A report on the 47th session: UN Commission on the Status of Women.Introduction
From 3-14 March 2003, the 47th session of the Commission on the Status of Women Noun 1. Commission on the Status of Women - the commission of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations that is concerned with the status of women in different societies took place at the UN Headquarters in New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of . Since its early beginnings, Commissions have tried to set women's issues on the agenda. Given a world that is characterized by patriarchy patriarchy: see matriarchy. and men dominating the decision-making, the process of the CSW CSW Commission on the Status of Women
CSW Christian Solidarity Worldwide
CSW Clinical Social Worker
CSW College of the Southwest (New Mexico)
CSW Cambridge SoundWorks (audio manufacturer) was not easy and the outcome not as successful as expected every time. But through its ongoing and consistent work, the Commission itself has received an important status in the UN Family and can be named as one of the major functional Commissions assisting the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
In Preparation for the 2003 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW or UNCSW) is a functional commission of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), one of main UN organs within the United Nations. , the Ecumenical Women 2000+ held an Orientation beginning with a wonderful worship in the Church Center Chapel, giving an opportunity for all sisters to greet one another for the first time and to share peace. A short Introduction invited participants to speak about three main issues: Where are you from? Why you are here? What do you expect to take with you from the CSW?
Many were worried about the possibility of a war in Iraq at that time and articulated their hope to bring some faith into the CSW in order to build up a spirit of peace. Those who had already been involved in the CSW process since Beijing 1995 or Beijing+5 expressed their hope to get a step further with regard to the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (PFA PFA Pacific Film Archive
PFA Professional Footballers Association
PFA Predictive Failure Analysis
PFA Protection From Abuse
PFA Parent-Faculty Association
PFA Popular Flying Association ). Women who had been accredited accredited
recognition by an appropriate authority that the performance of a particular institution has satisfied a prestated set of criteria.
cattle herds which have achieved a low level of reactors to, e.g. for the first time and especially the youth mentioned their expectations both to learn more about the UN procedure and to fulfill their knowledge of the issues of the PFA and in particular about the two main thematic issues from the PFA that should be reviewed at the 47th Session of the CSW
* Women and media: Before the background of the wide and fast spread of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT (1) (Information and Communications Technology) An umbrella term for the information technology field. See IT.
(2) (International Computers and Tabulators) See ICL.
1. (testing) ICT - In Circuit Test. ) and the changes of industrial and agricultural societies into information based ones, this topic focused attention on the participation of and access of women to the traditional and the new media and ICTs as well as their impact on the lives of women and girls. It was also in order to report to the Preparation Committee of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS WSIS World Summit on the Information Society
WSIS Who Should I Start? (fantasy football)
WSIS Waste Stream Information Sheet
WSIS White Smoke Identification System (US Navy) ) that will take place in Geneva Geneva, canton and city, Switzerland
Geneva (jənē`və), Fr. Genève, canton (1990 pop. 373,019), 109 sq mi (282 sq km), SW Switzerland, surrounding the southwest tip of the Lake of Geneva. 2003 and Tunis 2005, about the risks, challenges and opportunities of the use of ICTs especially for women.
* Human rights for women: Setting a special view on trafficking of women and girls, these issue deals with the need of the implementation and respect for the universal human rights for women and therefore asks about a framework to eliminate all forms of violence against them.
Finally a session to teach methods of useful thinking in the CSW process took place. Going into basic facts, the context, policies and systems as well as new policy initiatives dealt with the questions:
* Whose rights are violated by misusing ICTs or through violence?
* What rights are violated?
* What intersections can be identified?
* Which specific violations against women can be named?
* What are the root causes of the intersectional oppression?
* Which persons, institutions or policies are the violators?
* What are the different impacts on women of different identities?
* Is there a hierarchy of privilege?
* Which new strategies to break the connection between identity and oppression can we create and think could be useful?
