WFUWO participates in 57th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

#UWC news
April 16,2013 200




March 14, 2013




Contact: Irene Jarosewich, WFUWO Main Representative/UNDPI at [email protected]





UNITED NATIONS – A delegation of 14 women from the World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations, led by recently elected WFUWO President Orysia Sushko, joined thousands of international representatives at United Nations headquarters in New York City on March 4 to begin the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). Convening annually each spring, the CSW sessions are a continuing effort by the international community to address global issues that affect women and children, ranging from maternal health, rural education, illegal labor and sex trafficking to urban poverty. The organizing theme for this year’s session was “The prevention and elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls.”


WFUWO representatives attended more than two dozen events and panels during the two weeks of the CSW. Early March 4 WFUWO President Orysia Sushko attended the opening of the CSW session in the United Nations General Assembly, followed by a panel organized by the Council of Europe. At the NGO Forum reception for the heads of non-governmental organizations at the Kazakh Mission on March 5, the WFUWO president had the opportunity to network with leaders of other international organizations from the more than 130 countries represented at the CSW.


On Wednesday March 6, the WFUWO delegation met with Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United Nations Yuriy Sergeyev at the Permanent Mission of Ukraine. Ambassador Sergeyev engaged those present in a discussion of his vision of cooperation between WFUWO’s increasingly active presence at the UN, as well as discussions of developments in Ukraine in a variety of areas of interest and concern to WFUWO delegates. Also participating in the discussion from the Permanent Mission were Igor Sybiga, Vitalij Kasap and Yana Boiko, as well as members of Ukraine’s delegation to the CSW that included government representatives and representatives of Ukrainian non-governmental organizations. During her introduction, At the conclusion of her remarks  Mrs. Sushko presented the ambassador with the publication prepared for the WFUWO Tenth Congress held in 2012, which highlights the organization’s activities during the past five years, including WFUWO’s work at the United Nations, as well as the most recent edition of the organization’s journal Ukrainian Woman in the World.


Every year for the past several years, WFUWO’s UN representatives have organized a panel that coincides with the CSW theme. This year’s panel titled When Will the Violence against Women and Girls Stop? Global Solutions was held during the afternoon on March 8. The meeting room was packed with well over 100 attendees listening to presenter Dr. Martha Kichorowska Kebalo speak on the topic “Mobilizing Outrage: Joining Forces to Combat Gender Violence in Ukraine” and human rights attorney and Pakistani broadcast journalist Rehman Azhar speak on the topic “Strategies to Convince Men in Developing Countries to Stop Sexual Violence”. The panel was moderated by Dr. Janet Sigal, co-chair with WFUWO’s Nadia Shmigel of the UN NGO Committee on the Family, NY, one of several UN-affiliated sponsors of the event.


Prior to the official opening of the 57th session, the WFUWO delegates attended a reception on March 3 hosted by the International Council of Women (ICW), organized by ICW UN representative Iryna Kurowyckyj at the recently renovated headquarters of the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America in New York City. Several dozen women from around the globe representing the executive of the ICW joined the WFUWO delegates for the evening. Iryna Kurowyckyj and UNWLA President Marianna Zajac greeted both the new WFUWO president with her first working visit to the United States, as well as a member of the official delegation from Ukraine, Liudmyla Yakovlieva, Chair, National Council of Women of Ukraine.


Dr. Kebalo, recently appointed as WFUWO Main Representative to UN/ECOSOC, gave a keynote at the beginning of the evening recalling the work of the WFUWO UNECOSOC representatives during the past 20 years, extending special thanks to Nadia Shmigel who has worked for more than a dozen years representing the interests of Ukrainian women at the UN. Although Mrs. Shmigel recently stepped down as the Main Representative, she will continue her work as a member of the WFUWO UN representation in the coming years.


