Isis women’s presence at the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) contributed to the great discussions since the opening of the CSW58 last 10 March 2014 at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York, USA.
The first week alone, Isis women made presentations in collaboration with fellow feminists and human rights advocates working on pressing issues that affected women and girls globally. These discussions were held at the various parallel NGO events.
On March 10, two panels focusing on social media and young women advocates working on the UNSCR1325 were held as part of the ‘Linking the Networks – Enhancing Social Media Strategies to Advance UNSCR 1325 in Asia – A Grass Roots Initiative’ project spearheaded by the Australia-based Justice Equality Rights Access (JERA) International in partnership with Isis International and Asia Pacific Women’s Watch as regional partners. Panel 1 was entitled ‘Social Media and Engaging Young Women with UNSCR1325 in Asia’ and panel 2 was entitled ‘Raising Young Women’s Voices in the Localisation of UNSCR 1325.’
Also held last March 10, Luz Martinez, former Chair of Isis International, was part of the panel entitled ‘Gender and Sustainable Development, Climate Justice, Disaster Risk Reduction and Response: Women from Asia and the Pacific on the front-lines’ convened by the Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN) and Global Fund for Women in collaboration with representatives and delegates of various governments in the Asia and the Pacific such as the Republic of Marshall Islands, the Philippines, the Kingdom of Tonga, and Tuvalu.
Ruth Ojiambo Ochieng, executive director of Isis-Women’s International Cross-Cultural Exchange (Isis-WICCE), was part of the panel entitled ‘Gender is Fundamental to all the MDGs: Lessons from the Field’ spearheaded by BRAC (formerly Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee), Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) and The Hunger Project. The panel focused on how gender-based programs are being designed and implemented by various NGOs in Africa to have a more comprehensive way of improving the health, nutrition, education, income and basic human rights of women and girls in the African region.
For the official meetings, Isis International board member Dr. Carol Sobritchea was a participant at the interactive expert panel, specifically at the Panel 2 meeting with the theme of accountability and participation of women and girls in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) conducted last March 12. Other members of the panel included Lourdes Bandeira (Vice-Minister of the Secretariat of Women Policies in Brazil), Urmas Paet (Estonia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Salina Sanou Head of Policy and Advocacy, Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development in Kenya), and Maarit Kohonen Sheriff (the Deputy Director of the New York Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights).
Former Isis general member Sharon Bhagwan Rolls, founder and coordinator of femLINKPACIFIC in Fiji Islands, also received the 2014 NGO CSW Forum Woman of Distinction award for her tireless effort in working on women, peace and security issues in Asia and the Pacific and exploring the role of information and communication technologies (ICT) to expand such work. A champion of using community media and exploring media initiatives for women’s empowerment, Rolls and her network is a strong research partner of Isis in the Pacific region. This is evident in her participation at the People’s Communications for Development project (PC4D) which explored how communication tools were used for grassroots women’s empowerment.
For more information and extensive details of these panels, discussions and presentation, visit Isis International’s website (isiswomen.org) or follow the social media account on Facebook (www.facebook.com/IsisInternationalOrg). For more up-to-date information, follow Isis International’s Twitter account (@IsisIntl) where Isis women are livetweeting from the events until the CSW58’s conclusion on March 21.