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CSW61 Young Feminist Caucus Statement Realeased

YFV

In March, young feminists representing different youth-led and youth-serving civil society organizations from around the world came together at the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations. In a political climate of increasing conservatism, religious fundamentalism, and an aggressive rollback of the rights of women and marginalized people, young feminists gathered to share an alternative vision of a world that respects all genders and sexualities, upholds gender equality, and places human rights at the core of its mandate.

Read the #YoungFeministVisions statement HERE

Young Bulgarian volunteers participate in the creation of an online simulation game for prevention of sexual violence and harassment

The activities are implemented under the CONVEY - Counteracting sexual violence and harassment: Engaging Youth in schools in digital education on gender stereotyping project.

A total number of 12 young people aged 16-18 years participated in the first meeting on 7 March 2017 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, organized by the Gender Alternatives Foundation. The youth is part of the Bulgarian Youth Red Cross – Plovdiv. Such meetings are to be held in 6 European countries – Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Ireland, UK and Bulgaria. The meetings will allow young people across EU to contribute to the creation of an online simulation game, aiming at educating and raising awareness on gender stereotyping and sexualisation of women and men. The online simulation game will be used as a tool to educate and will contribute to changing behaviour and attitudes of young people in relation to violence, harassment and gender stereotyping.

The young volunteers will take part in 6 meetings on the creation of the video game and contribute their perspective on gender
stereotypes, sexual violence and harassment to the development of the online simulation game. Firstly, peer consultants will provide input and feedback to the development of the online simulation game. Then, peer consultants will participate in the testing of the tool.

This project is co-funded by the Rights, Equality & Citizenship Programme of the European Union and it’s being implemented by organisations in 6 EU countries: CESIE (IT), The Smile of the Child (GR), Hope for Children (CY), Sexual Violence Centre Cork (IE), Gender Alternatives (BG), and Westminster City Council (UK). 

HERA trained peer educators in the field of comprehensive sexuality education

In February, the ASTRA Youth member from Macedonia, the Health Education and Research Association, implemented a process of accreditation for peer educators in the field of Comprehensive Sexual Education. In the previous month they launched a call for young people who want to become CSE educators, who later went through a process of certifying their experience. The initiative was promoted in the social media. HERA accepted 22 out of 40 applications according to the criteria. The selected young people had to pass two days of theoretical and interactive training in Skopje in all seven components of CSE. Afterward, they had two weeks for studying and consultation with the more experienced educators - the coordinator of the youth program and the program director of HERA.

The trainees were placed in teams of two and had to pass an oral exam in one of the CSE components in a Skopje hotel where the three-day-long examination process was organized. The first part of the examination consisted of implementing practical skills in one of the seven components in the form of randomly chosen workshops. The second part required passing a written exam that measured the participants’ knowledge, and the third part was to estimate the attitudes to the issues from the seven components.

Apart from the examination process, the second part of the training also covered communication and risk assessment workshops.

You can see photos from the training HERE.

International Women's Strike on 8 March

The International Women’s Strike is a grassroots movement established by women from different parts of the world as a response to the current social, legal, political, moral and verbal violence experienced by contemporary women at various latitudes.

On 8 March 2017 the International Women’s Strike is going to take place. The idea was initiated by the Polish Women’s Strike coalition - an informal, nonpartisan initiative of feminist organizations and activist groups that was created after the Black Monday protests on 3 October 2016 that happened in over 200 cities in Poland and abroad. The Black Protests resulted in the ruling party withdrawing from the parliamentary proceedings of the draft bill introducing a total ban on abortion.

The Polish Women’s Strike started a series of women’s protests in different countries – soon after women from South Korea and many countries in Latin America took to the streets. 

Women are a powerful force that is capable of stemming the tide of populism and that is flooding the world – after all, we are everywhere. The International Women’s Strike coalition consists of women from over 30 countries and on 8 March 2017 they will engage in various events under the slogan “Solidarity Is Our Weapon.”

