only search

About Margaret Owen

Margaret Owen is the Director of Widows for Peace through Democracy. She is the Patron of Peace in Kurdistan, a UK barrister and an international women’s human rights activist. Follow her on twitter @electionmargie

Articles by Margaret Owen

This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

"To demand peace is not a crime": Turkish academics on trial

President Erdoğan's attack on academics and freedom of speech calls into question whether Turkey will ever comply with the Copenhagen Criteria which govern EU accession.  But does Turkey care?

UN CSW: the way to empower women is to use CEDAW Article 5, not the CSW

The most effective international mechanism to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment is not the cumbersome UN CSW, it’s CEDAW, and it’s time to use it to make governments accountable.

Conflict widows: agents of change and peacebuilding

The rise of religious fundamentalism and conflict is diminishing widows to the status of a chattel. Their key role as sole supporters of families must be prioritised in negotiations for conflict prevention and resolution.

UK: indifference to ending discrimination against women

More than 30 years years after the British Government signed up to the Convention to Eliminate all Forms of Discrimination against Women the CEDAW Committee responsible for monitoring its implementation has censured the UK for its poor record, and failure to mitigate the impact of austerity measures on women.

CSW: will there be an Agreed Conclusion to the CSW this year?

As the CSW enters its final week, the political agendas of different countries are reflected in the deep divisions over how to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls. Furious arguments are going on over the use of language: 'harmful practices' or 'traditional harmful practises', 'girl' or 'child'? 

CSW: the gulf between the UN and civil society

We are worlds apart. Separated not just by First Avenue, but by a vast gap in beliefs, philosophy, ideas and hopes. Margaret Owen, director of an NGO, reports on the battle over the text of the Agreed Conclusions at the 57th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women

The hidden lives of child widows

Child widows, some less than ten years old, face bleak futures as they bear the triple disadvantage of gender, marital status, and being underage. Research is now revealing the hidden lives of these children, and it's time to hold governments to account under international law, argues Margaret Owen

Egypt: from equality of purpose to equality on the ground

"We acted together and we all adhere to the same values: justice, compassion, and unity, and these values are engraved in our souls. It is our unwritten constitution – the ethics inside all of us. Women died with men, and men protected us as women". Nora Rafeh Refa Tahtawy, 23 year old student protestor

Turkey's judgement day: the trial of the Kurds

Margaret Owen, a member of the UK Independent Observer delegation, reports on the KCK trial in Diyarbakir before today's ruling

New York: no place for women in action

In an open letter to the United Nations Secretary General, the European Women's Lobby declares that "The 54th Session of the CSW...represents a step backwards by its failure to offer a new vision and mechanisms for implementation"

Disillusionment, Anger and Protest.

At this Tuesday morning’s NGO consultation we women from the NGOs, attempting to participate in the 54th CSW, finally collectively erupted, en masse

The mother of all widows

So yesterday CSW formally opened and we NGOs, thousands of us,queue, crowd, jostle to get a seat either in the gallery of Conference Room A where the delegates are or to watch on the big screen the proceedings from Conference Room B. Although we are there by 9 am nothing gets going until after 10. Delegates are warned that colour blindness will not be accepted as an excuse if they ignore the orange light which tells them they have 30 seconds to stop speaking. Speakers for a group of countries have 10 minutes; mere single nations only 5...

Widowhood: invisible for how much longer?

Margaret Owen has been trying to get the CSW to address the poverty of widows for 12 years. This is her last attempt. She describes going from despair to growling with anger to hope - all in a day

CSW and the Brief History of One Word......

After eight days  and evenings of effort, meetings, draftings, lobbying, talking, to all and sundry (Senior UN officials, government, NGOs) at the 53rd Session of the CSW and a fortune spent on getting to New York and paying for our incredibly overpriced hotel beds ( as the £ dived)  in order to get WIDOWS and WIDOWHOOD at least referenced in the Agreed Conclusions on the priority theme " Equal Sharing of Responsibilities between women and men, including care-giving in the context of HIV/AIDS", today I am gob smacked by our defeat. 

Fighting for the very poorest of the poor

Now in Washington DC, am trying to recover from last week's circus at the UN.. Rethinking surviving that first week of the 53rd session of the UN CSW, I have changed my mind. I am now, for probably the first time in the 11 years since I've been coming to New York, glad I made it there.

Syndicate content