Parallel Event 17th March 2017
The INLW Board was represented at the CSW by Khadija El Morabit (Vice President for MENA region), Maysing Yang, (Vice President for Asia), Lysbeth van Valkenburg (Treasurer), Margaret de Vos van Steenwijk (President) and, Leticia Gutíerrez (Member of the Board) and also by INLW member Petra Rona. Joaquima Alemany (Past President) was also present representing Dones Libertatt et Democratia as Chairman.
Unfortunately, because of the winter storm In New York, all programs were cancelled on Tuesday 14th. Luckily for us our parallel event was rescheduled on Friday 17th in the morning.
The main theme of CSW “Women’s economic Empowerment in the Changing World of Work” was lead in our choice for the event focusing on:
“Overcoming Challenges facing women in Business in this changing world”.
The objective was to provide an insight into the situation of women starting up business as well as running a business and their possibilities for economic empowerment around the world in these changing times.
Khadija El Morabit (Entrepreneur and General Manager of a hotel business) gave her experience of starting any business as an independent woman in her home country of Morocco. For many years, it was very problematic to start any business as a woman. The reasons are the lack of women’s economic autonomy, due to illiteracy, low level of wages and income; unequal sharing of domestic chores; lack of places of child care and the high prices; lack of access to decision-making power related to the economy and lack of access to resources and means of production. But fortunately, the possibilities are better today. Feminine entrepreneurship is recognized now as source of growth, job creation, innovation and wealth in Morocco. Still the lack of publicity about public institutions that help and support entrepreneurship for women and the fact that many businesses make a start via an entrepreneurship, where business is integrated in a parental company and the fact that women do not inherit the family business is a great disadvantage for women entrepreneurs and poses a problem for specific support programs dedicated to these women entrepreneurs who want to start their own business.
Our Member from Asia (Taiwan), Maysing Yang (Vice President for Asia), gave her view of possibilities in her region. When she started her own business, she had to have a man as president without his signature she could not start a business so she started as a vice-president in her own company to get started. It takes many years to start a business, certainly if you don’t want to bribe any people to start. The education for girls is getting better so in the future opportunities will improve but men get jobs more easily than women. In any question of heritage in Asia the eldest son inherits the assets. That is going to be changed but the culture is not so easily changed so it will take many years to get this working.
The government is investing in women and recently a law has been adopted to assist start-ups.
One of the things women must do more, is investing in their network! The men meet each other for instance after work and build their network, through this male network many jobs are given to men. Women often underestimate the importance of mingling with other women and men.In the new age, you can see that young people try to find each other via on-line communities. Investing in ICT and knowledge of all its possibilities is very important for the future.
Our Speaker from the Netherlands, Jaqueline Prins, had already left after the winter storm for her job in the Netherlands.
We were happy to welcome Antia Wiersma, deputy Director Atria – Netherlands Institute for Gender Equality and Women’s History.
Antia Wiersma gave us some insight in the women empowerment in the Netherlands. There are still many women working part time (75% of women compared to 22% of men). Unfortunately, this also means that only 54 % of the working women are economically independent and many women work in the less paid jobs and are paid less. World Wide, women only make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. This also influences the gender pay gap which amounts to 22%. Young women start out earning more being highly educated, but by age 30 they earn less than men.
In the Dutch parliament 36 % of the parliamentarians are women. On the Dutch TV 1 in 3 persons in the talk shows are women and only 12 % of the experts that are asked to participate are women. So, although many things are well arranged for women there are still quite some things to improve.
One of the discussions in the Netherlands is about maternity leave and if a quota about the number of women working in decision-making positions in companies and the government is a clever idea.
“We have to educate the girls about the importance of economic empowerment and independence”. Mrs. Wiersma told that “by pushing the women into the working market and implementing equal pay for men and women we can really make progress for our young girls”. We want to achieve gender equality by 2030 (Planet 50/50 by 2030). We must all recognize the gender gap in work and employment and create a cohesive action-orientated plan. A plan that challenges individuals as well as the public and private sector.
“A black list of companies who are not paying equal might work, as in Switzerland”. Companies are not allowed to work for the government if they don’t show their intentions to really pay equal and have enough women in the top.
