BPW International

– A Special Edition –

60th Commission on the Status of Women

11 – 24 March 2016, New York, USA

Message from the President

The past January and February were very intensive months in preparing everything for our New York Leaders’ Summit and CSW60 events. It is also thanks to all the participants that both events turned out to be a great success, fulfilling expectations with more than 75 participants from more than 30 countries.

In this special edition of the E-Newsletter, we hope to provide you with as much details as we can about the 60th Commission on the Status of Women.

Apart from the Leaders’ Summit and CSW60 events, I would like to update you on my encounters with BPW Clubs and members at the beginning of this year. At the end of January and the first days of February, I had the opportunity to meet our BPW Milano, Monza Brianza and Baci members and see them participate in their Candle lighting ceremony. I went on to visit the BPW Italy South East District and had the opportunity to meet with our BPW members from the districts Abruzzo, Basilicata, Molise and Puglia: Gravina in Puglia, Altamura, Matera, Lavello, Melfi, Potenza, Tursi, Venosa, Bisceglie, Andria, Bari, Barletta, Bitono, Canosa, Corato, Giovinazzo, Modugno, Molfetta, Terlizzi, Trani, Lecce, Casarano, Copertino, Gallipoli and Terra d’Otranto. Each district held their candle lighting ceremony and each ceremony saw the participation of more than 300 members, with some members having to travel more than 400km to attend.

From February 8 to 10, I visited our BPW France members from BPW Lyon, BPW Paris and BPW Chartres. In Paris, our UN Representative Marie-Claude Machon-Honoré organized a meeting at UNESCO with Mrs Sabrina Columbo and Mr Cvetkovski. BPW France President Sandrine Baslé and Past President Christiane Robichon organised a very successful meeting with Madame Pascale Boistard, Minister of  State for Women’s rights.

On February 11 to 15, BPW Spain Executive, BPW Costa del Sol and BPW Campo de Gibraltar organised a meeting in Morocco with women entrepreneurs from Tánger, Tetuán and Chauen sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce of Tetuan. It was a very intensive and interesting trip that opened the possibility for us to have new clubs there. I also met with the BPW Marbella members.

The last days of February and first days of March I visited BPW Thailand and met with members from BPW Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Samui and Surathani. I have had the opportunity to participate in their national federation candle lighting ceremony and also to see some of the important projects that they are running.

I would like to highlight the great value in meeting members, seeing all the work they are doing for BPW, listening to them personally and working together to find the way to support them.

I would like to thank the following clubs and individuals for their kind hospitality:

BPW Italy President Pia Petrucci, Fiammetta Perrone – South East District President, Laura Caradona BPW Milano President, Alga Rossi Past President of BPW Milano, Paola Cairoli BPW Baci President, Pinella Bombacci, Eufemia Ippolito, Giulia Galantino, Dr. Luisa Monini and to all the Presidents and Members.

BPW France President Sandrine Baslé and Past President Christiane Robichon
BPW Lyon President: Diana Manneh
Claire Kowalewski Présidente BPW Paris
Christine Leymarie Breton BPW Chartres President
UNESCO BPW Rep Marie-Claude Machon-Honoré

BPW Spain President Maria Jose Mainar
Cristina Mintegui BPW Marbella
Maria Valencia and Said Chafik

BPW Thailand President Khunying Natthika
Past International President, Dr. Chonchanok Viravan

Opening remarks at CSW60 March 2016 by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Thank you very much for your leadership for gender equality and gender empowerment. Welcome to the United Nations.

It is a great pleasure for me to be here today with so many distinguished women leaders from all around the world.

I feel truly inspired. You empower me and I am energized by your energy and strength. I thank you very much. You are here to change the world. When I see all of you – from so many different countries, with so much experience and such strong commitment – I know we can achieve full equality for all women, everywhere around the world.

As early as my first speech to the General Assembly, as soon as I was elected as Secretary-General in [October, 2006], at that time I promised to push for gender equality worldwide and within the United Nations. As Eleanor Roosevelt famously said: human rights start close to home.

During the last nine years as Secretary-General, I have appointed more than 150 distinguished women as Assistant Secretary-General or Under-Secretary-General.

When I took office, there were no women special representatives – often known as SRSGs – in the field. Today, nearly a quarter of UN missions are headed by women.

That is not nearly enough – but it is a major step in realizing the Security Council’s historic resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.

We are now shattering glass ceilings, and this commitment will continue. The deeply rooted prejudice that women are not capable of dealing with security matters; that is completely untrue.

I did my best to promote women at the United Nations. And I call on governments, businesses and others to step up for gender equality – which demands nothing less than full respect for the human rights of women and girls everywhere.

Everywhere I travelled, I tried to understand women’s concerns. I was angered by their political exclusion. I was dismayed by the slow progress on maternal health.

And I knew it was long past time to end the pandemic of violence against women and girls.

Information on CSW60

by Arzu Ozyol et al.

The priority theme of the 60th Session of the UN Commission on Status of Women that was held on 14-24 March 2016 at the UN Headquarters in New York, was determined in the framework of new development agenda as “Women’s empowerment and its link to sustainable development”.

