Report By Ms. Jane McLeod – Attending CSW 56: Commission on the Status of Women 27 February – 9 March 2012 as a representative for KIRUCODO

Since 2011, KIRUCODO is an ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council – United Nations) accredited Organization. Consultative status for an organization enables it to actively engage with ECOSOC and its
subsidiary bodies, as well as with the United Nations Secretariat, programmes, funds and agencies in a
number of ways.

The just concluded UN Meeting of the Council on the Status of Women, KIRUCODO sent both local and International representatives and below is a brief report on the sessions attended by Ms. Jane . A full report will follow shortly this or next month:

Monday 27 February 2012
1)


Morning: Opening of the session General Assembly at the United Nations Headquarters New York.

– Election of officers
– Adoption of the agenda and other organizational matters
– Introduction of documents

General discussion
Review of the implementation of: the BPfA and the outcome of the 23rd special session of the GA – sharing of experiences and good practices on implementation of the Platform for Action, with a view to overcoming remaining obstacles and new challenges.

A particular focus on:
the empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges discuss relevant issues related to the priority theme of the fifty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women.

Areas for action and results (key topics):
 Food security and rural women
 Expanding rural women’s access to economic opportunities and assets
 Reducing the burden of women’s unpaid work
 Leveraging rural women’s leadership

Important issues that face rural women today by the Executive Director UN women (key issues):

 Mobility
 Training
 Resources

2) Afternoon: High-level round table on the priority theme
Discussions include: the empowerment of rural women, roles in poverty and hunger eradication including development and current challenges.

Equal access to agriculture for all women and men results in few people going hungry. (Key finding)

Elisabeth Atangana, President of the Plateforme Regionale des Organisations Paysannes d’Afrique Central (PROPAC), discusses the significance of the need to address:

Micro financing and investment for women;

And opportunities in:
Village co-ops
Transport for markets

Country statements and responses

Tuesday 28 February 2012

1) Morning:
Panel 1 Priority theme
The empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges
Focus: economic empowerment of rural women

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2) Afternoon:
General discussion

Panel:
Jerimah NJUKI (DR) (Kenya)
“Bridging the Gender Gap” paper.
Discussion: food security, nutrition and productive women’s markets, expanding women’s opportunities.
NJUKI said that there is a need to recognize rural women as food producers and questions how to further develop this area.

IFAD Director – Cheryl Morden (International Fund for Agricultural Development)
Comments:
43% of women are in agricultural markets.
More resources for rural women are important in creating better living for the entire family.

Panel key recommendation:
Women in rural situations need a broader range of opportunities.

Country statements and responses

Wednesday 29 February 2012

1) Morning: Continued general discussion

2) Afternoon: Panel 2
Priority theme: The empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges
Focus: the role of gender responsive governance and institutions for the empowerment of rural women

Panel on the priority theme of CSW 57 (2013):
Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls

Moderator: Ms. Irina Velichko, Vice-Chair of the Commission (Belarus)

Ms. Nduku Kilonzo, Liverpool VCT (Kenya)
Provision of support services to women and girls victims/survivors of violence

Ms. Marai Larasi, End Violence against Women Coalition (UK)
Primary prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls

Ms. Margarita Quintanilla, PATH/InterCambios (Nicaragua)
Emerging practices in providing support services and primary prevention of violence against women and girls

3)
The role of gender-responsive governance and institutions for the empowerment of rural women

Secretary-General’s report E/CN.6/2012/4

Moderator: Mr. Filippo Cinti, Vice-Chair of the Commission (Italy)

Panelists:
Ms. Binetou Nimaga, Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Children and the Family (Mali)
Strengthening institutional capacity to address food security and nutrition from a gender perspective
Mr. Andres Teodoro Wehrle Rivarola, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (Paraguay)
Promoting gender equality in agrarian reforms

Ms. Lilly Be’Soer, Voice for Change (Papua New Guinea)
Leveraging rural women’s leadership and agency

Mr. Victor Lutenco, Office of the Prime Minister (Moldova)
One-window model of service provision for rural women

Thursday 1 March 2012

1) [Photo]

Side event:
UNICEF, UN Women, Plan International and The United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative – (UNGEI) side event entitled “Empowering Rural Girls: From Invisibility to Agency”, with UN Women Executive Director, Ms. Michelle Bachelet, Ms. Marta Santos Pais and three adolescent girl delegates, discussing complex realities and challenges of the lives of rural girls.

