Monday, March 23, 2020

PAKISTAN - MEDIA’S INFATUATION WITH THE ‘EVIL WOMAN ’



“The history of men's opposition to women's emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself,” wrote Virginia Woolf in her essay A Room of One's Own published almost 100 years ago. The essay is among the most influential feminist texts which makes the case that women who wanted to write fiction needed two things: money and a room of their own, literally and figuratively.



We were reminded of Wolf once again as controversy brewed around the television drama serial, Meray Paas Tum Ho (MPTH). Had a woman written the series,  the narrative would not be replete with worn out tropes about women that in real life terms have very toxic and often violent outcomes. And while MPTH is not alone in churning stereotypes about virtue and vice in women, the popularity it gained among audiences across Pakistan means that hate against women was consumed hook, line and sinker. Those associated with the production claimed to have presented a positive portrayal of women through the narrative; in truth, the television serial was a representation of life seen through a man’s lens  and biases.


The protagonists in MPTH are a happily married couple with a son. They come across a man who is richer than the husband. The wife, who is super beautiful, is swept off her feet by the rich man. The wife — ‘greedy and materialistic as women are’ — eventually decides to abandon her husband and child and leave with the rich man.


This plotline is as old as Adam and Eve. There wasn’t anything unusual, exceptional or unique; it was very much in line with other dross that appears on the media. What drove audience numbers towards MPTH was controversy — after all bad publicity is also publicity and in MPTH’s case, viral publicity.


Much of the controversy centered on the writer of the series. In one morning, show, he spoke of what he believed to be the ‘worth’ of a woman. Another gem offered by the writer was how women can be equal to men if they started to kidnap and rape men. His real wrath was reserved, however, for feminists, who he described as an ‘organisation of bad women.’ With such provocative hot takes, the serial and its writer were the subject of discussion on social media for many weeks, creating hype around something that did not really deserve it.


To understand the kind of success it received, the channel broadcasting the serial decided to screen the last episode in cinema houses and it played to packed houses. Not that the last episode was worth the wait or the hype but the sold-out tickets, huge profits raked in, and millions of eyeballs captured, what should we gather?


Pakistan: Uks Research Resource & Publication Centre
Via Tasneem Ahmar 
WUNRN
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Thursday, March 12, 2020

Launching Statement | Feminist Coalition for the MENA Region Towards Beijing+25




12 March 2020 - We are activists and feminist groups from several countries across the MENA Region - Middle East & North Africa, who believe in the value of our solidarity, despite our different contexts we realize that we have common political, social and cultural aspects. We have witnessed the significant role of revolutions, uprisings and mobilizations, since the end of 2010 till present, to re-elaborate women demands and their relation with the public sphere, claiming their rights and gaining fights and battles in private sphere.

On the other hand, we cannot ignore the importance of the international advocacy as a tool to reach our demands neither the value of the international feminist solidarity because our movement and struggles are not isolated or far from the world and the international scene.

In 1995, Beijing International Conference was considered a turning point for the feminist movement and the women human rights defenders in our region, in regards to their tools and awareness as well as their ability to raise voice and address narratives. Consequently, there is no longer the "only one single" narration about women's lives and rights, rather opportunities were created to redress the misconceptions about women in the Region.

25 years after the beginning of such inspiring experiences and struggles, we decided to take off again together towards Beijing 25+, reviewing our situation, our issues, our tools, and our ability to work and reach what we want. Moreover, re-reading our contexts' transitions and its intersections with the world. We will restart without being isolated from our predecessors' efforts within the feminist movement to restore our narratives and voices into the international agenda but conscious where we are, to what extend our issues became excluded, and how the most of our voices were marginalized by numbers of reckonings and estimates. We are also got notified by the re-stereotypes of women's suffering and needs that shorthand our reality, having a deep faith in our joint hard work and in our ability to raise our voice and reach our agenda by our own selves, we are not waiting for anybody to talk on behalf.

