International (English)

Commission on the Status of Women

March 20: see the LATEST  DOCUMENTCSW60-banner_360px

Why sexual and reproductive rights are essential to achieve sustainable development and gender equality

Side Event of the UN Commission on the Status of Women,
23 March 2016, 1:15-2:30pm
Conference Room 7 at UN Headquarters

As we move forward toward the implementation of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development in 2015, it is pertinent to recognise the inextricable link between sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and sustainable development goals including reducing poverty, achieving better health, and ensuring empowerment and equal rights for women and girls. This CSW side event will highlight:

  • Country specific advocacy initiatives for ensuring that gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls and their human rights are central in national strategies, tools and instruments for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
  • The role of national CSOs in ensuring that advocacy gains made at the global level during the Post-2015 discussions are sustained and transferred to the national level in the implementation of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
  • Potential challenges and the way forward at the global, regional and national in creating a safe and enabling environment for civil society, to ensure their full participation in the implementation, follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda.


Fadoua Bakhadda, Moroccan Family Planning Association
Habbibun Nessa, Naripokkho – Bangladesh
Rina Jimenez David, Likhaan – Philippines
Dr. P. Balasubramanian, Rural Women’s Social Education Centre – India
Mangala Namasivayam, ARROW – Asia Pacific Region

Susan Alzner, Head of the UN-NGLS NY Office

The event will be live streamed on Twitter via @ARROW_Women

March 14: click here for the second version of the end document.
On March 14 the Netherlands organised a side event on Women and Water Diplomacy, sponsored by South Africa, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Women for Water Partnership, International Federation of Business & Professional Women (IFBPW), Soroptomist International (SI).CSW60-banner_360px

From 14-24 March, the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) turns the focus of the United Nations towards women and gender related issues worldwide. At the same time, civil society is given the opportunity to participate in the NGO CSW Forum, organized by NGO CSW/NY.
Independent from the UN, the NGO CSW Forum gives activists from around the world the opportunity to discuss issues pertaining to women and girls, to network, share strategies/good practices, and to lobby governments to implement resolutions and treaties.

This year’s priority theme is “Women’s empowerment and its link to sustainable development.” The review theme is “The elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls.”
Click here for the  Parallel Events Schedule

The International Alliance of Women has organised two interesting events

Join us for a discussion on Women in Decision-makingtorild-skard

Met Torild Skard from Norway (see picture):
What can we learn from 73 female presidents and prime ministers in 53 countries worldwide during half a century. How did they manage to rise to the top and did they make a difference as female top readers?

Sponsored by: All India Women’s Conference, Council of Women World Leaders, Internatinal Alliance of Women, Equality Now, Reflective Democracy Campaign.
Op woensdagmiddag 23 maart om 16.30 in het Church Centre.

Corporations, Globalization and Women’s Social and Economic RightsJoanna-at-UN-ECE-NGO-Forum-248x300

Opening Remarks: Ambassador Catherine Boura, Permanent Representative of Greece to the United Nations
This side event will reflect on the impact that multinational corporations (MNCs) have on the social and economic rights of women and girls in the Global South.
Chair: Joanna Manganara, President IAW (see picture)’

UN Women – International Women’s Day
Planet 50-50 !

International Women’s Day celebrations on 8 March will mobilize people around the world to call for a Planet 50-50 by 2030.
UN Women is organizing a series of diverse, high-profile events in over 40 countries, where ordinary citizens, activists, musicians, athletes, students, security personnel, scholars and stock exchange officials will be among those who commit to “Stepping It Up for Gender Equality.”

New UN Secretary General – vote for a woman

“Equal parts diplomat and advocate, civil servant and CEO, the Secretary-General is a symbol of United Nations ideals and a spokesperson for the interests of the world’s peoples.
The position of Secretary-General is one of great importance that requires the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, and a firm commitment to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.

The President of the UN General Assembly and the President of the UN Security Council have invited UN Member States to present candidates with proven leadership and managerial abilities, extensive experience in international relations, and strong diplomatic, communication and multilingual skills.

Deputy UN chief presents new report on global migrant trends, highlighting rising numbers for 2015

Migrants and refugees from several countries arrive by special train in Berlin, Germany.
Photo: UNICEF/Ashley GilbertsonPrint

12 January 2016 – Presenting the key finding of the latest United Nations survey on international migrant trends, the UN Deputy Secretary-General today stressed that the issue of migration is one of the most challenging and important that the Organization is taking on in the new global landscape.

