As we ease into the new year, I want to extend my wish to all for renewed hope and energy to come to bear on what is promising to be a packed agenda for 2012. For those of us here at the UN, there already has been a flurry of activity and planning. Some is centered on the upcoming Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), however, there are many other issues to tackle related to the increasing feminization of poverty and the systemic issues at its core. To continue to bring focus and direction, at the end of last year the FTF Facilitation Team members met to appraise, review and prioritize our work in the near future. More will be shared separately, but we hope you’ll continue to show your involvement and enthusiasm, vitality and participation in the menu of work of the FTF.
As the top end of the calendar goes, and just to highlight some of the first half work, some members will be attending the World Social Forum later this month. We hope to hear back from those who will be there on how the WSF is kicking off the new year. Later in February and leading into March, we have the CSW in New York and March 8th – International Women’s Day focused on rural women.
More information about the CSW will be sent by one of our interns, for now, please do register anyone you think might be able to attend. As the FTF we will collaborate on a Rural Women’s Speak Out with the NGO CSW Committee, UN Women, FAO, Huairou Commission, Center for Women’s Global Leadership and CoNGO. The Speak Out will have two parts: on Consultation Day, Feb. 26th and the actual event on Feb.29th. Rural women are particularly encouraged to attend the Consultation Day, which feeds into the Speak Out. Please do register for the Consultation Day www.ngocsw.org At a session there, we will be providing information on how to organize tribunals.
We will also be presenting findings on the Women’s Tribunals on Gender and Climate Justice series at an event on Monday, March 5th, “Strengthening Voices, Search for Solutions: Women and Climate Justice Tribunals,” CCUN building from 4:30pm to 6:00pm. We will also be partnering with other partners on a couple of other events (more info later), including:
“Rural Women in Central America: Defining The World We Want,” on Tuesday, 28 February, from 4:15 – 6:15pm in the UN NGO room, (Marta Benavides as organizer) as well as The Niger Delta’s Rural Women: Stories of Perseverance in a Land on Fire, Environmental Degradation, on Monday, 5 March, from 12:30pm to 2:00pm (Caroline Omoniye as organizer).
At the UN 2012 includes the continuation of the Rio+20 process. An Initial Discussion on the Zero Draft, which was released last week, will be held at the UN Headquarters on January 25-27th. For those in NY, you can register to attend at http://esango.un.org/irene/index.htmlpage=viewContent&nr=18002&type=8&s=8
For more information, please see the website of the Women on the Road to Rio+20 website. If you haven’t, join to become a member and get regular news including information on the next teleconference call.
On the economic justice agenda and looking towards the G20 in Mexico in June of this year, I will be attending an organizing meeting in Mexico City on Feb. 22-23rd. I will hope to join other GCAPers as well as Mexican colleagues at the organizing meeting and will report back. There are regular conference calls of the G-8/G-20 Working Group, with the most recent call having been last week. Below is more information regarding the G20 Mexico Summit:
The official website of the Mexican G20 is now live: www.g20mexico.org Mexican priorities for the June summit: http://www.g20mexico.org/en/mexican-presidency-of-the-g20/priorities-and-agenda-of-the-mexican-presidency . There are positive signs vis-à-vis the Mexican government’s commitment to “make the work of the G20 more effective, inclusive and transparent”. On the calendar page, it lists the dates of the Sherpa & Finance Ministers’ meetings, including locations: http://www.g20mexico.org/en/mexican-presidency-of-the-g20/calendar Also of interest, in the section on ‘dialogue with other actors & side events’, it speaks about outreach with civil society: http://www.g20mexico.org/en/dialogue-with-other-actors-and-side-events/civil-society-and-ngos
Last year there were very few who responded to being part of a Gender and G20 working group. We will be revamping that group with an FTF intern providing support to this process. As one of the few (if not the only) visible women’s groups attending the G20’s and providing input into the summits, the FTF will continue its advocacy and teaming up with Mexican women’s/feminist groups and organizations who have expressed interest in the Mexico Summit.
FTF has expressed plans to partner with organizations to plan cross-border activities and events, including a teach-in, at the border in Tijuana, Baja California on the Mexico side and National City/San Diego on the US side. Those interested please email me separately.
Post 2015 Development Agenda
We are also looking forward to The World We Want advocacy on the Post 2015 Development Agenda and ensuring a gender perspective in the beyond 2015 work. There is much buzz growing around this agenda. More details and a TWWWB20 tool kit to be sent separately.
Continuing to work with us will be the FTF Facilitation Team, with added diversity (more info to follow on this). Andrea Solazzo will continue as a program assistant on Gender and the Environment/Climate Change.
We welcome Ashley Baldwin who is an Oberlin College student doing a winter internship with both the Loretto Community and the FTF to work on exploring on having women’s tribunals in the US as part of the series we have been doing.
Cristina Velez, a young woman from NY doing a Master’s in Social Work, will be joining our team as another enthusiastic intern.
Overall, with this youthful energy and all our supportive partners and GCAP colleagues around the globe, we will continue with Marcela as the the alt-coordinator, Marta B. as GCAP co-chair, Ana as FTF ambassador to fight for “Gender Equality to End Poverty.”
In solidarity and with warm regards
Feminist Task Force
of the Global Call to Action against Poverty