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by Aileen Familara

Several times during Beijing Platform for Action review at the UN ESCAP held in November 2009, people would mention how there are still four countries in the region: Iran, Nauru, Palau and Tonga have yet to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

by Aileen Familara

Bangkok, Thailand – (19 November 2009) For such a diverse region, Asia Pacific also has a broad record of its successes and failures in implementing the Beijing Platform for Action for achieving gender equality. Many of the gains are not modest: the creation of national machineres to address women's issues, ratification of treaties against discrimination, campaigns and laws against Violence Against Women, transformation of national legislation to promote women's welfare. And yet, the regional review process revealed still wide gaps between the commitment and the reality, such as in areas of health care, vulnerability of women in situations of armed conflict, and economic participation and political participation.

by Aileen Familara

Bangkok, Thailand – (17 November 2009) Lowly paid, subjected to onerous laws, lacking social protection, working in informal sectors—many women around the world participating in economic activity are already at the lower end of the economic scale. In the aftermath of the global financial crisis of 2008, many women were even worsely affected. As economies suffered, women suffered more severely.

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMISSION FOR ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
High-level Intergovernmental Meeting to Review Regional Implementation of the
Beijing Platform for Action and its Regional and Global Outcomes
16-18 November 2009
Bangkok, Thailand

Report on the proceedings of the Asia-Pacific NGO Forum by Patricia Licuanan, President, Miriam College and Convenor: Asia Pacific NGO Forum on Beijing plus 15

Session: Accountability for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment in the Asia-Pacific Region: Gender-Responsive Planning and Public Spending

  1. Ms. Emmeline Verzosa, Executive Director, Philippine Commission on Women – Mainstreaming gender in government planning and public spending
  2. Ms. Hamida Hossain Chairperson, ain o Shalish Kendra, Bangladesh – Empowering women to access justice
  3. Ms. Joanne Sandler, Deputy Executive Director, UNIFEM – Supporting countries to implement international, regional and national commitments on gender equality and empowerment of women

Session: Responses to the Economic Crisis - Women's Economic Security and Rights

  1. Ms. Carolyn Hannan, Director, UN Division for the Advancement of Women – Improving women's access to economic assets
  2. Ms. Devaki Jain, Development Economist, India – Employment: rescuing the gains – informal sector, women's self employment, wage gaps, better employment for young women, etc.
  3. Mrs. Kanda Vajrabhaya, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, Kingdom of Thailand – The impact of the economic crisis and the response of the Thai government to address gender concerns
  4. Ms. Bijaya Rai Shrestha, Programme coordinator, Pourakhi, Nepal – Upholding rights and opportunities for women migrant workers

Session: Closing Gender Gaps in Achieving the Millennium Development Goals

  1. Ms Meng Xiaosi -- Vice Chairperson of the National Working Committee on Children and Women of the State council and Vice President, All-China Women's Federation – China's experience on promoting gender equality and empowerment of women: the role of the All China Women's Federation
  2. Dr. Tamineh Daniali, Deputy Head, National Heritage Organization, Islamic Republic of Iran – Progress towards implementing the MDGs in Iran from a gender perspective
  3. Dr. Ursula Schaefer-Preuss, Vice President, Asian Development Bank – Progress towards achieving the MDGs in the Asia Pacific region: Challenges, opportunities and partnerships

Session: Implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in Asia and the Pacific: Successes and Challenges

  1. Masaseiitova Bumairam, Member of Parliament, Kyrgysz Republic – Using CEDAW to strengthen accountability for women's rights in the area of land rights: Lessons from Kyrgyzstan
  2. Gulnara Baimambetova, Member of Parliament, Kyrgysz Republic – Using CEDAW to strengthen accountability for women's rights in the area of land rights: Lessons from Kyrgyzstan
  3. Dr Sri Danti Anwar, Deputy Minister of Women Empowerment, Republic of Indonesia – Promoting women's rights through the implementation of CEDAW: the experience from Indonesia
  4. Ms. Jean D'Cunha, Regional Programme Director, UNIFEM – Promoting women's rights through implementation of CEDAW in East and South East Asia
  5. Ms. Imrana Jalal, Human Rights Advisor, Secretariat of the Pacific Community – Promoting women's rights in the Pacific: successes, challenges and opportunities
  6. Ms. Audrey Lee, Senior Communications and Information Officer, International Women's Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific – Using CEDAW tgo advance women's rights in South Asia: successes, challenges opportunities and ways forward

Session: Informal briefing on the UN Composite Entity

  1. Joanne Sandler, Deputy Executive Director, UNIFEM
  2. Carolyn Hannan, Director, UN Division for the Advancement of Women

Session: Regional Campaign to End Violence Against Women

  1. Noeleen Heyzer, ESCAP Executive Director – Introductory message
  2. Kouraiti Beniaato, Minister for Internal and Social Affiars, Kiribati – Experience of Kirabti in addressing violence against women, including the recent survey of violence against women and its use in the design of a national action plan to address violence against women
  3. Farida Shaheed, UN independent expert on cultural rights, Pakistan—Addressing violence against women in Pakistan: implications for a region-wide campaign
  4. Thin Lei Win, Humanitarian Correspondent, South East and East Asia, Reurters AlertNet-- Exploring communication strategies for the regional campaign
  5. Nur Hasyim, Rifka Annisa Women's Crisis Centre, Yogyakarta, Indonesia—Partnership with men and boys
  6. Sr. Mary John Mananzan, Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines---The role of religious/faith-based organisations in the regional campaign to end violence against women in the Asia-Pacific region

 

 

by Aileen Familara

Bangkok, Thailand – (17 November 2009) Nearly fifteen years have gone past since the Fourth World Conference of Women, when many of the world's countries committed their governments to implement changes that sought long lasting improvements on the lives of women and girls.

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