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Commission on the Status of Women: Day Two and Three

In this blog post, I will share some ideas from the past two days of CSW:

"It is not enough to promulgate laws: there should be machineries and the green light to listening the complaints of women"

Discussion of social protection in CSW involves understanding what means of the international law have been in place and how they can be further used to hold our governments accountable for complying with these agreements. To name a few, these are the Resolution 1325, the Istanbul Convention and Beijing +25. In order for these measures to work, we must have the reinforcement and accountability mechanisms. Promoting the existence of agreements is simply not enough. There must be continuous engagement between the public sector and civil society in understanding whether the national laws (based on the States’ commitments to the international agreements) are effective and understood by the civil society. Most importantly, women and girls should have a say in shaping the reach and impact of such laws.

“Changing the stereotypes and understanding the region is core to successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals”.

As you may know, the CSW is notable for bringing representatives of various countries around the world at the same table. For instance, if you listen to the speakers from Tunis and Jordan, you will see how these states differ in handling the issues of gender equality from others. Regionally, these states try to act as role models, attempting to show leadership and reinforcing micro-dynamics of gender-sensitive policy around the area. However, if you look at Burkina Faso, you would note an emphasis on challenging deeply rooted stereotypes and societal practices to eradicate gender violence. In each case, there is a different emphasis on what could be effective in promoting gender policy. This leads to the importance of understanding the peculiarities and micro-dynamics of each region and state, instead of applying the “one-size-fits-all” approach. By understanding the needs of states, we will be able to the Sustainable Development Goals – the first step towards their long-term implementation.

“Sexism shouldn’t be instrumenting people’s behaviour”

One of the panels focused on how establishing different norms in the Parliament can help prevent violence and establish or strengthen gender equality. Firstly, it is important to agree on a single definition of sexism. By clarifying what the concept means, we can ensure that people are aware of what behaviour is not acceptable. Secondly, creation of a legal framework leads to strong internal policies against sexism. This, in turn, would help carry a wider change in the political culture. The Parliament should stop being considered as “a 100% male space” and on the contrary, new policies against sexism should attract women into politics and encourage them to advocate women’s’ rights. It is important to keep the anti-sexism norms clear and strongly condemning their violation by taking action. Such steps could be helpful in establishing the policy of zero tolerance based on a socially accepted norm in the Parliament.

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