GENDER CENTRED: A thematic bulletin

APC WNSP –, 16 March 2010

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From 1 to 12 March 2010 in New York, the team and its partners tracked the journey of women’s “J” spot [1] and the communication dimension of women's rights during the 15-year review of the Beijing Platform for Action (Beijing +15), at the 54th session of the Commission of the Status of Women (CSW). Read about what happened, and engage in Feminist Talk on how to make communication rights a priority on women's rights agendas. CSW2010 Team: Analia Lavin, Jan Moolman, Lalaine P. Viado

[1] Maria Suárez first referred to the “'J' spot” in her article exploring why Section J was not a priority issue during the 2005 Beijing +10 review. Available at

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*Beyond tools: internet as a critical policy issue for the advancement of women's rights*

Jac sm Kee, the Women's Rights and ICT Policy coordinator for APC WNSP, reviews the UN Secretary-General's report on the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action (E/CN.6/2010/2) and assess how close we are to realizing women's right to communicate: “I wasn't present at the Beijing Conference in 1995, and having missed it, I feel like I have missed out on one of the most important moments in the history of the women's movement. From the stories I hear, it was truly a time when change not only felt possible, but was a tangible foothold away”.

*The “J Spot” at the 54th CSW: celebrating women's social networking is not enough*

Heike Jensen, researcher and lecturer at the Department of Gender Studies of Humboldt University in Berlin (Germany), is locating Section J at the 54th Commission on the Status of Women: “[The J Spot] seems to prove almost as elusive as locating its embodied cousin has turned out to be. First of all, you will not find the J Spot in this year's intergovernmental and other official debates or proposed resolutions. You will have to seek it out in the vast parallel programme mounted by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in conjunction with this year's meeting, and this is where the difficulties really begin in earnest”.

*Covering Beijing+15 from the sidelines*

Olivia H. Tripon, the Philippine Bureau Chief and Country Consultant for Women’s Feature Service, writes about her experience of the UN Media Accreditation process: “...When it comes to covering this all important review which comes every five years, one would think that media organizations like the Women’s Feature Service (WFS) which had actively covered most of the 12 areas of concern of women for the past 15 years would be given UN Media Accreditation at least for this 54th session of the CSW. Unfortunately for WFS Philippines which I head, that is not the case. For the first time since Beijing, I can only cover side events, albeit a more interesting and diverse coverage”.

*What happened to Section J?*

Sarah Macharia from the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) summaries the outcomes of the panel discussion on the Fourth Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP), which took place on March 2 in New York: “You may be aware the GMMP is a longitudinal study running since 1995 on gender in the world news media. The research is implemented in 5-year cycles, to capture a one-day snapshot of gender representation and portrayal in the news across participating countries. 130 countries took part in GMMP 2010, an increase from 76 in 2005, 70 in 2000 and 71 in 1995. The WACC in collaboration with UNIFEM organised a parallel session at the 54th CSW to present and debate the preliminary findings.”

*Women in and out of media*

By Analia Lavin

Paraphrasing Virginia Woolf's essay A room of one's own, Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls, said: “There is a need to ensure that the necessary resources are mobilised so that women have the opportunity to write their stories, have their voices heard and their identities represented, particularly when it comes to the peace and security sector. Media content must continue to reach women in their communities, it must provide in-depth, substantial information that supports and empowers the work of women”.

*Witnessing J-spot*

By Jan Moolman

I'm at the UN building in New York attending the 54th CSW and have just uploaded two videos to my online account. It took 3 minutes to upload. The videos share the impressions of two women's rights activists working in and with media about what is happening with Section J at the CSW. They took four minutes to record. So, in seven minutes I was able to get quotes from women who spoke with authority about a newsworthy issue and distribute them as part of a package of news about gender (in)equality and the media.

*Linking local women to the global agenda*

Esther Nasikye, a Communication and Advocacy Officer at Icon Women & Young People's Leadership Academy, comments on the importance of new media and art for grassroots women: “I have met many women in Uganda who are doing amazing work in their villages, towns, sub-counties but who still work in isolation with little or no connection to like minded people whether in their town or country or globally”.

