Subject: [fem-women2000 186] Daily News 5 - English
From: "takasaki.ayako" <>
Date: Thu, 09 Mar 2000 12:42:47 +0900
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Subject: [B5NGONEWS] Daily News 5 - English

Daily News 5 - English


Let us be conscious of our strength
During this meeting, as with most international conferences, there are
as many proposals and positions as there are participants.  We have
diverse organizational cultures : some NGOs know the U.N. system inside
out; others, especially those from the Global South, do not.  Some spend
their time chasing after fragments of information yet can`t find what
they`re looking for.  It is imperative that all our strategic feminist
information circulate.  Why don't we coordinate our efforts?  Obviously,
our common enemies monitor us closely.  But let's not underestimate our
strength.  We are many.  Our number and the quality of our arguments are
weapons we can use against them.  Are we naive?  Not at all.  What we
are is lucid.  We remain convinced that the more we open lines of
communication, the more we disseminate information, the more we will be
able to influence public opinion on gender.

WomenAction 2000

Appropriate ICTs

We Met Our Commitments. Did You?

Chapter J - Women and Media

Five years after the Beijing Conference women have carried out all the
recommendations of the Platform for Action addressed to civil society.
We have promoted advancements towards equality in media venues; we have
created and strengthened media and communication mechanisms of our own;
we have created networks to facilitate interaction among citizens; and
we have promoted the access of our movements to the new communications

Thus, affirming the collective spirit that is expressed in Chapter J of
the Platform for Action of Beijing, we propose to the United Nations the
adoption of the following:
Our aspiration to include women's right to communicate as a priority
issue in the United Nations Agenda for the 21st Century, as a
contribution to the present and future process of building democracies
based on pluralism and in the promotion of a culture of peace.

The Media Caucus


Transparency in structure of CSDFor Minu Hemmati, Coordinator of the
Commission on Sustainable Development Women's Caucus, the biggest
difference between the process around CSD and CSW is transparency. The
NGO preparations for CSW are not democratic. We can't preach to the
governments that they must be transparent, and not be that ourselves.
The NGOs in CSD have worked very hard to create a transparent and
democratic process. Now hundreds of people are able to participate very
effectively.The CSD NGO Caucus has a book of rules. For example, the
Steering Committee is elected. There is an annual election for the
co-chairs of the NGO Caucus. There are rules for how many groups are
needed to be able to form a caucus. A caucus must have a mission
statement. The CSD is run as a multi-stakeholder forum, organized along
the major groups identified in Agenda 21 (Rio de Janeiro, 1992) which
include Industry, Technology and Agriculture. Nearly all caucuses have
a listserv. During the CSD there is one hour for discussion. But the
points brought up during this hour have been openly discussed, through
the listservs and at preparatory meetings, by the participants. The CSD
chair also invests highly in the input process, travelling and meeting
with the stakeholders.
Ms Hemmati contrasts this with how the CSW documents are created. There
is little input on Section K the environment. Most governments have
not reported on Section K and few NGO alternative reports have reviewed
it. 全ome of the information in the Proposed Outcomes document is wrong.
Much of it is arbitrary. Emerging issues are not being dealt with, like
environmental health and environmental refugees. Overall it seems that
the Proposed Outcomes document falls behind what has been achieved at

Lin Pugh, WomenAction 2000

Appropriate ICTs

Let us occupy the airwaves

The Asociacion de Comunicaciones Feminist Interactive Radio Endeavour
(AC FIRE) aims connecting voices, technologies and actions... giving a
voice to the voiceless. With Voicewe can hear live sound So radio
becomes an evidence. They produce a monthly feminist Web radio program
both Spanish and English that feature various topics with a feminist
perspective. To contribute to strengthen local, national, regional and
global communications networking women, they repackage their programs to
a larger audience via local radio: a weekly broadcast called 薦stLegalat 10a.m. Wednesdays on Radio America (in Costa Rica) on the 780
AM dial.

