March got off to an energetic start at the Peacewomen Project with the annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) taking place from Feb 27th - March 9th. The CSW saw strong participation from WILPF, with representatives from Sweden, Lebanon, Pakistan, Nigeria, Japan and the US making the trip to New York to take part in the general debate and hundreds of side events.
This year WILPF held several side events, the first convened by our Nigerian Section on “Human Security for Rural Women in Nigeria - using SCR 1325” and with representation by WILPF Pakistan entitled “Food, Sovereignty, Conflict and Peace”.
On Friday, March 2, Charlotte Bunch and Ambassador Anwaral Chowdhury joined Peacewomen and WILPF U.S. in celebrating the launch of WILPF's Report of the Civil Society Consultations on the Development of the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR1325) at a cocktail reception held at the Vermilion restaurant in New York City.
WILPF's US section was able to bring two special delegations to the CSW this year: Practicum in Advocacy and Local2Global program. The delegation enrolled through the Practicum in Advocacy at the United Nations, co-sponsored by the Center for Women's Health and Human Rights at Suffolk University and the National Women's Studies Association, included 20 women from 18 colleges and universities located in 13 states with 8 different countries of birth. This highly competitive educational program is building the next generation of WILPF activists, and all participants receive coaching in lobbying, networking and campaign strategy. Further, WILPF U.S. brought a delegation of 8 experienced WILPF activists to the CSW for a week-long immersion in the structures and "language" of the United Nations as part of the Local2Global program, underwritten by a very special WILPF donor.
In addition to supporting international networking, delegates in the Local2Global program make a commitment to sharing information gained at the CSW and its parallel events with WILPF members in their hometowns and throughout the section. The Local2Global program is in its second year; the Practicum in its fifth. Outreach for both programs begins in September.
Photo: WILPF U.S. delegates visit the Museum of Modern Art to view a retrospective of video, photography and collage by Yugoslavian feminist Sanja Iveković.