“The number of international migrants worldwide has continued to grow,” noted the Deputy Secretary-General. “Back in 2000, there were 173 million international migrants, in 2010 there were 222 million, and this past year in 2015, 244 million migrants.”

According to the Trends in International Migrant Stock: The 2015 Revision, nearly two thirds of international migrants live in Europe (76 million) or Asia (75 million). North America has the third largest number of international migrants (54 million), and globally, women comprise half of all of them.Meanwhile, two thirds of all international migrants were reported to be living in only 20 countries, with the largest number in the United States – about a fifth of the world’s total migrants. The next in line is Germany, followed by Russia, and Saudi Arabia.


Turning to refugees, they are mainly in Pakistan, Lebanon, Iran, Jordan – and come mainly from three countries – Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia.


Deprived of school, future of 24 million children in conflict zones under threat – UN report


The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

The CEDAW Committee consists of 23 experts on women’s rights from around the world. Next session: 15 Feb 2016 – 04 Mar 2016.

 Cities for CEDAW Campaign

Geneva, 12 December, 2015
This unique campaign aims to drive U.S. support of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) by encouraging cities — with an initial goal of 100 — to adopt the treaty as a city ordinance.
The U.S. remains one of seven countries that have not yet ratified CEDAW, alongside Iran, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and two small Pacific Island nations.syy

According to Soon-Young Yoon, NGO CSW/NY focal point for the campaign, “The concept is simple. If we can build the 17 Sustainable Development Goals on the foundation of women’s human rights in cities, we can change the future of the world. The influence of a global-to-local campaign can’t be underestimated.”

About 20 CEDAW experts and a number of civil society leaders attended the briefing. Representatives from Kansas City, Louisville and San Francisco exchanged views with CEDAW experts on the considerable progress made during the U.S. campaign.
For the report, click here

Climate Change

NGOs Still Leading the Global Debate

The historic duo: resource depletion and inequality, is central in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ratified by the 193 member countries at the UN in New York, September 2015
Solar, wind, wave power, geothermal and energy efficiency are revealed as cheaper than unsubsidized fossil fuels and nuclear power. Full-spectrum accounting by SASB and IIRC drives the new NGOs promoting all these Solar Age technologies.

These societies can “leapfrog” directly to green technologies. NGOs can continue driving the debates at COP21 with their new allies and accelerate the great global transition now underway to the next economy, equality-based and powered by the daily free photons from our Sun.
Hazel Henderson, president of Ethical Markets Media USA and Brazil, Summary of an article in Inter Press Service

FEMM — EU — 2010 recommendations on social standards, human rights and corporate responsability

The next FEMM Committee meeting will be held on Thursday 3 December 2015 from 9.00 to 12.30 and from 15.00 to 18.30 in Brussels.

On 3 December FEMM Members will vote on the 42 amendments tabled to the draft opinion drafted by Ms Malin Björk (GUE/NGL).
The amendments and the draft opinion underline the differentiated impact of trade agreements on women and men and the importance of integrating a gender equality perspective into EU’s trade policy.

On 3 December 2015 from 15.00 FEMM will hold a hearing on women refugees and asylum seekers and present the draft report prepared by Ms Honeyball (S&D).
Women and girls fleeing conflicts and war face various forms of gender based violence in their journey towards a hosting country, as well as multiple discrimination due to widespread prejudices about women refugees and asylum seekers.
Four experts from UNHCR, WRC, Asylum Aid and Yalla Trappan will give their contribution to this sensitive issue.

IAW goes to Zimbabwe in November 2016

IAW Associate Women’s Comfort Corner in Zimbabwe is working at four projects:
– End Rape Epidemic with the Line of Hope Project;
– Phone Recycling Program – Protection of the Environment;
– Health – Ebola;
– The Hero/Heroine Visionary Award

End Rape Epidemic with the Line of Hope Project

Women’s Comfort Corner, Zimbabwe
by Zimbabwe, a summary of  the story in the IAW booklet.Zimbabwe1

A major campaign to protect children from sexual abuse is underway in all provinces of Zimbabwe. The Line of Hope Program, the country’s only campaign solely dedicated to preventing child sexual abuse, is undertaking a 5 year long campaign to spread prevention messages and ensure that communities and adults are equipped with the right information to help protect women and children from sexual harm.

