UN Commission on the Status of Women 64

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The 64th UN Commission on the Status of Women (9th – 20th March 2020) is the world’s single largest human rights body dedicated to women. It is the UN’s principal inter-governmental body for promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. By documenting the reality of women’s lives throughout the world, CSW helps shape global standards on gender equality.

2020 is a pivotal year for the accelerated realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. As the global community marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995), and five years of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals. At a time where there is a push back on women’s rights, this moment is critical to achieving irreversible and measurable progress towards this universal commitment to all women and girls, everywhere.

Our faith values and theologies call us to address issues of injustice wherever they exist, and uphold the rights of all people. Eighty-four per cent of the world’s population self-identify as members of a faith. World religions play an important role in the formation of people’s values, norms of acceptable behaviour and life roles. The important role of Faith Based Organisations was recognised in both the CSW 62 and CSW 63 Agreed Conclusions.

Religious actors and faith-based networks must be part of this work. We acknowledge the role that some religious actors have played, and continue to play, in furthering, supporting, excusing, or minimizing gender injustice. We are working to challenge all voices, including other religious voices, that block progress towards Gender Equality and Empowerment, Sustainable Development Goal 5.

Side by Side is supporting the coordination of ‘Faith in Beijing’, a collective of faith actors, including, but not limited to, ACT Alliance, The Lutheran World Federation, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Act Church of Sweden, World Council of Churches, Muslim Aid, Anglican Communion, DanChurchAid, The Girls’ Brigade International, Christian Aid and Restored. Our aim is to strengthen partnerships and amplify a strong faith voice for gender justice.

By strategically working together, we are advancing our advocacy. In particular, we are targeting key areas and debates where faith actors can contribute to transformational shifts.  We supported this collective of faith actors to submit two statements to the UN. You can read them in full on the UN website. Statement 1 focuses on the role of faith actors in defending human rights, and statement 2 addresses ending violence against women and girls, and gender just family law.

Side by Side also continues to co-lead the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development Gender Equality Work-stream. This partnership includes working with governments, inter-governmental agencies and civil society. Last year, we co-hosted two high-level events at the UN Commission on the Status of Women, and we are working again with Member States to ensure a high-level space, for faith actors to speak truth that empowers women and girls.

Following the success of our webinar series in 2019, we are also hosting three new webinars to build the capacity of faith actors to advocate for gender justice at the UN. Our webinars include:

  1. Advocacy in Country | 21.01.20 | 13:00 – 14:00 GMT
  2. Advocacy on Key Thematic Areas | 04.02.20 | 13:00 – 14:00 GMT
  3. Advocacy at the UN in New York | 27.02.20 | 14:00 – 15:00 GMT
  4. Register for free on our Eventbrite Page.

Please contact our International Coordinator, Rachel, to find out more about our advocacy strategy at CSW: info@sidebysidegender.org

Posted by: Side by Side | Saturday, January 18th, 2020
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