Noun 1. NGO - an organization that is not part of the local or state or federal government
nongovernmental organization Consultation
A panel discussion dealing with equality, education and empowerment took place. Focusing on education, Dr. Dafna Lemish of Israel mentioned the media as the major socializer so·cial·ize
v. so·cial·ized, so·cial·iz·ing, so·cial·iz·es
1. To place under government or group ownership or control.
2. To make fit for companionship with others; make sociable. of our days and therefore pointed out the fact that media both shapes the world and reflects it. This raises three main issues:
1. Representation of women in the media
2. Women as consumers
3. Women as producers
As she pointed out, one of the most important issues that we have to face today are the impact of different kinds of media which present women in a stereotypical way. Given two pools, women are usually shown as mothers and life givers or as sex-objects and bodies. While media often reduces women to being victims or being needy, we are not used to seeing women as powerful, intelligent, able and strong.
Anne Walker of the International Women's Tribune Center (IWTC IWTC International Workshop on Tropical Cyclones ) the second speaker of the session gave participants some impressions of the WSIS process, especially regarding the Preparatory Committee that had taken place in Geneva 17-28 February 2003. While explaining the structure of the WSIS, she articulated the strong need to include women's issues in every part of the process. With regard to the UN Millennium Declaration she made clear that the Summit has to address all aspects of gender in order to create a framework that helps women to fully benefit from the opportunities ICTs offer.
The third panelist pan·el·ist
A member of a panel.
Noun 1. panelist - a member of a panel
panel - a group of people gathered for a special purpose as to plan or discuss an issue or judge a contest etc , Elena di Paolo told participants about her experiences as a victim of trafficking. Trying to offer her two daughters a better future, she moved from Russia to the US to marry a man she met in the Internet. As a victim of domestic violence, prostitution prostitution, act of granting sexual access for payment. Although most commonly conducted by females for males, it may be performed by females or males for either females or males. and trafficking, Elena underlined that women never choose violence and do not choose to be trafficked. Faced with economic problems and poverty that makes them vulnerable, many women decide to leave their homes without having any impression of what could happen to them.
To understand the process of the CSW means identifying the different stakeholders Stakeholders
All parties that have an interest, financial or otherwise, in a firm-stockholders, creditors, bondholders, employees, customers, management, the community, and the government. who participate. In general, four actors can be named: the governments, the specific U.N. bodies, intergovernmental in·ter·gov·ern·men·tal
Being or occurring between two or more governments or divisions of a government.
in organizations and the NGOs'. In order to gather wrap up overlapping or similar issues of concern, the NGOs' organize themselves in so called caucuses. These caucuses can be defined by region or by theme. In the 47th session of the CSW, the caucuses defined by region were:
* the European Caucus caucus: see convention. (which was organized by the European Women's Lobby [EWL EWL Excess Weight Loss
EWL Effective Working Length
EWL Equivalent Working Length
EWL Engineer Work Line
EWL Electronic Warfare Laboratory
EWL Early Warning Line
EWL External Wavelength Locking (Agilent) ])
* the Arab Women's Caucus
* the Asia-Pacific Women's Caucus
* the African Women's Caucus
* the Latin America Latin America, the Spanish-speaking, Portuguese-speaking, and French-speaking countries (except Canada) of North America, South America, Central America, and the West Indies. / Caribbean Women's Caucus
Apart from these there were several thematic caucuses, namely:
* the Caucus Against Trafficking of Women and Girls
* the Human Rights Caucus
* the Youth Caucus
* the ICT / Media Caucus
* the Mental Health Caucus
* the Peace Caucus
* the Linkage linkage
In mechanical engineering, a system of solid, usually metallic, links (bars) connected to two or more other links by pin joints (hinges), sliding joints, or ball-and-socket joints to form a closed chain or a series of closed chains. Caucus
Although almost all of these caucuses had been important for the strengthening of women's issues, the Linkage Caucus had a specific role in the whole procedure providing a platform for all of the other caucuses to come together at the end of a day in order to exchange special issues or concerns, to give a brief summary about the work of the different caucuses and to report about or co-ordinate lobbying.