These are ambitious plans, but we are an ambitious campaign.
We want as many trainees as possible to become aware of child sexual abuse issues, including to look for warning signs in children and adults, so that more children are protected. As long as sexual abuse persists, we will not allow pessimism and cynicism to disarm us. We are using technology to transform teaching and learning for training to prevent child abuse.

Line of Hope ProjectZimbabwe2

Babies, children and women are raped daily. This heartbreaking occurrence resulted in setting up the Line of Hope Project.
Child sexual abuse demands innovative approaches to prevent further victimisation.
Use of on line technology for training highsschool and university students and adult gatekeeperst in the prevention program, can make a difference.

Hope Schools Program is an initiative designed to reduce incidents of child abuse through the use of technology to improve student performance and drive student interest in to reduce sexual violence and its negative consequences through an engaging and efficacious learning experience.
By Rita Marque Lunga-Mbatha, President Women’s Comfort Corner

Climate Change

On October 7 2015, at the IAW International Meeting in Paris, the Board decided by consensus to give a mandate to Natalia Kostus, Chair of the Commission on Climate Change and Board Member of IAW, to start forming the IAW Programme on Climate Change and Sustainable Development to be adopted and launched at the Congress in 2016 and to have the possibility of attracting funding.

The 2015 UN Climate Change Conference, COP 21, will be held in Paris, from November 30 to December 11.
Representative of the International Alliance of Women is Natalia Kostus, nataliekostuswho will attend the COP21 Conference, and will be looking at the decisions from a female viewpoint.

The conference objective is to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world. Leadership of the negotiations is yet to be determined.

Commission on the Status of Women (CSW60)

The NGO CSW60 FORUM will take place in New York simultaneously with the 60th Session of the Commission for the Status of Women (CSW60) from 14 to 24 MARCH 2016. The Priority theme for CSW60 is: “Women’s empowerment and its link to sustainable development.” For more information on the NGO CSW60 Forum check the NGO CSW/NY website (NGOCSW.ORG) regularly and for information regarding the Commission.

Anyone wishing to attend the NGO CSW60 Forum (including the parallel events, regional caucuses, morning briefings) is required to register.
– Online Free Registration to Attend: will open on 2 November 2015 and the deadline to register is 7 March 2016.
– Online Registration & Application for Parallel events: will open on 2 November 2015, deadline is 11 December 2015.
– Online Registration for onsultation Day (tentative date, Sunday, 13 March 2016): will open on 8 November 2015 and the deadline to register is 7 March 2016.
– Online Registration for NGO Reception (tentative date, Tuesday, 15 March 2016): will open on 8 November 2015 and the deadline to register is 7 March 2016.
– Online Registration for NGO CSW Women’s Rights March (tentative date, Friday, 18 March 2016): will open on 8 November 2015 and the deadline to register is 7 March 2016
– Online Registration for Handbook ADS will open on 8 November 2015 and the deadline for Print Ads is 31 January  2016.
– The deadline for Online Ads is 7 March 2016
– Online Registration for the Artisan Fair will open on 8 November 2015 and the deadline is 31 January 2016.


It will be the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework
Will be continued

Suffragettes 1915-2015: just scroll down this page.

A 5 pond coin for Edith Cavell

The 12th of October marks the centenary of the execution of the nurse Edith Cavell, to be portrayed on a new 5 pound coin, and 4 December marks the 150th anniversary of her birth near Norwich.cavell1
She is celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers in Brussels from all sides without distinction.
At present the coin is to be issued only in proof silver and proof gold.
In the USA the women’s movement has asked to put a woman instead of a man on the 20 dollar bill.

Commission on the Status of Women – CSW60

The submission of written statements for the sixtieth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW60) is now open through CSO-Net. Please find the link to the online submission and related guidelines on the CSW NGO participation website.

The Sustainable Development Goals

Latest news – 26 Septemberlogo_lg
The United Nations today launched an ambitious public-private strategy to end preventable deaths of women, children and adolescents, with initial commitments of more than $25 billion for the next five years to provide life-saving treatments, from immunizations to perinatal care.

The SDGs – what it is all about

After several UN conferences member States agreed to develop a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), build upon the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and converge with the Post 2015 global development agenda.

What are the proposed 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s)
1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
3. Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages
4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all
9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation
10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (taking note of agreements made by the UNFCCC forum)
14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss
16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levelsRegina
17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development.

