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Statement of feminist and women’s organisations on the very alarming trends in the negotiations of outcome document of the 57th session of the UN commission on the status of women

We, the undersigned organisations and individuals across the globe, are again concerned that the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is wavering in its commitment to advance women’s human rights as demonstrated in the constant negotiation of the language in the outcome document.

On the occasion of celebrating the International Women’s Day we call on the states to reaffirm its commitment to agreed upon standards in promoting women’s human rights as articulated in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action as well as other international humanitarian and human rights law.

We say NO to any re-opening of negotiations on the already established international agreements on women’s human rights and call on all governments to demonstrate their commitments to promote, protect and fulfill human rights and fundamental freedoms of women.

We commend those states that are upholding women’s rights in totality. We urge states to reaffirm standards that they have agreed to. Considering the lack of an outcome document last year we hope that this is not the pattern when it comes to advancing women’s human rights agenda. Women’s human rights are not to be negotiated away.

Similar to last year, we strongly hold the position that given the progressive development in the international era on standard setting there should no longer be any contention on any issues related to the definition and intersectionality of women and girls experiencing violence against women, including in relations to sexual and reproductive health and rights, sexual orientation and gender identity, harmful practices perpetuated in the context of negative culture and traditions, among others. We remind states that the CSW is the principal global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women with the sole aim of promoting women’s rights in political, economic, civil, social and educational fields. Its mandate is to ensure the full implementation of existing international agreements on women’s human rights and gender equality.

We strongly demand all governments and the international community to reject any attempt to invoke traditional values or morals to infringe upon human rights guaranteed by international law, nor to limit their scope. Customs, tradition or religious considerations must not be tolerated to justify discrimination and violence against women and girls whether committed by State authorities or by non-state actors. Given the current global activism around violence against women it is imperative that member states take the lead in agreeing on a progressive outcome document that reaffirms its commitments to universal human rights standards.

This is an important moment as we are planning the post 2015 process. The outcome document has to advance women’s human rights and not lower the bar for women’s human rights. Future international negotiations must move forward implementation of policies and programmes that secure the human rights of girls and women.

We call upon the member states of the UN and the various UN human rights and development entities to recognise and support the important role of women’s groups and organisations working at the forefront of challenging traditional values and practices that are intolerant to fundamental human rights norms, standards and principles.

Endorsed by:


Acid Survivors Foundation

Actionaid Nigeria

Agricultural Missions, Inc. (AMI)

Alliance F-Alliance de sociétés féminines suisses


American Association of University Women (AAUW)

Amnesty International

Anglican Women’s Empowerment (AWE)

Antalya Womens Counselling Center and Solidarity Association

Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD)

Asia Safe Abortion Partnership

Asian-Pacific Resource & Research Centre for Women (ARROW)

Association for Monitoring Gender Equality (CEID), Turkey

Association for Progressive Communications

Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)

Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE)

Association pour le développement et de la promotion des droits Humains (ADPDH)

Association pour le Progrés et la Défense des Droits des Femmes (APDF), Mali

Association Suisse pour les Droits de la Femme – ADF–SVF

ASTRA Network-Central and Eastern European Women’s Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Aurat Foundation

Autonomous Women’s Center, Serbia

Ayvalık Bağımsız Kadın inisiyatifi, Turkey

Bahamas Crisis Centre

Bahrain Young Ladies Association


Blue Veins

CAFRA, Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action, St. Lucia

CAFRA, Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action, Trinidad and Tobago

Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Caribbean Women’s Association

Catholics for the Right to Decide Argentina

Catholics for the Right to Decide Bolivia

Catholics for the Right to Decide Brazil

Catholics for the Right to Decide Chile

Catholics for the Right to Decide Colombia

Catholics for the Right to Decide Ecuador

Catholics for the Right to Decide El Salvador

Catholics for the Right to Decide México

Catholics for the Right to Decide Nicaragua

Catholics for the Right to Decide Paraguay

Catholics for the Right to Decide Perú

CDO Pakistan

Center for Economic and Social Rights

Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance (CEWLA)

