UNFPA

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.

Launch of the UN Global Report on Ageism

On March 18, join the UN Decade of Healthy Living for the launch of the first UN Global report on ageism and the start of a global conversation on why ageism matters and how we can tackle it.

Through an interactive and engaging discussion, this online event will challenge how we think, feel and act towards age and ageing. The event will launch the first UN Global report on ageism, developed by WHO, OHCHR, UNDESA, and UNFPA. The report presents the latest evidence on a topic that has only gained greater relevance during the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will highlight what we know about ageism, why it matters, and how we can tackle it. It will also kick off a global conversation that concerns us all and in which we all should have our say. People that join the first conversation will be provided with resources to spark their own conversations.

  • Ageism refers to how we think (stereotypes), feel (prejudice) and act (discrimination) towards others or ourselves based on age.
  • Ageism against older and younger people is highly prevalent worldwide.
  • Ageism exists in our institutions, our relationships and ourselves, and affects us from childhood into older age.
  • Ageism has an impact on all aspects of people’s health and costs individuals and society billions of dollars.
  • Ageism can be combatted. Join the event to learn how.

This online event will be held in English on Zoom and requires pre-registration. Register here!

Help spread the word about ageism by using and following the hashtag #AWorld4AllAges.

This event is a side event of the 46th session of the Human Rights Council.

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CoNGO Notes:  For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva, please visit  facebook.com/ageinggeneva or ageingcommitteegeneva.org. For more information the NGO Committee on Ageing-NY, please visit ngocoa-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Vienna, please visit ngoageingvie.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com. 

[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.

Spirituality, Mental Health and Resilience in the Dual Pandemics of COVID-19 and HIV

Dear colleagues & friends,

Greetings. I hope this email finds you safe and well. Kindly find below the relevant information of the upcoming webinar on Spirituality, Mental Health and Resilience in the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and HIV that UNAIDS is organizing with the coalition of partners from the Interfaith health platform, for your information and kind participation. Many thanks.

DRAFT AGENDA

Overview and Session 1 – Mental Health in the dual pandemics: what spirituality, resilience and a human rights-based approach have to offer?

  • Dainius Pūras, Director, Human Rights Monitoring Institute, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Vilnius university, former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health: A human rights based approach to mental health
  • Ani Shakarishvili, Special Adviser, Programme Partnerships, UNAIDS: Mental health and HIV: An imperative and an opportunity for integrated people-centered and human rights-based programmes and services for better HIV and health outcomes and wellbeing
  • Rev. Sarah Lund, United Church of Christ Minister for Disabilities and Mental Health Justice: Spiritual Care Tools for Community Mental Health
  • Sabrina T. Cherry, Interdisciplinary Qualitative Studies Certificate, Assistant Professor, Public Health Faculty Fellow, UNCW Center For Social Impact: Impact of spirituality on resilience and coping during the COVID-19 crisis – A mixed-method approach investigating the impact on women

Best Practices & Lessons Learned Session: HIV & COVID-19

  • Gracia Violeta Ross Quiroga, President of the Bolivian Network of People Living with HIV
  • Nkatha Njeru, Coordinator, Africa Christian Health Associations Platform (ACHAP)
  • Applesta Da Costa, Program Lead, Psychosocial Support for interventions in mental health, Human Touch, Goa, India
  • Fr Rick Bauer, Director of Spiritual and Psychosocial Support for the Eastern Deanery AIDS Relief program in Nairobi, Kenya: Spirituality, Mental Health and Resilience during the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and HIV: Understandings and practices from EDARP

5:30-7:30 am San Francisco / 8:30-10:30 am New York / 1:30-3:30 pm Dakar /
2:30-4:30 pm Geneva / 4:30-6:30 pm Nairobi / 7:00-9:00 pm Mumbai /
8:30-10:30 pm Bangkok

Register here. Virtual – UNAIDS Platform (Zoom) + YouTube |  Interpretation: English, French, Spanish

Warm regards,

Chuqiu Peng
Consultant
Inter-governmental Inter-Agency and Policy Dialogue Branch (IIPDB)
Policy and Strategy Division (PSD)
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Email: peng@unfpa.org

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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 Mental Health, please visit ngomentalhealth.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit csvgc-ny.org

2021: A Defining Year for Accelerating Gender Equality, Equity and Justice (7th Annual Symposium on the Role of Religion in International Affairs)

REGISTRATION IS GROWING. REGISTER NOW TO RESERVE SPACE: https://bit.ly/34ir0Tx

Please join us for the 7th Annual Symposium on the Role of Religion and Faith-Based Organizations in International Affairs.

2021 Theme: “2021: A Defining Year for Accelerating Gender Equality, Equity and Justice.”

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

8:00 am – 12:30 pm (New York)
2:00 pm – 6:30 pm (Geneva)
8:00 pm – 12:30 am (Bangkok)
10:00 pm – 02:30 am (Seoul)
12:00 am – 4:30 am (Sydney)

The Symposium will focus on overcoming pervasive gender inequalities and discrimination as an essential contribution to reshaping the world as we recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic and to achieving sustainable peace and development. It will explore how faith actors and institutions can work in tandem with governments, the United Nations, and broader civil society to accelerate the pace towards gender equality, equity and justice, presenting directions based on innovative approaches. The Symposium will not shy away from honest appraisal of both the contributions of faith actors to this agenda as well as pointing to where and how they are hindering progress, but will primarily serve as a space to recommit to achieving gender justice, grounded in both faith values and universal human rights, and as part of our commitment to begin a more critical understanding of race, post-colonialism and intersectionality within international development discourse and practice.

