child marriage

International Day to End Obstetric Fistula

Due to COVID-19, it is expected that 13 million more child marriages could take place by 2030 than would have otherwise. Families are more likely to marry off daughters to alleviate the perceived burden of caring for them, especially in the anticipated economic fallout of the pandemic.

In turn, the fight to end obstetric fistula, one of the most serious and tragic injuries that can occur during childbirth, could be threatened by COVID-19.

Obstetric fistula is preventable; it can largely be avoided by delaying the age of first pregnancy; the cessation of harmful traditional practices; and timely access to obstetric care. Unfortunately, the current pandemic affects all these preventive measures in developing countries where obstetric fistula still exists – countries in which health care systems, even before the coronavirus outbreak, failed to provide accessible, quality maternal health care.

The pandemic is also expected to cause significant delays in programmes to end female genital mutilation (FGM) – something that could lead to a spike in FGM cases, according to UNFPA, which is a contributing factor for obstetric fistula.

As the virus advances in these countries, health services become overloaded, or provide a limited set of the services that women need. At the same time, many women and girls also skip important medical check-ups for fear of contracting the virus.

With this possible future scenario of preventive measures in danger, now more than ever, it is important to call on the international community to use the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula to significantly raise awareness and intensify actions towards ending obstetric fistula, as well as urging post-surgery follow-up and tracking of fistula patients.

To read personal testimonials and learn more about how the UN commemorates this day, visit un.org/en/observances/end-fistula-day.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee for Rare Diseases, please visit ngocommitteerarediseases.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@gmail.com or bknotts@uua.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY, please visit ngocsw.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org. ngocsw-geneva.ch.

Bridging the Gap: Fiscal Justice for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Africa

Christian Aid invites you to join our webinar on Wednesday 5th May, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm BST.  We’ll have a panel of experts from UNFPA, FEMNET, ACT Alliance and World YWCA join us to discuss how fiscal justice can help overcome barriers to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).  In 2019, we brought together advocates of fiscal justice and of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in researching how progressive fiscal policies can help close the gaps in financing and delivery of SRHR.  We’ve published the findings in this briefing: Bridging the Gap.

Now, at a time when access to SRHR is needed more than ever, there are concerns that limited resources are being redirected to other priorities, exacerbating the gendered impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Please join us to discuss what can be done.

Please circulate this to your networks and register for our event here to receive the zoom link:

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY, please visit ngocsw.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch.

VAWG and COVID-19: Policies and Practices needed to build back better

VAWG and COVID-19: Policies & Practices needed to build back better

Sign in here to view/participate in the session.

This webinar’s panel of experts includes Dubravka Šimonovic (UN Special Rapporteur on VAW), Diana Arango (Senior Gender-Based Violence Specialist, World Bank), Hilary Gbedemah (Member and Immediate Past Chair of UN CEDAW Committee), Hyeshin Park (Economist, Gender Programme Coordinator, OECD), Grizelda Grootbroom (Director of Survivor Exit Foundation and a survivor-turned-activist helping survivors of the sex trade) and Mohinder Watson (Founder Action on Child, Early and Forced Marriage and a survivor-advocate working against forced marriage and honour based violence). The panel will be moderated by Linda Liu (Vice-President, ICW-CIF).

The panel will present current policies, measures, and best practices to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls as we build back better, as well as provide personal insights from two survivor advocates – one related to the sex trade and the other on forced marriage and honour based violence.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY, please visit ngocsw.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org.  For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch. For more information on the NGO Committee for Rare Diseases, please visit ngocommitteerarediseases.org.

CSW 65: How to Challenge and Change a Social Norm?

Gender injustice is deep-rooted in social norms. Social norms are the values defined by a group and to which members of the group are expected to comply, otherwise risking disapproval, marginalization and/or exclusion. Religion and culture have a strong influence on the definition of social norms, including those relating to gender. At any given moment, many social norms are presented as fixed. Our event brings together gender advocates, who are challenging and changing social norms, to achieve gender justice. Tackling social norms related to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, Women in Leadership, Child Marriage, Political Voting, Masculinities, FGM and Social Protection.

To register for “CSW 65: How to Challenge and Change a Social Norm,” and to explore other upcoming events on gender equality, click here

Organized by: Side by Side, Islamic Relief Worldwide, ACT Alliance, Lutheran World Federation, Religions for Peace, All Africa Conference of Churches, World Council of Churches, Christian Aid

Religions for Peace’s Co-Moderator, Dr. Vinu Aram, will be a speaker at this event.

Please note that you must have a profile on the NGO CSW65 virtual platform to register for this event. You can register as an NGO CSW65 Virtual Forum Advocate for free here: NGO CSW65 Forum Advocate registration page link.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY, please visit ngocsw.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org.

