Archive for the 'openDemocracy' Category

“Is the CSW passé?”

Solana Larsen

I just finished writing an article for the New Humanist about the religious conservative presence at the CSW, and stumbled on an interesting article I should have found sooner.

Star columnist for Concerned Women of America, Janice Shaw Crouse, read openDemocracy’s Isabel Hilton’s post on the Guardian’s Comment is Free about the lack of media coverage of the CSW, and had some fun with it (read: plagiarized and distorted).

“While the left is complaining about the outside world’s lack of interest in the goings-on at the CSW, the conservatives are there armed with the TRUTH,” she mocks, “The lack of media interest is just one more sign that the influence of feminism has peaked and is beginning to wane.”

My favorite part:

“The public is genuinely interested in addressing female genital mutilation, sex trafficking and other real forms of violence against women, legitimate issues that must be eradicated. They are tired, though, of having the CSW and other leftists manipulate those issues to push their grab-bag agenda of quotas, governmentally-mandated housework by husbands, universal abortion-on-demand, mainstreaming approval of lesbianism and pushing so-called “sexual freedom” while telling teens that they can be “safe” if they’ll only use a condom.

The CSW isn’t passé – it’s this world view that is.

Another article I found describes the rightiwing presence at the CSW and gives some more details on the controversy surrounding the US suggested resolution on sex-selective aboortion. Elisha Dunn-Georgiou from the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States highlights some of the dishonest tactics of religous conservatives.



Solana Larsen

We’ve got a couple of articles on openDemocracy to help draw this blogging session to a close. Sarah Lindon on International Women’s Day (“Gendered States“) and myself on the closing day of the CSW (“How power works for women“).

I won’t promise not to post again in this blog. But for now it’s goodbye. If you participated in the CSW or you have any comments whatsoever, feel free to email them or post them in the comments below. Thanks for your links, comments, and support.

The CSW’s absent media coverage

Jessica Reed

Isabel Hilton wrote a piece for the Guardian’s Comment is Free titled “Forgotten Women”, which questions the motives behind the CSW’s lack of coverage. You can read it here.

Just imagine that it was possible to get 4,000 women and 200 girls together, along with hundreds of NGOs and representatives of 45 governments to talk about real ways of protecting young women and girls from violence and improving the status of women. Surely such an event would be of interest?

So why, when 45 governments, 4,000 women and hundreds of NGOs do get together to focus on these issues do none of the conventional media pay the slightest attention?

Sad but true: a quick search in Google News shows less than a dozen of articles about the Commission, a good amount of them published by pro-life groups considering abortion as the “greatest crime against women and children in this generation” (and as Solana pointed out, they have active delegates at the CSW):

Millie Lace (Arkansas), Licensed Professional Counselor and Director of the National Helpline for Abortion Recovery says that if CSW is truly pro-woman and truly wants to protect women, they should call upon governments to protect girls (and boys) from the moment of conception.

We have however found good company in the blogosphere: a couple of brilliant women’s blogs have picked up openDemocracy’s efforts and commented: Women’s Space, Feminist Law Professors and the F word.

Forgotten women

Solana Larsen

openDemocracy’s editor Isabel Hilton comments on the lack of press coverage for this year’s CSW on the Guardian website, Comment is Free. “Is Britney Spears’ shaved head or celebrities not wearing underwear more important than the fate of half the world’s population?”

Women UNlimited, poDcasted

Jessica Reed


Women UNlimited’s very own blogger Solana Larsen was interviewed for the weekly openDemocracy poDcast. In the United Nations’ hallways Solana interviewed a “girl child” – one of the 200 invited at the United Nations to discuss their situation in their own countries. A girl-ambassador of Malawi, she talks about her eagerness to go back to her school to tell her friends about what the UN can do for her and her friends.

You can listen to Solana’s report here: low resolution / high resolution , or visit our poDcast page here.

Two perspectives on the CSW

Solana Larsen

We have two new articles up on openDemocracy about the CSW. One offers a more positive view from the UK, and the other a more critical from Turkey.

Both are great backgrounders on the event.

openDemocracy blogs the CSW

Solana Larsen

From 26 February to 9 March, there is a meeting at the UN in New York called the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) that will bring together governments, UN representatives, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to evaluate progress on gender equality and set new standards for global policy.

The day before the meeting ends, 8 March, is International Women’s Day.

The news media tend to carry almost identical stories about UN meetings. They repeat the most jarring facts from press releases, and everyone steers clear of describing the seemingly boring and symbolic process.

openDemocracy tries to make global politics more accessible. Our blogs take you behind the scenes at meetings like the World Social Forum, World Economic Forum, and now the CSW for a deeper understanding of politics in action.

From the colour of the chairs in the cafeteria, to the personal accounts of women who participate, these details help give a sense of what it’s really like.