iACT at the 63rd Annual Convention on the Status of Women
In March, UNWOMEN hosted its 63rd annual Convention on the Status of Women (CSW). The CSW is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. The CSW is instrumental in promoting women’s rights, documenting the reality of women’s lives throughout the world, and shaping global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women. This year’s priority theme was: social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; and the review theme: women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development.
iACT was invited to participate in two CSW panel events. The first event was called Implementing and Financing Social Protection: Finding the Political Will sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations. Individuals attended from different NGOs, UN agencies, civil-society groups, NGO coalitions, advocacy groups, and government delegations. The Deputy Minister for Education from Bangladesh sat on the panel, along with a woman from ILO, a representative from ATD Fourth World who discussed a research project in Burkina Faso, and a woman who has worked for 10 years with the UN on trade. The discussion was centered mostly around funding social protection measures for vulnerable populations and iACT’s presentation brought into focus the need for funding for education and social protection services and systems for refugee and migrant communities, as well as the need for governments, donors, and implementing agencies to support, fund, and adopt a refugee-led approach.
The second event was called Social Protection in Migration Contexts: Women- and Child-Sensitive Approaches sponsored by the NGO Committee on Migration. Individuals from mostly smaller domestic NGOs and civil society groups, as well as some student groups, independent NGO workers, and just curious members of the public attended. The panel was composed of the Executive Director of the Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement in NYC, independent consultant Eva Richer who spoke about the Global Compact on Migration, and Executive Director of Emma’s Torch. The discussion was centered around good approaches to supporting refugees and migrants, specifically women and children, and how these approaches relate to the SDGs. iACT’s presentation focused on the Little Ripples program, the importance of early learning for refugee children, and the importance of using a refugee-led approach.
We (iACT) received lots of congratulatory remarks after both presentations with many people wanting to know more about our work, thanking us for our work, and asking how they can get involved. CSW was a great opportunity to get our work out there, tell the stories and lift up the voices of those we work with, and advocate for more funding and support for humanitarian aid and refugee-led programming.
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