Shinkai Karokhail at the 57th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women

During her visit to the US East Coast PN member Shinkai Karohkail attended side events organized in parallel with the 57th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

High Level Panel on Harmful Traditional Practices: Violence Against Women & Girls, Laws vs. Practice: Rhetoric vs. Reality

March 8, 2013: 1:15 PM

The main topics of this high level panel included Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), the intersection of female discrimination and disability discrimination, and early marriages.

Panelist Ms. Alvilda Jablonko, Female Genital Mutilation Program Coordinator at No Peace Without Justice, highlighted the recently passed UN resolution regarding violence against women, which includes legal protection against Female Genital Mutilation. While FGM is a worldwide issue and not only present in Africa, most countries lack legislation against FGM.

Ms. Lois A. Herman, Coordinator at Women's UN Report Network (WUNRN), reminded that lots of reports have been published on this issue and she urged that it was time for policies to become a reality.

UN Association of the USA Women's Official CSW57 Side Event: From Acceptance to Resistance: Changing Attitudes Surrounding Violence against Women

March 8, 2013: 2:30 PM

The panelists discussed the significant strides that the United Nations and civil society are making to change attitudes toward, and the reality of, violence against women. Autonomous women’s organizations have been responsible for bringing these issues to the international table, a panellist highlighted. At the same time, there is a need to recognize the importance of the UN and international courts vs. local and tribal courts. While women’s groups need to work with police departments to strengthen the rule of law, they face a big challenge with the police being among the perpetrators.

Margaret Owen, Barrister and Founding President of Widows for Peace through Democracy, reminded that the rights of widows were rarely mentioned or worked on. Widows are generally demonized and ostracized in many countries; they can lose custody of their children, house, property, and even themselves when forced to remarry (usually their brothers-in-law), and they are hardly ever mentioned in gender inequality and discrimination talks, she said.

For more information on the 57th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women and its side events, please click here.

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