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UN CSW 57,Grassroots Women on Fire;Time For Action!

Every year, the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations,CSW ,brings together  thousands of government officials, representatives of civil society,UN and  media organizations who  gather to track progresses ,experiences and recommendable  actions to facilitate the implementation of the Beijing platform for action.The 57th session of the CSW  has just ended in New York under the theme “Prevention and Elimination of all forms of Violence against Women and Girls’’.

Grassroots women from all corners of the world were present,pouring out their hearts and discussing solutions.It felt like World Pulse had been taken off the internet to real life!

Sitting on my bed this quiet Tuesday night,I  find it difficult to hold my thoughts and tears  together as I think of all the stories I heard and  the numerous telling   eyes I looked into during the past weeks.Women  from all over the world speaking the same language in different words.A strong outpour of  sorrow, anger,pain and frustration was evident in some while others kept hopes high for a better tomorrow.  Some stories made me cry so hard, that I almost forgot my reason for participating in  the  forum.I bet you, you would have done same if you heard the stories  of rape,genital mutilation,property grabbing,battering,genital locking,menstrual seclusion,ritual rape of virgins,bride price,honor killing,violence in pregnancy,early and forced marriages,the list is inexhaustible.

Our hearts are hurting for the pain we `ve gone through, are going through and might still go through if we keep gathering and talking with no results to show for'' said Mary Osei from Ghana

''We are wasting  our time here.I am telling you, this thing has become a form of entertainment,where we come  year in, year out and pour  out our  stories, solutions and tears then go back home to our same  old struggles.The day our governments would wake up to the unarguable  reality that, we need a strong political commitment of states backed by appropriate resources to put an end to this senseless drama against women,we shall finally begin to move.For now we are dancing on the same spot.For some, the dance has become enjoyable while for others  the sore is getting more red!On Friday they shall sign whatever and leave it on paper and we shall all retire, waiting to come back next year  for another  session of discussions and signatures that shall never be domesticated.Why has the US not ratified the Convention for the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against Women?Dancing round a circle of pain what a shame!"V Adebayo Nigeria

''When I look at the journey from Beijing in 1995 to today in 2013,I see no difference in the lives of the women.I am sorry to say so.All what I see  is that many more women are joining the chorus while  others are  retreating,where are we heading to in a world where arrows  have been  aimed towards women in all directions?Who is to blame for  the adamant nature of this problem"lamented a sister from South African who refused to be identified.

''When we talk of grassroots women attending the CSW we might be tempted to think of  the local women in various communities world wide.I am sorry to disappoint you,  most women you will see here are the  enlightened high class ladies who know their way around.The real women who are plagued by these issues of violence we are talking about hardly have the opportunity to come to such gatherings.That is why we are dancing on the same spot year in year out.''Oyebola Adetula,Nigeria

These are some of the strong voices  of grassroots women I was able to capture  as I permeated the circle of women who were raising their voices in the different parallel events at the CSW.I did not forget to tell them to log on to world Pulse and see the  thunderous effects of grassroots women`s voices echoing from all parts of the globe.I told them here on World Pulse we do not despair but discuss solutions.The tides might get higher and our scourges  more intense but we are too aware of the physical and spiritual energy that abounds when women gather either online or physically.I  also made them know on  World Pulse we form a global sisterhood of support.It`s  only on a forum like ours, where voices can be picked from caves of torture to the glimmer of palaces  and major decision making bodies.

One of the most touching events I attended was organized by the Young Christian Women Movement YWCA Nigeria.They exposed the various forms of female genital mutilation done in Nigeria and how deep rooted it is in certain areas of the country.Baby girls are mutilated so that they don`t delve into prostitution and pregnant women being deprived of their clitoris due to the believe that if the head of the baby touches the clitoris during delivery there would be a still birth.A victim shared how sex has become her worst night mare and she is almost loosing her marriage.

The women of America were not left out.In an event organized by the women of the Harlem community here in New York,women aired out their agony in the face of intimate partner violence and rape.One of the speakers Stephanie Mcgraw kept reiterating that the problem is more complex than we can imagine and is worst when the torture is not physical but emotional"A broken heart is worst than a broken bone" she said while encouraging women to look for love inside of themselves ,before searching for someone to love.The different speakers narrated their journeys from torture to healing and advocacy.In most cases pain gave birth to purpose;saving others from the dungeons of torture.

Violence against women, a multi- faced monster that  knows no  discrimination in race or class.There  is no vaccine  or antidote to it.It suffices  to be a woman and you are at high risk of being caught in it`s trap.   Of all the  ailments  and problems plaguing the universe there is none as complex.In. 1999, former UN secretary general described it as "....perhaps the most shameful human rights violation. And it is perhaps the most pervasive. It knows no boundaries of geography, culture or wealth. As long as it continues, we cannot claim to be making real progress towards equality, development, and peace.”

On Friday March 15 the CSW was rounded up with the various nations agreeing to support grassroots women organizations in their fight to empower women,engage more in using the internet and social media to empower women, engaging men and boys to works towards gender sensitive communities,increase the fight to end trafficking of girls and women.

