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NGO CSW Forum 2015 Consultation Day: Afkhami to speak at “Celebrate the Feminist and Women’s Movements 1975-2015”

Sun, Mar 8, 2015

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NGO CSW
Photo credit Mahnaz Afkhami

On March 8, 2015, Mahnaz Afkhami was a featured speaker in the Opening Ceremony at the NGO CSW Forum Consultation Day event “Celebrate the Feminist and Women’s Movements 1975-2015.” The event took place at The Apollo Theatre in New York City.

The purpose of the NGO Consultation Day is to prepare participants for the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) meetings starting the following day. In addition to lively panel discussions, the program included addresses by this year’s NGO CSW/NY Woman of Distinction awardee and a special cultural performance. Consultation Day has up to 1500 attendees that include NGOs, UN and government delegates and civil society leaders.

Full Agenda
9:00 am – 3:00 pm
The program emcees are Houry Geudelekian, Armenian Relief Society and Susan O’Malley, International Federation of Business and Professional Women

9:00 – 9:30 am
Opening Event: Women of the World – Songs from Mexico, Denmark, Kenya, and China- Readings from the UN Conferences in Mexico, Copenhagen, Nairobi and Beijing by Mahnaz Afkhami, former Minister of Women’s Affairs of Iran and President/CEO of Women’s Learning Partnership, H. E. Ambassador Ib Pederson from Denmark, Sheila Katzman, Chair of the Cities for CEDAW/New York City, and Tanya Selvaratnam, Producer/Artist and author of “The Big Lie”.

9:30 – 10:00 am
Welcome messages
Soon-Young Yoon, Chair, NGO Committee on the Status
of Women/New York
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN Women

Video clips: World Conferenced on Women in Mexico City 1975, 1980, 1985 and 1995

10:00 – 10:20 am
Keynote address: “The Selling of Innocents”, Ruchira Gupta, Women of Distinction Awardee and winner of a Clinton Global Citizen award (with film clips)

10:20 – 10:40 am
Special Message from Cherie Blair, founder, Cherie Blair Foundation (invited)

10:40 – 12:00 pm
“Beijing + 20 – Voices from the Regions”
Historic review of the UN/international women’s movement from 1975-1995 and impact by region, regional Declarations, Indigenous women’s Declaration

Panelists:
Dinah Musindarwezo – The African Women’s Development and Communication
Network (Femnet), Kenya
Asma Khader – Vice-President of Independent Elections Commission and former Secretary General of the Jordanian National Commission for Women, Jordan
Sepali Kottegoda – Women and Media Collective, Sri Lanka
Simone Ovart – Zonta International, Switzerland
Mabel Bianco – Fundacion para Estudio e de la Mujer (FEIM), Argentina
Gertrud Astrom – Swedish Women’s Lobby, Sweden
Agnes Leina – Ll’laramatak Community Concerns (ICC-K)
Ambassador Dubravka Simonovic – Ambassador to the UN from Croatia and former CEDAW expert.

Moderator: Ambassador Carlos Garcia Gonzalez – former Permanent Representative for El Salvador to the United Nations

Discussant: Charlotte Bunch – Board of Governor’s Distinguished Service Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University

12:00 – 1:15 pm Lunch: (participants on their own)

1:15– 1:45 pm
“What Beijing Plus 20 Must Accomplish”
Dr. Gertrude Mongella – “educator, politician, diplomat activist”, former Under-Secretary General, UN Fourth World Conference on Women

1:45 – 2:45 pm
“Strategic Action to Strengthen the BPfA: Young Activist Perspectives”
This panel will feature young activists who are actively carrying out the vision of the Beijing Platform for Action, CEDAW, and the post-2015 development agenda. With audience participation, the speakers will develop ideas for a strategic plan of action.

Panelists:
Emilia Reyes –Equidad de Genero
Esther Kimani – Young Women’s Leadership Institute Nairobi
Diana Mao – NOMI Network
Geraldo Porteny Backal – Young Men for Gender Equality
Faith Nenkai Metiaki – Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) Forum des educatrices africaines

Moderator/Panelist: Fabio Palacio – International Movement ATD 4th World

Discussant: Thayvie Sinn – Save Cambodia

2:45 – 3:00 pm
Announcements about the March and Closing Song

NGO CSW theme song – “Keep on Movin’ Forward”
Led by Laura Kroh, singer

Details: Sunday, March 8, 9:000am
The Apollo Theatre
253 West 125th Street
New York, NY
Space is limited. Advance registration is required.

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About Mahnaz Afkhami

A lifetime advocate for the rights of women, Mahnaz Afkhami works with activists across the world, especially in Muslim majority societies, to help women become leaders. She is Founder and President of Women’s Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace (WLP), Executive Director of Foundation for Iranian Studies...more

Quotables – Human Rights

"We must pose the question: why is it that the denial of the most rudimentary rights to civil treatment for women is always based on some fundamental point of culture? Is this culture real, or is it a fetish that is used to maintain some economic, social, or simply psychological privilege?" - A Vision of Gender in Culture

"Women's status in society has become the standard by which humanity's progress toward civility and peace can be measured." - Architects for Peace

"The crass infringement of women's rights we see in the Muslim world has more to do with power, patriarchy, and misuse of religion as political weapon than with religion properly understood as individual faith." - Gender Apartheid, Cultural Relativism, and Women's Human Rights

"Rights and empowerment are interconnected: unless a substantial number of women in a community come to believe that they have rights and demand to exercise them, right remains an abstraction." - Faith and Freedom