I was chatting with my friend, Saida, on Facebook just minutes ago following her frustrated status updates regarding the African Union representative to the 57th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), not showing up! I had no idea about the event let alone Africa sending an official rep on behalf of women in this continent (I wonder how many women groups have been consulted) and when Saida, part of the Kenyan delegation, told me the rep just took off before an important session, I was amazed and furious. So, I googled and found a link with basic info, see bottom of page for details.
Saida posted this on her FB:
”@UN CSWAmazing....the rep of AU who is supposed to speak on all of our behalf in the African continent is missing! Are we surprised that we never influence processes as Africans?”
I commented on her wall asking for clarification and she replied:
“Imagine how embarrassing, the chair called out for AU rep several times the eventually said " oh i do not see the AU rep so we just move on to....." This is the high level negotiation and general discussions on what the outcome document for elimination of violence against women/girls is going to look like, what language will make it to the document and what commitments states and non state actors will make to addressing VAWG [Violence Against Women Globally]. I am just not impressed!”
Women in Africa face violence on daily bases and at many levels, from domestic violence, rape, lack of education and job opportunities to cultural and religious based oppression, to name but few and this is how the African Union representative acts in a major global event to address the status of half of Africa's population??!!! I am outraged and if anyone reading this knows where to send formal complaints (which will be acted on, preferably), please share. This is totally unacceptable and it is up to African women to ensure their rights and interests are well represented and protected. Please share this on your networks and social media pages and make some noise. Time for African officials to be held accountable. She/he probably went for a beer brake knowing mostly likely no one will complain.
Here is the link to the event and have pasted the body of the event page bellow it. http://www.eige.europa.eu/content/event/57th-commission-on-the-status-of-women-csw.
The of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 4 to 15 March 2013. Representatives from , UN entities, and from all regions of the world will attend the session. The two-week session will include a high-level round table, interactive dialogues and panels, and parallel events.
The 2013 session will focus on the following key areas:
1) Priority Theme: Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls
2) Review Theme: The equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men, including caregiving in the context of HIV/AID