From Seeds to CEOs: Women Meet About Money

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Documented in high definition by Firefallmedia, the two week UN/CSW conference provides a forum for governments and women's groups from around the world to meet at the U.N. to promote and advance women's equality, from birth to old age.

The 52nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women celebrated International Women's Day yesterday, two days early, with agreed conclusions and new resolutions on the table. The theme this year was Financing for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment. The process is complex and the organizations involved are many, and the video in progress is meant to present the players and the new language of gender objectives in easy-to-understand form. The viewer will also experience the inner workings of the U.N.

NGOs (Non Government Organizations) have considerable influence, perhaps none more than the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, New York. "The participating groups are the eyes and ears on the ground," in the words of the official U.N. representatives. And indeed the message from the keynote NGO speaker this year, University Professor Gayatri Spivak, author of "Can the Subaltern Speak?" was to learn from below. "That is where we find out truth. That is where we benefit people most," she said.

The video, to be available later this spring for broadcast, documents and demonstrates the reality. Simply, money is a tool for women's equality and human rights. Funds for implementation are the chief concern, though every nation has a different way of moving forward.

The NGO/CSW/NY, chaired by Dr. Vivian Pender, held an orientation and consultation day preceding the conference, to give it a jump start, at which three members of the official U.N. Commission, including its chair, Ambassador Belle of Belgium, also spoke. "We depend on you," he said to the NGO gathering on the first day.

Finance as a tool was dealt with directly during the celebration of International Women's day. Muriel Siebert, the first woman to hold a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, and Inez Murray, with the Women's World Banking, both championed financial literacy, as an educational requirement for women in all countries. Additionally Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced that he was doubling the budget for the UN Division for the Advancement of Women, as well as for the gender adviser in his own office. Next the new CEO of Goldman Sachs spoke seriously about his small contribution to the advancement of women, and the need for women to invest. Inez Murray then cautioned that in the past international investment has been at the expense of the poor and only added to their burden.

For further information, contact Robinson Joyce at firefallmedia.com, or the NGO/CSW/NY at ngocsw.org

Graphics available:

http://www.firefallmedia.com/csw-poster.jpg

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ROBINSON JOYCE
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