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5, Mar

CSW56 (Commission on the Status of Women) IPA Report 1 March 2012

‘Agreed Conclusions’ will be the outcome of the two-week Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW56). Ms Marjon V Kamara, Ambassador of Liberia and the Chairperson of the CSW56, encourages NGOs to advocate for effective ‘Agreed Conclusions’ that will ‘Empower the Rural Women and Girls to play a great role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges’. Ms Kamara broke the rubrics and made sure that the NGOs received a copy of the compilation document that will serve as the base for negotiation. The negotiations among UN Member States will begin tomorrow. IPA is focusing on addressing the issues of rural girls who are most marginalized in today’s world. The compilation document is very promising for rural girls and women. NGOs play a great role as watchdogs to ensure that the ‘Agreed Conclusions’ are not watered down during the negotiations.

Fatima Rodrigo pbvm

With great joy and a wee bit of hilarity seven Presentations and one Presentation niece celebrated our relatedness to Nano and the International Presentation Association Thursday evening at Shih Lee’s Chinese Cuisine on 45th Street, in close proximity to the United Nations compound and to the New York International Presentation Association office. We had successfully united our efforts to sponsor a CSW side event, “Financing for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls.”  The event drew a grand crowd of people from our global village and Brid O’Brien successfully engaged the participants in a lively interactive dialogue. Celebrating our accomplishment together were Fatima Rodrigo and Elsa Muttathu (India), Brid O’Brien of Ireland (niece of  Concepta O’Brien pbvm, also of Ireland), Mary Ivers of Ireland  (missionary to Ecuador), Mary McFadden of Australia, Mary Naccarato of Massachusetts (New Windsor community), Laura Urbano of New Windsor (Bolivian missionary), and Maura McCarthy of Dubuque. The festivity more than ever heightened our sense of oneness in charism and united effort to incarnate the IPA social action in favor of women and girls.

Maura McCarthy pbvm

Investing in girls, progress made, gaps identified, opportunities ahead The side event sponsored by IPA attracted a large number of participants from CSW56. Brid O’Brien, a young woman interning with Catholic charities Washington, moderated the panel with ease and confidence. Maura McCarthy recalled the promise made to girls and women in the agreed conclusions of CSW52 and identified the gaps as reported by World Bank. What touched the audience was her sharing on the reality of girls in Bolivia where she had spent 33 years of her life! Maria Lopez, another young woman from Cuba, shared her Cuban story where education is 100% but lack of job opportunities and patriarchal mindset force women and young girls into sex trade. Winifred Doherty, a Good Shepherd sister who is also the co-chair of The Working Group on Girls, was eloquent in her narration of the reality of girls and passionate about opportunities for girls. Gaynel Curry from the High Commission on Human Rights insisted that only a human rights approach would restore to girls their dignity and rightful place in society and she recounted UN efforts to that end. To make sure that rural girls were not absent in our event, we had voices from the young people of Zambia videographed by Lynnette Rodriguez pbvm from Zambia which brought a number of responses from the participants. Fatima worked quietly in the background putting together the whole show and coordinating it meticulously.

Elsa Mutttahu pbvm

The Girls Grow conference was standing room only. It was wonderful to see about one third of the room filled with young women from all over the US. Catherine  Bertini author of Girls Grow spoke of girls as the “Agents of Change” and the “World’s Greatest Resources”. She also spoke of the need to include 10-14 year old girls in the language of girls as this age group seems to get lost in the gap. The Director of Girl Scouts informed us that partnerships can be formed between US teen girls and teen girls in rural areas to send them much needed personal hygiene supplies. Also raised was the need for continued inter-generational programs between young ladies and women of wisdom and other creative networks.

Mary T Naccarato pbvm


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