstrated in her inimitable way that Women Can’t Wait’. As her Indian woman said, it may be that men think what we really mean is, “We women would prefer not to wait but by all means take as long as you like”!!