Long term and well-organized preparation is key for our members to adapt in order to strengthen our influence on the outcomes of the CSW processes through successful advocacy and lobbying strategies. Our preparation for CSW 60 started in the beginning of October. The main difference from the previous years is that we introduced this year an on-line orientation program for our delegates and members. 

Before The Event: This program includes 10 modules about the history of CSW, the collaboration of NGOs during CSW, the participation of NGOs in CSW processes, BPW International and the UN, general remarks for the delegates to participate effectively, the topics of CSW 60 and the official programs as well of the UN, the NGO CSW and BPW International. The modules were sent to the delegates over a time period of 2 months. Our on-line orientation program was shared with the Ministry for Women of New Zealand and distributed to all NGOs of New Zealand who attended CSW 60.

During The Event: Morning Sessions, Side Events, Claire Fulcher Dinner and Social Programs

The morning sessions which were held on the 14, 16 and 18 of March 2016 saw the interactive review of topics regarding the on-line orientation program with our delegates and members. Moreover, our members’ enthusiasm led us to organize some social activities together.

We organized 9 side/parallel events in the framework of the Sustainable Development Goal #5. This goal aims to achieve gender equality and to empower all women and girls on 10 different targets. All side and parallel events have concrete outcomes:

·     The “Women in Water Diplomacy” side event was organized in collaboration with the Missions of the Netherlands and South Africa, BPW International, Soroptimist and Women for Water Partnership. This was after CSW 59 in 2015 the 2nd Women in Water event. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) called the member States to celebrate every year on the 15th of March the “Women and Water Day”.

 Thanks to BPW Turkey for the added value to the event – “Women in Water Diplomacy”

·     The “Empowering Women in Small Business through Online Training and Mentoring that develops Sustainable Enterprises Providing Social, environment and Economic Community Benefits” side event was organized by Belmont BEC Inc., TCFWA (TCF Global) and BPW Western Australia. The panel highlighted a range of Women in Business Online Training & Mentoring projects developed and conducted by the organizers. It also sought to highlight creative sustainable products from women participating in TCF Global and BPW Business Incubator projects and provide the outcomes of fashion and TCF related small businesses who participated in energy efficiency training & mentoring.

·     The side event “Closing the Pay Gap” was organized by BPW Germany and the Mission of Germany. It focused on the Equal Pay Initiative which has been continuously pursued by BPW International, the Taskforce Equal Pay Day and furthermost BPW Germany. The number of participating states has steadily increased up to approximately 30 states. Equality between woman and men is vital for the creation of quality jobs. Introducing a gender perspective can help companies to: recruit and retain the best employees, create a positive work environment and gain the confidence of their employees, make the best use of human resources and improve productivity and competitiveness, have a better public image and higher shareholder value and a wider and more statisfied customer base. Please find here all the documents related to the gender pay gap.

·     BPW Africa in collaboration with BPW New Zealand hosted – after CSW 59 (2015) – a second side event on “Child, Early and Forced Marriage”. The panelists facilitated a very robust discussion that cut across critical areas such as the causes, the historical, cultural and religious context, policy and some of the efforts across the globe to end child marriage. The panel helped raise awareness that Child, Early and Forced Marriage is a problem that we have to face in the whole world. At the example of three Federal States of the USA one of the panelists could show that a lack in legislation makes this sad practice possible in the US. See the full report shortly at our website: www.bpw-international.org.

·     BPW International, BPW Europe, EPW and the German Mission hosted a panel on “Women in the Corporate World. Impact and influence”. As the panelist enhanced several research papers have shown that companies with a high percentage of gender diversity generate greater profits than companies with all male boards and predominantly male representation at the upper management level. During the panel BPW Europe launched its new campaign to get more women on boards with two videos. There are different means to achieve this goal as a study presented by Dr. Antia Wiersma showed. In 7 EU countries the most effective ways differed from each other. See the full report shortly at our website www.bpw-international.org.

For more information, go to http://www.bpw-europe.org/

·     The parallel event on “Empowering Women through Government Procurement Policies and Financial Inclusion” was organized by BPW International, BPW Egypt, EBWA, the Mission of Egypt, AFRAWE and the National Council of Women (Egypt). The high level panelists showed clearly the beneficial effect of government procurement policies which take in account small and medium enterprises mostly led by women.

From left to right: The panelist with two honored guests: Dr. Rasha Kelej, Chief Social Officer – Vice President of Merck Healthcare; H. E. Julia Duncan-Cassell, Minister of Gender in Liberia; Dr. Yasmin Darwich, International President of IFPW; H.E. Arancha Gonzalez, Executive Director ITC; H. E. Dr. Maya Morsi, President of the National Council of Women in Egypt; Dr. Amany Asfour, 1st Vice-President Membership;  H.E. Hon. Patricia Anne Kallati, Mp, Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare in Malawi; Dr. Omnia Fathmi, President of BPW Egypt

·     In collaboration with UNESCO – WWAP, Women for Water Partnership and the Governments of Tanzania, the Netherlands and the USA a parallel and highly successful event was organized on “Women’s Role and Involvement in Measuring the Progress of the SDG6: How Can NGO’s, Women’s Organizations and Academics work Together for Complementary Monitoring and Reporting on Water and Gender Issues?”.

