Report by Carole Shaw, Vice Chair APWW and Joint CEO JERA International
on Asia Pacific Women's Watch (APWW) participation in the
CSW Preventing and Eliminating Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Stakeholders Forum held at the UN in New York, 13 – 14 December, 2012
APWW was invited by UN Women to attend the CSW Stakeholder's Forum being held 13-14 December at the UN in New York. Carole Shaw represented APWW in this forum in her role as Vice Chair of APWW and in connection to the work APWW is doing in the formation of the Asia Pacific Regional NGO/CSW Committee.
Before attending this Forum to accept this, APWW SC members were invited to input into this meeting and I thank you all for the inputs received.
The purpose of this forum was to bring together key stakeholders from Member States and Civil Society along with members from the UN System to create dialogue and consensus to move towards progressive outcomes and a strong Agreed Conclusions Document from CSW 57th Session (March 2013).
As we are all aware, there was no Agreed Conclusions from CSW 56th Session. We are also aware that the last time VAWG was a key focus of CSW (2003) there were no Agreed Conclusions from CSW. It has also been recognised that through the Rio and ICPD processes there has been a push back on core issues pertaining to VAWG, for example in the areas of Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) and Traditional Cultural Practices. It is key therefore in CSW 57 that not only is there an Agreed consensus document, but that there is a progressive outcome to this process reflected in the Agreed Conclusions.
It is clear that in the CSW 57th Session there will be contentions issues raised, and it is hoped that this forum will assist in identifying and tabling some of these contentious issues. The forum will also identify member states and voting blocks that UN Women can begin a series of dialogues with prior to CSW in the hope of bringing about agreement and consensus on these issues.
The Survivor Forum featured women who have suffered from violence and who have used their experiences to push for policy and legislative change in their own countries. This was not a testimonial event, more a showcasing of lived experience as knowledge not testimony. It was hoped to use this forum to deal with the more contentious issues of VAW from a point of knowledge. Survivors are speaking from diverse contexts, eg conflict related violence, DV, honor killings, indigenous backgrounds. The multiple forms of VAW were discussed.
Over the 2 days of the Stakeholder Forum, and across both Forums (Stakeholder and Survivor), the diversity, scope and depth of action needed to address VAWG was discussed.
The forum focused on 5 thematic areas:
- Global consensus that exists and what needs to be strengthened
- Translating global normative framework into tangible results
- Causes and risk factors – eg gender stereotypes that perpetuate VAWG
- Intersection of multi-discriminations – need for targeted strategies, effective response especially noted was disability, aging and the role of men and boys in prevention of VAWG
- Responses to VAW, what works and what difference has been made to survivors lives.
Opening remarks by Lakshmi Puri and the closing statement by Michelle Bachelet can be found on the UN Women website www.unwomen.org
A full list of speakers can be found at:
Vice Chair APWW &
Joing CEO JERA International