Mailed to us by Regina Smit (in the middle of the picture)

Dutch side eventLilianne_Ploumen_2013_2-1

During the UN Summit on September 25-27, the Netherlands will organise a side event on preventing FGM, Female Genital Cutting, and protecting women against this barbaric mutilation. With Dutch minister Lilianne Ploumen.

Commitment Day on September 27

The Peoples Republic of China and UN Women are convening a Commitments Day on September 27. Heads of State (not foreign ministers etc) are invited to make commitments for the full implementation of the BPfA. Please check to see if your government has made its commitment to attend.
Also, please send this message out to your networks and urge them to contact their presidents so we can have all 189 governments who signed onto the document make strong statements at this event.


HABITAT III is the third United Nations conference on housing and sustainable urban development. Habitat III will be held in Quito (Ecuador) from 17 to 20 October 2016. Following the Conference, a non-binding Declaration will be adopted by the Member States; it will nevertheless be decisive for the development of national urban policies.syy

Soon-Young Yoon, UN representative for the International Alliance of Women writes:

“The draft submission by the IAW is now posted on the website of Habitat III. See this link for other NGO submissions and those from member states:

You will note the stark absence of any human rights or other feminist and women’s rights groups”.
This subject will be on the Agenda of the IAW International Meeting in Paris, 6 – 11 october 2015.

Comments of the government of the Netherlands on the Habitat III Issue Papers are to be found on:

The Peace Congress of Suffragettes in 1915

In April 1915 in the First World War more than 1200 brave suffragettes from twelve countries crossed oceans and war borders to attend a Peace Conference in the Hague, to discuss peace in the world; international and permanent peace.WILPF-1915-platform-jokeS2

The Board, with twelve women from twelve countries, sat behind a table at the Zoo in the Hague. There were palms at the background and eight vases with flowers in front.

WILPF 2015 The Hague 087
On April the 25th 2015, at the gate of the Peace Palace in The Hague, members of the International Alliance of Women and WILPF  paid respect to the brave suffragettes who demanded permanent peace 100 years ago in a world full of conflict. There were cheers and there was music.

A short history

In October 1914 Aletta Jacobs received a message from the German Affiliate of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance that Congres in Berlin could not take place in June 1915, due to ‘circumstances’. As President of the Dutch Áffiliate, the ‘Vereening voor Vrouwenkiesrecht´ (the Society for Women’s Voting Rights),  she consulted her members and  proposed to organize a Congress on peace in the Netherlands, a neutral country in World War I. It was announced in the December Journal of Jus Suffragii and received many reactions. Arina met foto Aletta JacobsNot all members of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance liked the idea, but surprisingly there was also a lot of worldwide support and sympathy.

Only six weeks to go !

President Carrie Chapman Gatt of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance had already returned to the USA. There were only 6 weeks to go ! Aletta put two experienced Dutch members in charge: Rosa Manus and Mia Boissevain. They started preparing for an international Congress on Peace on February 12 and 13 2015.

Several suffragettes from the UK, Germany, Havre (occupied Belgium) and The Netherlands came together in the American Hotel in Amsterdam. They first installed a sub-committee for drafting (12) resolutions for a Manifest, with Aletta as a member. There also had to be voting procedures and a programme, an office and a venue; there were invitations to be sent out, letters to be answered, contributions to be raised etc. The costs would be divided by the national branches of the USA, UK and the Netherlands.
Seema 25-04-2015
When it became known that the famous American social reformer and pacifist Jane Addams would be President of the Congress, and that she would travel with a group of 40 American women to the Hague, expectations of a successful outcome rose high.

Jane Addams was a friend of  the American President Woodrow Wilson. In January 1915 she founded the International Committee of Women for Permanent Peace in Washington which later, in 1918, became the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, WILPF.

The start of the Congress had political difficulties. A group of 180 English women could not cross the Canal, because boarding was prevented by the government. At the last moment only a few could  attend. The American suffragettes were held up but got there just in time. For women coming from France it was extremely difficult to join the others.

Regardless, the Peace Congress was a fact. And from April 28 till May the 1st, during the four days of Congress, resolutions were  discussed and amended for Permanent Peace. In English, French and German.Orobio

“We women, in International Congress assembled, protest against the madness and the horror of the war, involving as it does a reckless sacrifice of human life and the destruction of so much that humanity has labored through centuries to build up”.

The Board, with twelve women, from every country one, sat behind a long table in the biggest venue the preparation group could find, the Zoo in the Hague. There were palms in the background and eight vases with flowers in front. The Congress was chaired by Jane Addams, sitting in the middle.

