Civil Society Organization’s Preparatory Meeting on Grounding the Global: Making the CSW Meaningful for Women in Asia Pacific

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On 3-4 February 2013 representatives of forty three women’s rights civil society including Kapaeeng Foundation from Bangladesh and supportive UN agencies from 17 countries1 of the Asia Pacific region gathered in Bangkok, Thailand to collectively prepare inputs and advocacy for the UN Commission on the status of Women 57. The meeting was co-organised by Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), Asian Indigenous People’s Pact (AIPP), Fiji Women’s Crisis Center, Disabled People’s International Asia Pacific and made possible by the support of UN Women.
The meeting prioritised inclusion of women most marginalised by intersecting forms of discrimination, prejudice and power inequalities: indigenous women, rural women, women living with disabilities, migrant women, women working in informal sectors, dalit women, women living with HIV/AIDS, sexual minorities.
The meeting welcomed the opportunity to work with governments and UN agencies at local, national, regional and international levels to eliminate all forms of violence against women. The meeting recognised progress in legal standards and policy has been made by some governments but concerned that progress is uneven, often ad hoc, under-resourced, marginalised in governments, often developed without support of civil society and often does not reach those most affected by violence and exclusion. The meeting also expressed concern over regression in language and approach in some countries or localised areas.

The meeting utilised the due diligence framework to identify the most critical areas that require attention. Key messages for CSW, among others, include:
•    The most comprehensive research on violence against women policy making concluded that the single most important factor to ensure strong policy, programmes and laws on VAW is the existence of autonomous women’s movements.
•    Focus on intersectional forms of discrimination and structural violence that produce the most intense forms of marginalisation, particularly indigenous, rural, dalit, women living with disabilities, migrants, domestic workers, women living with HIV/AIDS, sexual minorities.
•    Recognise that prevention must primarily be about dismantling power, resource and wealth inequalities between men and women as well as between rich and poor. Prevention must address structures that enable patriarchy particularly the negative impacts of globalisation, militarisation and fundamentalisms.
•    Commit to upholding and advancing existing international norms, standards and principles as articulated in CEDAW and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action at national and regional levels and arrest moves to erode women’s rights and language particularly around SRHR, traditional values and gender equality (see statement following CSW56).
•    Promote the ratification and meaningful implementation of all relevant international treaties, particularly those with inadequate international support.
•    Recognise that violence against women undermines development and its eradication is a condition for development. Peace and security internationally, in the community and in the home should be a development goal.
Civil Society Organization’s Preparatory Meeting was followed by the Asia-Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting for the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women jointly organised on 5-6 February 2013 in Bangkok by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, in cooperation with the Asia-Pacific Regional Coordination Mechanism Thematic Working Group on Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women.
Indigenous women participated in the Civil Society Organization’s Preparatory Meeting adopted a statement for consideration by government representatives in attendance to the Asia-Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting for the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, 5-6 February 2013 for national level implementation and in the final draft of agreed conclusions for the 57th Session on the Commission on the Status of Women.

download statement here
Source: Kapaeeng Foundation