There is not much space for Civil Society to meaningfully engage with their governments and influence the current CSW processes. There is little transparency and access to information is limited. For many people registering and moving around during this CSW is a logistical nightmare. And to top it all off there is a feeling that this process is a bit of a façade. The declaration will not be negotiated, so there will not be a new outcome document. Member states have chosen to copy and paste the declaration from 5 years ago because they fear that opening up the declaration for negotiations will mean taking steps back.
Is it possible that using a declaration that was made 5 years ago is more progressive than making a new declaration that takes the current context and new challenges into account? Is that type of thinking not inherently a sign of taking major steps backwards?
Many Civil Society Organizations have come here to participate in the negotiations of this declaration. We were hoping for some space to influence our governments to improve on the declaration. However, there will not be any negotiations. So what are we all doing here?
A group of women from WIDE and various networks came together to write as statement to Member states and the chairperson of the CSW to express their sentiments on this issue. This statement has been endorsed by a variety of Women’s groups such as WIDE, AWID, DAWN, GAD and so on. Currently the statement is being circulated and people can sign on to it.
Writing this statement has been a very interesting participatory process. We are hoping that the statement will be circulated to Member States and that something will be done about this situation in the coming year. The statement is to be found on the WIDE-website.