FGM

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.

Not Religion, Not the State – Women and Girls Must Decide their Fate 

You are warmly invited to a Side Event at the UN Commission on Population and Development 54:

Not Religion, Not the State – Women and Girls Must Decide their Fate 

Co-Organized by: ACT Alliance, The African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET), Faith to Action Network and IPPFWHR

Virtual Event:Register via Eventbrite

A dialogue between faith and secular actors tackling taboos and promoting Comprehensive Sexuality Education to meet zero maternal deaths, zero unmet need for family planning and zero gender-based violence.

Faith-based actors, as trusted voices within communities, have a responsibility to promote each person’s inherent dignity and right, while also promoting rigorous analysis of the impact of religious and customary systems on issues, including population, food security, nutrition, and sustainable development.

In this Side Event, expert speakers will share strategies for overcoming existing taboos and resistance in addressing comprehensive sexuality education. Bringing together gender advocates from Africa and Latin America, who are striving to change social norms, tackle intersecting inequalities, and promote Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.

Each speaker will focus on how the Commission can contribute to achieving zero maternal deaths, zero unmet need for family planning and zero gender-based violence by 2030.

Speakers:

  • Maria del Pilar Cancelo, Executive Director, SEDI Asociacion Civil
  • Dr. Paul Z. Mmbando, Medical Doctor, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania
  • Jill Anami, SRHR Program Officer, The African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET)
  • Jantiku Ijasini Jamare, Pastor and Co-Chair Youth Community of Practice, ACT Alliance
  • Susana Medina Salas, Senior Research and Evaluation Officer, IPPFWHR
  • Maria Tororey, SRHR Lead, Faith to Action Network

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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. For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com

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.

[CSW65 Parallel Event] The Power of Freedom of Religion or Belief to Elevate Women and Girls

The Power of Freedom of Religion or Belief to Elevate Women and Girls

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ngo-csw65-forum-advocate-registration-tickets-137312871495

Summary:

On the occasion of the 65th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief is bringing together a panel of prominent female leaders to discuss how their diverse religious and belief backgrounds have shaped their views and prepared them for leadership positions around the world as well as how the freedom of religion or belief is critical to empowering women and girls.

Moderator: Kelsey Zorzi, Director of Advocacy for Global Religious Freedom, ADF

International Panelists:

  • Bani Dugal, Principal Representative of the Bahá’í International Community’s United Nations Office
  • Blu Greenberg, Founding President of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance
  • Carole McConkie, Latter-day Saint Charities Representative at the United Nations (Geneva)
  • Melissa Rogers, Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  • Margaret Downey, Founder of the Freethought Society

Format: Each speaker will present for 10-12 minutes followed by a time of Q+A from the attendees.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, please visit unforb.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. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch.

65th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women

The sixty-fifth session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 15 to 26 March 2021.

{Click here for information on the Virtual NGO CSW65 Virtual Forum

Representatives of Member States, UN entities, and ECOSOC-accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from all regions of the world are invited to attend the session.

Priority theme: Women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls;

Review theme: Women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development (agreed conclusions of the sixtieth session)

Explore official meetings and organization of the session at unwomen.org/en/csw/csw65-2021/official-meetings.

Bureau

The Bureau of the Commission plays a crucial role in facilitating the preparation for, and in ensuring the successful outcome of the annual sessions of the Commission. Bureau members serve for two years. In 2002, in order to improve its work and ensure continuity, the Commission decided to hold the first meeting of its subsequent session, immediately following the closure of the regular session, for the sole purpose of electing the new Chairperson and other members of the Bureau (ECOSOC decision 2002/234).

The Bureau for the 65th session (2021) of the Commission on the Status of Women comprises the following members:

  • H.E. Mr. Mher Margaryan (Armenia), Chair (Eastern European States Group)
  • Ms. Jo Feldman (Australia), Vice-Chair (Western European and other States Group)
  • Ms. Ahlem Sara Charikhi (Algeria), Vice-Chair (African States Group)
  • Mr. Na Sang Deok (Republic of Korea), Vice-Chair (Asia-Pacific States Group)
  • Vice-Chair for the Latin American and Caribbean States Group; to be nominated

Preparations

  • Expert Group Meeting: Women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls

Organization of the Session

The Commission’s two-weeks session will include the following activities:

Official Documents

Session Outcomes

The outcome of the Commission’s consideration of the priority theme during its 65th session will take the form of agreed conclusions, to be negotiated by all Member States.

NGO Participation

Side Events

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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

The Power of Freedom of Religion or Belief to Elevate Women and Girls

On the occasion of the 65th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief is bringing together a panel of prominent female leaders to discuss how their diverse religious and belief backgrounds have shaped their views and prepared them for leadership positions around the world as well as how the freedom of religion or belief is critical to empowering women and girls.

March 16 from 12:30 – 2:00pm EST.

Register here:https://tinyurl.com/3csr4678

Panelists:

  • Bani Dugal, Principal Representative of the Bahá’í International Community’s United Nations Office 
  • Blu Greenberg, Founding President of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance 
  • Carole McConkie, Latter-day Saint Charities Representative at the United Nations in Geneva 
  • Margaret Downey, Founder of the Freethought Society 

Format: Each speaker will present for 10-12 minutes followed by a time of Q+A from the attendees.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, please visit unforb.org. 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.

United Nations Observance of International Women’s Day 2021

Dear colleagues,

UN Women is pleased to invite you to the United Nations Observance of International Women’s Day 2021. The event will take place virtually on Monday, 8 March 2021 from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EST. 

To facilitate the planning of the event, kindly RSVP at the following link: https://unwomen-iwd2021.eventbrite.com

Aligned with the priority theme of the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, the theme for the United Nations Observance of International Women’s Day 2021 is “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world, on the way to the Generation Equality Forum.” In addition to celebrating the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will also ‘lift the curtain’ and bring increased attention to this year’s Generation Equality Forums in Mexico City (29-31 March 2021) and Paris (June 2021).

The Observance will feature high-level dignitaries from the United Nations and governments, as well as other gender equality advocates and champions. Speakers including the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Executive Director of UN Women and Eva Longoria will offer reflections on the day’s theme and amplify the work of the upcoming Generation Equality Forums. The event will also include musical performances by Angelica Hale, the Pihcintu Chorus, and Broadway singers.

This colour for International Women’s Day 2021 is yellow. The hashtags for social media will be #IWD2021 and #InternationalWomensDay.

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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.

[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.

NGO CSW65 Youth Preparation Series: Youth Activists Space

Join the NGO Committee on Status of Women-New York’s Youth Leaders and Young Professionals in preparing for NGO CSW65!

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcqceGorDwiHNCmxAmEdQ2NAAPHiABBzVAP

This event will feature young people from around the world sharing their work at the grassroots level.

Interested participants are asked to consider:

Have you had a powerful experience in your gender justice work?
Do you have an artistic component to your advocacy such as slam poetry, song, story?
What inspires you to work for gender equality?

Share your work, your story, your inspiration with us. We want to get to know you and invite you to share at our Youth Activist event. Volunteer to share for a 2 minute time slot using the same link above.

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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

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