February 2020 OECD High Level Conference on Ending VAWG, Paris
January 2020 “Let Girls be Girls” event hosted by the Norwegian Ministry of International Development, Geneva
December 2019 Panel discussion on violence against women and girls at the Afro-European Medical and Research Network Conference, Geneva
“Violence Against Women and Girls: What more should governments be doing to eradicate it in the context of the Beijing + 25 global review and the SDG Agenda?” In a presentation at the Afro-European Medical Research Network Conference in Geneva, Mohinder Watson discussed the impact of VAWG on women’s health and possible risk factors for intimate partner violence and sexual violence. Dr. Watson presented the main recommendations of the CSO Forum and Beijing +25 UNECE Regional Review as well as discussing the importance of a human-rights based approach to eliminating VAWG in the context of the Beijing +25 global review and SDG Agenda. Some of the key recommendations included: (1) Developing National Action Plan for VAWG based on gender mainstreaming; (2) Coordinating with all stakeholders e.g. village/tribal chiefs, paralegals, court staff, CSOs, police, judiciary, men and boys, educational institutions and employers; (3) Funding women’s full participation in civil society; (4) Scaling up VAWG prevention efforts that address unequal power relations between men and women and conducting better evaluation of pilot projects to move to large-scale programs; and (5) Using a survivor-centred approach which respects survivor’s rights, choices, wishes and confidentiality and treats them with dignity and respect.
November 2019 Meeting with Bandana Rana, Vice Chair of CEDAW, and Lily Thapa, Founder of WHR Nepal; Geneva
October 2019 Side event during the UNECE Beijing +25 Regional Review “Ending Violence Against Women and Girls: Prevalence, Proposals and Partnerships“
September 2019 Side event during the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council “Widows in Crisis and Conflict”
July 2019 Side event during the 41st session of the Human Rights Council on child marriage and trafficking in Kashmir
June 2019 Meeting with the new Chairperson of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Geneva
June 2019 Side event during the 41st Human Rights Council presenting a new report, “Child Widows’ Needs and How to Support Them,” by Mohinder Watson
April 2019 UN Network on Migration Consultation, Geneva
March 2019 Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy
March 2019 63rd Commission on the Status of Women, New York
Reflections from CSW 63
During the 63rd meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, Mohinder Watson spoke to the Fiat Girls, a group of high school and college girls including myself who travelled to New York to learn about the issues facing women around the world and how Catholic social teaching can be used to address them with compassion and consideration. Over coffee and donuts, Mohinder shared with us her story of escaping a planned marriage as a teenager in the UK and her journey towards healing, empowerment, and advocacy. What struck me the most about Mohinder’s testimony was her resilience and kindness of spirit. Child, early and forced marriage is an issue that fundamentally damages a girl’s relationship to her culture and her family, and it takes incredible courage to recognize one’s own voice and agency in those situations, and it takes even more to share that story with the world. Thank you, Mohinder, for your advocacy, bravery, and wisdom. ~Jule Voss, Fiat Girl 2019
March 2019 International Conference on Child Marriage and Temporary Marriage in the Middle East; Sigmund Freud University, Vienna
January 2019 South Asian Regional Women’s Conference; Kathmandu, Nepal
Bikalpa Aangan School was a happy and stimulating space for young children from the surrounding area—albeit with minimum facilities compared to what these children deserve. Thank you to Stella T. and her team for showing us this important project and introducing us to some of the local residents. Their hard work and dedication over the past 15 years has built Bikalpa Aangan School into a beacon of light for the community and its children.
December 2018 Presentation at the Afro-European Medical and Research Network, Geneva
December 2018 Youth panel moderated by Michele Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, celebrates the 70th anniversary of the UDHR
November 2018 Seminar on Widows of All Ages at the European Parliament, Brussels
Hosted by UK MEP Julie Ward representing NW of England, this event brought together a distinguished group of experts on widow abuse and discrimination at the European Parliament in Brussels. Presentations included “Why Widowhood is Now a Development as well as a Human Rights and Gender Issue” from Margaret Owen, “Millions of Child Widows Invisible, Forgotten and Vulnerable—What Can the European Parliament Do?” by Mohinder Watson based on Action on Child, Early and Forced Marraige’s July 2018 report of the same name, personal testimony from Kadire Tahiraj about her experiences in Kosovo, and “Kashmir and its Widows and Half-Widows” by Shamin Shawl.
October 2018 Meeting with the CEDAW Delegation from Nepal at the UN in Geneva
October 2018 Televised debate on child marriage at the European Parliament, Brussels
October 2018 Global Consultation of the World Council of Churches; Kingston, Jamaica
September 2018 Kowani Indonesian Women’s Conference; Yogyakarta, Indonesia
July 2018 Nelson Mandela centennial event hosted by Her Excellency, Ms. Nozipho Joyce Mxakato-Diseko, Permanent Representative of the Republic of South Africa to the UN
“We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.” ~Nelson Mandela
July 2018 CEDAW Briefing; Palais des Nations, Geneva
Mohinder Watson presented Action on Child, Early and Forced Marriage’s report “Millions of Child Widows, Forgotten, Invisible and Vulnerable” at a briefing with CEDAW committee members on 16th July 2018. This report serves to highlight the plight of child widows, a neglected group of over a million vulnerable children who suffer the triple disadvantages of gender, age, and widowhood status.