Many members of INLW including members of the Board attended the 70th Congress of LI in Andorra. Present were, Mireia Huerta, Silvia Flury (both left on Friday), Margaret de Vos van Steenwijk, Khadija El Morabit, Joaquima Alemany, Maysing Yang (who all left on Saturday morning), Ruth Richardson and Lysbeth van Valkenburg who both stayed till the end of the Congress.
The main theme was the Liberal Manifesto 2017. During the past year the new LI Manifesto was written under the chairmanship of Professor Karl-Heinz Paqué, Deputy Chairman of Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. INLW contributed at several moments during the past 1 ½ year to the content of the text.
On the first evening, there was a dinner hosted by the Catalan Group of Liberal International, where we could do a lot of networking.
On Thursday afternoon, Margaret de Vos and Khadija El Morabit participated at the meeting of Regional organizations, such as ALDE party, the Arab Liberal Federation (ALF), the African Liberal Network (ALN) and the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) and Red Liberal de América de América Latino (Relial), where we suggested that there should be more cooperation between for instance INLW and the different regional liberal federations. It was decided to follow this up. The first action thereto will be that Margaret de Vos van Steenwijk will attend the next CALD women’s Caucus Congress in Taipei in August 2017.
The members to be elected for the LI Bureau gave their introductions in the morning, among the candidates was our Deputy President Hakima El Haité. She gave an inspiring and clear speech on the position of Liberal International; the importance of the Environment for our future and the actions we have to take as Liberals!
During the Friday afternoon, the final discussion was held about the Manifesto and its local perspective. Also, the proposed amendments to the Resolutions were discussed in working groups. The INLW resolutions were amended and adopted to be accepted in the General Meeting on Saturday.
In the evening, the Group paid a visit to the Andorran Parliament, the Casa de la Vall, which is the historic “Old Parliament House” as well the new modern Andorran Parliament building (2014). Welcoming remarks were given by the President of the Andorran Parliament, Mr Zamora, Josep Forné, MP, President of the Andorran Liberal Parliamentary Group and Mrs. Carine Montaner, MP. We were given a charming performance of a Andorran dancing group.
On Saturday during the day several working sessions were held on “Liberalism in the 21st century”; “How to make liberals win again” and “Migration and Economic integration: How to open borders”.
In the afternoon, the Congress was closed with the adoption of the historic Liberal Manifesto with the signing ceremony of the LI Manifesto! INLW was represented on stage by the Treasurer Lysbeth van Valkenburg.
The farewell dinner was hosted by the Liberal Party of Andorra with a desert of an enormous 70th Birthday cake!
Hans Juli Hakima El
v. Baalen Minoves Haité
This year’s INLW General Meeting and Side Event took place in Andorra during the Liberal International Congress May 2017.
During the General Meeting, a few new members were appointed in the INLW Board.
We welcomed Ruth Richardson as Member of the Board. And we affirmed the appointment of Patricia Olamendi as Vice President of INLW for Latin America and Leticia Gutíerrez as Member of the Board. Both were present at the last GM in Mexico 2015, but had not yet been formally appointed by the GM.
We discussed the two resolutions that INLW had put to the LI Congress:
1: Child Abuse
2: Women water and Climate Change
Both were accepted unanimously on the last day during the LI Congress administrative session.
The Liberal Manifesto 2017, which was to be adopted by the LI Congress was discussed as far as the chapter dedicated to Women and Gender Equality is concerned:
“While the 20th century saw significant progress on the rights of women, inequalities for women, who represent more than half of the world’s population, still remain, especially in the uneven distribution of property and political representation, as well as the widespread use of violence against women and the denial of their sexual and reproductive rights. Some countries even retain these inequalities by law, denying women the right to vote, own property, benefit from education and enjoy personal freedom. We will therefore continue to fight fiercely for the rights of women.”
After the INLW GM we held a Side Event in which we celebrated our 20th official anniversary and discussed how women’s empowerment in Andorra is being achieved.
First though Joaquima Alemany Roca presented her book on “Women and Liberalism”.
The first 2 copies were presented to INLW President Margaret de Vos van Steenwijk and LI President Juli Minoves.
Margaret de Vos gave an insight of 20 years of INLW illustrated by some photos.
Carine Montaner, Andorra MP, spoke about the Economic Empowerment of Women in Andorra.
Also, Vice President Maysing Yang gave some details about the situation in Asia of empowerment of Women.
