Most of the SIGBI delegation will be flying out to New York on the 8 March for CSW58 (Commission on the Status of Women), missing out on the action on International Women’s Day! This is the first time for our Federation to have its own delegation following the award of ECOSOC (UN Economic and Social Council) status in July 2013. Representatives of Member States, UN entities, and ECOSOC-accredited NGOs (Non-government organsiations – ie Soroptimists) from all regions of the world attend this session.
Priority theme: ‘Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Goals for women and girls’ (draft agreed conclusions are now available on the UN Women website.
Review theme: Access and participation of women and girls to education, training, science and technology, including for promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work (agreed conclusions from the fifty-fifth session).
Emerging issue: Women’s access to productive resources
Members of the SIGBI delegation have attended a range of meetings throughout the year organised by the UKNGO Alliance, the UK NGO Alliance, formed in 2012 and now comprising over 100 Women’s Organisations – all passionate to improve the lives of women and fighting for a world free of violence for women and girls. Since returning from CSW57 last year they have met regularly as a group and with meetings with Ministers at the Government Equalities Office (GEO) in preparation for CSW58.
You can check out Soroptimist events at CSW on this and the SI website. On Tuesday 11 March SI are presenting a side event: ‘Pink is the New Blue: Opening Doors for Women and Girls’ exploring the barriers faced by girls and women in entering into traditionally male-dominated fields, primarily in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers. The panel will include young women from the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGs), the YWCA and from SIGBI. Ann Barton and I will give our first hand experiences of Skirting Science days for teenage girls and the value of the Athena Swann Award for University students.
SI’s second side event is entitled ‘Blue is the New Pink: Gender Equality through Men and Boys’ this event, which will be SI’s first ever all-male panel, will feature the male perspective on breaking down gender stereotypes and working to achieve gender equality for both women and men. Primarily, the panel will address the barriers men face entering into traditionally female-dominated fields, as well as the difficulties men experience in breaking male stereotypes.