During the PrepCom on March 8th they will put all their energy into a
local radio program focusing on the Global March, the Feminist Strike
and AMARC. On March 6th, 7th, 8th, 13th and 14th, they will produce one
Broadcast Internet hour both in English and Spanish. They are very
productive strengthening women place in media publishing also a
bi-annual magazine called "Voices on FIRE." And last, but not least,
they just edited a book "Women's Voices on FIRE", explaining the
historic evolution and philosophy of FIRE. Contact:

Towards Gendered ICTs Advocacy

As Chair of the African Information Society - Gender Working Group
(AIS-GWG), Gillian Marcelle is categoric: There still are significant
geographical disparities in the rate of development of global electronic
and communication networks. And we have to work on it There is no
universal way to use or access ICTs, and almost there are different ways
to express For the moment, the benefits of ICTs have much to do with
developed countries she thinks. She adds that South Africa has a
positive approach. Even if African women experience serious resource
deficiencies and have grave difficulties in gaining access to the public
decision-making and power structures, a real policy has been launched to
integrate women in ICT use. Advocacy has been contextualised.
Furthermore, civil society has been consulted, and that 創eeds to be
strengthened In a few days, AIS-GWG will arrive at the Global
Knowledge Conference II in the Gender Caucus.

AIS-GWG has begun to explore partnership arrangements with the ITU
Gender Task Force and with the UN-ECA, African Information Society
Initiative. What are opportunities for women in that initiative? The
question remains. Contact:


An Appeal to Assist Flood Victims in Mozambique

We, the women of the African women's NGOs attending the 44th session of
the UN CSW are deeply concerned and distressed about the lack of
response to the current flooding crisis in Mozambique. Already many
lives have been lost. Tens of thousands of more lives will be lost if
rescue missions are not intensified, and if food and clean drinking
water do not reach these people immediately.

We have watched and listened in great horror as the government of
Mozambique appealed to the international community to come to their
rescue with little response. Mozambique is one of the poorest countries
in the world with few resources to respond to such a large-scale crisis.
We applaud those regional governments that have provided rescue
helicopters. However, much more is needed if lives are to be saved and
further tragedy is to be avoided. Already we have witnessed the
unnecessary death of a grandmother who fell and drowned while she was
helping to birth her new grandchild born on top of a tree.

We call upon the international community to provide relief services and
to send helicopters and other resources to quicken the rescue of
thousands of people stranded in dangerous situations where water
continues to rise. People are now clinging to tree tops and roof tops.
The international community has a moral obligation to show the same
spirit of humanitarian concern demonstrated towards other national
calamities such as the 1999 devastating earthquake in Turkey.

African Caucus

Women's Rights Activists under Threat in Nigeria

The declaration of Sharia laws in one state in Nigeria, and the move
towards implementation in other Northern Muslim States has set off an
epidemic of killings in the country. Over 1,000 people have already been

Some women activists in Nigeria along with other Civil Society
Organizations and opinion leaders voiced their view that introducing
Sharia laws may be detrimental to the position of women. Others believe
that Sharia laws, a legal framework based on interpretation of the
Koran,  are compatible with CEDAW and will help women.

Over the past week the Nigerian Government has suspended the enforcement
of Sharia laws and some states have agreed to suspend its
implementation. Nigeria has ratified CEDAW.

NGO Caucus

船isturbing lack of post-secondary education in recommendations
New Zealander Dr Mary-Louise Kearney is head of Unesco's unit for the
World Conference on Higher Education. In the period since Beijing, her
Unit has been responsible for promoting showcase examples of why women
have a right to higher education. Her Unit entered into partnerships
with Higher Education bodies, such as the North and South American
International Organisation for Higher Education, the African Association
for Universities, the Association of Commonwealth Universities and the
Association of Arab Universities. The goal is to show how education
helps women, at all levels and in all aspects, including economic and
social the many barriers to empowerment are cultural wrong thinking.
Secondly, unless women are in decision-making positions, nothing will
happen. If we ask for favourswe will be patted on the head. We have
to be in a position to make and implement decisions.Tertiary education
has trebled in the last 10 years with the participation of women
significantly high. In OECD countries there is a huge influx of women
over 28, many with families and a job. We anticipate this trend to
spread to other countries. In Canada, the majority of university
entrants are female. Ms Kearney identified a problem in the CSW
recommendations: the perception that academia has nothing to do with
development. Development needs research-based learning and skills-based
learning. The rest of the world is moving forward in this area, so why
is this conference lagging?
Lin Pugh, WomenAction 2000