How do we protest? An open form of protesting is suggested. All depends on your decision:

● total strike - stopping work or housework and social roles as caregivers for whole workday

● part-time strike – stopping production/work for 1 or 2 hours

● in case you can’t stop your work use black elements – black clothes, black ribbon or any other element decided

● boycott of companies using sexism in their advertisements or approach to workers

● boycott of chosen local misogynists (to be selected by you) 

● sex strike

● shopping strike

● blockage of roads and streets

● demonstrations, pickets, marches

● install auto-reply "out of office" and explain why

● public acts of apostasy from the Catholic church

At 6 pm of your local time all of us make one more common act - read the IWS manifest (to be announced) and make noise to shake the planet.

Want to join and organize a protest in your nation? Information and support at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Countries currently involved in the protests:

Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, South Korea, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Guatemala, Germany, Honduras, North Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Togo, Turkey, Uruguay, UK, USA.

Empower Women holding online consultation for the Youth Forum at CSW61

The Youth Forum is a critical opportunity for young people in all their diversities to openly and strategically discuss the challenges and opportunities for achieving gender equality and sustainable development in our local, national, regional, and global contexts, and to amplify common concerns and advocacy efforts in advance of CSW61. 

Recognizing that many young people will not be attending the Youth Forum and CSW61 in person, all young people and
stakeholders from around the world are invited to participate in this online consultation and provide their input on the key themes of the Youth Forum: Young Women’s Leadership, Young Women’s Economic Empowerment, Partnerships with Young
Men in Gender Equality, and Inter-generational Partnerships.

Between February and March, young people and stakeholders from across the globe will be invited to contribute to the discussion using the Empower Women’s web platform and respond to prompts related to the four main themes of the Youth CSW61.

Young people aged 18-35 are encouraged to add their voices!

Week I (8 - 14 February 2017)

Topic of consultation: Young Women’s Leadership

Questions for discussion:

1. How can young women foster a leadership model that is inclusive and intersectional, which embraces diversity and varying identities? Please provide concrete examples

2. How can young women leaders become active agents of change for their communities? Please provide concrete examples

3. Do schools, businesses and public and private institutions need to change to create better leadership pathways for young women, and if so, how?

4. What do you see as are the main barriers to young women's leadership in your community? Can you elaborate with examples / stories?

5. What role can you currently play in order to improve the lives and empower young women and girls in your community?

 

Week II (15 - 21 February 2017)

Topic of consultation: Young Women’s Economic Empowerment

Questions for discussion:

1. What needs to happen for women and girls to reach economic parity by 2030? Is it realistic? And what strategies do you suggest governments, businesses, NGOs, civil society and individuals implement to get there?

2. Do you think discriminatory social norms and gender stereotypes act as a barrier for girls’ and women’ economic empowerment? Can you bring examples? What can governments do address this?

3. What institutional changes need to be made in order for women to access initiatives that promote their own economic growth?

4.  How can we change the narrative and perception of girls and women in leadership roles? And how can we transform the education system to promote young women’s entrepreneurship and innovation and encourage involvement with STEM subjects?

5.  What role can men play in removing gendered discrimination and harassment in the workplace?

 

Week III (22-28 February 2017)

Topic of consultation: Partnerships with Young Men in Gender Equality

Questions for discussion:

1. Why should young men care about gender equality and what? What prevents young men from supporting gender equality?

2. How can young men promote young women’s economic empowerment? Please share specific examples.

3. How can governments, civil society, and other organizations encourage young men to support gender equality? Please share specific examples of policies, programs, and initiatives.

4. How can young men partner with LGBTQI organizations to achieve gender equality?

5. How can young men work within their own spaces and communities to promote gender equality? Please share specific examples.

 

Week IV (1-7 March 2017)

Topic of consultation: Intergenerational Partnerships

Questions for discussion:

1. What are the biggest challenges faced by young people,when attempting to working with people from older generations?

2. In what ways can intergenerational leadership and partnership promote gender equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment?

3. How might young female leaders approach "established" leaders re: the creation of pathways for leadership opportunities & situations for the young generation?

4. How might established leaders approach the young generation of leaders re: the creation of pathways for leadership opportunities & situations for the young generation?

5. How can we ensure dialogues and collaborations between generations that provide enrichment/growth/learning for all?

 

Hashtags used on social media: #YouthCSW61 

source: empowerwomen.org 

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