UN Women Executive Director, Ms. Michelle Bachelet said that issues such as water can be easily fixed but education is very important, as is access to health service.

Ambassador delegate highlighted – that in the community women are not always valued.

Panel recommendation: building high schools with a specific focus on for girls.

2) Panel 4
Progress in financing for gender equality from the perspective of international organizations and multilateral development partners

Moderator: Ms. Irina Velichko, Vice-Chair of the Commission (Belarus)
Panellists

Ms. Patti O’Neill, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Tracking financing for gender equality through the OECD-DAC gender equality marker

Ms. Lydia Alpizar, Association of Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) (Costa Rica)
Presentation of findings from AWID’s report “Where is the Money for Women’s Rights”

Ms. Saraswathi Menon, UN Women
Strengthening the UN system’s accountability for financing for gender equality: a system-wide gender marker

Ms. Jeni Klugman, World Bank
Progress in implementing commitments for financing for gender equality: the perspective of international financial institutions

Ms. Liane Schalatek, Heinrich Böll Foundation (Germany)
Making climate finance gender-responsive

Key finding from The World Development report:
Recognizes the intrinsic need on gender equality

Country statements and responses

Friday 2 March 2012

1) Informal consultations

2) [Photo]
Norway
RURAL WOMEN – AN ECONOMIC POTENTIAL
Landmark Room, 29th floor, UN Millennium Plaza Hotel

Panel comments:
If agriculture should be a career, then there should be opportunities for higher statuses in this area for both women and men.

Shared parental leave – shared responsibility: 90% of Norwegian father stay at home with the newborn baby on 12 weeks paternity. This law was introduced in 1993. Then when back in the workplace – men have a new perspective in their roles and in the development of business.

Sweden has introduced many agricultural courses for women at a tertiary level.

Poverty in Nordic countries has a smaller gap between people than in other countries around the world.

A Finnish journalist said that women in countryside areas need access to a job, social services and other needs (transport, friends, etc) to be happy and success.

Monday 5 March 2012

1) General discussion

2) Informal consultations

Tuesday 6 March 2012

1) Panel 5:
Emerging issue
Engaging young women and men, girls and boys, to advance gender equality

Moderator: Mr. Filippo Cinti, Vice-Chair of the Commission (Italy)
Panellists

Ms. Edna Akullq, Self Help Foundation Uganda (Uganda)
Promoting gender equality through education and social entrepreneurship

Ms. Sahar Othman, Sharek Youth Forum (Occupied Palestinian Territory)
Promoting gender equality through employment and political participation

Mr. Roberto Cárcamo Tapia, Colectivo de Jóvenes por la Igualdad de Género (Chile)
Youth organizing to promote gender equality

Mr. Shishir Chandra, Men’s Action for Stopping Violence Against Women (India)
Changing gender stereotypes to foster a culture of gender equality

Ms. Rozaina Adam, Member of Parliament (Maldives)
Promoting gender equality through political participation and legislative processes

Key issues recognized:
“Violence against women and girls is rooted in gender inequality. It is one of the most pervasive human rights violations in the world.”

“It is now clearly recognized that a systematic, comprehensive, multi-sectored and sustained approach is necessary to address all forms of violence against women and girls.”

“Intergovernmental bodies have recently placed an increasing focus on primary prevention of violence against women. The General Assembly has called States to increase their focus on prevention. The Human Rights Council stressed the significant role of primary prevention.”

“Country data reveals that as many as seven in ten women in the world report experiencing physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime.”

“Violence bears significant economic and social costs and constrains the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.”