*Line stories: experiencing UN bureaucracy in real time*

By Analia Lavin

Monday (Day 1) was day one of the Commission of the Status of Women meeting taking place in New York. I remember reading a blog post from my colleague Katerina Fialova, written a couple of years ago, talking about women from all over the world queuing in the UN headquarters building, and how it would be interesting to do a gender analysis of the line. I didn't imagine that I would have the opportunity to do so while lining up for eight hours the first days of the conference. Yes, you read well: eight hours.

*BPA is a teen-er*

By Lalaine P. Viado

The Beijing Platform for Action (BPA) is 15 years old, and a global review of the progress of its implementation will be held at the 54th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) on 1-12 March 2010 at the UN Headquarters in New York City. The global review focuses on the link between BPA implementation and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Its outcome will significantly contribute to the high-level meeting on the MDGs by the UN General Assembly in September 2010.

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*Video:Games for social change*

Heidi Boisvert, from Breakthrough, talks about their experience with videogames and how she thinks the feminist movement can be involved.

*Video:Access to internet in Lebanon*

Nadine Moawad talks about what's going on the internet in Lebanon from a gender perspective.

*Video: Women producing media*

Sharon Bhagwan Rolls from FemLink Pacific: Media Initiatives for Women in Fiji talks to Jan Moolman.

*Video: Access to media*

Chandrika Sepali Kottegoda, co-director of the Women and Media Collective based in Colombo, Sri Lanka, talks about the lack of access by NGOs that makes it difficult to see the J spot in the government review at the CSW.

*Video: Re-defining media*

Cai Yiping, executive director of ISIS International, shares the need to take Section J of the Beijing Platform for Action forward with recognition of the increasing role of ICTs and how they have re-defined the media.

*Video: Girls and social media*

Rosemary Okello from the African Woman and Child Feature Service talks with Jan Moolman about how social media is changing the way girls and young women see and use media in Africa.

*Video: Opening panel*

There were five speakers in the opening panel and only one of them was a woman. There was almost no mention to ICTs. Lalaine Viado, part of the APC team in New York, summarises main issues of the conference's opening panel.

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*Review of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action - Report of the Secretary-General*

The UN Secretary-General's report (E/CN.6/2010/2) in preparation for the 54th Commission on the Status of Women who undertook the 15 year review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPA), including the section J – Women and Media. Media and ICT are mentioned throughout the Report as important tools for awareness raising and information dissemination, for example, under the sections covering 'Education and training', 'Women and health', 'Violence against women', 'Human rights of women' and 'The girl child'.

*Africa regional NGO shadow report for the Beijing +15 review*

A regional analysis on the status of women 15 years after the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The report maps out the progress, gaps and challenges under each of the critical areas of concern in the West, Eastern and Southern sub-regions of Africa, with emphasis on the period since the last review in 2004. For example, the report argues, that ICTs have changed traditional modes of communication and the old concept of gate keeping of information by a few.

*WomenAction 2000*

WomenAction 2000, a global network of women's information and media organisations, was created to ensure world access to the decisions made during the UN Special Session of the General Assembly (Beijing Plus 5) entitled “Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the 21st Century” in New York, 5-9 June 2000. The Network was formed at a time when the women's movement needed it most and demonstrated the potency of a world-wide communication network run by women. It was instrumental in making it possible for women's organisations to become involved in preparations for the UN Beijing Plus Five meeting.

The Network provided women's rights advocates throughout the world with a daily flow of information via two daily newspapers, e-mail lists, a web site and daily internet TV and radio broadcasts. The WomenAction 2000 Internet Café supported women with the tools to send thousands of messages to their constituencies and to receive information. After 2000, providing information to audiences all over the world have become part of succeeding review of the Beijing Platform for Action - through the work of more women's organisations and UN agencies. At this year's 15 year review, WomenAction 2000 'veterans', such as ALAI, ISIS International, or APC WNSP, were back in force along with many others expanding the conversation beyond the cold city of Manhattan.

For further information also read our partners websites:

* AWID Blogging Beijing + 15:

* IPS-TerraViva Beijing +15:

* Gender Links @ CSW:

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*CopyLeft. 2010 APC Women's Networking Support Programme (APC WNSP)*

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