Comments

mrbeckbeck's picture

Thank you

Thank you for this summary of your experience at the CSW. It sounds like a roller-coaster of emotion really, with very high-highs of energy and enthusiasm, and very low-lows of disappointment and frustration. I think that the agreements are powerful, but I hope that they move into action--- just as the sister from South Africa pointed out, too often they stay on paper.

Do you feel that there was a sense of momentum? That from this gathering real progress might be made? It is an everyday effort, working on small scales to make change for one person at a time... that's how I see things at least. Would love to know what your impression is after attending this forum.

Thank you again, well done on carrying the World Pulse platform with you to this major event!

Scott Beck
World Pulse Online Community Manager

vivian's picture

Hi Leina This is a great

Hi Leina

This is a great compilation of women experience and I truly agree with the women contibutions.

I truly agreed with this- 'When I look at the journey from Beijing in 1995 to today in 2013,I see no difference in the lives of the women.I am sorry to say so.All what I see  is that many more women are joining the chorus while  others are retreating,where are we heading to in a world where arrows  have been  aimed towards women in all directions?

I truly wish our stories can made a difference if not in the world at least in the life of women to be more empowered to overlook their challenges and look toward achieving results.

Every women has a story to share at anytime. Our stories are always bitter and sympathetic. We are strong, that I know, if not emotional truma would have been the highest cause of death for women.

Thank you for posting this piece.

Vivian

''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

Leina-

Although this topic is very real, important, and sadly still needs greater attention, it is difficult for me to hear and see. My heart is broken for each woman affected by intimate violence. No, it goes deeper than that. My soul aches. So, you are a courageous being to have such open ears, eyes, and heart. Thank you for taking in the pain in order to share with us the need out there.

I also appreciate that someone spoke to the occurrence of this type of abuse in the United States. Trafficking and domestic violence occurs more than we want to admit, or even be cognizant of. I would be interested in hearing your response to Scott's questions as well.

Thank you for your heart and passion.

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
aka: Cali gal

Listener
Sister-Mentor
@CaliGalMichelle
facebook.com/caligalmichelle

Simi Goshwe's picture

Quite touching...

Leina, your story is well said and thankGod some women are beginning to open up to tell someone that very urgly pain they face as well as the hurt such women and girls pass through. For the fact that you and other women at that event spoke, some woman and girl, will certainly be set free because of the knowledge.keep it up my sister.

byamungu bahati pascal's picture

Merci beaucoup Leina

Merci beacoup Leina de nous faire part de votre réunion. Vraiment je suis très touché par votre message et lorsque je faisais la lecture de vos temoignages,je me suis souvenus de toute sorte des violences qui se passent dans mon pays la RD Congo. Et je suis très fière de votre lutte pour mettre à terme toutes les violences faites aux femmes. Sache qui nous jeunes garçons(Hommes de demain)nous sommes derière vous dans cette lutte. Courage maman!!

Pascal BYAMUNGU

Leina, am very touched by the different forms of violence and discrimination that women go through as clearly brought out in your article.
It is very true that in most conferences the representations, delibarations, treaties and conventions signed are never implemented and the participants are far from the real women affected, but the good news is that women like you have had the opportunity to attend and speak out on it!
Your sharing this thruth on this platform will be read by more grassroot women and they will be in a better position to take action in there communities and areas.
Because we are women we must never get tired or discouraged but press on with extra effort so that all resolutions in these meetings are implemented to save the next generations!
Its our responsibility and we owe it to the next leaders,sisters and our children. We can do it out of Love.
Thanks for posting and well done on that great eye opener.
We are always proud of our pulse leaders!
Peace
Jael Omunyangoli

loretta's picture

Sad, really sad.

I feel the pain of women out there, and I really feel so helpless. If only women could be rounded up and sent to these CSW sessions so that the leaders could meet victims face to face and hear the atrocities done to them. I think they could really be shamed, brought to tears and eventually to their knees.

The most sad things is, in some Countries, especially Africa, some of these cruel acts are condoned higher up. What is genital mutilation? Was God so stipid to create a vagina in it's shape to be later mutilated? I don't think so. If that is the case, I think men ought to be mutilated too, because I believe scientifically we all have a vagina at the begin of formation as a foetus, the very clitoris they mutilated later forms into a penis.

Such cruelty, then comes rape, one can imagine what goes on in the minds of these perverts, watching another man violently take a woman and then do the same immediately after? Then there is this worldwide fight against HIV, how is this disease going to be stopped if such acts are still happening, how will the fight against HIV infections going to be won.

Surely these men have wives, whom they go and infect and re-infect over and over again until they die. Leaving orphans behind, increasing poverty. We then have children who result from rape victims who survived having no parternal identity, who end up being emotional cripples?

Something has to be done about these situations, on a very serious note. Who wouldn't cry after hearing such heart-rending stories. Only one with a heart of stone.

World Pulse keep going, Voices Rising should rise. Be a Loud Speaker.

Loretta.

Loretta.

A successful woman is one who can build a firm foundation with the bricks others throw at her. Author Unkown.

calupo's picture

Touching

Hi Leina,

Thank you for highlighting the issues at the Commission on the Status of Women gathering. It has awakened me to reality.

Christine

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