Thus, we decided to launch the "Feminist Coalition for the MENA Region Towards Beijing 25+", with the aim to work on a feminist agenda that consider all political and social changes in the region and its impact on our contexts. Such agenda will be responsive to women's needs within that critical reality, focusing on three specific trends of the Beijing Platform action: violence against women and WHRDs (within the framework of Women Human Rights), women issues in conflict zones and ways to establish security. In the middle of violence, marginalization, distortino and constant targeting, we are looking for our voices and efforts to highlight our priorities during the upcoming Beijing Summit, while we are all convinced that there is always time and our path to Beijing is just the beginning towards a new turning point that conquers the women's suffering and all our predecessors' struggles within the feminist movement.



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Sunday, March 8, 2020

Moving Women Forward


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Monday, February 24, 2020

Political declaration on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women



 We, the Ministers and representatives of Governments,  Having gathered at the sixty-fourth  session of the Commission on the Status of Women, in New York, on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995, to undertake a review and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action1 and the outcome documents of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly, entitled “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”,2 including an assessment of current challenges that affect the implementation of the Platform for Action and the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and its contribution towards the full realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through a gender perspective, as well as to ensure the acceleration of the implementation of the Platform for Action and with a commitment to ensuring the mainstreaming of a gender perspective into the preparations for and the integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to all the major United Nations conferences and summits in the development, economic, social, environmental, humanitarian and related fields so that they effectively contribute to the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, 
1. Reaffirm the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action,1 the outcome documents of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly2 and the declarations of the Commission on the Status of Women on the tenth, fifteenth and twentieth anniversaries of the Fourth World Conference on Women3 and commit to their accelerated implementation;   

 2. Welcome the regional reviews that have been undertaken by the regional commissions and the outcomes of intergovernmental processes at the regional level which have fed into the 2020 review by the Commission;  3. Recognize that the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the fulfilment of the obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women4 are mutually reinforcing in achieving gender equality, the empowerment of women and girls and the realization of their human rights, and call upon States that have not yet done so to consider ratifying or acceding to the Convention and the Optional Protocol thereto;5


 4. Emphasize the mutually reinforcing relationship among achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls and the full, effective and accelerated implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and reaffirm that the full, effective and accelerated implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action will make a crucial contribution to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to progress across all the Goals and targets; 

5. Welcome the progress made towards the full implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action through concerted policy action at the national, regional and global levels, also welcome the review activities undertaken by Governments in the context of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women, noting the contributions of all other relevant stakeholders, and look forward to the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the twentyfifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women, to be held on 23 September 2020 on the theme of “Accelerating the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”; 

 6. Express concern that overall, progress has not been fast or deep enough, that in some areas progress has stalled and even reversed in the face of persistent structural barriers and growing pushback, and recognize that 25 years after the Fourth World Conference on Women, no country has fully achieved equality and empowerment for women and girls, that significant levels of inequality between women and men and girls and boys persist globally, that many women and girls experience multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, vulnerability and marginalization throughout their life cycle, and that women and girls who experience multiple forms of discrimination have made the least progress; 

7. Recognize that new challenges have emerged, and reaffirm our political will and firmly commit to tackle the challenges and remaining implementation gaps in all 12 critical areas of concern, namely, women and poverty, education and training of women, women and health, violence against women, women and armed conflict, women and the economy, women in power and decision-making, institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women, human rights of women, women and the media, women and the environment, and the girl child; 

6. Reiterate our pledge to make this decade one of action and delivery for sustainable development by accelerating our common efforts to reach this vision by 2030 and to this end, pledge to take further concrete action to ensure the full, effective and accelerated implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome documents of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly and of the gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda, including by: 
•  removing all discriminatory laws and ensuring the full implementation of laws, policies, strategies and programme activities for all women and girls; 
• strengthening institutional mechanisms for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls at all levels;
• integrating gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls across the economic, social, political and environmental dimensions of development, as well as the peace and development continuum; 

• ensuring that laws, policies and programmes benefit all women and girls, and that policies are systematically evaluated to ensure they do not create and reinforce inequalities and marginalization;
 • matching commitments to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls with adequate financing through the mobilization of financial resources from all sources;
• strengthening accountability for the implementation of existing commitments to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls;
• transforming discriminatory norms and gender stereotypes and promoting social norms and practices that recognize the positive role and contribution of women and eliminate discrimination against women and girls;
• harnessing the potential of technology to improve women’s lives and addressing the risks of technologies for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls;
• closing data and evidence gaps through the regular production of gender statistics to monitor the implementation of the Platform for Action and the Sustainable Development Goals; 

