By September 10, 2013 Read More →

CSW57, March 5, Day 2

Degradation of the Environment and Violence Against Women and Girls

Hosted by the Earth Child Institute and Pathways to Peace, this event was a very rich and deep conversation between five women who shared the relationship between degradation of the environment and violence against women.

The interconnection between all living beings of the Earth is the evidence of the link between women and Mother Earth, said Nina Simmons, co-founder of Bionners. Explaining this link further, she said it was as though women have an invisible umbilical cord tied with the Earth. This image represents the sacredness of mothers and therefore, any type of violence against sacredness are facets of the same story.

A young representative of the Girl Scouts in Africa shared practices that involve young girls in programs such as planting trees and creating circles for little girls where they could speak of intimate issues.

Jean Shinoda emphasized the role of women circles as part of a solution to violence against women. These circles are a sacred space for women to support each other, pass skills, share their vulnerabilities in order to promote unity, healing, love and trust.

Another panelist very rightly said, ‘When when you educate a boy you educate a man but when you educate a girl you educate a family.’ The panelists also shared that violence against women is a global pandemic which is also reflected in the state of the environment. They invited the participants to ask themselves questions such as, what do we need to learn from women and nature related to the future of our species?

Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence

Hosted by the U.S. Mission to the UN, the Mission of South Africa to the UN and the UNFPA.

Tina Tchen, Assistant to President Obama and Chief of Staff to the First Lady, in her opening remarks highlighted the recent initiatives of the U.S. Government and the President in combating gender based violence, including the recent reauthorization of the Violence against Women Act. Ms. Tchen, who also serves as the Executive Director for the (White House) Council on Women and Girls said that the President had made dealing with the issue a priority for not just this council, but the entire federal government as a whole. She also reminisced her former professor and friend, Dawn Lark Netsch, former Illinois Comptroller who was the first woman to win a major party’s nomination for governor, as an inspiration and guiding force in her work towards uplifting women.

The very informative and lively panel discussion that followed was moderated by Francoise Girard, President of the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC). The panelists included:

Michele Moloney-Kitts, Managing Director of Together for Girls

Bea Hanson, Acting Director of the United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women

Thoko Majokwen, Director of the Sexual offences and Community Affairs Unit at the National Prosecuting Authority (South Africa)

Kate Gilmore, Assistant Secretary-General and the Deputy Executive Director (Programs) of the UNFPA

The panelists shared their various approaches to tackling the issue, starting from extensive research to using the data collected to implement programs effectively. Ms. Gilmore in her moving remarks reminded those present of our commitment to ending GBV and liberating women and girls.

Reported by BKUN delegation at the 57th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York City.

CSW57, March 5, Day 2

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

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