CSW58: Conclusions point to digital gender gap as impediment to exercise of human rights

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By Flavia Fascendini for APCNews

PERGAMINO, Argentina, 25 March 2014

The APC Women’s Rights Programme was present at the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW58), which took place in New York on 10-21 March 2014. This year’s priority theme was “Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls”. Women’s and girls’ access to and participation in education, training, science and technology, and the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work, were also on the meeting agenda.

In the agreed conclusions, the Commission notes that a gender gap in access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) persists, and it urges governments, at all levels, and as appropriate, relevant entities of the United Nations system, international and regional organisations, national human rights institutions, civil society, including non-governmental organisations, and the private sector to take the following actions in order to realise women’s and girls’ full enjoyment of all human rights:

“Ensure non-discriminatory access for women of all ages to gender-responsive, universally accessible, available, affordable, sustainable, and high quality services and infrastructure, including health care, safe drinking water and sanitation, transport, energy, housing, agricultural technology, financial and legal services, and information and communication technologies.”

“Invest in closing the gender gap in information and communications technologies by making them affordable and accessible including in access to broadband as a tool for the empowerment of women and girls and the exercise of their full range of human rights, access to information, access to markets, networking and increased opportunities.”

Some highlights

As part of an NGO parallel event at CSW58, hosted by the Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance and Gender Links, Jan Moolman, Women’s Rights Programme project coordinator from the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), explains how important information and communications technologies (ICTs) and the media are in advancing gender equality and protecting women’s rights. More>

A strategising meeting for Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) Section J was held on 13 March at the Vienna Cafe in the UN Building during this year’s UNCSW 58. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), Isis International, the Women and Media Collective, and Search for Common Ground. More>

The APC Women’s Rights Programme was present at the fifty-eighth session of the Commission on the Status of Women, which took place at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 10-21 March 2014. Here are some higlights of the event in social media. More >

The International Knowledge Network of Women in Politics spoke with Jac sm Kee, manager of the APC Women’s Rights Programme, at the event “ICTs and the Internet as Powerful Means in Advancing Women’s Rights and Empowerment: Opportunities and Challenges” which took place in New York at the 58th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW58). More >

The position of Latin American and Caribbean countries on the CSW58 agreed conclusions emphasises the inseparable link that exists between human rights and development. The signing organisations, which include APC, also express concern over the non-incorporation of the human rights of women in the agreed conclusions and the elimination of references to sexual and reproductive rights. More >

AWID, in collaboration with members of the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition, has developed this publication in an effort to assess the various mechanisms developed to provide protection to WHRDs at risk, including initiatives developed by national governments and regional and international human rights bodies. The publication includes a specific section addressing digital security and freedom of expression issues. More > .

(END/2014)

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