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Global Voice is the monthly e-newsletter from Soroptimist International, working together to educate and empower women around the world.
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The Global Voice

In February, Soroptimists reported on 116 club projects, raised US$414,745 and helped 7444 women & children.
Dear Britt,
The next few weeks could mark a turning point in the fight to end violence against women and girls! Governments meeting for the UN's Commission on the Status of Women must agree firm conclusions and send out a message loud and clear: it is totally unacceptable that one in three women will suffer gender-violence. As they meet in New York, we need to remind our Governments that we have not forgotten Damini, Malala, Alliance, Leslie or Li Yan - the world is watching and we demand action!
Action

Take Action on International Women's Day - March 8

Enough is Enough: End Violence Against Women and Girls (International Womens Day)
"It is time for us to stand united to raise our voices against this violence. We need to wake up to the danger that millions of woman are facing each day." (Talat Pasha, SI Pakistan).  Join our global day of action and say Enough is Enough!
Alliance was raped in conflict-plagued DRC. In Pakistan, 14 yr-old Malala was shot for standing up for her right to education. Leslie was beaten and abused by her husband in the USA, while in China Li Yan faces execution for killing the husband who tortured her. Read some of the human stories behind the statistics on violence against women (pdf) or visit our Enough is Enough page to download flyers, placards and background information to help you take action on March 8. 

CSW57: Governments must send out a strong message 

The 57th session of the UN's Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), 4-15 March, provides a unique opportunity for Governments to send a strong message that violence against women must end. CSW is the main global policy-making body to promote gender equality and the advancement of women. This year's primary focus is the elimination of violence against women and girls.

"Last year, CSW was a dismal failure because all countries walked away without reaching consensus and no agreed document was signed. We need to make sure that each and every Government official at CSW57 understands what is at stake here", explains Soroptimist International Assistant Programme Director Anusha Santhirasthipam, who has set out 10 powerful reasons for action. SI has been keeping the pressure on Governments to deliver strong outcomes and this will continue at CSW in New York, with 40 delegates from SI clubs, federations and HQ due to attend. Read their live updates from CSW! 

CSW is also an opportunity to share what SI has learnt from our projects around the world. We will be running two side-events with World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and the World YWCA, on Teen-Dating and a Life-Course Approach to eliminating violenceRead more about our lobbying and side-events for CSW.

Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

CEDAW is often known as the "international bill of rights for women" because it sets out legally binding obligations  to end discrimination.  All Governments that have signed the Convention must report to the CEDAW Committee on what they are doing to help secure equal rights for women and men. Read more about CEDAW.

The only States that have not  yet become parties of the Convention are Iran, Palau, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and the USA. The 54th session of the CEDAW Committee that monitors the Convention is currently meeting in Geneva and SI's UN Representatives Wilfrida Hendrickx, Sina Stiffler and Sabine Kinzer have been attending. 

SoroptiVoice blog this month

Further reading on violence against women and girls


In a new web page on violence against women, you can read about SI's position and projects to eliminate it. 

Our Virtual Library this month includes recommendations for background reading for CSW from Soon-Young of NGOCSW, a great selection of reports.

Don't forget to check for live updates from the SI delegation at CSW from 4-15 March at www.soroptimistinternational.org/CSW57.

New Chief Executive for Soroptimist International

And finally, we are delighted to announce that Lynn Jackson will become Chief Executive of Soroptimist International in the first week of March, leading the SIHQ team in Cambridge, UK.  Read more about Lynn.
Pictures, top row left to right: Alliance Ntakwinja - DRC (photo by Millie Harvey), demonstrations in London after the Delhi Gang-rape of "Damini", Leslie Morgan Steiner - USA, Li Yan - China
Bottom row, left to right: Malala Yousafzai - Pakistan, Anon - UK, bloodstained book retrieved after the murder of health workers - Pakistan. For more information on each of these, download the case studies of women and girls affected by violence
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