Newsletters 2012



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Newsletters – 2012

December 2012

For this newsletter we collected news and information for IAW members to use in 2013, 2014, 2015 and beyond. There will be many regional, national and thematic consultations of civic society during these years, and IAW likes to be prepared for the near future. So: let's get involved!

At the end of the newsletter there is a collection of many URLs of The World We Want in 2015.

In the meantime IAW is preparing for CSW - a statement on violence against women and girls, signed with our colleagues of other international organisations, has been introduced. More in the next newsletter.

In Kenya women are alert about their constitutional rights. In Cote d'Ivoire there was a warm welcome for a female police contingent. On the other hand, frowns from some women on the joint responsibility of men and women in family affairs (!). India was an AIDS success story, but prostitutes with cellphones can endanger this wonderful record. In the Philippines the Reproductive Health Bill passed the House of Representatives and Australia has its first national Indigenous TV channel.

We wish you all a most happy and successful New Year. Good health, wise judgement and strength on women's rights. From us all a warm 'thank you' for your support in 2012!

November 2012

In this newsletter news of the UN General Assembly where some important issues were being discussed. On the Advancement of Women, the Security Council, the Human Rights Council and in particular on the Rule of Law, an issue so important for women living in conflict areas.

We selected the following news around the world:  an act of violence in Bukavu, Africa, where a doctor was doing good work for women who were raped in conflict areas;  the Egyptian women's movement is worried about the new Egyptian Constitution;  what went wrong for married women in Bengal, India;
an analysis of the role of women in the elections of the USA;  and in the EU a vague directive on a more equal representation for women and men on company boards can be blocked.  News of events, conferences, reports and several links are as usual at the end.

And last, but not least: IAW had an inspiring International Meeting in Melbourne, Australia. 
Hereby a warm thank you note for our hostesses!

September 2012

Building the Future WE want, the UN campaign that will bring us to 2015, is in full swing. It is being promoted on line, supported by all the social media. In an important meeting of UN Women with civil society organisations, women are preparing the future in a strategic way, built on experiences of the MDGs and Rio+20. To 2015 with gender sensitivity indicators included!

Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay is reminding us of the important role of Treaty Bodies. There are ten treaty-based bodies, including CEDAW. They are instruments of international law.

Lahksmi Puri from UN Women spoke well in World Water Week in Stockholm on women’s empowerment, water, and food security. There are new WHO guidelines on safe abortion and a new UN-Habitat's Advisory Group on Gender Issues has been installed, the first of its kind in the UN system; in the UK Mary Miller believes there is a real risk that “football will dominate again and the names of our female Olympic and Paralympic stars fade into the background”; Nadira Naipaul finds Pakistan ‘horror’ now stalking UK. And last but not least: we wish our IAW sisters a good and successful meeting in Melbourne!

The IAW is going to Melbourne, 8-12 October 2012
Preparations for the International Meeting in Melbourne, Australia, are well underway. Our Australian hostesses have prepared an inspiring programme and all participants are looking forward to meet them in the wonderful city of Melbourne.
There is a IAW Melbourne blog on: and a website on:
The twitter account is on: @IAW Melbourne and
the Facebook account is on: Iaw Melbourne with a photo of students and members of the League of Women Voters on the steps of the Parliament of Victoria celebrating the Victorian suffrage centenary.

August 2012

In this newsletter we look at the Agenda of the General Assembly of the UN. Between the many issues that will be discussed, from September 18th till December 2012, there are three conferences we should be giving special attention: the 56th session of CSW, the Arms Trade Treaty and Rio+20.

Two failures, and one missed opportunity. In this context, what will happen with a Fifth World Conference on Women? In a progress report we find an overview of most of the opinions worldwide.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has appointed a Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, because of the serious situation in Syria. The International Criminal Court issued the first reparations order that paves the way for strengthening women’s access to justice for conflict-related crimes.

CEDAW is, as always, well documented and the comments of the Committee per country are good to read. The 57th session of CSW on Violence against Women and Girls is being prepared, Kenya has its own National Women Police Association, ECLAC will soon present a document called 'Structural change for equality', money seems to be running out for vaccinating on polio, and IAW Vice- President for Europe, Joanna Manganara, is asking for material on crisis and austerity policies for the European Women's Lobby. Last but not least: the IAW International Meeting in Melbourne is getting into shape. The programme looks good!

June/July 2012

An enormous amount of energy has gone into preparing the Summit of RIO+20. Scientists from all over the world studied our planet, trying to find solutions for threats of the future, with people from all ways of life joining the discussion. It made the internet a fascinating place for reading and watching - sometimes live - all kinds of webcasts. We had to make a selection for this newsletter:

  1. preparing RIO with IAW joining in;
  2. a letter from a participant in RIO;
  3. the big five UN Regional Commissions;
  4. two side events: a big one on clustering seven mid American countries on forestry and a green small one on seaweed cultivation after a disaster, and run by women;
  5. the outcome document and what about women and 'gender equity';
  6. RIO afterwards, with a new women's movement, an informative website and
  7. the launch of Ban Ki-moon of the UN Zero Hunger Challenge

Also: an initiative and a report from Joanna Manganara on effects of the economic crisis on women in Europe, IAW and older women, a 2013 CSW deadline, and at the end: elections and women in Libya, 8 powerful women in Africa and women in Mexico made a splash!

