CSW59: Day 4- Through to Cambodia, Australia and India by Nyasha Mazango

Date: March 13, 2015
  • SHARE:

I rushed to the Malawian Embassy for the Alliance Meeting. The meeting brought the members to tackle issues in a more relaxed way. After the meeting we took a breather and were addressed by the Minster of Gender of Malawi. She was jovial and made us feel proud as a region.

After mid-day, I managed to attend a session on “Response of Violence Against Women” which was chaired by the Executive Director for UN Women Phumzile Ngcuka. The session was interesting and conducted in question-answer manner.

I liked the fact that the session provided a platform where governments from Cambodia and Australia engaged with civil society from India and Bangura as well as bilateral donors (UNFPA and UNWomen). In Cambodia, the government owns the National Plan through a vigorous consultative process to include all stakeholders. They have set up one stop centres, primary counselling services and strengthening the coordination of all interventions and scaling up a campaign addressing masculinity.

The Gender Minister from Australia discussed how the government has used the same extensive consultations to eliminate domestic violence. Australia also developed a 12 plan in four phases. The phases are monitored to ensure implementation. While there have been a number of sessions that highlighted that implementation was weak, the two governments indicated high level of implementation.

Two civil society representatives from India and Bangura were quick to refute that governments were implementing these plans. While the two represented government had done a lot of work, implementation remained weak across the world. There was no political and financial commitment by governments. Ms Kapoor from India when asked about the role of civil society in supporting and providing survivors of violence with services, she said governments are burdening the civil society with their responsibilities. She underscored that governments did not prioritise VAW. She asked the Ministers where she knew could one go if thrown out of her house with her children. Survivors need to be educated on availability of services and how to access them. The presenter from Bangura reiterated that government members such as uniformed staff exacerbated VAW during conflict. Women and girls are raped by the uniformed staff. Bangura said that a state that fails to protect mothers and children during peaceful environment can never be able to protect them in times of conflict.

The UNFPA executive director gave a solidarity presentation that it will support partners to offer improved services, educate survivors and stakeholders, governments to commit to substantive implementation. A representative from India working with men under the theme He for She, told a story of a woman who was imprisoned for life after attacking a security guard who raped her! The justice system in other regions often execute the survivors. Hence there is greater need to work on gender sensitisation through online information dissemination. Currently 15 million supported the online campaign of He for She. The session was concluded with frustrations that the girls who disappeared in Nigeria are still missing an indication of extremism and terrorism. There is need to raise the status of girls and women and not just let criminals go.

After the session I had the privilege of shaking hands with the UN Executive Director. Afterwards it was time to walk back to the hotel. I then got to join a group of Nepalese and once again got a photo shoot with them. Of course did window shopping while we were stuck in a human traffic jam as everyone was rushing home.



Comment on CSW59: Day 4- Through to Cambodia, Australia and India by Nyasha Mazango

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