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Sustainable Development Goals top the agenda at the 60th Commission on the Status of Women 2016/04/25

 

By: Anthony Carlisle

 

The 60th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW60) met in New York from March 14-24, 2016 to discuss challenges facing women around the world, and how countries can unite to put gender equality at the top of the development agenda.

 

The main theme of this year’s gathering was the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – a list of 17 ambitious goals for humanity to achieve in the next 15 years. In particular, Goal 5 calls for gender equality, including the end of all violence against women.

 

Groundbreaking in many ways, if achieved the SDGs would genuinely a world of dignity, health, equality and prosperity for all. Little wonder that the more than 6,000 NGO delegates at the CSW60 were keen to make sure governments stuck to their promises and not backtrack from the aim of achieving gender justice.

 

Outside of the official government meeting inside the UN, and related side events with UN agencies, governments and NGOs, most of the NGO delegates took part in the hundreds of parallel events in NGO-CSW.

 

On Tuesday, March 15, the Garden of Hope (GOH) organized a parallel event in partnership with the Global Network of Women’s Shelters (GNWS) and its regional affiliates on the how the network of women’s shelters around the world is helping end violence against women.

 

Garden of Hope CEO and chairperson of the Asian Network of Women’s Shelters Chi Hui-Jung spoke about the need to provide shelter for the most marginalized women in Asian society, in particular transsexual women, who suffer from unimaginable bullying, abuse and domestic violence, yet frequently have no shelters to seek refuge when in need.

 

Some 50 people packed into a small room listened to presentations from leaders of regional networks in Asia, the Americas, Australasia, Europe and the MENA region. The parallel event was chaired by GNWS chairperson and NGO-CSW Woman of the Year Bandana Rana.

 

At this year’s NGO-CSW the Garden of Hope was represented by Chi Hui-Jung, board member Ingrid Liao, and International Affairs staff Anthony Carlisle. Prior to NGO-CSW, Chi and Carlisle took part in a GOH-New York board meeting on March 11 and a GNWS board meeting on March 13.

 

As well as catching up with old friends, learning about the latest developments around the world, and sharing best practices, CSW and NGO-CSW is an opportunity for activists and NGO workers to join together in unity to end violence against women.

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