This commission marked yet another record-breaking year for number of side-events during a Commission on the Status of Women, or CSW for short. Norway did our fair share of hosting and speaking at different events, highlighting what Norway considers to be the important issues regarding women in 2016 and the future.
You can find reactions, pictures, quotes and thoughts on the speakers and events with the hashtag #CSW60 on twitter, Instagram and other social media.
The Sami Parliament and the Forum for Women and Development held a side-event highlighting violence against indigenous women. The audience listened to valuable academic and political perspectives on why and how violence is perpetrated and affects women in indigenous minorities. Violence in close relationships and against young women is still a big problem in many Sami communities, and the debate touched on different ways to make this a problem more young women can bring up in open discussions.
The Minister of Children and Equality Solveig Horne attended the Norwegian Woman’s Public Health Association's event on Ethiopian and Norwegian experiences. The panelists all highlighted how women's associations can be a strength when working towards the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDG's for short.
Minister Horne also participated in an interactive town-hall discussion with other ministers from Canada, Iceland, Australia, Liechtenstein, New Zealand and Switzerland. The ministers shared their personal experiences with working to end violence against women and girls in an open and frank conversation. They also took questions from twitter, using the hashtag #endVAWtownhall, where other ministers, NGOs and interested people could post their queries.
In collaboration with the Nowegian General Consulate and New America, the Norwegian Mission hosted a panel discussion on parental leave. Solveig Horne was the opening speaker, explaining to the audience how Norway's model of parental leave has enabled a stronger workforce, and will perhaps enable a better connection between the parents and child. Though some were a bit taken back by the stark contrasts between the Norwegian model and the American standards for paid parental leave, the panel and audience all shared a common ground notion that parental leave is beneficial for the child. The parental benefit system in Norway entitles parents to paid leave of absence for 49 weeks with 100 percent pay, or 59 weeks with 80 percent pay.
State Secretary Tone Skogen spoke at several side-events with Norway as a contributing host about financing for education, the protection of woman human right defenders, violence against women, and gender perspectives on violent extremism. State Secretary Skogen also gave a speech at The United Nations Population Fund's (UNFPA) event about female genital mutilation and harmful practices against women and girls. The big event in The General Assembly Hall featured many different performers and speakers, with great response from the audience.
Minister Solveig Horne and State Secretary Tone Skogen represented Norway and gave a number of speeches during the commission.
Next to the Minister and State Secretary, we have an overwhelming turn up from NGOs from Norway this year, with over 60 delegates following the different activities in and around Turtle Bay.
Negotiating for a safer and better future for women and girls
Norway is an active participant in the negotiations on the resolution on HIV and AIDS. The resolution seeks to improve the access to health services and stop discrimination of women and girls based on HIV/AIDS.
Norway is also playing a part in shaping the work-program that dictates how the commission should prioritize and what we are to highlight during the next three years. Along with the work-program and the resolution on HIV/AIDS, the final draft document from the CSW60 will give the United Nations a strong message on how Norway and the other member states of the UN think we should work towards a safer, brighter and equal future for women and girls.