Letter to the Guardian, 11 February 2017

Subject: Women will unite in opposition to Trump at the UN Women’s Commission

( opposition makes the difference in America and elsewhere Saturday 11 February)

Dear Sir, The 61st UN Status of Women Commission, opening for its two-week session on March 13th, will be the first large UN meeting to convene under Trump’s presidency. While thousands of women will converge on New York, women’s NGO delegates along with official delegations, some other thousands of women activists are being refused visas, because they come from the seven proscribed countries, or because their campaigns for women’s rights make them unpopular with US embassies.

The CSW has focused since 1996 on ensuring that there is no “rolling back” of the Beijing Platform for Action, agreed by Member States at the 4th World Women’s Conference in 1995. Basic to securing women’s equality, economic empowerment, elimination of discrimination and violence to women, is ensuring their right to reproductive health services.

The President’s global gag on funding organisations, such as Planned Parenthood and the UNFPA, that provide family planning and safe abortion services, is a shocking breach of US obligations and will cause the deaths or irrevocable damage to millions of women and girls, and will be especially harmful to the many women victims of rape, particularly those raped during armed conflicts.

We women from across the globe cannot be at the CSW at this critical time without demonstrating our determination to uphold the present international laws to protect women and promote their status.

We will come together in New York, to show our power as we did on the January 21st Women’s Marches that took place over 7 continents and in 20 countries, Trump will not defeat us.

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