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  • Writer's pictureMadam Wokie

59th Session of The Commission on the Status of Women

In March 2015, Maryann Kaikai, Creative Director of Madam Wokie participated in the 59th Session of The Commission on the Status of Women.

The Session started with a Women's March from the UN Headquarters to Times Square on International Women's Day. Maryann was joined by Munje Foh of The Foreign Market  and thousands of men and women from around the world.

Following registration, Maryann commenced sessions at the United Nations Headquarters on various topics of concern.

Maryann's first sessions included the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the current challenges affecting its implementation and the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women; the review of progress made in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action; and opportunities for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women in the post-2015 development agenda. 

Maryann also attended the sessions on the Elimination of Harmful Practices against Women and Girls By 2030 - Advancing a Sustainable Framework; EQUALITY NOW, UN WOMEN Arts Advocacy Campaign to End Sex Discriminatory Laws; and a seminar by Live Action founder, Lila Rose, on her experiences in defending unborn life. 

The sessions were quite insightful and interactive. It was a great opportunity to increase understanding on  a wide range of human rights issues; identify the role we as individuals and organisations could play in protecting and preventing human rights violations; and provided an opportunity for all participants to share best practice on human rights education, redress and stakeholder cooperation and coordination.

with Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women

On the third day Maryann attended two sessions on UN women inter-generational dialogue and the Kenya Mission to the United Nations's session on the "Beyond Zero Campaign on Maternal and Newborn Health" hosted by Her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta, the First Lady of the Republic of Kenya.  The UN women inter-generational dialogue focused on women's participation in political life; information and power; how ICT can promote women ; and concluded with an interactive dialogue on the issues raised. The key goals that emerged from the session included eliminating violence against women; increasing women's participation in development making; undertaking reforms to give women equal rights; and adopting strong policies for women's equality. 

The Kenyan Session on "Strategic Leadership on Women and Girls Health: The Beyond Zero Campaign in Kenya" included speakers such as Kenya's First Lady, Margaret Kenyatta; Luiz lores, UN Aids; Nduku kilonzo, Ministry of health and Director of Kenya National Aids Control Council; Alice Wahone, Kenya Women parliamentary association; Lydia Rono, Executive Director, Cooperative Bank Kenya; and Macharia Kamau, Kenya ambassador to the UN. The Beyond zero campaign addresses the critical area of health care of the marginalised and disadvantaged population. It includes 21 Mobile clinics in Kenya, as well as equipped free maternal services. The session was quite insightful in the role women, governments and civil society can play in providing healthcare services to remote disadvantaged populations, and initiatives that could be undertaken to raise awareness of various health concerns,   and raise funds in the absence of funding.

with Dorothy Nyong'o, Lupita Nyong'o's Mother

First Lady of Kenya Margaret Kenyatta 

On day 4 of the Fifty-ninth session of the Commission on the Status of Women Maryann attended the Sierra Leone, UN Women and the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response's  (UNMEER) session on Sierra Leone's experience sharing on Ebola Virus Disease. The aim of the packed session was to raise awareness of Ebola  in Sierra Leone and share the nations experience in handling the disease.  Participants shared best practice and ideas on how to ensure that Ebola affected communities, countries and persons are not stigmatized.  The highlight of the session was the moving presentation by Nurse Tucker, a survivor of Ebola and one of the selfless nurses working tirelessly to provide the best medical services possible to individuals affected by Ebola. She shared her experience on how she became infected with Ebola, her experience in personally fighting the disease and her efforts to provide healthcare to other patients following her treatment and discharge. She highlighted the stigmatisation survivors of Ebola face from their communities and encouraged the international community and governments to ensure that vulnerable communities do not continue to suffer such marginalisation.

Madam Wokie


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