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All women were seen; all women were heard

A small attempt to summarize today's discussions

BeijingPlus20Day2The Asia-Pacific Civil Society Forum on Beijing+20 held eighteen simultaneous workshops today touching upon issues that affect women's human rights and their empowerment in the region. The discussions in the workshops will forge the recommendations that civil society will give to governments in the upcoming inter-governmental meeting—UN ESCAP Asia and Pacific Conference on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment: Beijing+20 review—that will be held on November 17-20 in Bangkok.

Cross-cutting issues, such as race, class, ability, age, HIV status, and sexual orientation and gender identity were touched upon in most of the workshops. People belonging to marginalized communities also had their own space to provide recommendations.

Read more: All women were seen; all women were heard

“Look at the world from women’s eyes”

Women pave the way beyond Beijing+20

Beijing-plus-20-141114The Asia Pacific Civil Society Forum on Beijing+20 began today. Over 400 women promptly sat in the United Nations conference room waiting for the forum to start with the welcoming remarks.

"We are here to share our struggle, strengthen our spirit, and reaffirm our commitment to women's rights," said Ravadee Prasertcharoensuk, on behalf of Thai women's organizations. Prasertcharoensuk continued to explain that the CSO Forum is also the place where women will be able to make a strong and collective statement on their visions and expectations of States in their investment on women's rights in the upcoming years. "Voices need to be heard loudly," echoed Kate Lappin, co-coordinator of the CSO Steering Committee.

Read more: “Look at the world from women’s eyes”

What did States say and what did they miss?

A summary of the regional review of progress implementing BPfA

The Civil Society Forum on Beijing+20, supported by UN Women, begins tomorrow November 14, 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand. Women activists from across the Asia and Pacific region will discuss what their governments have done or not to achieve gender equality and women and girls empowerment in the past 20 years after the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA).

States reported the progress and remaining challenges on the 12 critical areas of concern to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)—the entity charged with monitoring the implementation of the BPfA across the Asia and Pacific region. According to UNESCAP, Cambodia, Indonesia, North Korea, Lao, Malaysia, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam did not take part in the review process. They did not answer the Regional Survey nor did they present a National Review Report. Eighteen countries responded to both the survey and presented a report and 16 others did one or the other. Click here to see which countries responded to UNESCAP's Regional Survey and/or presented a National Review Report.

Read more: What did States say and what did they miss?

Twenty years after the Beijing Platform for Action: Have Asian-Pacific countries done enough for gender equality?

Follow Asia Pacific CSO Forum on Beijing+20 online

For those who would like to keep abreast of what's happening check out the Social Media Toolkit which provides information on how CSOs can monitor and update themselves about relevant news and information about the APCSO Forum.

Hashtag: #APwomen
Website: bit.ly/apcsob20
Facebook: facebook.com/apcsob20
Twitter: twitter.com/apcsob20
Storify: storify.com/apcsoforum
Subscribe: bit.ly/apcsob20subscribe

On November 14, 2014, over 400 feminist women activists working on women's rights will meet in Bangkok at the Asia-Pacific CSO Forum on Beijing+20 (APCSOB20) to discuss what their governments have done to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. Activists from across the region will note if the reported progress by States has been sufficient and what States should be doing to tackle the challenges that remain on the 12 critical areas of concern identified twenty years ago in the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA).

Read more: Twenty years after the Beijing Platform for Action: Have Asian-Pacific countries done enough for...

Gender at the Internet Governance Forum

gdc meetingBy Sonia Randhawa

Annually, the world's largest convention of techies, corporation, governments and policy advocates meet at the Internet Governance Forum to help chart the directions in which the internet will grow. It's one of the world's most open policy-making forums, partly because there is no pressure to make decisions or come out with binding policy resolutions, but it provides an opportunity for CSOs, corporations and governments (allegedly on an equal footing) to listen to each other.

Read more: Gender at the Internet Governance Forum

Isis International Women's House (Bahay ni Isis)

BnIFacadeIsis International Women’s House (Bahay ni Isis).

Bahay ni Isis provides a safe haven for guests visiting Manila, with lodgings, meeting rooms and facilities for workshops and other events. It is a comfortable women-friendly space and a gathering place for many non-governmental organisations engaged in issues affecting women around the globe. Welcome!

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Research Report, Women and Peacebuilding, Philippines

Recognising Women’s Participation in Sustainable and Lasting Peace.  Isis International realised it is essential to initially find out to what extent or if any at all do peace advocates include or consider women and gender in their peace work with from ICCO foundation, Isis carried out a study on women peacemakers in the Philippines.

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