Starting up the discussion, CALD caucus Chair (Women’s Caucus of Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats), Mrs Jayanthi Balaguru took the floor to add her experience within CALD caucus.
During the lively discussion between the attendees and the panel, we dwelled on the fruitful relation INLW has had with Liberal International in its development to the organization that INLW has now become. A very important fact therein was the recognition of INLW as an NGO in Special Consultative Status at the UN ECOSOC in 2003, for which INLW received invaluable support from now President of LI, Juli Minoves at that time Foreign Minister of Andorra.
All in all it was made clear by the various speakers and the discussion, that the mission of INLW, “to fight the inequalities in the position of women in all fields and in all corners of the world”, is still very important!
The Parallel Event was well attended by many Congress members.
Resolution number: 02
Submitted by: INLW (International Network of Liberal Women)
The Congress of Liberal International, convened in Andorra, on 20 May 2017
Climate Change has significant impacts on fresh water sources, affecting the availability of water use for domestic and productive tasks. The consequences of the increased frequency in floods and droughts are far reaching, particularly for vulnerable groups, including women who are often responsible for water management at the household level
Around the world, women are coming together to address their own needs for water and sanitation. Their strength and courage transforms communities who are facing a huge change in the climate. In huge parts of the world such as Africa, Asia and South America water is a constant problem
Pursuing the Paris Agreement and COP22 decision 21/CP22 on climate change and gender, water and sanitation are at the very core of sustainable development, SDG 6 is critical for people, planet and prosperity.
Climate change presents the biggest threat to development, and its widespread, unprecedented impacts disproportionately burden the poorest and most vulnerable. SDG 13 aims to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact.
Considering as examples:
In Mongolia (Nomads), women, families and farmers are in constant need of water due to the dryness. In the summer, it is getting harder to grow and harvest grass and autumnal rains have virtually disappeared. Shepherds have not enough fodder to feed the animals in the winter, weakening the animals. Climate change is one of the factors responsible for this loss of livestock.
The impacts of climate change on the agricultural forestry sectors in Latin America are becoming increasingly worrisome.
In Nicaragua and in Ecuador climate change requires that women rethink ways of farming. The women face serious water supply problems, insufficient for harvesting crops.
In Peru recently the authorities declared the intense rains, overflowing rivers, mudslides and flooding the worst in two decades in Peru. Often women and children are the biggest victims through the extreme flooding, isolating hospitals and small villages and homes washed away by mudslides, resulting in many deaths of women and children. Then resulting in a bad health and sanitation situation with no latrines which hits especially women and girls.
Liberal International calls on all member parties and other liberal organizations to urge their governments around the world to:
Encourage gender-sensitive frameworks in developing policies to address climate change and reducing gender gap of climate change-induced social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities assisting developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices through, inter alia, the Green Climate Fund.
Raise help and funds around the World and come together to help women and children
Invest in empowerment of women to change their surrounding world,
Implement and improve living conditions with measures to help women and children with access to clean water and sanitation, which helps sustain and prolong life of the poor population.
Prepare for and build women’s resilience and adapt to climate change impacts, increasing education and training opportunities for women to develop local resilience plans to address the effects of climate change; Create economic opportunities for small farmers in remote communities
Improve river basin management and save deltas (main)
Promote a balanced participation of men and women in climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts, including in governance positions
Enable a local environment supportive of sustainable and inclusive water resources management and economic growth, by promoting public private alliances and by improving gender balance in negotiation processes.
Joaquima Alemany Roca has presented her book “Women and Liberalism” during the 20th anniversary of INLW, which was celebrated on the18th of May 2017 in Andorra.
Joaquima is Past President of INLW, but was involved as a lawyer and mediator, councilor of the Barcelona City Council, Member of the Spanish and the Catalan Parliament and many other organizations concerning women’s freedom and democracy. She has written several works on Women’s rights and has participated in relevant international conferences. She was one of the group of lawyers who participated in the drafting of the Penal Code Law.
In her new book “Women and Liberalism” she describes and identifies the liberal values and principles that were born in Britain. This book enlightens us about the struggle for women’s equality going back for centuries.
Historical or Classical Liberalism has helped to prepare the ideological foundations of Western Democracies of today. The Liberal values and principles have led to new ways of doing politics, away from the totalitarian and dictatorial processes.
