Post CSW61 - What is in it for African Women?
Post CSW61 - What is in it for African Women?
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. The Commission remains a key platform of following up governments’ commitment and accountability to the Beijing Platform for Action, the landmark global consensus on gender equality and women’s empowerment adopted in 1995 at the 4th world conference on women.
The Commission is also instrumental in: promoting women’s rights, documenting the reality of women’s lives worldwide, and shaping global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women. Every year, the commission hosts a two-week session, with representatives of UN Member States, civil society organizations and UN entities to discuss progress and gaps in the implementation of the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action as well as emerging issues that affect gender equality and the empowerment of women (read more).
This year the CSW 61 conference was held under the theme “Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work”. Before the official meeting in New York, the Africa Group through the AU put forward key priorities for a stronger and more inclusive language that centred on the recognition of multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination against all women and girls. Indeed a commentary by the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, Ms. Giovanie Biha, supported the notion of building consensus amongst African Women to ensure that, “Africa speaks with one loud voice on and for its issues especially gender and women’s issues”.
This call for a united voice from Africa comes at moment where there are increased questions for better ways of connecting gender struggles in Africa. Scholars, researchers and activists are looking for ways of consolidating the marginalized voices-and building a stronger feminist movements and African women’s rights organisations.
CSW concluded with the adoption of a set of agreed conclusions, of significance to this discussion is its acknowledgement of the importance of national machineries for the advancement of women and girls, and the relevant contribution of national human rights institutions where they exist...the important role of civil society, in promoting the economic empowerment of women and their full and productive employment and decent work, as well as in advancing the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the gender-responsive implementation of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Given the call by the AU for one loud voice from Africa, this forum seeks to engage the political question of what it means to collect and have one loud voice on gender and women’s issues. The forum seeks to engage the question of collectivism amidst diversity and what this means for African Women.
Key Discussion Points:
- What value does the CSW platform provide in advancing gender equality & women’s empowerment - from an African lens?
- Post CSW 61, what is the African women’s movements’ collective struggle?
- How can we connect these struggles and where are the nodes of connection?
- What are the ways of making the collective African Women struggle more meaningful for the Gender issues challenging African women today?
- Dr. Dinah Musindarwezo (Director, Femnet)
- Kathambi Kinoti (Women’s Rights Consultant, WHRI)
- Esther Mwaura-Muiru (Director, GROOTS)
- Jemimah Keli (Deputy Director, FIDA)
- Dr. Njoki Ngumi (Learning & Development, NEST/HEVA)
Format of discussion:
A panel discussion contextualizes issues to the audience. This is infused with public dialogue and Q&A where the audience engages with the panel and forum.
About Heinrich Böll Foundation
Being part of the Green political movement that has developed worldwide as a response to the traditional politics of socialism, liberalism, and conservatism, the Heinrich Böll Stiftung is a Green Political Foundation, affiliated to the German political party “Alliance ’90 / The Greens”. The regional office for East and Horn of Africa is a people-centric green think-tank, based in Nairobi since 2001. In our work, we facilitate open dialogue, undertake studies and forge partnerships with and among communities in East & Horn of Africa along the core themes of Gender, Environment, Democracy and International Dialogue.
FEMNET is the African Women’s Development and Communication Network - a pan-African, feminist network with more than 500 member organizations and individuals in 43 countries across Africa. FEMNET facilitates and coordinates the sharing of experiences, ideas, information, and strategies for human rights promotion among African women's organizations through networking, communication, capacity-building, and advocacy at the national, regional, and international levels. Since its inception in 1988, FEMNET has played a leading role in building the women’s movement in Africa and ensuring that women and girls’ voices are amplified and their needs, priorities, and aspirations are prioritized in key policy dialogues and outcomes that have direct and indirect impact on their lives. In building the African Women’s movement, FEMNET brings together women from across Africa, gender equality advocates, feminist and women’s right leaders, policy makers from the public and private sectors, its members and key development partners to: discuss topical issues; celebrate the gains in the women’s movement in Africa and how to sustain them; discuss and strategize on existing and emerging challenges and threats to women’s and girls’ human rights and how to respond to them.
About the Gender Forum
The Gender Forum is a monthly public dialogue convened by the Heinrich Böll Stiftung since 2001, encouraging dialogue on pertinent national social issues with a gendered lens. It brings together scholars, law- makers and implementers, civil activists, government institutions, students and the general public, aiming at sharing knowledge and inspiring gendered analysis of policy and programmes.
Sign language will be provided.
Join the conversation online via #GenderForum.