About Zohra Moosa
Zohra Moosa is Women’s Rights Advisor at ActionAid. She is currently leading a programme of work on violence against women. Prior to this role, she was Senior Policy & Campaigns Officer at the Fawcett Society where she ran 'Seeing Double', a national programme on the needs and priorities of ethnic minority women in the UK.
Articles by Zohra Moosa
Just came out of a parallel event called 'Women in cities' that was hosted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and organized by the Seoul Foundation of Women and Family (SFWF).With contributions from Asia, Latin America, Africa and Europe, it was no surprise that it ran well overtime. The short version? Women are under-represented in decision-making positions in cities and most urban planners and politicians at the local level (and likely at the national, though this wasn't the topic) do not understand gender and have never had basic gender training. The result? Cities designed by men for men.
I had the chance to sit in the main UN session today for the first time. The topic was 'gender perspectives on climate change', which is the 'emerging issue' for this year's CSW.
At a session on gender equality and aid effectiveness today I listened to five women presenters speak about the Paris Declaration in full technical detail. They reviewed the purpose of the agreement, the history of its development, its relevance to the women's rights agenda, and the best ways to influence it.
Turns out I wasn't the only one noticing the English-centricity at the CSW yesterday. At the NGO orientation I went to yesterday afternoon, one woman who I think came from Cote d'Ivoire spoke passionately for five minutes in French about her frustration with the NGO Committee on the Status of Women for delivering the presentations and discussion exlusively in English. As the briefing was designed to build NGO capacity on how to influence the CSW, she was understandably desole (her word) about the lack of translation services.
The last time I was at a UN conference was in 2001 when I attended the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa as an NGO delegate. I found it overly bureaucratic and seemingly designed to confuse. I learned that force of will was the best way to navigate the system and keep frustration to a minimum.