“Coming from the WECF/WICF network of women’s and environmental NGOs worldwide, I am used to work on environmental issues with a strong gender focus. So I am very aware of the difficulties we face when integrating women’s rights into other policy areas and using gender mainstreaming as a tool. However, I was struck by a parallel event organised by FOKUS, a Norwegian NGO, here at the CSW 58 in New York last week. FOKUS did a gender budget review of the ODA Norway is spending and realised that only a little amount of the budget goes to purely women focused projects. This applies even more to the money going into environmental projects. For a country like Norway with a strong women’s rights history this seemed astonishing for me. There are other European countries which have the same or even worse record even though gender action plans are in place since years.  Some international organisations are not better in implementing their own gender mainstreaming policies, in particular within their environmental divisions. I wonder how this can be tackled and do understand that adopting international agreements, national legislation and internal policies have to go hand in hand with the commitment of implementing them, in particular providing adequate human and financial resources. When advocating for our objectives we need to keep this in mind. Work is not only done at the international policy level, it has to go way beyond.” – Anke Stock, WECF

“This is my first experience at CSW and it is amazing to be part of a group of such focused and strong women completely dedicated to the cause of gender equality and women’s rights. I have the pleasure of working with women with several years of experience in this field, as well as with some young women who add tremendously to the energy of the team by bringing the voice of today’s youth into our discussions and working tirelessly into the night, trying to raise a voice on behalf of the many women who could not be here. I also met Ms. Lakshmi Puri of UN Women along with the Indian CSO group and exchanged views on the UN Women’s activities in South Asia. Next week, I am sure, is going to action-packed with the negotiations peaking. I am looking forward to attending a few more upcoming side events and also to presenting my own views at our event on March 19.”- Kalyani Raj, AIWC

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