·     BPW International, together with BPW Egypt, Merck, AFRAWE, Kewopa, AFS and the National Council of Women held a side event with the title: “More than a Mother. Empowerment through Access to Health Care and Change of Mind set”. More than 25% of young African couples suffer from infertility for which mostly the woman is blamed. The infertility has its causes in untreated infections, venereal diseases, HIV etc. The pharmaceutical Company Merck has launched a campaign during this event to treat diseases on time and to help women who are ostracized and abused by their husbands and families because they have no children.

H.E. the President of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solís, who is president of the High level panel on Economic Empowerment of Women together with Dr. Yasmin Darwich, International President of BPW International, the 1st Vice-President of BPW International, Dr. Amany Asfour, Dr. Omnia Fahmi, President of BPW Egypt and Dr. Rasha Kelej, Chief Social Officer – Vice President of Merck Healthcare

·     Our last side event, organized by BPW International, Women for Water Partnership and WWAP dealt with “Women, Sustainable Development and ICT. How Big Data, Open Source and Citizens Data by Using ICT Can Enable Women in Monitoring of and Contributing to Water Resources Management and Delivery”.

The success of the side events of BPW International and CSW as a whole is only possible due to the support of our members in New York who take care of hotel contracts, organize restaurant reservations and meeting places and even host us in their houses. I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to Francesca Burack, Harriet Friedlander, Lyn Hensle-Hirsch, Liz Irwin, Susan O’Malley, Eva Richter and all those, on whom we could rely. We could not do it without you! I would also like to thank our Executive Secretary, Dr.. Catherine Bosshart, and our UN-Administrator, Ayça Mazman, for their efforts to facilitate the process of high security for the participants and for the registration of our D20s at the UN New York. A thank you goes also to the Standing Committee UN for their help and support. A special thank you goes to VP Dr. Amany Asfour for having made accreditations possible for the Executive Board Members and Staff and for having achieved the sponsorship of Merck Company for the event: Woman more than a mother.

After the Events:  Evaluation of the results is of vital importance in ensuring the continuity of the events’ success. In order to measure the success of BPW International during CSW 60 and take steps to get even better results from CSW 61, we sent our delegates a questionnaire which included 16 questions. The evaluation report will be prepared and announced shortly.

For Next Year: To encourage the participation of our members in UN activities, we are planning to start an online advocacy training program. This will include chapters on the organizational structure of the UN, on gender equality and women’s human rights, on UN women’s world conferences in the UN Decade for Women, on key UN treaties on gender equality, on critical areas of concern, on important points for an effective participation during the Commission on Status of Women, on the language used at the UN, on intergovernmental CSW processes , on themes of the program of CSW 61.

Your contributions will be appreciated to create an advocacy toolkit of BPW. Please refer also to the advocacy training booklet that was created with the financial aid of Switzerland and Norway and is the basis of the advocacy training during CSW. To get the full text, click here.

Great Memories of CSW60

Be a BPWI Social Media Ambassador!

We would like to invite you to become part of BPWI marketing group as a social media advocate — through this you will help us raise awareness on all BPWI-related updates across social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter without spending your time and resources as we will be managing it all for you through the latest marketing automation technology. Within your own social media network, we will help encourage development of BPWI thought leadership, share opinions and valuable insights.

If you are interested to being part of this digital marketing group for BPWI, or would like to learn more about becoming a social media ambassador, please send an email to bpwi@curatebee.com.

Thank you so much and we are looking forward to your favorable response.

Warm regards,
Marketing Team for BPWI

Latest Blogs

Funding Advice for Women Entrepreneurs

The rapid increase in the number of female entrepreneurs shows that women have the potential to not only create a product or service, but also make something enormously successful out of it. That being said, female entrepreneurs have to fight their battles in raising funds for their business. In this blog, we share a few helpful tips to get you on the right track when it comes to pitching your idea to an investor and overcoming this obstacle.

Women – Inspiring Individuals via Thought Leadership

Recently, we talked about how women are uprising as thought leaders. Sheryl Sandberg, Malala Yousafzai and Ellen Baker were discussed as being models for thought leadership. These thought leaders are ordinary women who, using their talents and expertise in specific fields talk about extraordinary things, inspiring men and women from all walks of life. Here are three other women who have used their professions, overcame personal challenges and used opportunities in life to inspire women to become thought leaders.

85 Years of BPW International Supporting Business and Professional Women Globally

BPW International was founded in August, 85 years ago.

As entrepreneurs or professional women, we have come such a long way in advocating for gender equality and creating a better world for women everywhere. Celebrate this by giving a mentor, a mentee, a colleague or an employee a gift from the BPW International Merchandise Store.

You get to pay it forward as well because the money from your purchase will allow BPW to help women across the world.

BPW International
Rue de Saint-Jean 26
1203 Geneva

Share This