The 58th Commission on the Status of Women is currently underway in New York, USA. It started on the 10th of March and will go on till 21st of March. This annual meeting of hundreds of women, men, government officials, ministers, national delegations, girl’s groups, boy’s groups, NGOs, and other stake-holders at the United Nations is to discuss this year’s priority theme, Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls.

Inevitably there are a whole host of new initiatives and campaigns that are launched/announced at this annual meeting. This year I have started my own ‘campaign’ to gather information about all the campaigns both launched and mentioned during #CSW58 and compile them in one place. This is an incomplete list in all likelihood but my hope is that I will be able to get people to leave comments with those that are missing from this compilation to help me along!

So lets get started shall we!

Campaigns @ CSW58

Tweets about the various campaigns launched or mentioned at CSW58.

  1. European Commission campaign: Science its a girl thing
  2. Campaign to build on equality, based on the stereotypes you are trying to fight. “Science: It’s a girl thing!” 
  3. ITU's campaign: Girls in ICT Day 24 April
  4. UN Women campaign: He for She
  5. UN Women campaign: Beijing+20
  6. From the NGO briefing, “#Empoweringwomen is empowering humanity” an upcoming @Unwomen campaign. @WomenNC @womenlive #CSW58
  7. Zim gvt launched campaign against rape and women continue to demand stiffer sentences for rapists@FemnetProg#CSW58@263Chat
  8. The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls in Latin America and the Caribbean
  9. Unbreakable Campaign by Progressio 
  10. Our campaign action has been handed in to @JustineGreening at the #CSW58! Thank you to all for taking action
  11. Plan Global: Because I am a Girl 
  12. .@PlanGlobal‘s #BecauseIAmAGirl Campaign looked to support 4million girls directly through programs #csw58 #vawg
  13. BanBossy
  14. SG's UNiTE Campaign
  15. Cities4CEDAW campaign
  16. 16 Days of Activism campaign
  17. Balakrishnan: The 16 Days campaign from @CWGL_Rutgers has been on going for 20 years. #CSW58 #WSW2015 #WILPF100
  18. Vlogs by Mandem On The Wall's
  19. Say No to Exploitation of Humans for Profit campaign
  20. Global campaign “Say No to Exploitation of Humans for Profit” launches Mar 13 11:30EST, rm C (CB) UN Headquarters #CSW58 @TIATaskForce
  21. Equal Pay Day Campaign:
  22. Equal Pay Day Campaign- if women in N.A. made same as men= $430,000 in her lifetime! #CSW58
  23. A 12 year old twin Sister & Brother just addressed the room to start their campaign to stop and END #FGM #Inspiring #YoungVoices #CSW58
  24. Men Care campaign
  25. The impetus for the MenCare campaign: to address the unfair care work divide, & because, men gravitate towards the idea. #MenCarePlus #CSW58
  26. Unite 4 Education campaign
  27. World Pulse's 'Women weave the web' campaign:
  28. .@WorldPulse currently doing a campaign around digital access, literacy & empowerment; want girls & women to write & speak out. #CSW58
  29. Intel's She will connect campaign
  30. @phumzileunwomen : @UN_Women & Intel are now partnering in the “She Will Connect” to encourage the use of #ICTs for women and girls- #CSW58
  31. Microsoft's Big Dream movement
  32. @Empower_Women Rane Johnson of @Microsoft announces launch of Big Dream Movement to support women & girls interested in #ICT careers #CSW58
  33. Let Girls' Lead Campaign
  34. At the global launch of ¡PODER! which highlights the work of @LetGirlsLead in Guatemala! #CSW58 #letgirlslead
  35. Cyber safe girl
  36. With 3 of 4 Atlantic Ministers respon for Status of Women @ cyber safe girl launch, amazing leaders #CSW58 #cybergirl
  37. International Women's Media Foundation 
  38. @ #CSW58 side event on #women, ICTs and #pressfreedom. @IWMF will launch global survey on violence against female journalists
  39. ISIS's linking the networks campaign

This post is a continuation of my previous blog on daring the advertisers to join the conversations by being proactive and stop perpetuating the stereotypes by offering alternative storyline to sell us their products.

The recent article in Slate asking for Ford India to fire its advertisers after autoblog highlighted the “downright lascivious” sensibilities at Ford India’s marketing partners. This is a breath of fresh air given that often such a criticism is levied by women’s rights or some activist group and not industry peers. It is an opportunity to be reflective and I hope this is not just about sacking the marketing partners (though that would be a good start) but self inspection within the marketing and advertising folks on their role in perpetuating stereotypes and even objectification of women in their pursuit to sell products and appear “in” or cool. There needs to be a redefinition of cool in marketing. It should be someone who is socially conscious. It is someone who will challenge the deeply entrenched biases that make them the norm.

In the most recently concluded Commission on the Status of Women’s Agreed Conclusions (PDF) state (emphasis is mine):

(vv) Recognize the important role the media can play in the elimination of gender stereotypes, including those perpetuated by commercial advertisements, and in promoting non-discriminatory and gender-sensitive reporting, including by preserving the confidentiality of the identity of victims and survivors where appropriate; and, to the extent consistent with freedom of expression, encourage the media to improve public awareness on violence against women and girls, to train those who work in the media, and to develop and strengthen self-regulatory mechanisms to promote balanced and non-stereotypical portrayals of women with a view to eliminating discrimination against and the exploitation of women and girls and refraining from presenting them as inferior beings and exploiting them as sexual objects and commodities and instead present women and girls as creative human beings, key actors and contributors to and beneficiaries of the process of development

There needs to be a move to building greater “self-regulatory” mechanisms that would hold the advertisers accountable and perhaps even make them stop and reconsider the way women are presented in the stories they weave to make us buy their products.

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