The 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW58) took place at the United Nations in New York from March 10-21, 2014. The priority theme this year was “Challenges and Achievements in the Implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for Women and Girls”.
Eleanor Schlesinger, PPSEAWA International Director and UN Representative, was the primary organizer behind PPSEAWA’s presence during CSW58. Eleanor reported that PPSEAWA International and PPSEAWA USA co-chaired FOUR parallel events this year! For three events, PPSEAWA partnered with the Garden of Hope (GOH), a Taiwanese NGO offering essential services to victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse.
- “Asian–Pacific Shelters Going the Second Mile with Advocacy and Service Work”.
- “Elevating Asian Girl’s Human Rights: Releasing the Power of Asian Girls to Bridge the Gender Gap”.
- “Asian Girls Changing Their World”. Eleanor was the moderator for this panel of four girls.
The fourth event entitled “Women Leaders in Business and Politics: Making THE Difference!” was co-chaired by the League of Women Voters of the USA and The International Federation of Business and Professional Women.
PPSEAWA International, together with PPSEAWA USA and the New York chapter, hosted receptions at all of the above events. Another highlight was the Welcoming Reception hosted by PPSEAWA USA and PPSEAWA International at the exquisite home of New York member Marjorie Sorenson on March 11th. PPSEAWA sisters from Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and Hawaii enjoyed meeting each other and networking on common issues. PPSEAWA members also were invited by Ambassador Paul Wen-Liang Chang, the Director-General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York (TECO-NY), to a seminar and cocktail reception on March 12th.
PPSEAWA USA President Taina Woodward completed the UN DPI/NGO Annual Review and obtained United Nations Grounds Passes for 2014. Several PPSEAWA USA members were able to attend CSW58 sessions for PPSEAWA USA including:
- Lily Chen – New York Chapter
- Patsy Chen – New York Chapter
- Kesinee Dulyarat – New York Chapter
- Margaret Gasser – New York Chapter
- Teresa Hintzke – Chicago Chapter
- Ali Khan – Toledo Chapter
- Eleanor Schlesinger – New York Chapter
- Makenesi Vitusagavulu. – Member-at- Large
- Taina Woodward – New York/Member-at-Large
- Asinate Vitusagavulu served as our PPSEAWA USA Youth Representative to CSW events.
USA President Taina A.R. Woodward was busy during CSW58. She served as a guest panelist at the March 10th event: “Good Practices of Achieving MDG-The Result in Taiwan”, held at the Church Center for the United Nations. This event was sponsored by the Taiwan’s Foundation for Women’s Rights Promotion and Development. Taina spoke about “The Empowerment of a Woman: The Unspoken Perspective”, showcasing several projects from different PPSEAWA National Member Organizations.
We also received an excellent report from our PPSEAWA USA Youth Representative Asinate Vitusagavulu. Asinate attended a panel discussion held at the UN headquarters in which government representatives from the Asia-Pacific region discussed obstacles to development such as climate change and militarization. Asinate noted that the representative from the Solomon Islands Helen Beck emphasized the need for economic reorientation as well as garnering more partnership with other countries to foster aid in the wake of climate change in the Pacific since these smaller countries have limited resources. Asinate recommended that PPSEAWA create initiatives for assistance towards women in Pacific Island member organizations such as workshops and training on environmental sustainability, and the technological empowerment of women. After hearing about ramifications of militarization on the national budget for health care and education from a panelist from Pakistan, Asinate recommended that PPSEAWA continue its mission to encourage peace and conflict resolution dialogue amongst women in conflict-ridden and militarized member countries.
All members who participated in CSW58 agree that it was an enlightening experience and they feel a renewed engagement with PPSEAWA’s mission to promote peace, cooperation, and partnership throughout our region.