Imkaan contributions to the 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women now available on our website
Over the past two weeks, Marai Larasi (Executive Director at Imkaan) has contributed to five sessions at the Commission on the Status of Women; for the UN, the Home Office, the Canadian Government, and two NGO forums. Marai also lobbied on behalf of UK VAWG services at other sessions during this time.
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the United Nation’s principal global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women. Every year, representatives of Member States gather at United Nations Headquarters in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment worldwide.
You can view some of Marai’s contributions to this year’s CSW on our Resources page, under ‘External Contributions and Mentions’.
The CSW has now agreed conclusions on the elimination and prevention of all forms of VAWG. Amongst the agreed conclusions, Imkaan particularly welcomes those that promote equal access to education, encourage appropriate responses to VAWG by statutory services, recognise the specific needs of women in conflict and post-conflict situations, migrants, and women with HIV, and the important role of the media and ICT in eliminating VAWG.
While there is much work to be done, the CSW conclusions present a critical opportunity for states to implement, strengthen and monitor the work to eliminate and prevent all forms of violence against women and girls. We will continue to lobby UK government to encourage targeted efforts to ensure that the conclusions are adopted to strengthen existing work on VAWG in the UK.
The Commission on the Status of Women agrees conclusions on the elimination and prevention of all forms of VAWG
The 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women has taken place in New York over the last two weeks.
Amongst the agreed conclusions, Imkaan particularly welcomes conclusions that promote equal access to education, encourage appropriate responses to VAWG by statutory services, recognise the specific needs of women in conflict and post-conflict situations, migrants, and women with HIV, and the important role of the media and ICT in eliminating VAWG:
- The acknowledgement of the important role of prevention and elimination of discrimination.
- The right to education as a human right, and the elimination of illiteracy, ensuring equal access to education, in particular in remote and rural areas and closing the gender gap at all levels of education, empowers women and girls and thereby contributes to eliminating all forms of discrimination and VAWG.
- The commission urges states to strongly condemn all forms of VAWG and to refrain from invoking custom, tradition or religion to avoid their obligations as set out in the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence agains Women.
- Ensure women and girls access to justice and effective legal assistance and processes.
- Develop and implement multisectoral national policies, strategies and programmes with the effective participation of women and girls which include measures for prevention, protection, support services, data collection, research, monitoring and evaluation and national benchmarks for results to be achieved.
- Adopt and fund policy reforms and programmes, and support education to train and strengthen the capacity of the judiciary, police, military, those working in education, health, social welfare, justice, defence and immigration; hold public officials accountable for not complying with laws and regulations related to VAWG.
- Recognise the important role of the media in the elimination of gender stereotypes and in promoting non-discriminatory and gender-sensitive reporting, and in improving public awareness on VAWG, to train those who work in the media and to develop and strengthen self-regulatory mechanisms to promote balanced and non-stereotypical portrayals of women as creative human beings, key actors and contributors to and beneficiaries of the process of development.
- Support the development and use of ICT and social media as a resource for the empowerment of women and girls including access to information on prevention and responses to VAWG and mechanisms to combat the use of ICT and social media to perpetrate sexual harassment, exploitation, child pornography, trafficking, cyber stalking and bullying.
- Adopt and implement measures to ensure the social and legal inclusion and protection of women migrants, including women migrant workers.
- Eliminate discrimination and violence against women and girls living with HIV.
- Ensure that in armed conflict and post-conflict situations, sexual and gender based violence are prioritised and addressed through investigation, prosecution and punishment of perpetrators to end impunity and remove barriers to women’s access to justice. This includes establishing mechanisms of complaint and reporting, access to health care, including sexual and reproductive health services.
The CSW conclusions provide a critical opportunity for states to implement, strengthen and monitor the work to eliminate and prevent all forms of violence against women and girls. The UK Government has been participating in these disucssions and we hope to see targeted efforts from government to ensure that the conclusions are adopted to strengthen existing work on VAWG in the UK.
Million Women Rise Press Release: Europe’s biggest women’s march calls for an end to male violence against women
More than 10,000 women and children will take to the streets of central London on Saturday, 9 March, 2013. The march, organised by Million Women Rise (MWR), is holding up a mirror to the truth of male violence against women in all its forms, bringing women together to say enough is enough.
Women from across the UK will meet at 12 noon outside Selfridges on Oxford Street making their way to Trafalgar Square at 3pm for the rally.
This year we have already seen the rape of millions of women throughout the world and we are only in March. We have heard the German authority’s apologies to a teenage girl for sending her to a brothel to get work. We saw the gang rape and murder of a 17 year old girl in South Africa and the protest from our sisters there. We have witnessed the Irish government commit murder of a woman who was denied her human right to an abortion. Indian women continue to expose the violence they experience after the gang rape of a young woman who is now dead. Women in Egypt have spoken out against state sponsored violence against women. UK Government statistics revealed less than one rape survivor in 30, who goes to the Police in the UK, will see her attacker brought to justice. We cannot forget women in DR Congo or the British Government support for Rwanda and Uganda, two Governments named by the UN as assisting, arming and directing militia’s in the east of DR Congo responsible for mass rape in this war for mineral wealth.
Bonnie Greer, renowned feminist playwright, novelist and critic has sent her support by saying;
“I will be adding my voice to the thousands, who will march under the banner of Million Women Rise this Saturday to call for the end of the global violation of women and girls”
Sabrina Qureshi, founder of Million Women Rise, was named one of the new pioneers of feminism by the Independent newspaper, said:
“Male violence against women and girls is systematic and organised and we are still facing a pandemic of male violence in the UK and across the globe. If gendered violence was a disease the government would be calling for a state of emergency! The recent exposure of Savile revealed the extent of violence a single man can perpetrate, especially when backed up by institutions that colluded in the abuse but we know as women that violence against women is not isolated to one man; it could be any man. This culture of ‘that this is just the way it is” must end now!
“Every woman or child who dies or is injured as a consequence of male violence is a stark reminder of the reason why we march and why we cannot just sit back and do nothing. To do nothing is to accept this violation of our human rights and to say that those lives are valueless or less important than others.”
Rape Crisis (England & Wales) has added their voice to the campaign. Their Vice Chair, Jane Gregory said:
“Rape Crisis supports Million Women Rise 2013 because in order to end the epidemic of rape and sexual abuse we see in the UK and globally we need women to be able to come together, to work together, to show solidarity with all women here in London and across the world and say enough is enough, with our sisters we will change the world.”
The march and rally demands more than words, enquiries, policies and strategies from government. We demand the money and resources that match the seriousness and levels of violence we live with and to enable women to live free from the threat of male violence.
We call for International Women’s Day, March 8th, to be declared a national holiday in celebration and recognition of women’s contribution to all areas of UK society.
The event will be the sixth annual Million Women Rise march. Last year’s demonstration was a resounding success, with an estimated 8,000 marchers participating and substantial press coverage on London Tonight, national and local radio networks.
Please check our website millionwomenrise.com
contact media for MWR: 07727419634