The whirlwind last two weeks of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) ended late Friday night with the commission calling for gender to be prioritised in the next development agenda through both a stand-alone gender equality Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) and integration of gender throughout all other goals.
The 58th session of the Commission (CSW 58) also recalled the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) resolutions and called for measures to implement and monitor the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations, ensure women's effective participation in peace processes and conflict situations, and to end impunity.
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Human Rights and Peace Face Challenges in Development Planning
Despite gains, pushback even on human rights generally was apparent, especially on sexual and reproductive health and rights.
We are particularly concerned that a small number of States (led by the USA and China) were also able to delete support for reducing military spending and financing development. This is a failure not to include already agreed language from Rio (1992) and Beijing (1995) on reducing military spending to finance development.
It is critical to tackle this resistance and galvanise support for progressive language here in the Post2015 development agenda moving forward.
WILPF: “No Development without Disarmament!”
Overall, WILPF members had an energising experience at CSW 58, where 75 activists and advocates from the WILPF global network joined over 3000 other civil society participants at hundreds of events in a two week long hustle and bustle around UN Headquarters. WILPFers came from Syria, Nigeria, Pakistan, Colombia, Geneva and many places in between.
We united as a delegation to collectively raise our voices and bring attention to the fact that you get what you pay for, and there can be no peace or development without disarmament and women's full and equal human rights.
Together, we spoke fiercely and truthfully. We organised 10 successful events where we mobilised and built momentum around WILPF's 100th anniversary movement recognising Women's Power to Stop War!
Thank you to everyone who joined us and shared a photo in our #100Women4Peace photo campaign or engaged with our unprecedented social media discussions through #CSW58 #WILPF100 #DisarmSDGs!
Honouring WILPF Secretary General Madeleine Rees
WILPF's inspiring Secretary General, Madeleine Rees was honored as the recipient of the Dean's Social Justice Award by the CUNY School of Law on March 13th for her leading legacy of advocating for women's human rights throughout conflict.
“When women are not represented in peace processes, it is a failure. It is absolutely vital to include women in peace negotiations”, Madeleine remarked discussing the situation in Syria. We all joined in celebrating Madeleine and her work with WILPF for peace.
Make CSW count!
Although CSW is done, we need your advocacy more than ever!
Please ask your government to design development for peace! Demand support for Post2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), targets, and indicators to finance development with disarmament, strengthen women's participation in peace processes, and holding non-state actors accountable to women's human rights.
Thanks to all of you who participated in and followed along with CSW these past couple off weeks. If you engaged, what did you think? We welcome your thoughts in the comments below!