At that time there were no microphones. Translation was allowed (quietly) in small groups but shouts of silence were sometimes necessary.
There were discussions  about the ‘language’ of the resolutions and there were amendments. The number of resolutions grew from 12 to 20.  There was also a great harmony. Nan en LouiseAll suffragettes stood together behind their ideals of permanent peace, saving civilization and progress in the world.

The resolutions

The resolutions are very readable and to the point. Some demands were, in short:
– democratic control of foreign policy;
– political enfranchisement for women;
– continuation of the Permanent Court of Arbitrage, founded in The Hague in 1899, proposed and in accordance with the idea of Bertha von Suttner;
– a Permanent International Court of Justice;
– a ‘Permanent Council of Conciliation and Investigation’.Anje in Mobdash

The last resolution, NR. 20, was a very special one. Vice-President Rosika Schwimmer from Hungary and Vice-President of the Alliance, an excellent speaker,  suddenly took the floor and called out:

“If brains have brought us to what we are in now, I think it is time to allow our hearts to speak. When our sons are killed by the millions, let us, mothers, only try to do good by going to the kings and emperors without any other danger than a refusal.”

She proposed that after Congress delegations should visit government leaders of both neutral countries and countries at war, to discuss the Manifest with its resolutions and demands of permanent peace. A tremendous applause followed !

Read the Manifest 1915 ! It is very readable and written in English, German and French. Click here: Manifest 1915

The Peace Missiondove.previewdove.preview

At first Aletta was not very happy with this proposal. She liked to take up her struggle for voting rights for women in the Netherlands. She sincerely believed that, if women got voting rights, permanent peace would follow.
Nevertheless, she went on the Peace Mission, from May the 7th till July the 8th,  together with Jane Addams and other suffragettes. In delegations of three or four they visited government leaders and  ministers of Foreign Affairs in London, Berlin, Budapest, Vienna, Bern, Rome,  Havre (occupied Belgium), Norway (King Haakon), Rome (the Pope).
Other groups went to Washington, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Petrograde. The Manifest was also mailed to China, Japan and Latin-American countries.

In the Embassies Mobflash Vredespaleis 25-04-2015_NEW 2the suffragettes were received with courtesy, but behind their backs the remarks were not always polite.
For example from Germany: “In wartime you always meet a certain amount of cranks”.

The Treaty of Versailles, 1918/1919

Were the ideas of permanent peace of the brave suffragettes of 1915 lost during and after the First World War? Yes and no.
One of their ideas can be found in the last of the fourteen points of the list Woodrow Wilson presented at the Treaty of Versailles, in 1918/1919.

14. A League of Nations should be set up to guarantee the political and territorial independence of all states.

Wilson was not well at that time and his 14 points did not make any impression during the complicated negotiations between deliberating European nations for the Treaty of Versailles.Nan en Aletta
Except for this 14th point, the idea of a the League of Nations.

The League was installed in Geneva and years later became the United Nations, in New York. The USA never became a member of the League of Nations, due to political differences.

The results

Woodrow Wilson and Jane Addams both received the Nobel Prize for Peace. The League of Nations later became the United Nations.
We still have WILPF, which organized this excellent 100-year Jubilee of the Peace Congress 1915.

And Aletta Jacobs?Aletta gecorrigeerd 600 cm
On 19  September 1919 women and men in the Netherlands got the same political voting rights. And Aletta got a magnificent bust in the Peace Palace in the Hague on April the 25th 2015.

The bust was a gift from WILPF. It was and created by sculptress Lia Krol.

The names  and pictures of well-known suffragettes were carried in a flash mob by members of the International Alliance of Women and members of WILPF.

Anne Cecille Kjelling, NorwayThe smiling lady in an orange blazer at the front of the mob flash  is Liska Blodgett, initiator and  team member of the Peace Museum in Vienna, Austria.
Behind her, at the right in a green blouse, is Petra Keppler from WILPF, waving at us with a board of Jane Addams in an oldfashioned hat. Petra has organized the mob flash.

After the ceremony at the Peace Palace several of us met in the hospitable home of Lyda Verstegen, where we got an introduction from Anne Cecilla Klelling, Norway.
She had made an analysis of the criteria for the Noble Peace Prize for women (see the picture).

