Karama's strategy is working, but the hours are terrible..........

Jane Gabriel
27 February 2008

They made it. A Karama delegate, Amal Mahmoud Fayed from Egypt, chaired the caucus. One of them shut the door to the room on the dot of 10am and sat by the door throughout the meeting quickly and firmly dispatching anyone who wandered in to pick up literature, disturbing the discussion. (An American representative from the Good Shepherd International left half way through). The conversation stayed on the core issue, order was kept, time was kept and business was done. Delegates from Turkey and Pakistan came on board and the first Asian president of the National Council of Women of Australia, Hean Bee Wee, asked for an alliance with the caucus and was welcomed gladly. The Pakistan delegate said that she had been unable to find anyone to join with until then. A draft of the changes they'll suggest was circulated at the end of the meeting and everyone will consider them overnight. Things are going well -

 In two hours time the Karama women will meet again to debrief and then split into two groups to work on the changes so that they are ready for formal submission first thing tomorrow morning. They'll meet at 7am again to discuss strategy and tactics  for day three. They will have worked another 14 hour day without a break - they attended the main session all afternoon and then rushed off for a two hour meeting to discuss advoacy with the OSI, one of their key donors. Zohra tells of the endless queuing to get in to the UN, everyone has a story. It's absurd. Karama almost missed the start of the Middle East caucus - on the other hand standing in the queue is the nearest thing these women ever have to a break in their schedules ...




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