International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) President Sarah Degnan Kambou and Director of the Asia Regional Office Ravi Verma, will present at a variety of events during the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), March 4 to 15 at the United Nations in New York.
Discussions at this year’s CSW gathering will center on eliminating and preventing all forms of violence against women and girls worldwide. Established in 1946 by the UN Economic and Social Council, the commission represents the primary policy-making body dedicated to gender equality and women’s advancement. Representatives of member states gather at the UN each year to assess global progress on gender equality, set standards and design policies to promote equality and women’s empowerment worldwide. This year’s CSW represents the 57th such gathering.
At the event, Kambou and Verma will share their expertise on, among other topics, how to address the causes and consequences of child marriage and engage men and boys in preventing violence against women. In a March 11 presentation to UN delegates, Verma will draw on ICRW data as well as recent reports of sexual violence across the globe – including a gang rape that killed a young student in India – to emphasize the importance of involving men in efforts to eradicate violence against women.
“We are eager to see included in educational and community outreach activities more explicit discussions about masculinity and what it means to be a man,” Verma said. “Men and boys need to be viewed as partners, not as obstacles in our work to end violence.”
Kambou will touch on the same issue during a March 4 event focused on preventing gender-based violence through education and sport. She is expected to reference findings from Parivartan and Gender Equality Movement in Schools (GEMS), two ICRW programs that address gender equity and violence through sports and the classroom setting, respectively. Two days later, Kambou will moderate a panel discussion about policy recommendations for how to engage men in gender-based violence prevention. The recommendations were put forward by UNFPA and MenEngage, a network of nongovernmental organizations committed to involving men and boys in reducing gender inequality.
In another event during CSW, Verma will address child marriage, a form of violence against girls – and a violation of their human rights – that persists around the globe. Verma will focus his discussion on how the practice of child marriage manifests itself in South Asia and what steps can be taken to prevent it.