Mrs. Wiersma is convinced that if the Netherlands doesn’t take more action it will not be able to reach the 50/50 in 2030 deadline that has been agreed upon worldwide.
As what to do for the future:
It is clear there are too few women in the so-called STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and ICT jobs. That world is still a men’s world and this must change as this is where the new jobs in the changing world will be!
In the changing world of the 4th revolution 1 in 4 women will lose their job while 1 in 20 men will lose their job. That is a challenge which must be worked on for instance by lifelong learning.
The interesting discussion between the group attending the event and the panelists gave some conclusions.
Even more insight is needed in the battle to reach the 50/50 goal.
Some of the young participants also pointed out the importance of ICT and reliable data collecting to get an insight of the results of some measures that are taken by countries all over the world. By reliable data you can enlighten the political parties so that necessary measures can be taken.
They also mentioned young women in Asia often prefer marriage to seeking jobs.
More access to finance is needed, whereby barriers of laws and rules concerning ownership of property and land; inheritance; loans only with guarantees and higher interest rates must be taken away.
Putting an effort to getting a good network is important in any business for men and women. Women must learn to make use of it and keep it up.
Moderator, Mrs. de Vos van Steenwijk, finally thanked all participants for their information and interesting discussion.
Lysbeth van Valkenburg-Lely
Margaret de Vos van Steenwijk-Groeneveld
INLW was represented at Liberal International 4th Human Rights Committee of LI meeting: “Imprisoned for Thinking”, which was held in Geneva during the UN Human Rights Council Meetings on Friday 24th of June 2016.
During this year’s UN CSW (Commission on the Status of Women) in New York between 13th – 24th of March 2016 the International Network of Liberal Women participated in several side-events and also organised 2 events.
Together with LI, UNWatch the event on March 14th discussed the challenges which remain to promote and advance women’s rights globally and ending Violence against Women and Girls.
Our INLW vice-president Khadija El Morabit, Mu Sochua, MP of the Cambodian Parliament, President of the Women’s Caucus of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats; Susan Tahmasebi, Iranian women’s rights activist and Nohemy Johnson-Hincapie, Student at Principia College participated in this event. Khadija El Morabit gave voice to the MENA perspective of violence against Women and Girls. As Liberals our message has always been that violence against women must stop.
Panel discussion at 60th CSW UN in New York on 22nd March 2016 on:
From the Istanbul Convention to Implementation
Addressing violence against women with different approaches and different levels
The event was organized by INLW, Rutgers, UN watch and Liberal International.
From left to right: Juliana Nikolova, President Women Forum Liberal Democratic Party, Macedonia
Fouzia El Bayed, Member of Parliament, Union Constitutionelle, Morocco
Patricia Olamendi, Vice President INLW Latin America, Int’l consultant UN Women, Nueva Allianz, Mexico
Margaret de Vos van Steenwijk, President INLW, moderator
Lysbeth van Valkenburg, Tresurer INLW
Jeroen Lorist, advisor Rutgers. Prevention + Engaging men to prevent gender based violence
Leticia Guttierez, member Board INLW, Chairman of women faction of Nueva Allianza, Mexico
Ready for our parallel event to be held during 60th CSW at the UN in the Church centre 10th floor on Tuesday 8.30!
Subject: “from Istanbul Convention to Implementation: Addressing Violence against Women at different levels after a fruitful pre meeting.
We hope for a very animated morning with fruitfull discussion.
President of the International Network of Liberal Women (INLW), Margaret de Vos van Steenwijk, has delivered a joint LI-INLW statement to the 27th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on September 15th 2014. She stated that the Istanbul Convention on Preventing and Eliminating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence should be adopted in a Global Framework. Her text which was shortened when spoken is to be found under the link to the actual video of her oral statement.
The original non shortened message of the campaign which INLW and LI want the international community to hear is:
INLW was represented with a delegation at the 57th CSW from 4th till 15th of March 2013. The theme of this CSW was “Preventing and Eliminating all forms of violence against Women and Girls”.
INLW submitted a written Statement and also an oral Statement which was handed over to Minister of International Development of the UK, Mrs Lynn Featherstone on Monday March 4th at the Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom by Margaret de Vos van Steenwijk, INLW President and Marissa Florensa INLW Secretary General. INLW was also represented at CSW by Christine de Saint Genois, INLW Vice President