“This has been a most invigorating visit for me,” commented WFUWO President Sushko shortly before her return to Toronto on March 11, “and has given me a much fuller understanding of how our international network of Ukrainian women’s groups belongs among an increasingly sophisticated network of women’s group worldwide. I am pleased to have been here to mark the 20th anniversary of our organization’s representation at the United Nations. And on the eve of our 65th anniversary, which WFUWO will celebrate in October, it is important for us to take pride and recognize our accomplishments in persistently pressing forth to uphold the interests and dignity of Ukrainian women, and therefore of Ukraine, within this international arena.”


Besides WFUWO President Orysia Sushko, the WFUWO delegation to the CSW included UNWLA President Marianna Zajac, former UNWLA President Anna Krawchuk, Lida Bilous, a member of the board of directors of both the UNWLA and WFUWO, UNWLA board members Sophia Hewryk and Ulana Zinych, as well as WFUWO UN representatives Nadia Shmigel, Dr. Marta Kebalo, Dr. Daria Dykyj, Dr. Larysa Dyrszka, Sofika Zielyk, Irene Jarosewich, Natalia Sonevytsky, and Tamara Parubchenko.


Members of the official delegation from Ukraine included three parliamentarians who were members of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Human Rights, National Minorities and International Relations: Chairman Valeriy Patskan, Deputy Chair Iryna Lutsenko and consultant for inter-parliamentary relations, Julia Pachesiuk. Also included in the official delegation were Liudmyla Yakovlieva, Chair, National Council of Women of Ukraine; Anna Kalmatskaya, Chair, Women’s Federation for World Peace-Ukraine; Ella Lamakh, a longtime women’s rights activist and former head of the Department of Family and Gender Policy of the Ministry of Family, Youth and Sports; Dr. Valentyna Bondarovska, executive director of the UN-funded NGO in Ukraine, Rozrada, which focuses on assistance and counseling for women and children victims of domestic violence, as well as Director of Programs Olena Hvozdetska and Roman Liubchenko from the Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS. 


Established in 1948 in Philadelphia by ten women’s organizations, the World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations (WFUWO) is now based in Toronto and unites 27 organizations from 17 countries found on four continents. Representing a spectrum of women’s organizations pursuing civic, religious, cultural, educational, immigration and humanitarian goals, WFUWO reflects the activity of local Ukrainian communities worldwide, as well as international networking through its consultative status with UNECOSOC, UNICEF and accreditation with UNDPI. WFUWO received consultative status with UNECOSOC in 1993, with UNICEF in 1997 and accreditation with UNDPI in 1990. At the core of WFUWO’s mission is supporting the dignity and integrity of women in Ukraine and Ukrainian women in émigré communities by supporting adherence to international standards of human rights, raising public awareness of problems and violations, maintaining Ukrainian language and culture, cultivating awareness of Ukrainian history, family and social traditions, as well as efforts that support modern Ukraine’s development into an independent, stable democracy with respect for the rule of law.


Photo credit: D. Dykyj

NEW YORK CITY — Representatives from the WFUWO, the UNWLA and the ICW at a reception March 3.

Seated (L-R):  Roma Shuhan (Financial Secretary, UNWLA); Liudmyla Yakovlieva (Chair, National Council of Women/Ukraine, ICW); Orysia Sushko (President, WFUWO); Jaroslava Rubel (WFUWO, UNDPI Main Representative/Emeritus); Marianna Zajac (President, UNWLA).

Standing (L-R):  Savka Todorovska (President, National Council of Women/Republic of Macedonia, ICW); Natalia Sonevytsky (WFUWO UNDPI Representative); Hanya Krill (former WFUWO UNECOSOC Representative); Lida Bilous (Member, Executive Committees of WFUWO and UNWLA); Dr. Daria Dykyj (WFUWO UNECOSOC Representative); Anna Kalmatskaya ( Chair, Women’s Federation for World Peace-Ukraine); Nadia Shmigel (WFUWO UNECOSOC Representative); Iryna Kurowyckyj (former President, UNWLA, ICW UNECOSOC Main Representative); Irene Jarosewich (WFUWO UNDPI Main Representative); Sofika Zielyk (WFUWO UNECOSOC Representative);  Dr. Marta Kichorowska Kebalo (WFUWO UNECOSOC Main Representative).