7.  Reaffirm the primary responsibility of the Commission on the Status of Women for the follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women and the outcome documents of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly and recall the follow-up work of the Commission in that regard, also reaffirm its catalytic role in promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and in promoting and monitoring gender mainstreaming within the United Nations system, and further reaffirm that the Commission also contributes to the follow-up to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, so as to accelerate the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of women; 

8. Welcome the tenth anniversary of the establishment, and recognize the important role of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women) in promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls and the central role it is playing in supporting Member States and in coordinating the United Nations system and in mobilizing civil society, the private sector and other relevant stakeholders, at all levels, in support of the full, effective and accelerated implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda; 

 9. Call upon the United Nations system to continue to support the full, effective and accelerated implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, including through systematic gender mainstreaming, the mobilization of resources to deliver results and the monitoring of progress with data and robust accountability systems; 

10. Welcome the contributions made by civil society, including non-governmental organizations and women’s and community-based organizations to the implementation of the Platform for Action, and pledge to continue supporting, at the local, national, regional and global levels, civil society efforts for the advancement and promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, including by promoting a safe and enabling environment for them; 
 


 11. Recognize the importance of the full engagement of men and boys for the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, and commit to taking measures to fully engage men and boys in efforts to achieve the full, effective and accelerated implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action;   12. Commit to engaging all stakeholders for the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, and call upon them to intensify their efforts in this regard;   13. Also commit to the full realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by 2030


_  1  Report of the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, 4-15 September 1995 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.96.IV.13), chap. I, resolution 1, annexes I and II.  2  General Assembly resolution S-23/2, annex, and resolution S-23/3, annex.  3  See Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 2005, Supplement No. 7 and corrigendum (E/2005/27 and Corr.1), chap. I, sect. A, and Economic and Social Council decision 2005/232; see also Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 2010, Supplement No. 7 and corrigendum (E/2010/27 and Corr.1), chap. I, sect. A, and Economic and Social Council decision 2010/232.  4  United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1249, No. 20378.  5  Ibid., vol. 2131, No. 20378.
 

  https://www.unwomen.org/-/media/headquarters/attachments/sections/csw/64/political_declaration_draft_presented_by_csw_bureau.pdf?la=en&vs=2544
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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Demands all actors at COP25: Know that water is life



Ensure water security for women and girls, and protecting the human right to water. This is an urgent issue in climate frontline States, where severe lack of potable water access due to climate change is an issue of right to life, water, food, health, education - with severe consequences for women and girls and their communities. In implementation, countries should undertake extensive environmental impact assessment and social assessment with a gender lens before approving any transboundary / inter-country water management projects, including hydropower projects.
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Demands all actors at COP25: Make fisheries and aquaculture sustainable


Recognize the importance of small-scale fisheries and associated coastal communities in integrated management and securing food sovereignty, and protect access rights for women-led, small-scale and artisanal fisheries in a climate-changing world. 90% of reefs around the world are under threat and fisheries remain the most urgent priority for food security in SIDs. End illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and destructive fishing practices, addressing their root causes and holding actors accountable to remove the benefits of such activities, and effectively implement flag State and port State obligations, as part of global measures to address loss and damage impacts to climate frontline communities, and for effective climate adaptation. This shift must reckon with the over-consumption of fish in developed countries.
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Demands all actors at COP25: Declare Geo-engineering and BECCS as ‘No-Go’

 Geoengineering, consisting of large-scale manipulation of the Earth’s system using a wide range of technologies, is an unreliable and untested technofix that would create more problems than what it would solve. These types of false solutions serve to uphold business as usual rather than challenge and dismantle the root causes of climate chaos. The side-effects of geoengineering could be disastrous, globally and intergenerationally unjust, and potentially irreversible. BECCS (Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage) for example, would require vast amounts of land, likely leading to the displacement of communities and conflicts, jeopardizing communities and women’s rights. Other UN Conventions, like the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) have shown concern about the global negative impacts that geoengineering could have by reaffirming a moratorium. We would urge parties to ban all types of geoengineering and focus on real solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Demands all actors at COP25: Be led by ecosystem-based approaches


