Editor: Rana Qaisar   
Founding Editor: Shafqat Munir   

Consultative Meeting for ‘UN Women’ on Sept.8 

06 September 2010 06:34:00

Consultative Meeting for ‘UN Women’ on Sept.8

The Civil Society Organizations, government functionaries and representatives of international organizations will devise a collective viewpoint in the federal capital on September,8, 2010 in a national consultation on ‘UN Women’, an independent full- fledged UN agency to be set up by  the UN to exclusively address women rights and issues.

The UN Women will be formed in January 2011 after over 60 years of the formation of UN. It has taken nearly four years of painstaking effort known as the Gender Equality Architecture Reform (GEAR) spearheaded by an international network of almost 300 women, human rights and social justice groups, for this agency to materialize.

To date within the UN three of the four small entities dedicated for women (OSAGI, DAW and INSTRAW) have been working in different areas of women’s rights, mainly in monitoring and research.  UNIFEM, the fourth entity has had limited national level presence in some countries; however all four had negligible budgets, no seat at higher decision-making levels of the UN and limited mandates.  This agency has been promised a wider mandate, high level leadership and considerably increased budget.

The consultation has been convened by the Civil Society Alliance on UN WOMEN comprised of 12 organizations and women rights activists who have been involved with the GEAR campaign. These organizations include AGHS, ASR, Aurat Foundation, Khwendo Kor, PODA, Rozan, SACH, Shirkat Gah, SIMROGH, SPO, Sungi and WORD.

UN WOMEN is still in its formative stage and in the next few months a number of decisions regarding structure, mandate and scope of this agency would be taken therefore this national consultation would provide an opportunity to key stakeholders for sharing their perspective regarding UN WOMEN and position and expectations of civil society alliance would also be shared and discussed in detail.

As such the consultation would also be attended by ministers, advisers of federal and provincial governments and representatives of different institutions of UN and matters for making the UN WOMEN stronger and independent would be discussed and recommendations would be formulated.

The consultation would be comprised of three sessions on Orientation and Sharing of Position on UN WOMEN, Perspective of Government, UN and Funding Agencies and strategies and way forward.

The representatives of women rights group and civil societies organizations are gathering from all over Pakistan and this will also mark the celebrations on the formation of the UN WOMEN.