We'll run like a football team......

Jane Gabriel
26 February 2008


The Karama group met at 7am this morning in the hotel lobby, shortage of chairs meant some of us sat crossed legged on the floor. In one hour flat this extraordinarily well organised group had decided their strategy for the Western Asia (Middle East) NGO Caucus today for two possible scenarios: if they were the only people there, and if other people showed up. In case of the second scenario, they decided to get there first to avoid a repetition of last year when they had to ‘fight' to chair the Caucus. This year three of them will "run together like football team" to make sure their chair person gets there first. They will lead the dialogue to produce strategies and recommendations and avoid talk of problems and the causes. If they want the chance to make an oral statement in general discussion, they only have until tomorrow at 10am to come up with the changes the caucus wants to this year's Agreed Conclusions (which the whole conference is now discussing) and the caucus is only for one hour.

So they decided: who would lead the discussion, how long they'd each speak for, that each of them would make a short statement about the situation in their own country, how they would stick to the core subject of linking the situation of refugee women to violence and if someone started to speak off the core issue they'd intervene to bring the discussion straight back to it. This group of women leaders form across north Africa and the Middle East are working as one to raise the voice of Arab women here at the CSW. Someone asked about eating arrangements as we headed off to the caucus. I'll blog later on what happened next......

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