Center for Partnership Studies

Center for Reproductive Rights

Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL), Rutgers University

Center for Women Policy Studies

Centre for Research and Action on Peace (KEDE), Greece

Centre for Secular Space

Centre for Social and Gender Research “New Life”, Ukraine

Centre for Social Research

CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality

Church Women United

City and County of San Francisco, Department on the Status of Women

Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC), Nigeria

COC Netherlands

Comité d’action contre la traite humaine interne et international

Comité de América Latina y el Caribe para la Defensa de los Derechos de las Mujeres (CLADEM)

Commission for Filipino Migrant Workers, RESPECT Network

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women Network, Sweden

Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

Community Development Organization (CDO Pakistan)


Connecting Gender for Development (COGEN), Nigeria

Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights

Dominica National Council of Women

East End Chapter of the National Organization for Women

Education International (EI)

Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement

Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights


European Women’s Network (ENOW), Greece

Equality Now

Esitlik Izleme (Esitiz), Turkey

European Women’s Lobby

EVAWG alliance KP-FATA

EVAWG alliance (ICT)

Executive Committee for NGO Forum on CEDAW -Turkey

Federación Internacional de Mujeres de Carreras Jurídicas

Federation Against Violence Against Women (FAVAW)

Federation for Women and Family Planning, Poland

Fellowship of Reconciliation, Nyack, NY

Femin Ijtihad

Feminist Atelier (FEMA), Cyprus

Feminist Task Force (FTF)

Femmes Juristes Suisse – Women Lawyers Switzerland

FIAN International

Fiji Women’s Rights Movement

Flying Broom Women’s Communication and Research Association, Turkey

Foreign Spouses Support Group (Malaysia)

Foundation for Women (Thailand)

Foundatıon for Women’s Solıdarıty (Kadın Dayanışma Vakfı), Turkey

Fundacion para Estudio e Investigacion de la Mujer (FEIM), Argentina

Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (GAMCOTRAP)

Gay Japan News

Global Allies for Human Rights, Disarmament and Development in Africa (GAHADA Partners)

Gender and Water Alliance

Gender at Work

Global Health Awareness Research Foundation (GHARF)

Global Fund for Women

Global Justice Center

Global Network of Women Peacebuilders

Greater Los Angeles Chapter of National Committee of UN Women

Group Development Pakistan

Help & Shelter, Guyana

Huairou Commission

The Hunger Project

Institut de recherche et d’études stratégiques de Khyber (IRESK)

Institute for Science and Human Values, Inc.

Institute for Women’s Empowerment, Hong Kong

Institute for Women’s Leadership, Rutgers University

Institute of Bioethics, Human Rights and Gender (ANIS), Brazil

Interfaith Center of New York

Interfaith Consortium for Ecological Civilization

International Alliance of Women

International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN)

International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

International Federation of Business and Professional Women

International Network of Liberal Women (INLW)

International Peace Bureau

International Public Policy Institute

International Trade Union Confederation

International Women’s Human Rights Clinic at Georgetown Law

International Women’s Anthropology Conference

International Women’s Rights Action Watch

International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW Asia Pacific)

International Women’s Rights Project, Canada


Isis International

İstanbul Feminist Collective

Izmir Women Solidarity Association, Turkey

Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights

Jamaica Household Workers Union

Kalyanamitra, Indonesia

KARAT Coalition

La Ligue du Droit International des Femmes (LDIF)

Latin American Network of Catholics for the Right to Decide

Lawyers for Justice and Peace (LJP)


MARUAH, Singapore

Media Equity Collaborative

Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA)

Millennia2025 Women and Innovation Foundation, PUF

Montgomery County NOW



Namibia Women’s Health Network

National Association for Resource Improvement

National Coalition on Affirmative Action (NCAA)

National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA

National Council of Women of Canada

National Council of Women’s Organizations

National Organization of Women, Barbados

Nepal International Consumers UNION

Netherlands Council of Women

Network of Expertise on Gender, Resilience and Interdependent Economics

NGO Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW)

NGO-Coordination post Beijing Switzerland

Ni-Ta-Nee NOW

Niger Delta Women’s Movement for Peace and Development (NDWPD)

Nodo Mexicano. El Proyecto del Milenio, A.C.

