From March ninth to the fourteenth, Phyllis Douillard, SNJM, Bathilda Heqoa, SNJM, Dorothy Guha, SNJM Associate and Claudette Bastien, SNJM, took part in the “58th Commission on the Status of Women” at the United Nations in New York.
The theme for this year had as its priority to focus on the challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls.
The participants reviewed the follow-up given to the conclusions of the 54th session held in 2011,which was devoted to access to education, formation, science and technology for women and girls and which consists of promoting equality in accessing full employment and decent work.
We attended several workshops prepared by Non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) on the same themes.
For example, a workshop on the immigration of women in India and the witness given by a religious Hindu woman regarding her work of welcoming these women and defending their rights. In another workshop, a woman described the struggles of South Africans to conserve their environment and their land as they are faced with the exploitation by the mining industry.
An organization, located in Minneapolis, in the United States, conducted a study on violence against women in ten countries, presented some statistics and prepared an approach which is to be available for use in our area so as to better understand the reality of violence against women.
Regarding this violence which has caused so much damage, a young woman shared about her difficult history of conjugal violence and emphasized the importance of having legal instruments available at the local level as well as at the national and international levels, as a way out of this violence against women.
We came back deeply impressed and enriched by this witnessing. The strength and determination of all these women was of great benefit to us! Greater solidarity is being established among us when we again think about all these stories, these struggles, as well as the successes in this area.
Delegates and ambassadors from many countries attended these workshops and heard these moving testimonies, so we hope that concrete solutions will emerge from this in their final Declaration!