Capacity Building / Workshop

Published: 01/11/2013

Since 1995, the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) has held consultations with the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women (SRVAW). Such consultations have contributed to the integrating process of gender issues and women’s rights into the mechanism of Special Procedures that critically discusses forms of structural discrimination and violence against women.


In 2013, APWLD once again held a consultation under the theme of “Framing Development Justice” to discuss thematic reports from UN Working Group on Women’s Economic and Social Life; also to strengthen the advocacy on transformative shifts in the post-2015 development agenda. This consultation will involve members of the UN Working Group on the issue of discrimination on women in law and legal practices, as well as members of the Treaty Body from Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) and Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).


This consultation was attended by approximately 40 women’s rights activists from throughout Asia Pacific, including members of APWLD, regional and international NGOs, and UN members that are involved in the discussion of post-2015 development agenda. This activity was also supported by two local NGOs namely Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) and Nijera Kori. These two NGOs are concerned on issues such as the consolidation of women’s rights, facilitation of legal assistance for women, capacity building, and women empowerment.





27 October 2013, Day 1 – Pre Consultation Workshop


The aim of this activity was to prepare participants in forming an interactive relationship with the UN mandate-holders through an introduction to the mechanism of international human rights. By using a “UN Tour” method, participants were expected to understand four important parts of the UN mechanism of international human rights, namely 1) Special Procedures, 2) Treaty Based Mechanisms, 3) Universal Periodic Review and 4) Post 2015 and related process.


28 October 2013, Day 2

Session 1: Framing Development Justice (Kate Lappin – APWLD) 


This session discussed the needs for transformational shifts in achieving an equitable development. Kate Lappin, director of APWLD, opened the discussion by describing the importance of inputs and suggestions from women’s organizations throughout Asia Pacific to the post-2015 development agenda. This consultation was expected to provide a forum for Treaty Body and Special Procedures mandate-holders to discuss their thematic focuses which relate to the development agenda.


Session 2: Advancing Women’s Economic Rights through International and National Human Right Mechanisms


This session, moderated by Kate Lappin, presented three speakers, namely Kamala Chandrakirana (Working Group on Discrimination Against Women), representative of the Bangladeshi Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Open Working Group, and Milena Pires (CEDAW committee).


Kamala stated that the Working Group (WG) holds three decision-making sessions in Geneva and New York annually. The working group also conducts visits to several countries, twice or thrice a year, to monitor situations concerning discrimination on women. Through joint communications or country reports, WG can impact and contribute to the changes of policy at the national level. However, WG faces challenges such as limited resources in and the lack of interest of Asia Pacific countries in inviting WG to visit their countries for monitoring purposes.

Meanwhile, the representative from the Bangladeshi Ministry of Foreign Affairs identified the government’s lack of interest to jointly discuss development agendas in the Asia Pacific countries that are involved in the Open Working Group Sustainable Development Goals. Bangladesh itself involves CSO and the UN representative at the national level to consolidate and formulate the targets of the development agenda.


Session 3: Redistributive Justice

This session was moderated by Vandhna Narayan (Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre) with four speakers namely Theresa Lauron (IBON International), Nisa Anisa (Solidarity of Indonesian Women), Kartini Samon (GRAIN Indonesia), and Nandini Chami (IT for Change). This session discussed what are needed to transform the discrimination and marginalization of women. It also highlighted ways to distribute resources, wealth, power, and opportunity to all human beings in a fair manner. Several studies on Asia Pacific countries have been carried out to deconstruct the existing system, which currently distributes resources and wealth from developing countries to developed countries, through corporates and military.


Session 4: Economic Justice

This session was moderated by Govind Kelkar (Karta Foundation) by presenting three speakers namely Prof. Ritu Dewan (Department of Economics, University of Mumbai), Sara Hossain (Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust), Aasha Ramesh (Tamil Nadu Women’s Forum). This session aimed to provide a forum to discuss various influential aspects in economic development which enables a dignified life, accommodate needs, and facilitates capacities and employments for all – free from exploitations of humans or natural resources and environmental destruction. The speakers delivered the opportunities of a development model in ensuring that economic development is for the welfare of the people.


29 October 2013, Day 3


Session 5: Accountability for Just and Transparent Governance

This session was moderated by Cristina Palabay (Tanggol Bayi Philippines) and presented four speakers, namely Heisoo Shin (CESCR), Milena Pires (Timor Leste), Vandhana Narayan (Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre) and Khushi Khabir (Nijera Kori). It provided a discussion forum for the need of global and national accountability to society’s need for a democratic, just, and transparent government, whose management enables individuals and communities to make their own decisions and determine their own future. The need for this global accountability enquires a process that empowers every individual, including the most marginalized community, to be part of all stages of the development process. Such process is started from the local, national, and regional levels to the international level in order to guarantee the rights of the people to determine the development priorities.


Session 6: World Cafe Dialogue

This session was an imperative one for the workshop participants to do an interactive dialogue with various UN mandate-holders to share their respective regional and national issues in achieving a sustainable and equitable development for women. These UN mandate-holders also shared their interventions and mechanisms for social movements, as well as their strategies to be involved continuously with them.


Session 7: Strategising Session

This last session provided a forum to identify issues as well as forms of advocacy and its forms at the national and international levels. This session was started by distributing tasks in planning discussions concerning development, from the sub-regional level to international level, so that participants from each country could start to identify advocacy strategies from future activities.


This session was closed with an evaluation session, closing, and photo session.