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APC at the Commission on the Status of Women in New York: the long walk in anti-VAW struggle

GenderIT.org
GenderIT.org on 1 March, 2013 - 12:17
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See below APC’s full statement and the executive summary

The fifty-seventh session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 4 to 15 March 2013 under the theme “Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls.” The APC Women’s Rights Programme has a full agenda at the event as part of its advocacy efforts supporting women’s and internet rights.

The scenario

The Commission on the Status of Women will take place from 4 to 15 March 2013. The Commission meets annually for a period of ten working days at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

This year’s priority theme is “Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls.” The emerging issue is “Key gender equality issues to be reflected in the post-2015 development framework” and the preview on the priority theme of 2014: “Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls.”

The principal output of the CSW are the agreed conclusions on priority themes set for each year, which contain an assessment of progression, gaps and challenges, and a set of concrete recommendations for action by a diversity of stakeholders, to be implemented at all levels.

The Association for Progressive Communications Women’s Rights Programme will attend to this space since it is very relevant to the advocacy work against violence against women addressed through its different projects since 2005. Since this year’s priority theme is the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women (VAW), the CSW session happens to be a strategic advocacy environment for the better formulation, the review, and the correct implementation of rights-based policies and laws that protect women’s rights and recognise, prevent and redress technology-related VAW, or eVAW.

WRP: The long walk in anti-VAW struggle

Drawing on the universal human rights standards, a feminist analysis and positions around rights, the Women’s Rights Programme advocates aim to promote ways of addressing the complexity introduced in this scenario by the internet and other information and communication technologies.

The forms of violence against women perpetrated by the means of ICT are not new, but emerging. This implies the need of a deeper understanding of the role of technology in this manifestation of gender-based violence. And the way this kind of violence is named and described is considered crucial by WRP in order to build proper prevention and remedies among the actors involved.

Women’s opportunities to exploit the potential of ICTs is conditioned, among other factors, to gender discrimination and power relations. Even though technology provides opportunities for women and girls, violence against women limits them. An expansion of existing anti-VAW laws is considered to be the most fruitful and rights-oriented strategy in order to avoid protectionist approaches to address violence against women. Pointing to actors involved in those laws in terms of responsibilities and accountability is a key step during the process of legislative review.

The Women’s Rights Programme has a long-standing experience with advocacy for the prevention, response, and recognition of VAW. In the prevention field, WRP’s efforts such as actions of awareness-raising and community mobilisation carried forward annually by the Take Back the Tech! campaign, building of evidence sustained by the mapping component of the End violence: Women’s rights and safety online project, and development of anti-VAW work with men and boys by leading the I don’t forward violence campaign, are all clear examples of the WRP commitment with the cause throughout the years. The same commitment has been developed in the areas of response and recognition of VAW, being reinforced by existing partnerships in the anti-VAW struggle.

From 2012-2014, the APC community will build on the collective experience and successes of its previous work on technology and violence against women through support from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affair’s (DGIS) Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women (FLOW) Fund with the project End violence: Women’s rights and safety online which works to enhance women’s safety and security by preventing the growing violence against women through ICTs.

As part of a special coverage of the official sessions and several side events, APC will launch a special GenderIT.org edition after the UN meeting to address the main emerging issues at the event, as well as to feature some of the initial findings and issues on violence against women through ICTs from the project End violence: Women’s rights and safety online.

More information and useful resources:

Women’s Rights Programme

CSW 57 meeting agenda

CSW 57 Side events agenda

End violence: Women’s rights and safety online

Voices from digital spaces. Technology related violence against women

Check out more in GenderIT.org

Going visible. Women’s rights on the internet

Power of stories to reclaim women’s rights

Follow the coverage on Twitter under:

@GenderIT.org

@GenderIT.orgES (in Spanish)

@APC_News

@APCNoticias (in Spanish)

@takebackthetech

@dominemoslastic (in Spanish)

Download the CSW APC statement_Executive summary and the CSW APC statement_Full version

Listen to Michelle Bachelet’s speech during the opening ceremony (Radio FIRE)

 

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