From the 13-14 of December, the PeaceWomen team attended a 2-day Stakeholders' Forum, in preparation for the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW57). This Forum consisted of panel sessions that included stakeholders from government representatives, to UN officials, to private sector and civil society representatives. The rallying cries throughout the panel consisted of urges to end the stalemate and impunity that predominate over tangible solutions and commitments to end violence against women. The speakers called for a collective political agreement among member states that must be reached during the CSW 57 in March 2013, in an effort to address these issues.
Many speakers referenced women, peace and security issues, although no mention was made of arms, weapons and militarism. One of the prominent speakers, Charlotte Bunch, founder of the Center for Women's Global leadership, emphasized the unequivocal role that civil society organizations play in combating violence against women. She referenced a recent study using an original dataset of social movements and violence against women policies in countries over four decades, to illustrate that feminist mobilization in civil society, rather than political phenomena such as women's participation in government, is responsible for change in policy development.
Also, five women survivors of violence detail their successful struggles for policy and legislative reforms in their countries at a panel for survivors at the Stakeholders' Forum on Preventing and Eliminating Violence against Women.