Sunday, March 02, 2008

Final day and coming home

So we're back. Hotfoot off the plane last night and home to family and friends.

The last day in New York was as busy and varied as the others. An excellent session booked by the permanent UK Mission to the UN on the subject of resolution 1325 with a good panel which included UK reps and a very good US lawyer who specialises in this field.

The presentations were excellent, but as with a number of sessions the Q&A session yields the most information and sharing of views and detail. We all now know that we have much more of a handle on Res 1325, but a good read of the 18 points is also called for. Questions need to be asked of our own Government as to how much they are maintaining the resolution (not a huge amount of evidence in their favour...) and questions also need to be asked of our own Front bench as to future plans.

Pauline attended a presentation on widowhood and the agonies of how widows are treated in some cultures. Being widowed is always tragic - but being put out of house and home by your husband's family and literally thrown onto the streets is not something we generally have to consider here in the UK - but make no mistake there are also parallels in the treatment of widows here and in other developed countries by families, banks, and others.

Fiona headed for further discussion on 1325, and Eve met with a group from the Mothers Union throughout the world to discuss their field work in training Parish workers to work specifically with women and children in the basics of budgeting, cooking, and starting small businesses.

Our experience at the 52nd CSW has been a very powerful one. We have met with women from all around the world, and find that regardless of culture and creed, our passion to help those in conflict situations, in poverty, and in violent and abusive situations binds us together more strongly than anything that would divide us.

Our goals on return are to speak to politicians from all sides to find out several things:
  • How much do they know about violence to women?
  • Resolution 1325 - how is it being included in field action and legislation on a day to day basis?
  • What action are they taking to ensure that these issues are raised at the highest levels?
  • How do they see the future - when will women be able to be safe?
I think we have our work cut out......

1 comment:

Niki Molnar said...

It sounds like you had an eye-opening trip. The most startling fact to come out of your blog was that it's women and children who make up 70% of the victims of war. In 21st century society, this is not just unacceptable - it's contemptible.

I'm sure that the CWO will be addressing many of the issues that you highlighted and a big thank you to Eve, Fiona and Pauline for keeping us updated from New York (and welcome home!)