“Despite intensified efforts, support services are of limited scope, coverage and quality in many countries around the world. Access to such services can be especially problematic for women in rural and remote areas, or women belonging to excluded groups or ethnic minorities, indigenous and migrant women, adolescent girls, and those with disabilities or living with HIV/AIDS, among others.”

“In order to support access to such services, in addition to fostering an enabling environment at societal and community levels, women need to be informed about service availability and their rights in reference to such services.”

“The lack of resources also constitutes a significant barrier to the provision of effective services.”

“…it is increasingly recognized that preventing violence before it occurs…”

“Knowledge must be strengthened to better understand what works, and why; and how multi-faceted efforts, sustained over time can address the complex sets of factors underpinning gender inequality and tolerance for violence against women. In order to achieve results, prevention needs to constitute an integral part of a comprehensive approach in laws, policies, programmes and budgets.”

2) Conclusions

Wednesday 7 March 2012

1)
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2012
“Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty”

Opening:
• H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations
• H.E. Marjon V. Kamara, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of
the Republic of Liberia to the United Nations and Chairperson the 56th
session of the Commission of the Status of Women
• H.E. Mr. Mutlaq Al-Qahtani, Chef de Cabinet, Office of the President of the
General Assembly of the United Nations (on behalf of the PGA)
• Video message: Ms. Michelle Bachelet, Under Secretary-General and
Executive Director of UN Women

Panel Discussion
• Ms. Mishkat Al Moumin, Former Minister of Environment in Iraq and Founder and Director of the NGO Women and the Environment.
• Ms. Anne Itto, Former Caretaker Minister of Agriculture and Forestry and the current Deputy Secretary General of the Sudan People’s Liberation
Movement (SPLM) in the Republic of South Sudan.
• Ms. Marina Fe Balmori Durano, Research Coordinator for Political Economy
of Globalization, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era
(DAWN), Manila, Philippines.
• Ms. Mirian Masaquiza, Secretariat of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
• Ms. Yelena Kudryavtseva, UN Women Sub-regional office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Moderator
• Ms. Femi Oke, International broadcaster and a correspondent for WNYC
Radio’s national syndicated news show: The Takeaway

Observance

2)
Closed meeting
Informal consultations

Thursday 8 March 2012

[photo]
1)
CSW 56 Official Side Event: Supporting Rural Women’s Engagement in Sustainable Natural Resource Management in Conflict and Fragile Settings

Hosted by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO), the discussion will be moderated by Henk-Jan Brinkman, Chief of the Policy, Planning and Application Branch in the Peacebuilding Support Office. Panelists are –

Dr. Mishkat Al Moumin was Iraq’s Minister of the Environment in the government of 2004-2005, where she designed the Ministry and developed a new environmental law. She is currently a scholar teaching and researching environmental policies in developing countries and research interest focuses on the security implications of environmental policies.

Carl Bruch is a Senior Attorney and Co-Director of International Programs at the Environmental Law Institute (ELI). He has helped countries and organizations throughout Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe develop and strengthen their environmental laws, improve institutions, and build capacity. He is currently coordinating a global initiative with UNEP, the University of Tokyo, and McGill University to examine experiences in managing natural resources to support post-conflict peacebuilding.

Rachael Knight is an attorney with expertise in the areas of land tenure security, access to justice, and legal empowerment of the poor. She is currently the director of Namati’s Community Land Protection Program, which works to support rural communities to seek documentation for their customary land claims in Uganda, Liberia and Mozambique.

Key issues:
 From panelists: a high focus on land law and women’s rights, protecting land

 To protect land: titling the surrounding land to the entire community, a law in Uganda available since 1988

 Finding: in the steps to titling land to the community, within the community, women’s involvement included mapping more resources than what men mapped

 Natural and financial resources contribute to conflict, with 40-60% of conflicts linked to resources

 Under customary law, there are restrictions to women’s ownership to land and women are more vulnerable to “grabbing” land

 Need for education and awareness on law for women
Friday 9 March 2012

1)
Closed – Action on draft proposals

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