The Power of Education to Effect Change

In the twenty-first century one of a nation's primary assets will be the
knowledge of its citizens. This was a central theme in the Wednesday
panel discussion held by UNESCO/IFUW on Globalization: the Power of
Education to Effect Change.Education is fundamental for the
implementation of all areas of the Beijing+5 document. The panelists
stressed the role of formal and non/formal education, underscoring
non-formal education in the home as crucial in forming gender-sensitive
attitudes. A gender perspective should permeate all aspects of the
curriculum, not just those areas specifically referred to in the outcome
document, so that it is seen as an integral part of human rights.
Education for political awareness as well as public speaking are other
areas which should be taught in school to empower young girls to voice
their opinions.

While access to basic education is regrettably still a major concern,
stress must be given to the education of the adolescent girl and young
woman. The outcome document as presented is lacking in actions and
initiatives for this age group, the leaders of the future. Issues which
need specific address are: the need for international recognition of
educational qualifications at all levels; the initiation and funding of
career guidance for girls from an early age by governments; adequate
career counseling for students enabling them to have flexibility of
jobs; and the availability to and participation of women in IT
education. Women must not only be users of ICTs but also creators of
programs, not least to counterbalance the male dominated software trade.

Access to tertiary education and lifelong learning is vital if women are
to be full participants in human sustainable development. Illiteracy
comprises more than basic skills. It should encompass basic science
skills, and functional literacy skills particularly in areas such as
economy and the law. How can women assert their rights if they do not
know them?
Anne Holden Ronning, IFUW

Young Women Provoke Rare Applause at the UN

On March 1, for the first time ever, young women representing all
regions of the world were given the floor to address member governments
of the Commission on the Status of Women and international NGOs. We are
the largest generation in the world. 50% of the population is 30 years
or under. This emphasizes the crucial need for youth perspectives in
these proceedings. We are subjects of rights and our human rights must
be fully respected and promoted,said Mariana Arantes Nasser, 19, from

The Youth Caucus was formed at the 43rd session of the CSW in 1999. A
group of young women was concerned that the only reference to young
women in the initial draft of the health document was in relation to
their high use of tobacco and high rates of HIV infection.

Since its inception, young women have stressed the need for concrete
actions to be taken to consider the specific needs and interests of
young women.

In our generation equality has still not been achieved. There is still
a lot to do. We, young women, bring different perspectives and
approaches to creating change,said Nasser. Stop imagining what our
needs are. Start listening and work with us. If you are serious about
the Platform for Action and about women, you have to start with us.
Governments need to wake up to the dangers that young women are facing
To join the meetings, contact us (Shireen Lee 1-212-749-3808 or or Franziska Brantner 1-202-903-7894 or or participate at the Young Women Internet
Forum (subscribe to:

SID Meeting on Asymmetry of Globalization
Over two hundred women crowded into Room B to discuss the burning issue
of how globalization is affecting their lives. Building links, bridges
and chains of strength were clearly on every one's agenda for women's
rights, health and economic equity. SID and other key NGO networks
including CONGO offered to continue the discussion in other fora
bringing the message of Cairo, Beijing, Vienna and Rio to Geneva.
The Regional Dimension
The end of the first week of this prep-com and where are we the NGOs?
In somewhat of a state of confusion or do we actually know where we are
heading as we now really start working on  the preparatory committee for
the special session in June.  The first draft of the working document
for this CSW, the proposed 前utcome Documentemerged on January 21st.
Meetings of the five regional commissions of the UN were held between
December 1998 and February 2000 and it is doubtful that all their
羨greed Conclusionswere able to influence that document to any degree
and what about the splendid NGO Coalition document, did the drafters
make any use of the regional conclusions?