Northeast Williamsport NOW

Norwegian Association for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (Sex og Politikk)

Osez Le Féminisme

Overseas Development Institute, Social Development Programme

Oxfam International


Pacific Women’s Watch (New Zealand), Inc.

Partners for Law in Development, India

Peace X Peace

PEN International

Pennsylvania National Organization for Women

People’s Movement For Human Rights Learning (PDHRE)

Perak Women for Women (Malaysia)


PILIPINA Legal Resources Center, Philippines

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Public Service Alliance of Canada

Purple Roof Women’s Shelter Foundation

Quality of Citizenship, Jamaica

Red de Educación Popular Entre Mujeres de Latinoamerica y el Caribe (REPEM LAC)

Red de Mujeres Afrolatinoamericanas, Afrocaribeña y la Diáspora

Red Feminista Frente a la Violencia Contra Las Mujeres (REDFEM), El Salvador

Red Nacional de Jóvenes y Adolescentes para la Salud Sexual y Reproductiva (RedNac), Argentina

Red Thread, Guyana

Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls in Latin America and the Caribbean (CATWLAC)

Regards de Femmes

Rights for All Women (RAW), Denmark

Roks, The National Organisation for Women’s Shelters and Young Women’s Shelters in Sweden


Rozaria Memorial Trust

RUMPUN, Indonesia

Rumpun Tjoet Nyak Dien, Indonesia

Rutgers WPF, Netherland

S4 Foundation, Guyana

Safe4Athletes, Los Angeles Ca.




Shirakat – Partnership for Development

Shirkat Gah – Women’s Resource Centre, Pakistan

Siglo XXIII, El Salvador

Sisters Inside

Sisters in Islam

Sistren Theatre Collective/Groots Jamaica

Socialist Feminist Collective

Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD)

Society for Promotion of Education and Development (SPED)

Soroptimist International

SOS line for victims of violence “by your side,” Greece

SOS Sexisme, France

South Hills NOW

SRIA Rwanda Ltd

SUARAM (Malaysia)

SVAMV – Association (faîtière) suisse des familles monoparentales

Swayam, Kolkata, India

Taller Salud, Puerto Rico

Temple of Understanding

Tenaganita (Malaysia)

Terre des Jeunes du Burundi

To Love Children Educational Foundation International, Inc.


United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society

United Methodist Women, Global Justice, Community Action and Public Policy Offices

United Methodist Women, Washington Office of Public Policy

Urban Justice Center

Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation (VIDC)

Virginia Gildersleeve Fund (VGIF)

Vision Spring Initiatives, Nigeria


White Ribbon Campaign

WIDE, Network for Women´s Rights and Feminist Perspectives in Development

Widows for Peace through Democracy (WPD)

Womankind Worldwide

WO=MEN Dutch Gender Platform

Women Against Rape Inc., Antigua/Barbuda

Women against Violence Europe (WAVE)

Women against Violence Network Serbia

Women Enabled, Inc.

Women & Gender Equality Commission of Guyana

Women Graduates USA


Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR) – New Ways, Turkey

Women Graduates-USA

Women Living Under Muslim Laws

Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (WOCAN)

Women Peacemakers Program

Women Studies Center, Punjabi University Patiala, India

Women Transforming Cities International Society

Women Won’t Wait Campaign

Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO), Malaysia

Women’s Association of Romania

Women’s Centre for Change (WCC) Penang, Malaysia

Women’s Coalition, Turkey

Women’s Coalition for Justice and Democracy

Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO)

Women’s Federation for World Peace, Intl.

