Guardian Reports On Discussion Of Commission On The Status of Women Outcome Document

“The link between gender-based violence and HIV infections needs to be explicit in the outcome document of the Commission on the Status of Women [CSW], delegates said this week,” the Guardian reports. “At a side event at the 57th CSW, which began in New York on Monday, activists were urged by ministers of some sub-Saharan countries to ask their governments to press for the inclusion of effective measures to prevent violence and treat women who are infected with HIV through sexual abuse,” the newspaper writes, adding, “The inclusion of passages in the final CSW document are still under discussion.” The article quotes Julia Duncan-Cassell, the gender minister of Liberia; Nana Oye Lithur, Ghana’s gender minister; Thokozani Khupe, Zimbabwe’s deputy prime minister; and Sheila Tlou, director of UNAIDS regional support team for east and southern Africa (Ford, 3/7).

“The outcome document of the [CSW] must not undermine previous agreements that put women’s sexual and reproductive rights central to their empowerment, the head of the U.N. development program said on Wednesday,” the Guardian writes in a separate article. “Acknowledging the difficulty of negotiations taking place at the CSW in New York this week, which focus on eliminating violence against women and girls, Helen Clark said it is important that the wording of the CSW agreement document does not take a step backwards,” according to the newspaper. “In a copy of the draft document (.pdf), seen by the Guardian, member states, including Russia, Malta and the Vatican, which has a seat on the U.N. as a non-member permanent observer state, are trying to erase mention of sexual and reproductive health and rights from the final document,” the Guardian notes, adding, “The Holy See also wants to change the wording of the text from reaffirming commitments made in Beijing to just recalling they were made” (Ford, 3/7).