Those gathered online will focus on overcoming pervasive gender inequalities and discrimination as an essential contribution to reshaping the world as we recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic. The overarching goal is to provide the opportunity to explore together ways to scale up work for gender justice, and to recommit to achieving it.

Participants will explore how faith actors and institutions can work in tandem with governments, the United Nations, and broader civil society to accelerate the pace towards gender equality, equity and justice.

Symposium is organized by the World Council of Churches, ACT Alliance, General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church, Islamic Relief, Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Soka Gakkai International, United Religions Initiative, and UN Women and the United Nations Population Fund UNFPA, for the United Nations Inter-agency Task Force on Religion and Development.

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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-New York, please visit ngocsw.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org.

Monthly Meeting: NGO Committee on the Status of Women – NY

Monthly Meeting: NGO Committee on the Status of Women – NY

June’s Monthly Meeting will focus on the intersection between health and finance in the gender impacts of COVID-19. The topic will be approached through a multilateral lens, with speakers from various sectors including civil society, government, and United Nations agencies.

Read the detailed concept note and program with the speakers bios.

TO PARTICIPATE, register here:
PROGRAM:
NGO CSW/NY Business Meeting
Updates from Houry Geudelekian, Chair of NGO CSW/NY and UN Representative, Unchained At Last
NGO CSWs in the Regions:
Dr. Nata Menabde, Executive Director of the World Health Organization Office at the United Nations
Nafissatou J. Diop, Ph.D., Chief, Gender and Human Rights Branch, UNFPA
Crystal Simeoni, Afrifem Economics Collective
Crystal J. Rogers, Community Organizer, New York State Nurses Association
Moderated by Rosa Lizarde, NGO CSW/NY Member-at-Large and Global Director, Feminist Task Force
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CoNGO NOTES: To learn more about the NGO Committee on Status of Women-New York, visit its website. To learn more about CoNGO’s committees on the status of women, and other substantive and regional committees, in Geneva and Vienna, and other regions, visit us here.

Elder Abuse Awareness Day: The Impact of COVID-19 on Violence, Abuse, & Neglect of Older Persons

Virtual Event
Tuesday, 16 June 2020 at 08:00-09:00 EST (NY), 14:00-15:00 CET (Geneva)

Registration is required. REGISTER HERE

The UN General Assembly designated 15 June as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (res. A/RES/66/127).  According to WHO estimates, 1 in 6 people aged over 60 suffers from abuse. That means nearly 141 million people globally. This number might be much higher as elder abuse is one of the most hidden and underreported violations. 

COVID-19 has put a spotlight on older persons including distressing reports of instances of abuse and neglect of older persons in long term care institutions. Not only older persons are at a high risk of serious illness and mortality, but they are also stigmatized through abusive language in both the conventional and social media. 

Despite the lack of reliable data on the actual scale of elder abuse in the community where the majority of older persons live, emerging reports reveal the high impact of the COVID-19 pandemic both in the rise of cases of abuse and in the disruption of the services and protective measures.

The UN Secretary-General in his Policy Brief: The Impact of Covid-19 on Older Persons warned that measures to restrict movement may trigger greater incidence of violence against older persons and all types of abuse – physical, emotional, financial and sexual as well as neglect. He also claimed that the lack of adequate legislation at national level to protect the rights of older persons and the absence of a dedicated internationally agreed legal framework, contribute to the vulnerability of older persons and may have contributed to the inadequate responses to the COVID-19 crisis and that these gaps must be filled.  

There is an urgent need to combat and prevent this serious human rights violation. Many Member States’ delegations at sessions of the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing expressed the need to develop universally applicable normative standards for the protection of older persons against violence, neglect and abuse, which would contribute to providing a comprehensive response and would also provide guidance for the development of a reporting, accountability and remedy mechanism for such violations suffered by older persons.

Verbal abuse and hate speech: Do they lead to other types of abuse? When do under or/and over-protection become abuse? Have lockdowns increased the risk of financial exploitation. What are examples of passive and active neglect?

Opening words by H.E. Mr. Alejandro Verdier, Deputy Permanent Representative of Argentina to the UN in NY
Panelists:

  • Ms Claudia Mahler, Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons
  • Dr Etienne Krug, Director of the department of Social Determinants of Health, World Health Organization: WHO’s new guidance on elder abuse and COVID-19
  • Jillenne Gunther, AARP Bank Safe: Fighting financial exploitation
  • Michael S. Mulvey, University of Ottawa: Tracing an outbreak of ageist discourse in social media

Co-Moderators: Amal Rafeh (UN DESA) and Monica Ferro (UNFPA)

The panel will be followed by a session of questions and answers with the audience.

Register here

Support for this program provided by Apple Bank and Hebrew Home
CoNGO Notes:
For more information on the NGO Committee of Ageing – NY, please visit ngocoa-ny.org.