This year, the 61st annual meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) brings an additional challenge for international participants traveling to the United States, since the US administration created a situation of insecurity for travelers with the attempt of president Donald Trump to implement a travel ban against citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Although the ban was considered illegal by a Federal Court, international visitors and immigrants in the United States face insecurity and discrimination, stimulated by the rhetoric and actions of the Trump administration.
FAR understands that several women’s organization have decided to move their activities to other countries as a way to protest US policy, and we support this decision. At the same time, in support of participants traveling to the United States, FAR has been working with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), to coordinate legal support at US airports, to monitor and denounce cases of human rights violations.
In spite of these challenges, this is an important moment for activism in the United States and around the world, with strong leadership of women’s organizations. On January 21, women’s groups organized the largest demonstration in US history in Washington DC, with the solidarity of hundreds of other cities nationally and around the world protesting against the new US administration. Since then, many other protests have taken place, including in dozens of airports against the travel ban.
The Feminist Alliance for Rights (FAR) would like to highlight the importance of international solidarity and coordinated actions by women’s organizations in this crucial moment. Women’s and human rights organizations in the United States have the responsibility of defending the rights of international civil society groups to participate in the CSW. This can be done by monitoring and denouncing human rights violations, as well as providing information and legal defense.
For more information, please see the following instructions by American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU):
Information for participants traveling to the sixty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from March 13 to 24, 2017:
FAR will continue to facilitate information exchange and international solidarity.