With new and renewed partnerships, Dianova took an active role in five events during the 62th Commission on the Status of Women
By Saionara König-Reis and Kaitlin Drape – Under the main theme of “Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls” the 62th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62) welcomed more than five thousand participants from all over the world at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York (NY). Several hundreds of events took place in and around the UN during the past two weeks (March 12-23), bringing a wide range of stakeholders together to discuss, strategize and agree upon commitments to advance the living conditions of women and girls throughout the globe.
Represented by Saionara König-Reis, Head of the NY Office and Representative to the UN, and Kaitlin Drape, intern in NY, Dianova was for the 7th consecutive year actively engaged with CSW activities. In addition to being once more part of the Planning Committee of the NGO CSW, Dianova also played an active role in five events and reached around 400 people: 1. as the main organizer of one event, 2. as co-sponsor of three others, 3. and as a speaker in a fifth one.
Education for Sustainable Development: Dianova’s flagship event at CSW62
On March 13th Dianova hosted its flagship event at the CSW62, co-sponsored by our partners Pan Pacific and South East Asia Women’s Association (PPSEAWA), Peace Boat US, GBCS, Dialogue Institute, and Medical Mission Sisters, entitled: Education for Sustainable Development: A Tool to Empower Rural Women & Girls. The event was moderated by Liberato Bautista, GBCS Assistant Secretary General and recently elected President of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Status with the UN (CoNGO).
Lily Gray, Liaison Officer at UNESCO, opened the event by giving the framework for what is understood as education for sustainable development under the Sustainable Development Goal 4.7 and the importance of including these issues into teaching and learning for every student. She also spoke of UNESCO’s role in improving “access to quality education on sustainable development at all levels and in all social contexts, to transform society by reorienting education” in a way to empower people “to change the way they think and work towards a sustainable future”.
Emilie McGlone, Director of Peace Boat US, introduced the creative way their “Peace Boat” is cruising around the world to promote human rights, peace and sustainable development. Every year they go from coast to coast with educational programs raising awareness on the SDGs and engaging local populations as they go. In her words, the Peace Boat is “creating opportunities for learning, activism and cooperation”.
Akari Yamada, President of PPSEAWA, introduced their programs on the ground which are working to overcome cultural assumptions and empower girls through education for gender equality. “When a girl is educated, it educates a family and a village”, she said. As witnessed in their programs, in Asian countries, some of the main barriers to empowering girls include having a very strict culture of “hyper masculinity”, and facing high rates of early pregnancy.
Saionara König-Reis, Head of Dianova’s Office in NY, closed the event with the presentation of challenges and progresses of our programs on education for gender equality, peace and citizenship in Nicaragua and Chile. While in Chile Dianova’s educational programs focus on equipping teachers and all school personnel to teach and be role models on these issues, in Nicaragua the program provides children and adolescents with the tools to become self-reliant and take ownership of their own rights.
Our program in Nicaragua – 2017
Partnerships to advance gender equality: CSW62 events in which Dianova played a role as speaker or co-sponsor
We are excited with the new partnerships developed in the lead up to and during CSW62, such as the World Federation for Mental Health, which featured our Representative in the panel of their flagship event in the opening day of CSW62, March 12th.
In that occasion, Saionara spoke of the importance of integrating mental health in all SDGs programing, as a way to better address the needs and well-being of women and girls in rural areas.
Three other events co-sponsored by Dianova this year also reinforced our partnerships with civil society organizations that are working to make progress for women in context of migration, conflict and violent intimate relationships. The first of them took place in the morning of March 16th and was led by our colleagues from the Dialogue Institute Southwest. It highlighted young immigrant women who overcame the many challenges faced by them and their families, and are now working to promote the role of education to achieve gender equality among refugee women in the United States.
A second event, led by the NGO Committee on Mental Health, took place in the evening of March 16th and addressed the mental health of rural women following disasters and conflicts. Representatives from women and mental health organizations spoke of the specific trauma face by these women, particularly related to the complete lack of legitimacy they receive in regards to their struggle. As they highlighted, in addition to their own trauma and detriments, they are often ashamed and lack the funds and motivation to seek help because of the daily list of tasks they must tend to.
Led by the American Psychiatric Association and the International Psychoanalytical Association, the third Dianova co-sponsored event will take place in the last day of the CSW62, Friday March 23rd. This event will examine the impactful role the media play in the portrayal of intimate partner violence, featuring speakers from the NYC Family Justice Center, Columbia University and the Albert Einstein/Montefiore Hospital.