11 March 2013
As the CSW enters its final week, the political agendas of different countries are reflected in the deep divisions over how to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls. Furious arguments are going on over the use of language: ‘harmful practices’ or ‘traditional harmful practises’, ‘girl’ or ‘child’?
7 March 2013
We are worlds apart. Separated not just by First Avenue, but by a vast gap in beliefs, philosophy, ideas and hopes. Margaret Owen, director of an NGO, reports on the battle over the text of the Agreed Conclusions at the 57th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women
28 February 2012
Child widows, some less than ten years old, face bleak futures as they bear the triple disadvantage of gender, marital status, and being underage. Research is now revealing the hidden lives of these children, and it’s time to hold governments to account under international law, argues Margaret Owen
1 March 2011
“We acted together and we all adhere to the same values: justice, compassion, and unity, and these values are engraved in our souls. It is our unwritten constitution – the ethics inside all of us. Women died with men, and men protected us as women”. Nora Rafeh Refa Tahtawy, 23 year old student protester
11 November 2010
Margaret Owen, a member of the UK Independent Observer delegation, reports on the KCK trial in Diyarbakir before today’s ruling
8 March 2010
In an open letter to the United Nations Secretary General, the European Women’s Lobby declares that “The 54th Session of the CSW…represents a step backwards by its failure to offer a new vision and mechanisms for implementation”
3 March 2010
At this Tuesday morning’s NGO consultation we women from the NGOs, attempting to participate in the 54th CSW, finally collectively erupted, en masse
2 March 2010
So yesterday CSW formally opened and we NGOs, thousands of us,queue, crowd, jostle to get a seat either in the gallery of Conference Room A where the delegates are or to watch on the big screen the proceedings from Conference Room B. Although we are there by 9 am nothing gets going until after 10. Delegates are warned that colour blindness will not be accepted as an excuse if they ignore the orange light which tells them they have 30 seconds to stop speaking. Speakers for a group of countries have 10 minutes; mere single nations only 5…
28 February 2010
Margaret Owen has been trying to get the CSW to address the poverty of widows for 12 years. This is her last attempt. She describes going from despair to growling with anger to hope – all in a day
After eight days and evenings of effort, meetings, draftings, lobbying, talking, to all and sundry (Senior UN officials, government, NGOs) at the 53rd Session of the CSW and a fortune spent on getting to New York and paying for our incredibly overpriced hotel beds ( as the £ dived) in order to get WIDOWS and WIDOWHOOD at least referenced in the Agreed Conclusions on the priority theme ” Equal Sharing of Responsibilities between women and men, including care-giving in the context of HIV/AIDS”, today I am gob smacked by our defeat.
Now in Washington DC, am trying to recover from last week’s circus at the UN.. Rethinking surviving that first week of the 53rd session of the UN CSW, I have changed my mind. I am now, for probably the first time in the 11 years since I’ve been coming to New York, glad I made it there.