Tuesday, April 26, 2022

CPD55: Will governments reach consensus this year on women’s reproductive health & rights?

Evi van Dunger at the UN
As spring is setting in, the annual UN Commission on Population and Development (CPD) will take place in New York. I have the privilege to attend another physical gathering in New York and be part of the Dutch government delegation to the CPD. 

This year, United Nations Member States will come together in a hybrid format to discuss the progress (or lack thereof) on the ICPD agenda. The 55th session of the CPD will take place from 25 – 29 April. However, negotiations started before that! Since not all CPDs have ended with UN Member States finding consensus, I am really curious what this year’s session will bring!

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

CSW66 - Labour Rights & Sex Work

Friday 18th of March was the date. For months, the Sex Workers Working Group of the Count Me In! Consortium prepared for it with the Global Network of Sex Work Projects -NSWP - and co-sponsor Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Other bodies, including CNV Internationaal and the government of New Zealand also joined.

The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
(CSW) this year had as a review theme: 'women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work’ and hosted our co-sponsored side event.

Monday, April 11, 2022

CSW66: Reflections on Men & Masculinities and Climate Justice

MenEngage CSW66 statement
As the
66th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66) recently concluded, it provides a key moment to reflect on the value contribution of intersectional feminist approaches in transforming patriarchal masculinities and work with men and boys for gender and climate justice. MenEngage Alliance members and partners followed and contributed to the CSW alongside other feminist organizations through statements, side events and influencing of the Agreed Conclusions.

Friday, April 8, 2022

Historic CSW Agreed Conclusions lack sense of urgency

The most recent IPCC reports show the scientific proof of a situation that feminist and climate activists have been seeing on the ground for years: if we don’t act now on limiting our emissions and taking more ambitious climate action, the results of climate change will be irreversible and many parts of our world will be unlivable. It shows our current policies to address the climate and environmental crises are not sufficient. We need to be more ambitious! 

This is where we, as WECF and part of the global feminist movement, had hoped CSW66 would have made a difference.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

CSW66 Pitch: Laat gehandicapte mensen meedoen!

Hazar bij FemTopia op 8 maart 2022

Hazar Chaouni van Feminists Against Ableism was een van de diverse vertegenwoordigers uit het Nederlands maatschappelijk middenveld bij de - virtuele - CSW NGO briefing op 1 februari 2022. Zij gaf daar een pitch aan de Nederlandse CSW delegatie. Helaas kon ze zelf door omstandigheden niet actief betrokken zijn bij de CSW dit jaar. Hieronder een inzicht in hoe disability terugkomt in het slotdocument van de CSW dit jaar. En meteen ook de volledige pitch van Hazar om na te lezen.

Friday, April 1, 2022

CSW66: Feminist Courage for Environmental Peace

Women, girls, and gender minorities are uniquely and disproportionately affected by the damaging environmental impacts of conflict, while lacking and demanding access to shape the necessary decision-making in environmental governance and peacebuilding structures. Nonetheless, women activists are fashioning innovative ways to turn around the negative impacts of conflict linked-environmental damage and climate risks impacting their communities, in effect preventing future conflict.  

On 15 March 2022, during the Gendered Environmental Impacts of Conflict virtual panel on the margins of the 66th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66), leading women activists and practitioners from Syria, South Sudan, Iraq, and Colombia shared powerful insights on the nexus of conflict, the environment, and gender.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

CSW66: Nadia's Press Conference Statement (and the 'Stop the Clock' clause)

The Women's Rights Caucus (WRC) that WO=MEN is a proud member of held a press conference on the final day of the 66th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66) - see here for a summary or here for the recording). At that time, however, the CSW had not yet concluded.