Daily NGO Briefing
Briefings held every morning were organized in order to give all participants a short report regarding meetings, work and outcomes of the several caucuses. Given that one can not attend all the different events, these briefings are extremely useful to get information about the whole NGO action at the Commission. Wide discussions and the opportunity for further questions to all panelists and reporters help participants understand more of the ongoing process. The briefing helped to clarify the rules of procedure, the framework in which the Commission works and relationships between NGO, governments, the CSW Bureau and ECOSOC for those NGO delegates who are new to the CSW process. Leslie Wright, the Chairperson chairperson Chairman The head of an academic department. See 'Chair.', Cf Chief. of the NGO Committee of the CSW, regularly kept the information flow between NGO sector and the bureau of the Commission. Additionally, Carolyn Hannan, the Secretary of the CSW Bureau came once a week to brief the NGO delegates about what was going on in the CSW process, and especially in the Bureau itself. The briefings were also used as a forum for announcements including additions to the agenda or changes in the timetable.
Panel Discussions and High-Level Roundtables
The Commission held its panel discussion on the two thematic issues during the first few days. While the first panel discussion referred to the topic of participation and access of women and girls to the media, the second panel brought up the subject of women's human rights, in particular, basic considerations for the elimination of the various forms of violence which women and girls face in their daily lives. The roundtable included about 27 participants who talked about national frameworks and policies that individual states had formed to support gender equality, in light of the Commission's two thematic subjects for this session. Some of the central topics that were mentioned include: strategies to forbid for·bid
tr.v. for·bade or for·bad , for·bid·den or for·bid, for·bid·ding, for·bids
1. To command (someone) not to do something: I forbid you to go.
2. female genital mutilation female genital mutilation: see circumcision. , good practices to promote socioeconomic development Socio-economic development is the process of social and economic development in a society. Socio-economic development is measured with indicators, such as GDP, life expectancy, literacy and levels of employment. of woman and tactics which make sure that existing international conventions and instruments encourage gender mainstreaming. In addition to the high-level roundtable, a new forum for governments to discuss the main issues of a CSW before the start of the general debates was added.
Several informal consultations were used by the governments to discuss the draft agreed upon Adj. 1. agreed upon - constituted or contracted by stipulation or agreement; "stipulatory obligations"
noncontroversial, uncontroversial - not likely to arouse controversy conclusions that were submitted by the Bureau of the CSW. After the first drafts came out on Thursday 6th March, the governments set up the first reading of both drafts during Thursday, Friday and Monday. Although most of the NGOs had started their lobbying months before, these three days seemed most important for a intense lobbying by the caucuses.
During this first reading, every country or union had the opportunity to articulate concerns about the paper, to ask for clarification of specific phrases or to discuss proposals for changes in language as well as in content. In the next step, the Bureau of the Commission added all the changes and a second reading followed. Given that a paper can only be agreed by full consensus of all countries, these reading processes can be very time-intensive and difficult. In order to speed up the process, the governments have to show flexibility. Nevertheless it occurs several times that an issue had to be left open to give the delegates the chance for further consultations. As some governments only agree to some paragraphs when those include specific issues, there is the strong need to work out solutions that are acceptable for all.
In the third reading on the last but one day, of the Commission, the informal consultations began to run out of time. Therefore the chairperson asked for any news on outstanding proposals and urged all delegates to show flexibility. By giving a couple of language suggestions for these outstanding paragraphs, the delegates tried to make them more comprehensible com·pre·hen·si·ble
Readily comprehended or understood; intelligible.
[Latin compreh . The changed paragraph was re-read and since there were no objections, were accepted.
Women and the Information Society
By stressing this subject in the general debate, a delegate of the International Telecommunication Union International Telecommunication Union (ITU), specialized agency of the United Nations, with headquarters at Geneva. It was created in 1934 as a result of the merging of the International Telegraph Union (est. (ITU (International Telecommunication Union, Geneva, Switzerland, www.itu.ch) A telecommunications standards body that is under the auspices of the United Nations. Comprising more than 185 member countries, the ITU sets standards for global telecom networks. ) pointed out that the governments could not eliminate poverty or build democratic societies of economical gender equality unless women will get the inclusive right to use ICTs and draw to benefit from the information society. Other highlights included:
A. An issue paper from IWTC that addressed the question of what information society actually means, presented some of the statements which had been given during the WSIS preparatory process.