As the Soroptimist link to the EEC I was fortunate to attend the
regional meeting in Geneva in January 2000 and to receive the documents
from the other regional meetings from my Soroptimist equivalents who
attended those and so am aware of the regional debates, the ideas
expressed and the language used, I therefore fully endorse the NGO view
stated this week that we must not use those ideas ot that language.

In his paper to CSW this week Patrice Robineau of the EEC commented
while procedures differ according to regions it is worth highlighting
that all the regional conferences allowed for a wide NGO participation
which resulted in a substantial contribution to the debate and the
outcomes of the meetings The Soroptimist report on the African
Conference supports this and states a unique feature of the conference
was the fully fledged participation of both governmental and
non-governmental organisations in the plenary and breakout work shop
sessions My own experience at the EEC conference echoes this. The two
day preliminary NGO Forum produced agreed papers from each working
caucus which were subsequently used when the Chair of each caucus joined
the appropriate government drafting group to produce the Agreed Regional

So, have you seen your region's conclusions, are you satisfied that as
regional NGOs you did have some influence on those conclusions, and now
most important of all are the ideas and views expressed in those
regional conclusions being used as we work together at this CSW?

Valerie Evans
Soroptimist International

Cross Cutting

Diary of an NGO Participant

The United Nations on paper and in practice are two very different
things. I came here, thinking I knew a good deal about background and
functions of this organisation, but none of that helps. The first few
days I really feel like the new kid in town. Confused, amazed, elated,
having to search for everything, from bathrooms and coffee to the right
people and the right documents.

Of course things fall into place; some curiosity and initiative go a
long way, especially when you find yourself one of a great many new
kids! So we all help each other and after a day or so you walk the halls
with the air of belonging there; all part of the act. Part of the act is
also being extremely busy in a very relaxed manner. We're in an enormous
building, in the cellar; wide corridors, lots of conference rooms,
places to sit, coffee corners. Dozens of conversations flowing, dozens
of footsteps sounding. People wander in and out of the official
meetings, with large cups of coffee and even larger waterbottles. The
meetings themselves almost seem just backdrop for the real action; in
the halls and smaller rooms people gather for more meetings, but without
translators and microphones.

There's no daylight here, so I like to eat in the large restaurant with
the view of the river. Especially magnificent when clouds are racing or
the sun shines on the water, but in any weather a welcome contrast to
the swirling mass of humanity filling this building. Humanity from
everywhere, in all colours and sizes, in grey suits (like me today) or
bright sari's. Representatives of governments and representatives of all
kinds of organisations making demands on governments. This really is a
world forum, this really is a meeting place for all peoples. To be part
of that, however briefly, is a great experience.

Lucy Willems

Institutional Processes

DAW Briefing

After the official opening of PrepCom2, and general debate, second panel
to follow up on emerging issues (Monday) the negotiations should proceed
in full speed starting Tuesday. DAW will be discussing with the Bureau
how to facilitate the process.
DAW is prepared to provide NGO with briefing on daily basis. If briefing
is required on specific issue, this should be communicated in advance
for DAW to provide appropriate resource person.


Research on Violence against Women issue network

A German university research project NGOs and Good Global Governanceexplores NGO networks around the issue of violence against women and
their contribution to the legitimacy of politics in the UN. The
objective is to identify which women's organizations participate in
global communication, where the focal points are and how they are
connected to the margins of transnational debate. Research will be based
on, amongst others, a questionnaire that is being circulated among NGOs
during the CSW session, through March 17, available in conference room B
and at the WomenAction Internet Caf(UN Church Center 12th floor).
Contact Barbara Finke:

NGO Daily Briefing

Please contact the NGO Sub-Committee for requests: Sudha Acharya, Sara
Longwe, Pam Rajput, Lydia Alpizar, Charlotte Bunch, Lenata Bloem, Leslie

CSW Wrap-up

Prior to PrepCom 2, for the June Special Session, the regular session of
the CSW concluded on 2nd March with four resolutions and plans for its
45th session. This summary of the outcomes is distributed as a special
edition of WomenAction News. The same information can be found at:

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