The delegates from Member States went on much longer than planned to negotiate about the final text in the Agreed Conclusions. There was really no way of knowing when they would end. UN Women staff had even shared with us, the 'couch support' (civil society with ECOSOC ground passes) in the UN basement, that there was a trick they could use to continue even after the formal end of the CSW on Friday night 25 March: a clause called 'stop the clock'.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

CSW66: Women's Rights Caucus Expresses Concerns Over This Year’s CSW

On Friday 25th of March - the last day of negotiations during the CSW, the Women’s Rights Caucus (WRC) - a global coalition of over 200 feminist organizations, advocating for gender equality at the United Nations - organized a Press Conference to comment on the state of negotiations on the agreed conclusions. Particularly, the WRC wanted to express concern over the lack of commitment to climate justice during this year’s CSW. Feminist activists and CSO actors made powerful statements reflecting on critical issues, such as the central importance of the inclusion of “loss and damage” in the agreed conclusions. The WRC members also expressed concerns over the restriction of civic space during this CSW. 

You can watch the recording of the press conference on YouTube or on the WO=MEN website 

Here are the key issues that the speakers raised during their statements:

Thursday, March 24, 2022

CSW66 Blog: Sex(ual health and rights) at the CSW

Hi this is Karin, I work for Rutgers on international advocacy and am engaging virtually in this year's CSW. Rutgers is active at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) to keep our eye out for the recommendations to include sexual and reproductive health and rights and to make them as inclusive as possible for people from the LGBTQI+ community.

So how does climate connect with sexual health?
When you think of international negotiations about climate, your first thought probably is not about sexual health. I don’t blame you. But during CSW, countries discuss how to make progress on gender equality, and with this year’s theme being “climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes,” inevitably sexual and reproductive health will be tabled. But why?

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Blog #4 by Sanne: We need progress on Loss & Damage!

Today the CSW’s main outcome document, the Agreed Conclusions, continued. At this CSW66, it is not only essential that we move forward on gender equality issues, but also on climate, environmental and disaster-risk reduction action! We need to connect to existing discussions in different UN-spaces to ensure that our discussions here in New York strengthen our intersectional, transformative climate action and that gender equality is central. Because we want this CSW to ensure that we deal with environmental & climate crises as coherently and strongly as possible. We can’t wait any longer!

CSW66: Tijd voor Gender Just Climate Change

Helaas niet in New York waar alle actie plaats vindt, maar vanuit huis in Nederland via zoom was ik er toch even bij: de CSW. Dat is een terugkerend moment waarop er stil wordt gestaan waar we staan met het bevorderen van meer gelijkwaardigheid voor vrouwen en mannen. Het voelt soms als stilstaan...

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

CSW66 blog: who listens when we #UNMute?

Sanne on screen in the General Assembly

Last Friday evening, the negotiations of the CSW Agreed Conclusions halted quite early and were only resumed again today in the afternoon. This meant that I had the morning to check out the statements by countries and NGOs in the impressive General Assembly. Sanne Van de Voort was one of just three NGO's present to deliver her statement - on behalf of WECF - in person.

But there were some hurdles to overcome first:

CSW66 Blog #3 from Sanne: NGO reps @ the UN

CSW66 is in it's second week and negotiations and side events are in full swing. Here is a brief personal recap by NGO representative Sanne of the CSW so far - in pictures.

Monday, March 21, 2022

Feminist Film Recommendation: "Dying to Divorce"

Lived experiences of women are essential for feminist theory, knowledge production, and activism. It is no surprise that the phrase “the personal is political” has resonated so well throughout decades of feminist activism. It is crucial that our activism is grounded in the experienced oppression of marginalized groups of people. 

The 2021 documentary Dying to Divorce does just that. The documentary follows two court cases handled by the Turkish attorney and activist Ipek Bozkurt, who is part of the “We Will Stop Femicide Platform”, a Turkish feminist advocacy group. 

Saturday, March 19, 2022

CSW66 Blog: Nadia joins the Couch Support

Nadia @ the UN

Last weekend, the UN suddenly announced that it would open up its building for NGOs again immediately on the following Monday. This came as a complete surprise. 

I frantically struggled through the UN website to request a ground pass, not really believing it was going to be possible. I booked a flight, hotel, and a covid test time slot…