APC at the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York

By Flavia Fascendini
Publisher: APCNews     Pergamino, 06 March 2015

What is the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women?

The main focus of the session will be on the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, including current challenges that affect its implementation and the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women. The Commission will undertake a review of progress made in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, 20 years after its adoption at the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995.

The review (Beijing+20) will also include the outcomes of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly, the first five-year assessment conducted after the adoption of the Platform for Action, which highlighted further actions and initiatives. The session will also address opportunities for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women in the post-2015 development agenda.

Why is it important?

The APC Women’s Rights Programme will be participating in the event since this space is considered to be very relevant to its advocacy work against violence against women, on women’s representation in media and in online spaces, and on access and participation in the science and technology fields. We consider the reprioritisation of Section J of the Beijing Platform for Action in the Beijing+20 review to be particularly important.

We will be pushing for greater recognition of the role that ICTs play in the improvement of women’s lives and their ability to exercise their rights, but also acknowledging the need to address problems such as technology-based violence against women. After two decades, going beyond just tools and representation in Section J feels like an extreme need.

Our anchors are the universal human rights standards, with special attention to the current global policy framework on women’s empowerment and gender equality, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and its Section J, the feminist analysis/positions around rights, and how the internet makes it more complex. This is the reason why we will be presenting the final findings of the From impunity to justice research, after 3 years of intensive work under APC’s End violence: Women’s rights and safety online project, conducted in partnership with seven organisations from diverse countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mexico, Pakistan and the Philippines, with support from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DGIS). We will also present our 10 points on Section J to walk through how technology issues impacts women’s rights.

APC wants to reprioritise Section J in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action due to the important role that media and internet and communication technologies play in both advancing and hindering women’s rights. While APC staff members advocate at CSW59, GenderIT.org and Take Back the Tech! will simultaneously lead an online campaign to raise awareness around Section J and work towards a feminist internet. Our main goal is to encourage women’s rights organisations and activists to pay more attention to the relationship between gender and technology. To do this, we have created resources laying out the issues and our demands from governments, the private sector and civil society, and we will be tweeting 9-13 March under #SectionJ.

Agenda

Events APC is organising and co-organising

Monday, 9 March 2015

High-level panel: “Reprioritising Section J of the Beijing Platform for Action – Critical issues on the human rights of women and girls and the internet”
Permanent Mission of Estonia to the UN and Association for Progressive Communications, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and National Women’s Institute of Costa Rica (INAMU)
1:15-2:30 PM
Conference Room E – GA Building

Discussants:
Ms. Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director of UN Women
Marina Kaljurand, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
Alejandra Mora, Minister at the Ministry for Women’s Affairs of Costa Rica
Leah C. Tanodra-Armamento, Undersecretary of the Department of Justice in the Republic of the Philippines
Alton Grizzle, Programme Specialist at UNESCO Freedom of Expression and Media Development Division / Global Alliance on Gender and Media
Jan Moolman, Senior Coordinator at the Women’s Rights Programme of the Association for Progressive Communications

Moderator: Joanne Sandler, Gender at Work, and former Deputy Executive Director of UNIFEM

More here

Friday, 13 March 2015

Panel: “Ending violence against women online: Effective responses to promote women’s rights and safety”
Association for Progressive Communications
10:30 AM
Armenian Centre

This panel will share the findings of a three-year research project exploring the adequacy and effectiveness of domestic legal remedies and corporate policies in relation to violence against women online, developed with seven partners from Colombia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mexico, Pakistan and the Philippines. The event will include speakers from government, the women’s movement, the private sector and academics to discuss the research results and make recommendations on the way forward.

Speakers:
Laura Bretón Despradel, Centro de Investigación para la Acción Femenina (CIPAF) in Dominican Republic
Racheal Nakitare, President of the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) in Kenya
Jan Moolman, Senior Coordinator at the Women’s Rights Programme of the Association for Progressive Communications

Moderator: Jac sm Kee, Women’s Rights Programme Manager at the Association for Progressive Communications

Invitation to the event in English available here and in Spanish here

Events where APC has been invited as speaker

Monday, 9 March 2015

Side event: “Countering cyber violence against women”
Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)
10:00-11:15 AM
GA Building, Conference Room E

The event will discuss how cyber violence against women challenges parliamentarians, policy makers and internet service providers everywhere. It will examine what action can be taken to promote safe and responsible use of online technology. Special emphasis will be placed on strong legislation to address and provide avenues of redress for cyber violence against women. Based on the experience of some countries, the event will identify emerging trends and lessons learned from them. The panel will also discuss how internet service providers can be more accountable for the protection of users’ privacy and security and what proactive steps could be taken to eradicate violence against women online.

Speakers:
Helen Rubenstein, Program Director at Global Rights for Women
Parliament member from Canada
Parliament member from the Philippines
Jan Moolman, Senior Coordinator at the Women’s Rights Programme of the Association for Progressive Communications

Chair: Ms Margaret Mensah Williams, President of the IPU Coordinating Committee of Women Parliamentarians and Vice-Chairperson of the Second National Council of Namibia.