Juli Minoves/ Margaret de Vos/ Joaquima Alemany
President LI/ President INLW
We congratulate Joaquima on the presentation of her book.
Hans van Baalen, Juli Minoves, Hakima El Haité,
Past President LI President LI Deputy President LI
INLW is very proud to announce that on Saturday 20th of May 2017 in Andorra, INLW Deputy President Hakima El Haité was appointed as the Deputy President of LI, during the LI 70th Congress!
INLW Congratulates Halima with her prestigious appointment in the LI Bureau. As a consequence of this appointment Hakima has given up her seat on the INLW Board, which we fully understand.
Hakima has devoted a great deal of energy and time to the empowerment of women. She is the founder and first President of the ConnectinGroup in Morocco which is an association of Liberal minded business and professional women, who are stimulated to become active in politics and public affairs and to fight for women’s political rights.
Due to her involvement and passion for women’s rights and women’s participation and her years long membership of our Board, the INLW Board has decided to appoint Hakima as Patron of INLW.
She has gladly accepted this position!
18th May 2017 at Hotel Golden Tulip Fenix, Prat Gran 3-5, Andorra at 10.30 a
“20 YEARS INLW” And how is women’s empowerment in Andorra being achieved?
10.30 Opening of INLW panel event
Margaret de Vos van Steenwijk: Presentation 20 Years INLW
Carine Montaner, Andorra MP; Economic Empowerment of Women in Andorra,
Joaquima Alemany, Past President; Presentation of book
Maysing Yang, Vice President Asia; situation in Asia,
Followed by discussion with the speakers and among others Khadija El Morabit, Vice President MENA
On the 25th of March the Dutch Liberal Women’s Network organised a speed-dating event to inspire women to apply for the municipal elections in March 2018. Over 35 women and one gentleman, some members of VVD and some just interested persons made the acquaintance of several VVD politicians. The municipal elections next year in March may seem a long way off but in the second half of this year the candidate lists will be made. Dutch Liberal Women’s Network states that the number of women in city councils are still insufficient compared to the number of men, according to Karima Bouchtaoui, member of the Liberal Women’s Network.
In 2014 only 28,3 % of the members were women and only 20% of the alderman were female. The number of mayors is slowly increasing but especially in small villages the number of women is still low. Time for action!
The event started with a lunch in order to network with one another. During the speed date the ladies had talks with Chantal Nijkerken, Hayke Veltman, Eric Ziengs, Paulien Geerdink and Sabine Koebrugge all politicians in parliament or local councils.
Questions such as: How can you become active in the local politics? What are the do’s and don’ts if you want to become a member of the city council? How is the procedure to get on the candidate list? were discussed. The experiences and personal stories that the VVD politicians gave, were helpful and motivating. The entire event was an enormous success. Cards were exchanged and conversations profound. But the most important result was that after the event several ladies decided to get themselves candidate for the procedure to be elected as a member of the city council. That was the purpose of this speed dating, according to Liberal Women’s Network chair Marijke Vos-Maan in her final words.
On to March 21st, 2018 with a good many talented women on the list!
H.E. (Lysbeth) van Valkenburg-Lely
President Dutch Chapter INLW
This gallery contains 27 photos.
13-24 March 2017
INLW was represented at the CSW by Khadija El Morabit (Vice Presidentfor MENA region), Lysbeth van Valkenburg (Treasurer) Margaret de Vos van Steenwijk (President), and Leticia Gutíerrez (Member of the Board), also Petra Rona member of INLW. Joaquima Alemany (Past President) also participated representing Dones et Libertat of which she is the President.
“Women’s Economic empowerment in the Changing World of Work” was this year’s priority theme. If we are to achieve gender equality by 2030, we must realize that this is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that it happens. The priority theme highlights, the vulnerability of women and girls as the most likely to be left behind economically and in status in the workplace. Women and girls must be ensured of equal access to technology; to land ownership; to finance/microfinance; the opportunity for higher and continuing education and they must be prepared and supported to hold positions of leadership in both public and private sectors and to have their rightful seat at the table during organizational, labor and peace negotiations.
On Monday morning in the General Assembly we were welcomed by the new Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterres. He showed his heart lies with achieving the empowerment of women! “Male chauvinism blocks women. That hurts everyone. The empowerment of women is our key priority!”
The Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka spoke of the “Constructive impatience for change”. “This CSW could be the much-needed accelerator for the implementation 2 and achievement of the 2030 agenda. We must make, and can make, the world of work, work better for women, transforming economies and realizing rights. We only have thirteen years until 2030. Every week and every month counts.”
