Like many other Americans, I was unfamiliar with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) until recently. CEDAW (also known as the Women’s Treaty) is an international agreement on basic human rights for women. So how had this escaped my attention? Is it because the US has supported human rights for decades so there is little talk of this particular treaty? No. Is it because it is a new treaty that we have just not heard of yet? No. CEDAW was introduced to the UN back during the Carter Administration and our Senate has been sitting on it ever since! Is it because we have achieved equal rights for women as a nation and help all other nations reach that same goal? Certainly not.
Over a week has passed since the earthquake in Haiti shook the world. Our hearts go out to the people of Haiti and those who have gone to help in relief efforts. We learn with sadness about the many lives lost, including key players in the Haitian women's movement. Experts are uniting behind the idea that the most effective way to help presently is to donate money.
Many members of the National Council for Research on Women network are involved in various humanitarian efforts in Haiti. Of particular concern is the gender dimension and ensuring that women and children's specific needs are not overlooked or undervalued.
Below is news about some efforts under way in sending both relief and funds to the people of Haiti. We are concerned with efforts to address the present dire situation, but also with those directed toward rebuilding the country's infrastructure and institutions. I hope you find this useful.
As reports filter in from Haiti in the aftermath of Wednesday's catastrophic earthquake, it is difficult to process the sheer immensity of this tragedy. My thoughts go to the tens of thousands of grieving and displaced who are struggling with unimaginable loss. I am also thinking about the hundreds, maybe thousands of colleagues, advocates and humanitarian workers who have sacrificed their lives while trying to rebuild a nation ravaged by hurricane, poverty and continuing mismanagement. The UN mission in Port au Prince is still missing more than 100 staff members and countless schools, clinics and businesses have been destroyed.
I won't go into the long and turbulent history of Haiti's past: revolt against slavery, independence, colonialism, dictatorship, fragile democracy and the US's troubling role in this tested nation's myriad challenges.
Yesterday, three fabulous NCRW interns* and I journeyed down to the concrete maze that is the United Nations to participate in a commemorative event celebrating CEDAW’s 30th birthday. The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, often referred to as the international bill of women’s human rights, was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1979. The Convention defines discrimination as
March 2, 2009 posted by adminThe 53rd Commission on the Status of Women meetings start today at UN Headquarters in New York and will run until the 13th of March. This year, the theme of the CSW is “The equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men, including caregiving in the context of HIV/AIDS.” During this year’s events, I will have the privilege of working with the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development’s (UNRISD) Gender and Development Programme. The Gender and Development Programme at UNRISD has been working on the Political and Social Economy of Care as one of its main research themes for several years now. [One of my favorite gender and development researchers, Maxine Molyneux, wrote the first paper in the series, titled Mothers at the Service of the State.] As part of the project, UNRISD led gender experts from around the world in an exploration of care issues, with research conducted in eight countries drawn from four different regions. Within its comparative approach, the project focused on the gender composition and dynamics of the multiple institutions of care – households and families, states, markets, and the not-for-profit sector – and their effects on poverty and social rights of citizenship.
February 19, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird According to the U.S. State Department, 800,000 people were trafficked across national borders in 2006. This figure escalates into the millions when including victims trafficked within national borders. A recently released report by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime delves deeper into this troubling phenomenon:
Global Report on Trafficking in Persons (data from 155 countries)
--Most common form of human trafficking is sexual exploitation (79%) followed by forced labor (18%)