Friday, 13 March 2015

High-level panel: “Intergenerational dialogue”
UN Women
9:30 AM-6:00 PM
ECOSOC Chamber, Conference Building

A conversation among various gender equality advocates and stakeholders across generations to discuss strategies and perspectives that can accelerate the achieving of gender equality by 2030.

Jac sm Kee, APC’s Women’s Rights Programme manager, will be speaking.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Panel: “Women and technology: Effective documentation of sexual violence and advocacy”
Witness
10.30-12:00 AM
Church Centre

Panelists will discuss how they document sexual violence or stories of sexual violence using technology and the way the conduct advocacies at local/domestic, regional and international levels.

Session organization

Side events agenda

NGOs events agenda

How can you participate?

  • Join us on Twitter! APC will be actively updating all about the CSW on Twitter. Don’t miss any update! We will be tweeting from @APC_News, @genderit, @takebackthetech and @dominemoslastic and @genderites for Spanish. We will use the hashtags #genderit, #takebackthetech, #genderites, #dominemoslastic, #CSW59, #Beijing20, and #sectionJ. During the first week of the CSW (from Monday 9 to Friday 13 of March), we will run a campaign on Twitter advocating for the reprioritisation of the Section J of the Beijing Platform for Action, and you can support us by tweeting and retweeting a set of messages we designed for the ocassion, all in English, Spanish and French.

Here are our top 3 tweets day by day:

Monday 9/3

We want to reprioritise #SectionJ in #BPFA20 http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/beijing/platform/media.htm
#SectionJ of Beijing Platform is critical to our work and our rights http://bit.ly/1DYMAHR #genderit #imagineafeministinternet
Do you know the Feminist Principles of the Internet? http://bit.ly/1EpJCgG #SectionJ #imagineafeministinternet

Tuesday 10/3

All women’s rights organisations should care about gender & tech http://bit.ly/1DYMAHR #SectionJ #imagineafeministinternet
What happened to #SectionJ? http://www.genderit.org/content/what-happened-section-j
Give #SectionJ the priority that ICTs have in women’s lives! #genderit http://www.genderit.org/10-points-section-j

Wednesday 11/3

Women’s rights activists, do you know how internet and communication rights affect your work? http://bit.ly/1BaHZCC #SectionJ @UN_Women
#SectionJ is about increasing women’s access to expression through media and communication technology http://bit.ly/1BaHZCC @UN_Women
#SectionJ: Let’s go beyond tools and representation! http://www.genderit.org/10-points-section-j @UN_Women

Thursday 12/3

Women’s rights activists, have you thought about how internet and communication rights affect your work? http://www.genderit.org/VAWonline-research #SectionJ @UN_Women
ICT affects freedom of expression/information, right to work/privacy. Critical for women’s rights #SectionJ http://bit.ly/1BaHZCC @UN_Women
#SectionJ: “[T]he potential exists for the media to make a far greater contribution to the advancement of women” http://bit.ly/1BaHZCC @UN_Women

Friday 13/3

Where does tech-based #VAW fit into #SectionJ? #genderit Let’s make it real! http://bit.ly/1BaHZCC @UN_Women
APC leading high-level panel to reprioritise #SectionJ at #CSW59 right now! http://bit.ly/1GnsQRw @UN_Women
APC launches End Violence research findings today at #BPFA20 #genderit http://www.genderit.org/VAWonline-research @UN_Women

Check also our Storify

  • Spread the word! Disseminating information about our events at CSW is one way you can collaborate. The strategic dates will be Monday 9 March and Friday 13 March. Please share with your contacts and networks the information about the events.
  • Write! Feminist talks for GenderIT.org is an open blogging space for everyone who has an analysis of gender and ICT policy related issues. If you are following the event on-site or even remotely via Twitter or webcast and you feel inspired by it, please write a short blog post (not longer than 1500 words) and send it to genderit@apcwomen.org. We will upload it to GenderIT.org and give to it the visibility it deserves!

Background readings and dissemination resources

a) Statements and papers of interest:

How technology issues impact women’s rights: 10 points on Section J of the Beijing Platform for Action
Feminist Principles of the Internet
APC Statement to the CSW 57th Session: Violence against women and information and communications technology
CEDAW: APC’s Submission to the Committee on the General recommendation on girls’/women’s right to education

b) GenderIT.org special editions on the CSW:

GenderIT.org at the Commission on the Status of Women 2011, New York
Moving Section J beyond tools and representation
End violence against women: Language and actions at CSW57th
Back and forth in the advancement of women’s rights at CSW58

c) Research on technology-based violence against women

d) Other resources:

Going visible: Women’s rights on the internet
GISWatch 2013: Setting the agenda on women’s rights, gender and ICTs
Voices from digital spaces: Technology related violence against women

e) Articles of interest:

On technology-based violence against women
On the follow-up to the Commission on the Status of Women
On Section J of the Beijing Platform for Action

Check the full list of background readings here .



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