Gender-responsive, ecosystem-based, community-driven and holistic approaches to climate change adaptation and resilience are essential for women’s livelihoods and for the planet. Governments should provide appropriate forms of legal, policy and financial support for such approaches. Large-scale tree monocultures and other forms of large-scale bio sequestration for mitigation form a significant threat to the lives and livelihoods of women, men, and children on the ground, and to biodiversity, also because they are far more prone to droughts, wildfires, landslides and other climate change-related extremes. All forms of public support to monoculture tree plantations should be immediately withdrawn and governments should actively convert existing tree plantations into more biologically diverse ecosystems.
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Demands all actors at COP25: Protect ecological food systems



Protect ecological food systems Promote a shift away from industrial food systems and agribusiness, including industrial livestock farming, to promote localized and indigenous crop-based food systems and agroecology. Traditional crops, seed sharing and heritage variety help deliver resilience to climate change and food sovereignty for smallholders and women. At the same time, such practices would allow for multiple benefits, including increased agricultural diversity promoting ecological diversity with indigenous varieties, healthy diets, increased household incomes and improved resilience of communities. We equally demand women’s access to productive resources and secure tenure rights to land, including within communities, which is critical to their livelihoods, food security and survival in a changing climate pattern.
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Demands all actors at COP25: Promote energy democracy


Climate actions must also promote gender responsive energy democracy and move us away from top-down, market-based approaches for energy production, distribution and control over natural resources. Communities, including women, should have control over their own energy systems as well as over other natural resources. End-of-pipe technologies such as carbon capture and storage, nuclear energy, biofuels and other unsafe energy proposals should be rejected as they still pose high risks and uncertainties over biodiversity, food security and livelihoods.
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Monday, December 9, 2019

Demands all actors at COP25: Move the money from war and dirty energy to social and environmental solutions



While Parties have committed just over 10 billion USD to the Green Climate Fund, in 2015 alone, global military spending was calculated at $1.6 trillion (SIPRI). To meet climate finance gaps and fully implement the Paris Agreement and SDGs, countries should reallocate funds away from militarization and dirty energy, including the urgent end of fossil fuel subsidies in a way that does not harm those already facing poverty and inequality, to invest in gender equality, environment, social, economic and climate justice policies and programs.



Variaciones sobre la pintura "Mosaico" de  María Jesús Hernández Sánchez  

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Demands all actors at COP25: Listen to people, not profit


UN processes and agencies must maintain both a coherent understanding and enforcement of the concepts of duty bearers and rights holders. There is a trend in multilateral processes to concentrate efforts towards private sector ‘solutions’ and public-private partnerships, through attendance and presence within UN negotiations that are responsible for addressing and regulating, inter alia, global problems created by private interests. States, as representatives of the people and especially the youth of the world, are the primary duty bearers and have a duty to regulate corporations and other actors that cause human rights violations, deplete our natural resources or contribute to climate change. In the climate arena, various corporations have irreconcilable contradicting interests: the UNFCCC aims to stabilize GHG concentrations, whereas fossil fuel companies have strong interests in retaining fossil fuel infrastructure in which they have invested and yield large profits. The UNFCCC requires robust policy and procedures to deal with conflict of interest.



Variaciones sobre la pintura "Mosaico" de  María Jesús Hernández Sánchez  
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Demands all actors at COP25: Break free from fossil fuels and unsafe energy systems


Developed countries must commit to immediately halt all new investments in fossil fuels and nuclear energy, with a clear and urgent phase out/ shift from a fossil fuel based economy to an economy based on energy democracy, efficiency and genuine sustainable and gender-responsive use of renewable energies, alongside phase out strategies and plans from developing countries based on their developmental needs. This must include national commitments to halt development of any new coal mines and close old ones as quickly as possible, as the single biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions from human activity.

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