[Brussels, 11 November 2014] Last week, from 3 to 5 November, the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) actively participated to the Geneva NGO Forum Beijing+20. The Forum was organised by the NGO CSW Committee Geneva, in order to bring together the women’s organisations from the UNECE region (56 countries from Europe and North America), discuss the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in the region, and deliver strong recommendations for the intergovernmental meeting taking place the following two days.
The EWL was represented by many of its members from different countries, as well as its Secretary General Joanna Maycock, who delivered an inspiring speech in the opening session of the Forum. She presented the main points of the joint written statement that the EWL initiated and signed by 70 organisations from all over the planet: "Women and girls can’t wait 20 more years to enjoy their full human rights!".
EWL Beijing+20 report got a lot of visibility during the Forum, as its demands and analysis were used by EWL members and secretariat. EWL Policy Officer and Project Coordinator Pierrette Pape was a speaker during the roundtable on violence against women, where she highlighted two growing challenges for the women’s movement: the impact of the neoliberal values on human rights and women’s lives ("the personal is personal") and the attacks on UN language and international instruments. EWL members were also active in other roundtables : Annette Lawson (NAWO, UK) spoke on institutional mechanisms, Iliana Balabanova-Stoycheva (Bulgarian Women’s Lobby) spoke about women’s health, Joanna Manganara (International Alliance of WOmen) spole about women and the economy, Monica Cristea (European Network of Migrant Women) and Ilona Graenitz (Frauenring, Austria) spoke about human rights and migrant women. Finally, Pierrette Pape presented EWL’s tips and reflection on advocacy and loobying, in a training session organised ahead of the intergovernmental meeting.
All 700 participants, representing more than 250 organisations, agreed on a joint declaration "Every woman, every right, every minute: everyone is responsible, and the time is now!" at the end of the Forum, which was delivered on 6 November at the opening of the intergovernmental Beijing+20 UN ECE Review Meeting, by NGO CSW Geneva President, Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda.
On Friday 7 November, several EWL members took part to the side event organised by Equality Now, on trafficking an prostitution, with Mr Jan Knutsson, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sweden to the United Nations. Aase Smedler (Swedish Women’s Lobby), Elizabeth Law (Northern Ireland Women’s European Platform/UK Joint Committee on Women), Lynda Dearlove (UK National Alliance of Women’s Organisations, women@thewell), Michèle Vianès, (Regards de Femmes/Abolition2012, France) discussed the obligations of the member states on prostitution and trafficking, as demanded by the Beijing Platform for Action.
See the full programme here.
Read here the final declaration of NGOs, presented to the intergovernmental meeting.
And watch below a nice slide show of pictures taken during the forum, with EWL members and secretariat :)