2021 Shine the Light Human Trafficking Conference: Root Causes & Intersections on Human Trafficking

Dear Colleagues,

We invite you to our VIRTUAL 2021 Shine the Light Human Trafficking Conference: Root Causes and Intersections on Human Trafficking.  The conference, which is free of charge, will be held over two afternoons, March 8 (12noon to 3:00 pm EST), and March 9 (12noon to 1:30 pm EST).  We also are organizing a Call to Action Day on Trafficking for March 9.

Register at http://bit.ly/2021traffickingconference

Building on the success of our previous in-person Human Trafficking Conferences in 2018 and 2019, this year’s participants will hear from survivors, service providers and other experts.  An additional advocacy panel will share easy and ongoing actions that can be taken to combat trafficking.

Our co-sponsors this year are the Columbian Center for Advocacy and Outreach, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas – Justice Team, the U.S. Coalition of Sisters Against Human Trafficking, and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Office of Migration and Refugee Services.

Monday, March 8, 12:00 – 3:00 pm EST & Tuesday, March 9, 12:00 – 1:30 pm EST

Advance registration required. Register online here or call 301-622-6838

On Day 1, we will begin with an overview of human trafficking that speaks to the various root causes. Panel presentations on both sex and labor trafficking with domestic and international components will follow.  On Day 2, we will focus on advocacy campaigns and how all of us can make a difference.  Additional details are available on our Conference webpage.

Conference attendees will have the opportunity to engage in Q&A with panelists both days.

Speakers confirmed to date include:

Sr. Norma Pimentel, MJ, Executive Director, Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley; Sr. Winifred Doherty, RGS, United Nations Representative for the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd; Diana Fimbres, Program Manager for Strategic Initiatives on Labor Trafficking, Polaris; Hilary Chester, PhD, Associate Director, Anti-Trafficking Program, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; Lawrence Couch, Director, National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd; Sr. Ann Scholz, SSND, PhD, Associate Director for Social Mission Leadership Conference of Women Religious; Scott Wright, Director, Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach; and current Members of Congress. As in previous conferences, trafficking survivors with their powerful stories will be pivotal contributors to the day.

We also encourage you to spread the word – share this invitation with your colleagues and networks and share this postcard on social media. If you would like further information, please reach out to Fran Eskin-Royer (associatedirector@gsadvocacy.org) or me (nacdirector@gsadvocacy.org).  Thank you.

Sincerely,

Lawrence E. Couch, Director

National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd

301-622-6838 (o) | 240-463-0660 (c) | www.gsadvocacy.org

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights, please visit childrightsny.org. For more information on the Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, please visit crimealliance.org.

[UN Observance] International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

Each year on February 6, the United Nations Commemorates the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.

Over 200 million girls and women alive today have experienced FGM. In 2019, an estimated 4.1 million girls were at risk of being cut. In 25 countries where FGM is routinely practiced and data are available, an estimated 68 million girls will be cut between 2015 and 2030 unless concerted and accelerated action is taken.

To learn more about UNFPA & UNICEF’s Joint Programme to Eliminate Female Genital Mutilation, currently in Phase III, click here.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY, please visit ngocsw.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org.

Helping Children & Families Thrive in All Circumstances {in honor of the October 1989 adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child}

Please join us [at the NGO Committee on the Family] as we discuss important aspects of family life, in honor of the October 1989 adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Concept Note

In 1989, Member States adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a landmark treaty intended to ensure the protection and wellbeing of children around the world. In the intervening time, nearly every country has ratified the treaty, signaling commitment to its core principles of the best interest of the child, non-discrimination, right to life, survival, and development, and the right of the child to be heard. The Convention also notes that “the family, as the fundamental group of society and the natural environment for the growth and well-being of all its members and particularly children, should be afforded the necessary protection and assistance so that it can fully assume its responsibilities within the community.”

Since the Convention’s adoption, children’s welfare has improved greatly. Child poverty and mortality before age five have halved since then, and school attendance has risen. Countries have directed more attention, resources, and legislation to reducing child vulnerability and respecting the rights of children. Yet challenges remain. Poverty, natural disasters, conflict, family separation, and now a global pandemic affect children’s wellbeing. Times of crisis place stress on families and put children at risk. How can we ensure that children, even those in vulnerable situations, thrive?

This month, we are pleased to host two expert speakers who will address children’s vulnerability and ways to ensure that children and their families are supported to thrive in all circumstances and despite challenges. Ms. Rima Salah has extensive experience in the protection of children and peace and conflict resolution, through several leadership roles in United Nations entities, including serving as served as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General in the Peacekeeping Mission in Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT), Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and as a member of the UN High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations. Mr. Nuno Crisostomo has worked for child welfare with various non-governmental organizations, with the Portuguese government, and, from 2001, with UNICEF, most recently as an Emergency Specialist in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We hope you will join us as we learn from these two distinguished experts on this important topic.

Please RSVP to attend at https://forms.gle/KajCCPdPak3XtWms7.

Meeting information will be sent out after the RSVP deadline to all registered attendees.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Family, please visit ngofamilyny.org.