Joke Sebus,
member of the International Alliance of Women
of the Dutch Society for Women’s rights, Women’s labour and Equal Citizenship.
Hilversum, January 2015

With due thanks to Ite van Dijk (WILPF) and Marina Scholtes (editor in English)
Voor de Nederlandse tekst klikt u hier

– Article about the International Committee of Women for Permanent Peace. Jan. 1.1915 in Dutch
– Women at The Hague, The international Congress of Women and its Results, Jane Addams, Emily Balch, Alice Hamilton. Production by Harriet Hyman Alonso, University of Illinois Press, with due thanks to Kennisinstituut Atria (knowledge institute)
– Herinneringen, door Aletta Jacobs (Memories, by Aletta Jacobs)
– Aletta Jacobs, 1954 -1929. Een onwrikbaar geloof in rechtvaardigheid, van Mineke Bosch, Uitg. Balans. (Aletta Jacobs, An unshakeable belief in justice, by Mineke Bosch)

Useful internetsites


Indigenous Women

Horacek! The Legal System in Australia

Sheila August 2015

The over-representation of Indigenous Australians in prison is one of the most urgent human rights issues facing this country today. Statistics released by the Productivity Commission last year showed a 57 per cent rise in the incarceration rates among Indigenous men, women and children over the past 15 years.

Thanks so much to Judy Horacek for allowing us to reproduce this cartoon ‘The legal system’. It originally appeared in the 7th edition of the Law Handbook, published by Redfern Legal Centre Publishing, 1999. It is also in Judy’s wonderful book, ‘I am women hear me draw’. available to purchase here, see


Beijing +20 European Women’s Lobby

Economy: gender pay gap and pension pay gap.  One of the strategic objectives of the Beijing Platform for Action ’95 is ‘Promote women’s economic rights and independence …’ After 20 years the gender pay gap remains a major issue within the EU as women on average earn 16% less than men.
A worrying development is the widening gender pension pay gap which stand at 39% within the EU. The gender pension gap shows that gender inequalities accumulate throughout women’s lives and that a life-cycle approach to women’s economic independence is urgently needed.

Austerity measures have a huge effect on women, both as workers in the public sector and users of public services. Moreover, women bear a disproportionate share of tax burdens, as they use larger portions of their income on food and basis goods for the household.
EWL’s key demands to the European Union and the Member States are a.o.
– Guarantee the individualization of social security and taxation rights in order to break women’s dependency on their partners and/or the State;
– Close the gender pay gap by 2020 and set targets to close the pension gap;
– Use Gender Budgeting as a standard methodology of all public budget processes. For more information: klik here.

20 January 2015 – Cities for CEDAW is a campaign to get municipalities to adopt CEDAW as a city ordinance during Beijing Plus 20, a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the UN Fourth World Conference on Women.soonyy
JOIN US for a virtual national conference on Cities for CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women). The meeting will take place in many cities throughout the US on

Sent to us by  IAW representative at the United Nations, Soon-Young Yoon

The Istanbul Convention entered into force

The Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence has entered into force on August 1 2014

Three years after its opening for signature in Istanbul, the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence is entering into force on 1 August 2014.
To date, 14 member states of the Council of Europe have ratified this new human rights treaty and another 22 states have signed it. 10a rapedemonstrationdelhi

Violence against women is an offence against human rights. Nevertheless it takes place at many levels and in all countries. Violence like, rape, forced marriage, sexual abuse in its many forms, female genital mutilation (FGM), forced abortion etc. Violence against women is showing a diversity of cruel and degrading treatment women and girls can be exposed to.

The Istanbul Convention is the first instrument at the European level which addresses violence against women.
The convention is open for accession by states which are not Council of Europe members.

for their abduction and exploitation and take measures to protect the safety and human rights of girls throughout the country.

If you do not respond effectively, those who violate the rights of women and girls in your country will continue their crimes, thus undermining the future of women and girls in Nigeria as well as the future of the country.

Joanna Manganara
President International Alliance of Women

IAW representative for the UN, Soon-Young Yoon, has been elected as First Vice-President of CoNGO

April 2014 – Soon will act  in the place of the re-elected  President of CoNGO, Cyril Ritchie, at the other side of the Atlantic,for  2014-2017. It means supporting CoNGO membership, including the substantive amount of committees. It will be added to her current role in IAW.syy

CoNGO is the worldwide voice of NGOs and the access of NGOs to the UN, for discussing pertinent themes and issues before the UN and the international community. CoNGO’s NGO Committees operate in Geneva, New York and Vienna.
Warm congratulations from us all from Vrouwenbelangen!