International

Gender focused NGO's can find significant advocacy opportunities in the processes of the UN CEDAW Committee - Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. The Committee also makes recommendations on any issue affecting women to which it believes the States parties should devote more attention. For example, at the 1989 session, the Committee discussed the high incidence of violence against women, requesting information on this problem from all countries.

In her book, Rana Husseini recounts how she broke the silence around ‘honour’ killings in Jordan in the early 1990s, starting a national campaign to reform related laws, and laying the foundation for simultaneous international campaigns against VAW. A sample chapter is attached, courtesy of publishers, One World Publications.

Considering that:- The so-called theory of ‘clash of civilisations’ between a ‘Christian West’ on the one hand, and a ‘Muslim Orient’ on the other, is gaining ground, in total disregard of all people the world over, who have been fighting in favour of a political model founded on principles of secularism.

Constatant : Que la théorie dite du « choc des civilisations » entre d’un côté un occident chrétien, de l’autre un orient musulman, tend à s'imposer au mépris de tous ceux qui, partout dans le monde, militent en faveur d'un modèle politique fondé sur le principe de laïcité ; Que, sous couvert de défendre un « droit à la différence », de nombreux Etats légitiment la différence des droits entre les citoyens en fonction de leurs options spirituelles, favorisant ainsi les communautarismes ; Qu'avec l'aide des religions, des gouvernements tentent d'embrigader les peuples dans des affrontements guerriers meurtriers.

The seventh WTO Ministerial Conference turned out to be a missed opportunity in addressing the serious challenges facing women and men in the global economy. It turned out a missed opportunity to promote a new model of multilateral trading system that addresses livelihood, employment, decent working conditions, food security, climate change and gender inequalities.

A summary of Part I “Capturing change in women’s realities: The challenges of monitoring and evaluating our work” a paper by Srilatha Batliwala* and Alexandra Pittman.** Monitoring and evaluation now form an integral part of women’s rights and gender equality programmes as we attempt to measure how effectively we work. But are the frameworks we use able to perform this ambitious task? In their paper Capturing change in women’s realities: The challenges of monitoring and evaluating our work Srilatha Batliwala and Alexandra Pittman assess the “ifs,” the “whys” and the “hows” of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) in women’s rights, women’s empowerment and gender equality. They observe that “over the past few decades, important strides have been made in developing ways of capturing a whole range of abstract but vital social realities, and particularly in trying to quantify them.

On November 9, 2009, a diverse group of nongovernmental organizations, academic institutions and activists across the Middle East, North Africa, South and Southeast Asia carried out bold events to promote sexual and bodily rights as human rights. As part of the historic international campaign “One Day One Struggle” organized by the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR), over 20 organizations held simultaneous public demonstrations and meetings to assert that sexual and reproductive rights are universal human rights and sexuality is not a private issue but a site of political struggle.

Internet censorship, or content filtering, has become a major global problem. Whereas once it was assumed that states could not control Internet communications, according to research by the OpenNet Initiative (http://opennet.net) more than 25 countries now engage in Internet censorship practices.

Pakistani sociologist Ms. Farida Shaheed has taken office as newly appointed Independent Expert in the field of cultural rights, one of the latest areas earmarked for special monitoring by the UN Human Rights Council. My decades of work at the grassroots in promoting human rights leaves me in no doubt that the right to cultural life and cultural development is an essential and inherent right of all individuals and peoples, said Ms. Shaheed, who was appointed by the Human Rights Council in October 2009.

Acknowledging and recognizing the hard work and struggles of many women who have walked with us to this point and paying tribute to those who have passed on, we, close to 700 women and girls  representing women’s movements from the Asia and Pacific Region, reaffirm the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) as a strategic document for women and girls empowerment, human rights, peace, human security and gender-inclusive development and as a key tool for advancing government’s commitments to the Millennium Development Goals. (MDGs)

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