Overview of the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women for March 20th

With the CSW 63 still ongoing, topics ranged from societal aspects of femininity, to the effect of economic forces on the gender gap, to the role of government in advancing women’s rights. The Deputy Permanent Observer of the Holy See claimed the identity of a woman is based on her biological characteristics. He expressed his beliefs that people who do not identify with their gender make a conscious choice to do so. Mary Rice Hasson, Director of the Catholic Women’s Forum, also talked about the topic. She defined sex by the reproductive capacity of a person, but did not comment on what this meant for women born with an inability to carry a fetus or those who have gone through menopause.

CSW63

Other topics touched on the economic aspects of gender inequality. The specific breakdown of these factors included ownership of enterprises, ownership of land, especially in places where it is often used as collateral, income, with women earning half of what men earn in some countries, lack of account ownership, and education. Even in places where girls receive the same amount of schooling as boys, they often score lower on literacy due to responsibilities at home and social pressure.

What are the roles of the public and private sector? A large fund in Africa, FSDT, has shown that private projects, even those in developing countries where economic problems are often more severe, can do a great deal in addressing the gap. The fund focuses on agricultural and rural finance, digital finance, enterprise finance, and insurance. It works with women in rural areas without access to financial resources. The role of government can also be pronounced. For example, Tanzania’s central government has invested in female projects, planned strategies to mobilize women, and worked on ensuring that money is given to women.

Meeting​: Overview of the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women for March 20th

Date/Location​: Wednesday March 20, 2019; United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Speakers​: Various CSW speakers

Written by: WIT Representative Bertina Kudrin

High Level Intergenerational Dialogue “Take the Hot Seat”

One of the major events of this year’s CSW was the Youth High Level Dialogue: Take the Hot Seat. The dialogue consisted of a panel of experts, each “taking the hot seat”: answering questions posed by youth from the audience.

The dialogue itself was moderated by a high school student and the entire event was geared towards the UN’s push to have more youth involvement in crafting the policies of the future.

The dialogue held a great amount positive sentiment and calls to action, particularly for youth. One of the experts on the panel, Ms. Marta Lucia Ramirez, noted that while it is easy to criticize, it is much harder to take action yourself. Ms. Nadine Gasman, another expert also said that she was excited that young people are the ones asking questions. She went further to elaborate on the progress of her country, Brazil, in building programs to engage with youth and combat gender inequality. She mentioned a program for young people who are building a future for themselves, which targets people who are neither studying nor working. This is particularly important for young women as they often do not have the chance to do either, taking care of a family member instead. Gasman noted an expanded healthcare program and places for dialogue with young women, bringing more youth involvement into government policies.

Ms. Adriana Salvatierra, the youngest female president of Bolivia, was also on the panel. She also talked about her country’s efforts to close the gender gap after being asked about how she will use her position to ensure equality for women. President Salvatierra responded that she was addressing the issue in several ways, including laws that guarantee youth and female rights, political youth councils, and a great deal of youth representation in legislature.

Meeting​: High Level Intergenerational Dialogue “Take the Hot Seat”

Date/Location​: Wednesday March 13, 2019; 11:30 to 12:45; Conference Room 1, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Speakers​: Dialogue Moderator, Ms. Marta Lucia Ramirez, Ms. Nadine Gasman, Ms. Adriana Salvatierra, Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, Ms. Gunilla Carlsson, Ms. Geraldine Byrne Nason

Written by: WIT Representative Bertina Kudrin