13 March 2013

Does the Commission on the Status of Women do Anything?

Keshet Bachan (you may know her as one of the authors of the annual Because I am a Girl Report) thinks it is a waste of time.

Different people will have different opinions on the annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). As it enters the second week, it appears that the CSW suffers from some serious problems. Namely the sticky issue of reproductive rights prevents may prevent the outcome document from having real teeth or even meaningful language about reproductive health as a right.

Bachan stresses that now is the time to find ways to end the violence, abuse and discrimination faced by girls around the world. However, the CSW may not be the best way to do it, in her opinion.
The best example of CSW impotence is the fact that in my many travels to ‘the field’, no one has ever heard of this meeting. sorry, but its true. the only interested folks, are those who are attending, have attended, or might attend one of the meetings in future. (sic)
Liz Ford reported from the CSW last week for the Guardian Global Development channel. Her reports showed an event that tried to push against the restriction of women’s rights, but had to balance against the many participating nations.

That challenge was evidenced in remarks by the head of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet, at the opening day of CSW.