Women’s Front, Norway

Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR)

Women’s Intercultural Network (WIN)

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Philadelphia/Delco Branch

Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau (Philippines)

Women’s Refugee Commission

Women’s Resource and Outreach Centre (WROC), Jamaica

Women’s Sports Foundation

Women’s World Summit Foundation (WWSF)


Workers Hub for Change (WH4C)

World Federation for Mental Health

World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women

World YWCA

WUNRN, Women’s UN Report Network

Zonta International Club Dhaka


Joanne Abbensetts

Hassan Said Abdourahman

Waheed Ahmad

Niaz Ahmed

Gwendolyn Albert

Florence Allen

Molly Anderson

Jodi Anthony

Sally Armstrong

Dr. Mary-Wynne Ashford

Katy Beaver

Dr. Wolfgang Benedek

Guerda Benjamin

Cynthia B. Blake

Joddah Bokhari

Amber Bonnici

Paola Brambilla

Marti Britt

Rosalind Buck

Charlotte Bunch

Noreen Campbell

Elaine Chan-Scherer

Marllyn Chang

Hilda Rømer Christensen

Corina Ciechanow

Nadine Commergnat

Emmeline Craig

Aslı Davas

Theresa Derlan Yeh

Claire Desaint

Audrey Desnoes

Mary Diamond

Denise Dias

Emily Doherty

Jocelyn Dow

Josephine Dublin-Prince

Crystal Easton

Cynthia Enloe

Dundeen Ferguson

Cynthia Fuchs Epstein

Uche Ewuzie

Lana Finikin

Dr. Helga Foster

Laurice de Gale

A. P. Gautam

Elizabeth Gibbons

Eunice Graham

Stephanie Grant

Shera Grant Clarke

Joan Grant Cummings

Barbara M. Hall

Leila Hessini

Maliha Husain

Leila Jagdeo

Eunadie Johnson

Deborah Kasman

Beata Koropatwa

Dr. Dashurije Koshi

Rebecca Landy

Kate Langlois

Michelle Lee

Dr. Nancy C. Lee

Bette Levy

Shirley Lewis

Georgia Love

Mary MacDonald

Houzan Mahmoud

Havi Mandell

Eleonora Barbieri Masini

Terri Matlock

Norah Matovu Winyi

Caron McCloud

Shiloh Sophia McCloud

Dr. Lyla Mehta

Vera Mehta

Tufail Mohammad

Martha Morgan

Marcia L Morehead

Hasna Moudud

Dr. Fulata L. Moyo

L. Uma Mulnick, DC

Qamar Naseem

Mr Amjad Nazeer

Joyce Neu

Hilary C. Nicholson

Claytine Nisbett

Hina Noureen

Carole A. Oglesby

Muradiye ORAL

Meral Özaygen

Dr Rukhshinda Parveen

Joanne Payton

William Pervaiz

Elly Pradervand

Angela de Prairie, MNM MA

Lily Pulu

Danuta Radzik

Vanda Radzik

Md-Mamunur Rahman

Betty Reardon

Marilyn Rice-Brown

Dr. Kay Richmond

Sonia Robinson

Dr. Marilyn P. Safir

M. Angelica Sepulveda Salinas

Mary Schilder

Maggie Schmeitz

Mab Segrest

Tina Siebers

Kathleen Sloan

Fatou Sow

Ann Stacy

Jerilyn Stapleton

Irene Sullivan

Anne-Marie Swalens

Tenin Toure

Linnette Vassell

Annette Wagner

Michaela Walsh

Judith Wedderburn

Marie C. Wilson

Everjoice Win

Katherine Witteman

Alexandrina Wong

Rev. Bond Wright

15 Mar, 2013
Posted in Gender Justice and Forests, News