CSW59: Day 3- Moving the agenda forward for women and girls by Jean-Max Appanah

CSW59: Day 3- Moving the agenda forward for women and girls by Jean-Max Appanah

Date: March 11, 2015
  • SHARE:

I was meant to attend the side event on the “Sharia as a Source of Women’s Rights” on the 8th Floor of the United Nations Church Centre. I got to the right building and went straight through the door into the first room which was on my left. I managed to find my way to a vacant seat in the crowded room. Soon I realised that I was in the wrong venue as the theme for discussion was “Moving forward the Agenda for girls.” Not attending my planned side event turned out to a blessing in disguise. The panellists were between 16 and 19 years of age. They were from Ecuador, Ghana, Ethiopia and New Zealand. Those young ladies, each having a story to tell, were in fact a breath of fresh air. Their innocence, their courage, their willingness to better their lives and those around them has transformed each one of them as the potential leaders of tomorrow. Old generations still show resistance to their aspirations and dreams. However working with young men and boys has enabled these ladies to see them as partners in a better world.

My next session was called “Cool Feminism Exploring Ideas from the North.” The Nordic Countries which include Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Greenland and Denmark have been at the forefront in the fight against human rights violations. Today, Iceland is the only country in the world to have narrowed down the gender gap. Nordic Women Groups have come up with new practices in order to reduce violence against women.

The third session I attended was called, “Women Fighting Extremism: In God’s Name the Role CEDAW.” The discussion was centred around the question of how the drivers of extremism can affect women and girls. Testimonies from the panel members showed how extremism has given rise to violence against women for example extremist groups such as Boko Harem operating in Northern Nigeria, Isis in Syria and Northern Iraq. In Myanmar, the government has banned interracial marriage (Muslim men marrying Buddhist women). The role of CEDAW- the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women was discussed at great length.

Recommendations were made by the panellists on how to curtail the rise in extremism. Civil society organisations and states are encouraged to work together, and to ensure funding and protection of the Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRD). They also recommended UN Resolution 30 be recognised and fully implemented; freedom of expression to be maintained; and women and men are to act as agents of change.

Jean-Max Appanah is one of the 2014 SADC Gender Protocol Summit winners, visiting and blogging about CSW59 as part of her prize for being a gender driver of change in her community.


Comment on CSW59: Day 3- Moving the agenda forward for women and girls by Jean-Max Appanah

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *