NGO CSW Forum 2015


“Celebrate the Feminist and Women’s Movements 1975-2015”

8 March 2015, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
The program emcees are Houry Geudelekian, Armenian Relief Society and Susan O’Malley, International Federation of Business and Professional Women

9:00 – 9:30 am

Opening Event: Women of the World – Songs from Mexico, Denmark, Kenya, and China- Readings from the UN Conferences in Mexico, Copenhagen, Nairobi and Beijing by Mahnaz Afkhami, former Minister of Women’s Affairs of Iran and President/CEO of Women’s Learning Partnership, H. E. Ambassador Ib Petersen from Denmark, Sheila Katzman, Chair of the Cities for CEDAW/New York City, and Tanya Selvaratnam, Producer/Artist and author of “The Big Lie”.

9:30 – 10:00 am

Welcome messages

  • Soon-Young Yoon, Chair, NGO Committee on the Status of Women/New York
  • Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN Women
  • Video clips: World Conferenced on Women in Mexico City  1975, 1980, 1985 and 1995

10:00 – 10:20 am

Keynote address: “The Selling of Innocents”, Ruchira Gupta, Women of Distinction Awardee and winner of a Clinton Global Citizen award (with film clips)

10:20 – 10:40 am

Special Message from Cherie Blair, founder, Cherie Blair Foundation (invited)

10:40 – 12:00 pm

“Beijing + 20 – Voices from the Regions”

Historic review of the UN/international women’s movement from 1975-1995 and impact by region, regional Declarations, Indigenous women’s Declaration


  • Dinah Musindarwezo – The African Women’s Development and Communication
  • Network (Femnet), Kenya
  • Asma Khader – Vice-President of Independent Elections Commission and former Secretary General of the Jordanian National Commission for Women, Jordan
  • Sepali Kottegoda – Women and Media Collective, Sri Lanka
  • Simone Ovart – Zonta International, Switzerland
  • Mabel Bianco – Fundacion para Estudio e de la Mujer (FEIM), Argentina
  • Gertrud Astrom – Swedish Women’s Lobby, Sweden
  • Agnes Leina – Ll’laramatak Community Concerns (ICC-K)
  • Ambassador Dubravka Simonovic – Ambassador to the UN from Croatia and former CEDAW expert.  

Moderator: Ambassador Carlos Garcia Gonzalez – former Permanent Representative for El Salvador to the United Nations

Discussant: Charlotte Bunch – Board of Governor’s Distinguished Service Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University

12:00 – 1:15 pm

Lunch: (participants on their own)

1:15– 1:45 pm

“What Beijing Plus 20 Must Accomplish”
Dr. Gertrude Mongella – “educator, politician, diplomat activist”, former Under-Secretary General, UN Fourth World Conference on Women

1:45 – 2:45 pm

“Strategic Action to Strengthen the BPfA: Young Activist Perspectives” 

This panel will feature young activists who are actively carrying out the vision of the Beijing Platform for Action, CEDAW, and the post-2015 development agenda. With audience participation, the speakers will develop ideas for a strategic plan of action.


  • Emilia Reyes –Equidad de Genero
  • Esther Kimani – Young Women’s Leadership Institute Nairobi
  • Diana Mao – NOMI Network
  • Geraldo Porteny Backal – Young Men for Gender Equality
  • Faith Nenkai Metiaki – Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) Forum des educatrices africaines

Moderator/Panelist: Fabio Palacio – International Movement ATD 4th World

Discussant: Thayvie Sinn – Save Cambodia

2:45 – 3:00 pm

Announcements about the March and Closing Song

NGO CSW theme song – “Keep on Movin’ Forward” 

Led by Laura Kroh, singer