Good But Not Enough: Women's Rights And Gender Equality In Doha 2008"
The Women’s Working Group on Financing for Development welcomes the fact that the outcome document of the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development in Doha goes far beyond the 2002 Monterrey Consensus with regard to gender equality. But this is not enough.
We urge that gender equality policy commitments and actions on development, trade, finance, debt, aid and systemic issues will be strongly addressed in the follow-up process and the planned UN Conference at the highest level.
It is especially laudable in that it commits to the promotion of gender equality and women’s economic empowerment as essential to achieving equitable and effective development; takes gender analysis to the wider public management arena; and reaffirms the elimination of gender-based discrimination in all of its forms including in the labor and financial markets as well as, inter alia, in the ownership of assets and property rights (Paragraph 9bis in the draft outcome document revised text as of 1 December 2008).
However, the commitments to gender equality in the document will only be truly meaningful if the systemic issues that underpin poverty, asymmetries and mal-distribution of power and resources in the global political economy are decisively addressed. As women who have been fighting for the recognition of our human rights within the United Nations, we continue to believe that an inclusive, rights-informed and accountable multilateralism is more realizable when pursued under the purview of the General Assembly of the United Nations.
Decision makers must acknowledge that macroeconomic, systemic, and financial issues are not gender-neutral and thus demand gender-aware policies. Women constitute the majority of people working in flexible and informal sectors with often precarious working conditions. Thus, in times of crisis they struggle harder to maintain their jobs and income levels. At the same time, cuts in public service provision, including education and health, increase the burden of unpaid and invisible work done mainly by women. With the frequent fluctuations in prices, women are struggling to deal with increased financial stress within households.
We will persist in strengthening the linkages between gender equality, women’s rights, and women’s empowerment and the various issues, responses and reforms that may be agreed upon as the global community reviews the financial and monetary systems toward a comprehensive reform of global economic governance. In conclusion, we underscore the valuable significance of the outcome document’s commitment to a conference at the highest level that will be called by the UN General Assembly.
Issued by the Women’s Working Group on Financing for Development in Doha, 2 December 2008
African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET), African Women’s Economic Policy Network (AWEPON), Asia-Pacific Women’s Watch (APWW), Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), Feminist Task Force-Global Call to Action against Poverty (FTF-GCAP), International Gender and Trade Network (IGTN), International Council for Adult Education – Gender and Education Office (ICAE-GEO), Women in Development Europe (WIDE)
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