May/June 2012

Two main issues in this May newsletter: the Second Round of Rio+20 and the Arab Spring.
IAW members who were at CSW will recognise the same laborious process at Rio+20, the changing clusters of countries, endlessly discussing paragraphs. Another laborious process is happening at the Arab Spring, where women in politics in Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, etc. are struggling to get recognition during elections. An article on 'Marriage of Minors' in Morocco also tells of the struggle of women with the interpretation of religion in fatwas.

Congratulations to Joanna Manganara and Pat Richardson! Congratulations also to Afshan Khan from UNICEF and Jane Karuku from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, or AGRA. Don’t forget to look at the charming AGRA website.
There is praise for the FAO to publish global guidelines to protect the rights of people, especially the poor, to own or access land and other natural resources. There is also UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navy Pillay, who called on Moldavia to follow up on its commitment to adopt a comprehensive anti-discrimination law.
At the end of the newsletter: a book on the first woman to become Doctor of Medicine (Anandibai Joshee, India) and an ironic video on women's voting’s rights (with Lady Gaga).

April 2012

In this newsletter we compare three elements of armament: the rights and the needs of women in conflict areas brought to the Security Council, the continuous fight of IANSA against small arms, and on the other hand, Military Spending worldwide. With Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon we also express our gratitude to Swedish Margo Wallström, who has brought “exceptional leadership” to channelling the voices of survivors and victims of conflict areas into the Security Council, demanding greater accountability and justice at national and international levels. We wish her success in the near future.
Also in this newsletter: information for NGOs at the Human Rights Council; a moving story of mending fistula in Pakistan; the women's movement on their way to RIO+20; a partnership between the EU and UN Women to enhance gender equality; also a partnership inside the EU to obsolete the enormous amount of pesticides; Honduras and the 'morning-after' pill, and last but not least, recent activities of the International Alliance of Women.
Events and interesting websites are as usual at the end of this newsletter.

March 2012

At first NGOs at CSW were full of hope. A very energetic speech of Soon-Young Yoon, as Vice Chair of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women/NY, started the Conference. She invited all representatives to more than 300 parallel events, on issues ranging from trafficking of girls and women, to the family, ageing, migration, intergenerational dialogue, health, and sustainable development.
At the end, women were let down. Women were left with an unreadable word puzzle and unfinished draft document, after a lot of bickering by politicians on language that had already been accepted at former UN Conferences. See also the statement of IAW President Lyda Verstegen. On the other hand, most of the CSW resolutions were accepted. The IAW side events went very well.
Compliments for all IAW reps who organised and attended those events!

In this newsletter an announcement of a possible 5th World Conference on Women. I already heard tweets like: 'Fine, but without politicians'. For IAW, with its history of lobbying for more women in leading political positions, this idea gives room for thought.
The Human Rights Council is in full swing with interesting items. There is news on the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In Bangalore, India, there are figures on the differences between women and male teachers and an answer to 'why'? Women as Agents of Change in the Arab Spring are still in the news. Links to conferences, interesting websites etc. are as usual at the end.

February 2012

This week our IAW representatives will be travelling to New York for CSW56. In this newsletter the schedule and two examples of the side events they have organised. Please be so kind to tell us your experiences. We wish you a safe journey, good negotiations, wise judgements and all the best!

A historic gain and congratulations for women in Pakistan: an autonomic status for the Women's Commission. On the website of UN Women a charming chapter called: Women on the Field. With a story of training women in Rwanda working in a co-op. UN Women is also, with the Elders, campaigning against child marriages in South Asia.

The procedures of the Arms Trade Treaty (consensus yes or no) is still being discussed and preparing Rio+20 urgently needs more ambition. The UN asks civil society for inputs for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the European Women's Lobby is looking at Ireland to see what the government will do with the purchase of sex.

Events and conferences are as usual at the end of the newsletter.

January 2012

In this first 2012 Newsletter we go to the Middle East, to Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Libya, Jordan, with CEDAW and using quotas. Which strategy, when to use CEDAW, when to use quotas?

An article on Women in Leadership, from Egyptian Queen Ku-baba in 3000 BC to women Prime Ministers in 2012, fired our imagination. And at the base of the women's movement is a four-million-strong all-woman network that is rewriting the social and economic history of Kerala, India. From bottom to top!

The security of displaced women still fails and could be improved by some simple precautions. Also, women keep striving for a prosperous, secure and sustainable future for both people and the planet when discussing and amending the Rio+20 Zero Draft Outcome Document in New York on 25-27 January 2012. 

Data on conferences, events and reports are as usual to be found at the end of the IAW Newsletter.