IPJ Delegates Present at the United Nations
Delegates from the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice recently presented a pair of panels at the United Nations’ 53rd Commission on the Status of Women.
Every year, representatives of member states and nongovernmental organizations gather at the U.N. headquarters to discuss the progress of women worldwide. This year delegates examined the topic of the equal participation of women and men in caregiving for those afflicted with HIV/AIDS, as well as their equal participation in decisionmaking processes at all levels.
The IPJ’s “Critical Voices: Women, Men and Human Security” presentation focused on the global culture of impunity, gender violence and exclusion denying human security and obstructing peacebuilding. Representing the IPJ were Dee Aker, interim executive director, and Erika Lopez, Women PeaceMakers program officer.
Of particular note was the participation of IPJ Woman PeaceMaker Susan Tenjoh-Okwen of Cameroon. Speaking on behalf of her organization, the Moghamo Women’s Cultural and Development Association, Tenjoh-Okwen described the ways in which “women are moving mountains,” both in her own village in a remote part of Cameroon and around the world.
Also joining in the Critical Voices panel were Mark Marge, U.N. liaison of the International Action Network on Small Arms, Sarah Taylor, Coordinator of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, and Mirjana Dokmanovic, consultant and researcher for the Victimology Society of Serbia. The event included the launch of “Crafting Human Security in an Insecure World,” the final report from the September 2008 international working conference at the IPJ.
In its second presentation, the IPJ partnered with the U.N. Development Fund for Women for the second straight year to screen a film from the Women PeaceMakers Documentary Series. This year “Rhythms to Peace,” featuring Woman PeaceMaker Tenjoh-Okwen, had its world premiere at the Dag Hammerskjöld Library at U.N. headquarters.
Produced by the IPJ’s film partner, Sun & Moon Vision Productions, the film includes footage shot on location in Cameroon. Tenjoh-Okwen joined IPJ Aker, UNIFEM Program Specialist Antonia Ngabala and Sun & Moon Coproducer Kathy Sangha for a panel discussion after the film.
“It was thrilling,” said Tenjoh-Okwen after the March 2 screening. “I was very happy because people responded; they said they learned a lot from it. That actually made me pleased because I thought it was a unique situation, but people showed their interest.”
Sangha, too, was grateful to screen the film before a room full of international delegates. “For us, one of the greatest honors is to be able to screen at the United Nations, where we have delegates from all over the world to provide their feedback for the work that we are doing.”
The Commission on the Status of Women provides an opportunity for delegates from around the world working for gender equality and the advancement of women to come together and have a discussion about issues facing women worldwide.
— Erika Lopez and Emiko NomaOriginal Article