NEW YORK (April 11, 2014) — The overall goal of WEDO’s joint initiative with WECF under the Empower Women – Benefit (for) All (EWA) programme is to enhance women’s leadership and participation via capacity building, knowledge exchange and advocacy in order to strengthen policies and legal frameworks for gender equality and women’s access to resources.

At CSW58, WEDO was proud to coordinate a team of advocates including: WECF Coordinator on Gender and Rights, Anke Stock, WECF network members Gertrude Kenyangi of Support for Women in Agriculture and Environment (SWAGEN) in Uganda and Kalyani Raj from All India Women’s Conference (AIWC) in India in addition to Emilia Reyes of Equidad de Genero in Mexico. They have shared some reflections on this experience here.

Over two weeks of advocacy, the EWA team members and other allies produced a series of factsheets and technical language recommendations for Governments and partners, on climate change, disasters, as well as women’s access to natural and productive resources- which resulted in some strong language in the Agreed Conclusions, outlined here.

In addition to advocacy through technical language and factsheets, on March 19th, the EWA program hosted a side event entitled ‘Sustainable Solutions to Ending Climate Chaos – how to make 2015 mean something!’ Later that evening, WEDO hosted a mobilization meeting at its offices to discuss key moments for advocacy throughout 2014- to ensure climate change is high on the feminist, human rights and social justice agenda- with partners and allies. You can read more about these events here.

Meet the Team

Kalyani, Anke, Gertrude and Emilia brought their knowledge to the international policy processes, contributing their experience and perspective and complementing existing networks at the CSW. Read more about their work here:

Kalyani Raj has been involved with All India Women’s Conference, a pan-Indian NGO for the past 15 years on voluntary basis and has supervised various socio-economic empowerment programmes. A few of the projects she has undertaken at AIWC are: facilitation/formation and vocational training of more than 2500 Self Help Groups in different states of India, creating income generation and entrepreneurship opportunities; Renewable Energy projects of AIWC through SHGs, Self Defense Training for girls with the help of Delhi Police, Kalyani has also worked on Disaster Preparedness training in around 15 states in India, and is in the process of extending this training in different states within India. She has also represented AIWC at a number of international convenings in Halifax and Bali, and at Rio+20, COP 18 and 19, and OWG8 and now CSW58. Kalyani has a MA CAIIB (Certified Associate of Indian Institute of Bankers) and started her career as a Bank Officer and spent nine years in Hong Kong where she worked with different financial organization before returning to India.
  In 2005 Anke Stock started working for Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) in Germany. She manages projects in different EECCA countries and beyond and is the Senior Gender and Rights Co-ordinator of this international network of women’s and environmental organisations. Her work experience contains consultancies and the conducting of trainings for the American Bar Association, the European Eco-Forum and the United Nations secretariat of the Protocol on Water and Health. Her special focus is gender and public participation. Anke is qualified as a German lawyer and obtained her Ph.D. at the Humboldt-University of Berlin on anti-discrimination law. She has previously worked as a Legal Officer of the Kurdish Human Rights Project (KHRP) in London working on ECHR cases and gender issues.
  Gertrude Kenyangi Kabusimbi founded Support for Women in Agriculture and Environment (SWAGEN), a network of grassroots women Community Based Organizations, where she currently serves as Executive Director. She was democratically elected by Civil Society Organizations across the African continent to the position of Observer on the Climate Investment Fund – Forest Investment Program. Ms. Kenyangi also serves as the East African Region CSO representative to the Civil Society Mechanism Coordinating Committee, for engagement with UN FAO’s Committee on Food Security. Gertrude graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) from Makerere University in 1985 and obtained an MA (Integrated Rural Development Planning). She held a job with a bank as a credit officer before discovering that her calling was not in an air-conditioned, pristine and sanitized work environment, but with people working at the grassroots level, she therefore resigned her bank job and is pursuing her interest in climate change work.
  Emilia Reyes is the Director of Gender Policies and Budgets at Equidad de Género: Ciudadanía, Trabajo y Familia, Mexico. Equidad de Género is a civil society organization devoted to promoting gender equality and women’s rights. It has three main tracks: Defense and Promotion of Sexual and Reproductive Rights; Political Empowerment and Leadership; Gender Policies and Budgets. In regard to climate change, Emilia takes part in an alliance of civil society organizations called Grupo Mexicano de Financiamiento para el Cambio Climatico (Mexican Climate Finance Group). The Group works under three cross-cutting principles: the human rights framework, gender equality and sustainability criteria. Every recommendation and action derived from the Group integrates these three components and Emilia works on monitoring and evaluating two main fields related to climate change: financing and budgets. Emilia is also an active member of the Women’s Major Group and advocacy in the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the post-2015 development agenda.


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