Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Highlights of the day – NGO Consultation day

We’ll give you a daily dosis of inspirational quotes. There’s so much going on we simply can’t go into detail on all of it, so this is a selection that might trigger some thoughts…

  • “Women can, Yes we can!” Michelle Bachelet states with great confidence. The audience cheers and applauses, the head of UNWomen is already loved by experienced women activists. See for more reflection on Bachelet’s speech the blog below.
  • “We have to stop it, because it hurts. Even as a man, I also know it.” A young US marine (male) stands up to speak his mind on men’s roles in ending violence against women and girls.
  • “That right there, is a micro-representation of what is wrong in this world: we are not moving, because we are quite comfortable where we are now…” Dutch Women respresentative at the UN Kirsten van den Hul makes a sharp observation on the behaviour of two NGO representatives who do not want to move up a few seats so we can sit together (eventually they did though :)
  • “I think I want a third wave feminism.” Donelle Wheeler from UN Women Australia shares our opinion that young women are highly underrepresented during this meeting and that most sessions would benefit quite a lot from some interactive facilitation methods.
  • “Have you thought about ways to involve those women who cannot be present today, for example through conference calls?” Colorfully dressed Eleanor Nwadinobi from NMWA Nigeria questions the inclusiveness of UN events as a result of high costs and requirement to pay with credit card. (Bachelet: “Yes, we think cooperation with women from civil society all around the world is of utmost importance”).
  • “Aha, it’s an ‘equates’ sign. I want one, that’s such smart marketing!!!” An enthousiastic young lady quite likes the WO=MEN buttons that represent equality, and immediately pinnes it on her sweater. So did many other women that we gave the flyer to today.
  • During the Closing session we took the mike to ask attention for the fact that violence against women is a gender issue; affecting both women and men; needing gender stereotypes to be removed; and that girls are not only victim but also change agent, just as boys and men can be partners, role models, peer educators, and change agents as well (see NGO statement on the review theme). Afterwards, we spend about half an hour talking to women who shared their own experiences from the field on the importance of male involvement.

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