It has been 20 years since the first the Beijing Platform. In this 59th CSW Conference, the gap between the vision of BJ+20 in gender equality and actual realization on the ground is evident. Among all the nations, Nordic countries have the smallest gap in gender equality. Interestingly, Pathways to Peace works closely with the Institution of HeartMath for the practices of science and mathematics, using the perspective of behavior changes to promote the notion of peace, whereas governments’ leaders usually emphasize the reduction of violence and absence of war as indicators of peace. The audience was asked to speak up about what they feel about the status of peace versus the status of conflicts.
In this session, two female young Heart Ambassadors from Palestine in Israel shared their stories about how they have been empowered through Pathways to Peace and the Institution of HeartMath. One of them experienced sexual harassment in the university, which was a common occurrence for those with a lower standing of ethnicity in the country. As a result of this condition, domestic violence and human trafficking could occur with more ease. Luckily, she received an apology from the “oppressor”, which was a rare case. Meanwhile, the other young woman opened a day care to cater Arab and Jewish families in the Palestine in Israel to demonstrate the oneness of humankind.
This seminar taught that discourse has been one of the main pathways to solve various kinds of discord. Discourse can generate meaningful conversation, offer insights from all walks of life, raise the public awareness of different issues, and shape the political, social, as well as cultural dynamics. Obviously, the United Nations does need more sincere dialogues and discourses with the civil society to work on the progress of gender equality for the betterment of the world.