FGM

World Population Day

The COVID-19 crisis has taken a staggering toll on people, communities and economies everywhere. But not everyone is affected equally. Women, who account for the largest share of front-line health workers, for example, are disproportionately exposed to the coronavirus. Supply chains around the world are being disrupted, impacting the availability of contraceptives and heightening the risk of unintended pregnancy. As countries are on lockdown and health systems struggle to cope, sexual and reproductive health services are being sidelined and gender-based violence is on the rise.

Recent UNFPA research highlighted that if the lockdown continues for 6 months with major disruptions to health services, then 47 million women in low- and middle-income countries may not be able to access modern contraceptives resulting in 7 million unintended pregnancies. 31 million additional cases of gender-based violence can also be expected. The disruption of UNFPA’s programmes on the ground could result in 2 million cases of female genital mutilation and 13 million child marriages between 2020 and 2030 that could have been averted.

Moreover, women disproportionately work in insecure labour markets and are harder hit by the economic impacts of COVID-19. Nearly 60 percent of women worldwide work in the informal economy, at greater risk of falling into poverty. Women’s unpaid care work has increased as a result of school closures and the increased needs of older people.

The pandemic is hitting marginalized communities particularly hard, deepening inequalities and threatening to set us back in our efforts to leave no one behind. Our response to COVID-19 in every country is critical and will determine how fast the world recovers and whether we achieve the Sustainable Development Goals or not.

To learn more about how and why the UN commemorates this observance, check out un.org/en/observances/world-population-day.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org.

Generation Equality Forum [registration deadline]

The Generation Equality Forum will be the largest global feminist gathering since 1995: governments, international organizations, civil society, the private sector and young people will come together to drive gender equality forward.

You wish to interact with the participants, ask a question, follow a conference: 90 events involving 500 panelists will be offered to you. All these events are digital and broadcasted on the event platform which will be accessible from June 29.

Register for the Forum now!

The closing date for registration is 27 June 2021 at 23:59 (GMT+2). No new participants will be admitted after this date.

For any technical issues during registration, contact us by email at registration.fge@calypso-event.net from Monday to Friday, 9:00 to 18:00 (GMT+2).

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CoNGO Notes: 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 NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY, please visit ngocsw.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org.

A Matter of Faith: Comprehensive Sexuality Education as a Gender-based Violence Prevention Strategy in Faith Settings

Dear Colleagues,

Greetings. The Webinar, “A Matter of Faith: Comprehensive Sexuality Education as a Gender-based Violence Prevention Strategy in Faith Settings,” will be convened by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in collaboration with the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities (JLI)  to promote an open conversation on the potential and the challenges of engagement by faith actors on CSE.

This is a part of a series of webinars co-hosted by OHCHR, UNFPA, UNWOMEN and JLI and the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) Faith and GBV Hub using the peer-to-peer learning methodology of the #Faith4Rights Toolkit.

Kindly share this throughout your networks. Further information along with the connection details will be shared soon. Register here by 14 June 2021: unfpa.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_S2CSmG2aSPSwvwe2SUTjQA

This webinar is offered with French-English-Spanish interpretation. For questions or feedback regarding the webinar, please reach out to Dawn Minott (minott@unfpa.org) or Caterina Tino (tino@unfpa.org). We look forward to engaging with you on this topic.

Thank you and best regards,

United Nations Population Fund

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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. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN.

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.

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