This year in Vancouver, more than 8,000 world leaders, government representatives of UN agencies and civil society organizations come together to promote women’s empowerment to decide and achieve change to improve the lives ofadolescent girls and women throughout the world. “We are here because we believe in a better future and because women are reluctant to retreat.
There is still a lot to do. Women earn less money, suffer much more violence, girls still have to struggle to go to school. And there are rights that are being questioned, such as whether a woman can decide what to do with her own body,” said Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, at the opening of the Women Deliver. Mabel Bianco, president of the Foundation for the Studies and Research of Women (FEIM), which has attended this summit since 2007, participated in the Panel “Women Deliver Concurrent Session: 24 years later, are women’s rights human rights?”
The session was opened with a few remarks from ICRW’s Lyric Thompson, the moderator, introducing with a video address from Michelle Bachelet, the founding Executive Director of UN Women and current High Commissioner of Human Rights, speaking about her experience at the intersection of those two things as a world leader and former first female head of state for her country, Chile. After that, began the panel about key themes of successfully advocated for new rights standards and regressed, from issue experts with an It approach of intersection of Human Rights with Beijing Platform of Action.
Natasha Mwansa, an 18-year-old girl from the Republic of Zambia who presented herself as an activist for the rights of girls and women, talked about how was the fight against the female genital mutilation –FGM. Mabel Bianco, invited as a women’s human rights activist at the UN as well as in her country, with particular expertise on SRHR—one of the primary areas under attack in the current day and age, and with particular relevance given the Argentine abortion vote last year, talked about how important are SRHR in the Agenda 2030 and how the discussion about abortion was very useful but now keep us to continue without any changes.
Brian Heilman, representative of PROMundo talked about the importance of the new masculinities and how these improves can contribute to generate other changes. Finally, Lopa Banerjee, chief of the civil society section of UN Women talked about the Global Forum for Beijing +25 and opportunities for feminists to shape the agenda, learning from the progress and challenges for the next 25 years.