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Oral Statement by WWHR at CSW 60

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Women for Women's Human RightsOral Statement by Women for Women’s Human Rights – New Ways for the General Discussion segment of the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women

18 March 2016

Your Excellences,

In September 2015, the world has made a promise to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030 under this very same roof. We are proud to say that women’s and feminist organizations have been vital contributors and enablers for the realization of this commitment. Today, we express our continued enthusiasm and ambition to realize 2030 Agenda and reaching the Sustainable Development Goals.

In this regard we welcome the Secretary General’s report to this session, which specifically refers to “the key role of women’s leadership and women’s civil society organizations” in all aspects and levels of 2030 Agenda. We would like to note our suggestions for equal, effective, transparent and well-resourced participation of women and feminist organizations, at all levels, to ensure a gender – responsive and human rights based sustainable development.

We already have existing international and regional instruments on development, human rights and gender equality. The question remains, how we can make the normative power of all instruments, and now the ambitious 2030 agenda, operative and responsive to women’s human rights and gender equality causes. Our suggestion for the optimization of this process is the inclusion of women, throughout their life course, and women’s and feminist organizations at every step and level of the implementation, monitoring, follow up and review of the SDGs and the Beijing PfA.

CSW will, and should play an active role in this regard, and needs to be a strong platform to ensure that gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is undertaken as a crosscutting issue of all the SDGs as well as Goal 5 and other gender-related targets, as these are necessary for the full implementation of the Beijing PfA. And we affirm this session and its Agreed Conclusions as important milestones towards this end. CSW should also provide a space for establishing interlinkages within different international instruments on gender equality and human rights, especially the CEDAW Committee.

The UN’s institutional capacity needs to be supported to ensure an “open UN” that effectively engages with various groups, including women’s and feminist civil society organizations, not only to promote and support their engagement in SDG implementation and monitoring at all levels, but also to ensure their full engagement in the UN system’s own work.

We take this opportunity to strongly condemn the assassination of the Honduran feminist indigenous rights activist Berta Cáceres, in early March, and demand justice and protection for the sole witness. We are very much concerned about the escalating restrictions of space and security for women’s human rights defenders (WHRDs). All relevant instruments, including CEDAW, should also support and take measures to address the issue of security of and space for WHRDs in their capacities. Throughout the 2030 Agenda, an enabling environment to support the work of women human rights defenders, and women and feminist organizations, should be created. WHRDs should be able to work in an environment conducive for their work free from harassment, intimidation and violence by state and non-State actors. Flexible and rapid funding should be available for women’s and feminist organizations in order to ensure their effective response to urgent crises and opportunities.


This statement has been prepared and made by Women for Women’s Human Rights – New Ways, on behalf of the list of organizations and groups below (in alphabetical order):

  1. Afrihealth Optonet Association (AOA), Nigeria
  2. Antalya Women’s Counseling Center and Solidarity Association, Turkey
  3. Association Femmes Africaines, Congo
  4. Associazione Italiana Donne per lo Svilupp – AIDOS, Italy
  5. Association for Support of Women Candidates, Turkey
  6. ATHENA Network
  7. Atria – Institute for Gender Equality and Women’s History, The Netherlands
  8. Balance Promoción para el Desarrollo y Juventud, Mexico
  9. Beyond Beijing Committee (BB), Nepal
  10. Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance (CEWLA)
  11. Christian Aid, United Kingdom
  12. CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
  13. Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR)
  14. CSW Organizing Group, Turkey
  15. Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GYCA), United States of America
  16. Equality Watch Women’s Group – EŞİTİZ, Turkey
  17. Executive Committee for NGO Forum on CEDAW, Turkey
  18. Federation for Women and Family Planning, Poland
  19. Fondation pour les femmes Africaines, Nairobi
  20. Fundacion Arcoiris, Mexico
  21. Fundacion para Estudio e Investigacion de la mujer – FEIM, Argentina
  22. Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
  23. International Council Of Aids Service Organizations, Canada
  24. International-Curricula Educators Association, United Kingdom
  25. International Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers, United States of America
  26. International HIV/AIDS Alliance, United Kingdom
  27. International Women’s Health Coalition
  28. IPAS
  29. IWRAW Asia Pacific
  30. Izmir CEKEV, Turkey
  31. Der – Ankara, Turkey
  32. Karadeniz Women’s Solidarity Association, Turkey
  33. MenEngage Global Alliance, United States of America
  34. Women’s Coalition, Turkey
  35. Kaos Gay and Lesbian Cultural Research and Solidarity Association, Turkey
  36. Red Pepper Association, Turkey
  37. Liberia Girl Guides Association (LGGA), Liberia
  38. Mor Salkim Women’s Solidarity Association, Turkey
  39. National Alliance of Women’s Organisations, United Kingdom
  40. Nepalese Women Watch (NWW), Nepal
  41. RESURJ
  42. Sansristi, India
  43. SERR, United States of America
  44. SIGLO XXIII, El Salvador
  45. Swedish Federation for LGBTQ Rights (RFSL), Sweden
  46. The Roosevelt Institute, United States of America
  47. The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA)
  48. Federation of Women’s Associations – Turkey, Turkey
  49. Union de L’Action Feminist, Morocco
  50. Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights, United States of America
  51. Vision Spring initiatives, Nigeria
  52. WO=MEN – Dutch Gender Platform, The Netherlands
  53. Women for Peace and Ecology, Germany
  54. Women in Europe for A Common Future
  55. Women NGO Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL), Liberia
  56. Women’s Aid Organisation, Malaysia
  57. Women’s Solidarity Foundation, Turkey
  58. World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations, Ukraine



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