B. A report of the Asia-Pacific Regional Conference for WSIS, defining the Information Society as "one in which highly-developed ICT networks, equitable and ubiquitous access to information, appropriate content in accessible formats and effective communication can help people to achieve their potential, promote sustainable economic and social development, improve quality of life for all, alleviate poverty and hunger, and facilitate partieipatory decision-making process."
C. Discussions between NGOs on potential strategies to strengthen women's voices and gender issues in the WSIS process in the light of the recent Preparatory Committee 2 of the World Summit on the Information Society The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) was a pair of United Nations-sponsored conferences about information, communication and, in broad terms, the information society that took place in 2003 in Geneva and in 2005 in Tunis. (Prep Com-2).
Pushed by the enormous speed of technological development and an ongoing spread of information and communication technologies (ICTs), there are profound changes in the social, economic and cultural life of all nations. This includes widespread influences on all spheres of human being, including health, politics, education and science, the labor and business sector as well as media, entertainment or different ways of civic participation. Finding ways to promote a necessary framework to build up such a society means addressing primary issues and inequalities we know today: But how can we talk about an Information society based on ICTs when half of the world population has no access to telephone lines or traditional mass media like newspapers or radio and television? Can ICTs be used to empower women world wide and especially in less developed countries and rural areas? What has to be done to keep crime out of the Internet in order to protect women and girls from violence, including pornography pornography
Depiction of erotic behaviour intended to cause sexual excitement. The word originally signified any work of art or literature depicting the life of prostitutes. , trafficking or racism? How can we make sure that there will not only be the opportunity for women to get trained in ICT skills, but also that there will be a change in men's view on the role of women so that they can profit out of their knowledge? Last but not least, what role can 1CT and the Information society play in promoting a world wide climate of trust and understanding to push a culture of peace and therefore bring more quality in the life of women in armed conflicts?
Most of these questions are neither new nor specific for the Internet technologies but never before the risk to fail once again and the possibility to solve some of them had been closer together than today. Because of this background, the World Summit on Information Society that is going to take place in 2004 provides a hopeful framework for successful partnerships and a step forward in reducing disparities of human beings and the CSW can be seen as the connecting link
A Connecting Link is the name given to a municipal or county road in the Canadian Province of Ontario that has been downloaded to the county or city. between the Beijing PFA and the WSIS. The NGO Gender Strategies Working Group (GSWG)is a leading gender advocate and have organized many workshops and panels with their delegates that had been at the WS1S PrepCom2 itself and always tried to summarize sum·ma·rize
intr. & tr.v. sum·ma·rized, sum·ma·riz·ing, sum·ma·riz·es
To make a summary or make a summary of.
sum . Having observed their work and read their papers, I have the impression that GSWG always tries to push forward gender issues in a male dominated information society and therefore is a strong partner for the WSIS process.
Adoption of the Reports
On its last day, the Commission worked on the a draft of agreed conclusions regarding the two thematic subjects. The several prepared resolutions relating to relating to relate prep → concernant
relating to relate prep → bezüglich +gen, mit Bezug auf +acc women and girls in Palestine and Afghanistan, the resolution referring to women and girls facing HIV/AIDS HIV/AIDS Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome , and the resolution connected to the Mainstreaming of gender perspectives in the UN system were also on the agenda. Unfortunately time constraints In law, time constraints are placed on certain actions and filings in the interest of speedy justice, and additionally to prevent the evasion of the ends of justice by waiting until a matter is moot. only allowed the adoption of these papers except the one concerning the agreed conclusion on violence against women.
Impression and Experiences
Attending this CSW has been a great opportunity for me. Following an international meeting, seeing how people at this level work and learning about how documents that can potentially change our world are produced has been a valuable experience. Furthermore, this meeting gave me the opportunity to meet numerous wonderful women from all over the world: women that are full of energy and really enthusiastic in their aims, even if it often seems gender issues are falling two steps behind with every step forward. During the discussions and talks, I could get an impression of the rich and diverse cultural identities these women have as well as hearing about the serious problems they have to face in their different countries.