Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Dina Shehata_Blog 11
CSW Day 3!
Today has been incredible! I went to several events including one regarding Islam and women’s rights, Arab women and how they’re affected because of the conflicts in the region, and the ministerial roundtable. I met many passionate members of NGOs who are fighting for issues that are very dear to my heart. I will focus on the parallel event on Arab women. Three Arab women made up the panel and they were Palestinian, Bahraini, and Egyptian. All three women have experienced trials and hardships within the instability of the Middle East. Maryam who is from Bahrain explained that only writing a CEDAW Shadow Report caused the women who were working on it to be tortured and imprisoned. Azza, the Egyptian women, told us the story of a young woman who was killed last month when she was on her way to Tahrir Square to lay flowers in peaceful solidarity. She left behind a 4 or 5 year old son. This woman came from the same neighborhood that my dad grew up in, in Alexandria, Egypt. The funeral took place on his very street in their community’s Mosque. The woman was even pro-Sisi (the new regime) but even though she was supporting them, the police killed her. Afaf, the Palestinian woman told me a quote from a Palestinian mother she knew that I’ll never forget. The mother said, “All I want is to not feel that I might not see my child again when I send him off to school.” All of their stories were truly heartbreaking but nothing new to me. They had the necessary discussion of the double standard of the United Nations and the necessity for reform. The fact that they emphasized the fact that they don’t appreciate that oftentimes there is a rescue narrative showed me the strength and commitment they have to achieving gender equality in all aspects of life.
Tomorrow is our presentation day which means I’ll be taking it easy in the morning and resting beforehand. I hope all of the flyers that have been passed out have an impact and that our session will be hopefully full with attendees. Wish us luck!