Each year, the United Nations (UN) holds the Commission of the Status of Women (CSW). This year will be the 62nd event and is being hosted in New York on 10 – 23 March, and will be attended by over 5000 women from across the world.
‘Challenges and Opportunities in Achieving Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Rural Women and Girls’ is this years’ theme. Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) has been recognised as a leading authoritative voice for rural women and their communities, and consequently we were recommended to attend by the Human Rights Commission (HRC).
In collaboration between the HRC and RWNZ, a side event has been applied for and approved. The New Zealand Government is sponsoring this event in conjunction with the another Government, which at this stage may be Argentina (yet to be confirmed), and will be held inside the UN. The subject for the presentation is Case Studies for Economic Empowerment of Rural Women from New Zealand.
This panel will include Minster for Women – Hon Julie Anne Genter, RWNZ National President Fiona Gower, RWNZ member and Chair of the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women – Traci Houpapa MNZM, Fonterra’s General Manager NZ Industry Affairs – Joanne Finer, and a delegate representing another Government (yet to be confirmed). The panel will be moderated by Human Rights Commissioner – Dr Jackie Blue, and also attended by ACWW World President – Ruth Shanks.
A side event is held within the UN complex, and a parallel event is one in various venues outside of the UN complex – organised through the NGO CSW Committee.
(Pictured above: (left) National President – Fiona Gower, (right) National Chair – Penny Mudford)
Fiona will be attending CSW62 as a member of the Pacific Women’s Watch (NZ) delegation, and our National Chair, Penny Mudford, is attending as the Civil Society Representative on the New Zealand Government Delegation. Both Fiona and Penny will be attending the NGO Consultation Day, as well as other CSW62 side and parallel events over the 12 days that they are in New York.
Fiona and Penny will support the launch of the ACWW “Rural Women’s Survey” which is to take place in New York on 15 March.
This is an exciting opportunity for RWNZ, especially being part of an international forum which will be highlighting the issues rural women face. It will also showcase the ingenuity, enterprise and abilities of our rural women to succeed, how they have overcome challenges to run successful enterprise in rural and remote areas, and how they have become empowered to become leaders in rural New Zealand. They will be able to discuss other challenges facing those living rurally and look for answers which will enable more of our women and girls to reach their potential.
The networking is well underway, connecting with other NGO’s and delegates attending CSW62, with a number of opportunities to give presentations and advice as a leading voice for rural women. This includes Fiona speaking to the Aotearoa Youth Leadership Institute who are sending a team of extremely talented young women.
Fiona and Penny will take every opportunity to report back on happenings over there to keep members well informed of progress. We wish them all the best for their travels to New York.
(Thumbnail image source: www.soroptomisteurope.org)