A poignant ending to the day with Ecumenical Women when we marched together from the Salvation Army building to the Church Centre to remember the women in the shadows of violence. We remembered them as we speak for those who are not here, whose voice is not heard, reminding ourselves to speak up for others.
It was an inspiring and encouraging day meeting so many women, and a few men, at the briefing for the CSW. Alongside the much needed basic information for the first-timers, of which there where many, was detailed information on the draft agreed conclusions. This draft, currently 7 pages, will be discussed in depth over the next 2 weeks by country missions to the UN. There have already been many comments which has resulted in the 7 pages turning into 33 pages for the comments to be debated to return back down to a manageable document.
UN Women Deputy Director, Lakshmi Puri, arrived at midday to give an overview of the CSW and UN Women’s strategy. She ended with encouraging us and that her prayer was for a good CSW and agreed conclusions.
There is much emphasis being placed on achieving agreed conclusions after not getting them last year. This was due to a number of factors including some member states wanting to regress on already agreed language at the UN. The process is that all member states on the CSW have to agree the final document, so much of the discussions focus on specific terminology and language. This ‘all or nothing’ approach could be questioned and reviewed if agreed conclusions are not reached this year. Something that we are all hoping will be avoided. We want agreed conclusions so that member states act on them and adhere to them.
Never once losing sight of the reason we are here – to ensure that violence against women is prevented and ended.
Until then we remember the women in the shadows whose voice has been lost due to violence.