During the first week, a 3-minute action was held at the UN symbolic of the time that women and men’s pay is no longer equal. At the UN and at local/national levels we must create new arenas of decent work for women and girls, where there are no pay gaps, where labor laws are rightsbased and informal, unpaid care and domestic work is fully recognized.
Because of the winter storm the congress was closed throughout the Tuesday.
INLW board members who were present in New York used this time to hold a meeting to discuss the congress and to prepare INLW 20th anniversary this year in Andorra.
The first day one of the events where we were present was: “Gender equality the Nordic way: What can we learn from it”.
We have already heard about this method which is called the “Barber Shop”. It is all about the importance of mobilizing men and boys for gender equality. The Barber Shop, a place where many men meet can bring a conversation about how to treat women and how to communicate with women amongst men where they can talk among themselves in safe surroundings. This is led by 1 or 2 men who are bringing in the dialogue and reflection on how to make a better understanding between men and women and in the end more solidarity on issues such as equal pay. Investing in a good relationship between the sexes builds a better company in the end. In Switzerland, there is already a complete legal framework to see to equal pay and development. This is also shown in yearly surveys how companies are faring: “Naming and shaming”. It has been proved that by having more women in the top a business gets 37% more results.
In Iceland, the government will get a law through parliament this year to get equal pay in 2020!
Every morning at 8.30 we were present at the NGO morning briefings.
This year fortunately at the end all participating countries signed the “Agreed Conclusions”.
Press release from CSW
Feminist persistence pays off at UN Commission Status of Women, but challenges loom large in the changing world of work
Feminist activists have seen their hard work pay off as the UN 61st Commission on the Status of Women adopted a set of Agreed Conclusions that made significant commitments to advance women’s rights and economic empowerment in the changing world of work.
In response to feminists’ demands for gender-just strategies to confront the multiple impacts of climate change and related ecological damage, the Commission recognized the imperative of moving towards a just transition of the workforce toward low-carbon economies that deliver for women and the planet. “Now is the time for the strongest possible action toward a climate just planet, and this requires actions like a global moratorium on coal and keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, said Noelene Nabulivou of Diverse Voices and Action for Equality, Fiji. “This must be carried forward through a gender just and equitable and safe transition toward a low-carbon economy.”
The Commission also called for gender-responsive strategies to increase women’s resilience to the economic impacts of climate change. Recognizing that women continue to shoulder the bulk of unpaid care and domestic work, the Commission established a blueprint for governments to reduce and redistribute this work through public services, labour and social protections, and affordable child and other care services. The Commission also urged governments to measure the value of unpaid care and domestic work through time use surveys, which will help measure progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
For the first time, the Commission recognized the importance of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as it examined the focus area of indigenous women’s empowerment. The Commission also called upon governments to respect and protect indigenous women’s traditional and ancestral knowledge, and address the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and violence that they face. “That the Commission on the Status of Women also called for support for Indigenous women’s financial independence and economic self-determination, for example by establishing Indigenous-owned businesses, is a hard-won but important step for Indigenous sisters around the world,” said Sarah Burr, of the YWCA Australia.
In other wins, the Commission urged governments to end violence and harassment against women in the world of work, with a specific focus on strengthening and enforcing laws and policies and developing measures to promote the re-entry of victims and survivors of violence into the labour market. It also recognized that sexual and reproductive health and rights is essential for women’s economic rights, independence and empowerment. “These were hard-fought gains as countries like the United States, Russia and Guyana worked to weaken governments’ resolve to tackle violence and harassment and protect sexual and reproductive rights,” said Shannon Kowalski of the International Women’s Health Coalition. “Governments must face the facts that women’s rights to exercise autonomy over their bodies and lives is critical to their economic empowerment.” Language on families was also constructive in that it implied the reality of a diverse range of family structures. 5 The Women’s Rights Caucus is a coalition of more than 250 feminist and women’s rights organizations from across the globe.
For more information about CSW61 go to www.UNWomen.org. There you can also find in the official documents our INLW written statement: E/CN.6/2017/NGO/86. And on our website in the chapter CSW, www.inlw.org . The agreed Conclusions when definite will also appear on both websites.
Lysbeth van Valkenburg-Lely
Margaret de Vos van Steenwijk-Groeneveld