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.


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

Supporting the process of transition from Relief to Development


Panellists exchanged their ideas towards better integrated planning and risk management, in particular the context of increasing funding streams to manage crisis risk. Mr. Mundele addressed four key points, including the humanitarian context in DRC, economic progress of Congo, history of the management and humanitarian framework in DRC, the mechanisms of economic stimulus and community resilience in post conflict. He emphasised the focus should be put on the prevention program of disaster risk to evaluate the Congo’s Framework for Action and develop the contribution of Africa to the establishment of the post-2015 framework.

Mr. Soumaré pointed out that humanitarian organisations and the Governments should plan and work together. “Government leadership is the key”, he said. Not only does it encourage humanitarian and development organizations to work more effectively, it also multiplies the impact. Mr. Jean noted that this is an important issue in Haiti; one of the most vulnerable countries, exposed to all sorts of catastrophes, including droughts, earthquakes, cyclones, etc. There are currently innovative approaches driven by Governments and the UN, however there is limited support from donors and a lack financing sources to develop innovative approaches to humanitarian work.

Mr. Clerg echoed Mr. Jean’s comments. He specifically focused on risk management in preventing humanitarian crisis. He concluded with three main calls for action. First, prioritizing countries at risk to ensure development aid goes to people and countries that are the most at risk. Next, humanitarian organisations should put high emphasis on managing the risk of crises, instead of just responding to its consequences. Lastly, crisis risk management should be prioritized in order to prevent and mitigate future humanitarian crises.

Meeting Title: Panel discussion on “Supporting the process of transition from relief to development: Funding and risk management”
Speakers: H.E. Ibrahim O. Dabbashi (Libya), Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council; Ms. Kanni Wignaraja, Director, United Nations Development Operations Coordination Office; H.E. Charles Naweji Mundele, Minister of Social Affairs, Humanitarian Action and National Solidarity, Democratic Republic of the Congo; Mr. Moustapha Soumaré, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Democratic Republic of the Congo; Mr. Yves-Robert Jean, Director-General, Ministry of Planning and External Cooperation, Haiti; Mr. Peter de Clerq, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Haiti
Location: ECOSOC Chambers, United Nations HQ, New York 
Date: 23 June 2014
Written By WIT representative: Samantha Kong
Edited by WIT representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark