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‘Leaving no one behind’ in action: observations from FGE’sseven-year experience working with civil society.
New York, New York, UN Women, . 8 p.This brief contains observations from the Fund for Gender Equality’s (FGE) seven-year experience working with civil society. Gender equality is at the forefront of the 2030 Development Agenda. The Sustainable Development Goals include a stand-alone goal to advance equality, and gender-related targets mainstreamed across the Global Goals. If something has opened a door for drastic progress in the lives of women and girls worldwide, it is the principle of leaving no one behind. Leaving no one behind means prioritizing human beings’ dignity and placing the progress of the most marginalized communities first—women and girls being all too often at the top of the list. It urges us to address the structural causes of inequality and marginalization that affect them. This ambitious undertaking requires a collective effort to identify and share effective strategies to operationalize this concept. This brief offers practical insights based on the experience of the FGE in working with marginalized populations through its support to women-led civil society organizations (CSOs).
Journal of North African Studies. 2008 Mar; 13(1):55-73.This paper examines the current efforts being made in Morocco in the field of women's education and evaluates the success of the Moroccan Development Model in the field of women's education by examining the topic through three lenses: international aid agencies, Moroccan government and royal efforts and the Moroccan Women's Movement. Consideration of the historical, religious and economic frameworks for each actor maintains priority within the study as a means of evaluating the progress made to date, the current status of women's education and the long-term goals and timeframes. The findings within this paper are primarily based on UN statistics, ratings, and definitions as well as other reputable sources such as the World Bank. Sources used include magazine articles, websites, academic journals and papers, and sociological, political and anthropological books on Morocco and women. It must be noted that this evaluation focuses on Anglophone and Francophone sources only and does not consider Arabophone sources. (author's)
Women's rights body reviews reports from 8 States - United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.
UN Chronicle. 1987 Aug; 24: p..LEGAL, judicial and administrative measures taken to guarantee equality of women's rights in political, economic, social and cultural fields in eight countries were reviewed by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) at its sixth session (Vienna 30 March-10 April). Bangladesh, Colombia, France, Greece, Poland, Republic of Korea, Spain and Sri Lanka reported to the 23-member expert Committee and responded to their comments and questions. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, approved by the General Assembly in 1979, requires the 92 States parties to guarantee a just distribution of rights and obligations among men and women. Among principles enunciated in the Convention are those relating to affirmative action, maternity protection measures, abolition of prostitution, rights of rural women and de facto equality in family relations, employment, education and cultural and political life. States parties are also asked to report periodically on action they have taken to give effect to the Convention's provisions. (excerpt)
Development. 2005; 48(1):101-106.Carol Barton reflects on the concerns of women’s movements about the millennium development goals (MDGs). She argues that the MDGs can potentially be used as an instrument to advance a global feminist agenda to the extent that feminist organizations define the terms of the debate. She presents the intense debates among women’s organizations about how to engage with the MDGs and how they link to Beijing, Cairo and CEDAW. (author's)
Popularizing women's human rights at the local level: a grassroots methodology for setting the international agenda.
In: Women's rights, human rights: international feminist perspectives, edited by Julie Peters and Andrea Wolper. New York, New York, Routledge, 1995. 189-194.Women working at local and international levels must reach out to each other so that the experiences, discoveries, and agendas of one group can inform and influence the work of the other. In Vienna, women from diverse regions and with varied kinds of experience worked together to create a unified agenda for advocacy in the international arena. That they were able to do so is in itself a victory. But though Vienna may have brought the movement for women's human rights to a new threshold, it was only a stepping stone. The challenge for advocates of women's human rights remains: to contribute to the empowerment of women in everyday life; to make a tangible difference in women's lives by implementing the kinds of change they themselves choose; and to hold the United Nations and individual governments accountable for the needs and rights of women in their own very diverse communities and in the global governance. That challenge must be met at every level and in every possible venue. (excerpt)
Women's organizations in El Salvador: history, accomplishments, and international support. [Organizaciones femeninas en El Salvador: historia, logros y apoyo internacional]
In: Women and civil war. Impact, organizations, and action, edited by Krishna Kumar. Boulder, Colorado, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2001. 183-203.Women's organizations in El Salvador have undergone a unique evolution, first in relation to the conditions of war that permeated El Salvador from 1980 to 1992 and then in response to economic restructuring and the challenges of democratization following the war. The conditions of El Salvador's civil war, along with the fact that many women's organizations became stronger during the war, have resulted in a unique set of organizations that are marked by their autonomy at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Early-conflict women's organizations (1980 to 1985) were characterized by their attachment to a wide range of popular grass-roots organizations and attempts to incorporate women into these groups. Many of these organizations mobilized women around economic issues, survival in the war, and human rights. A few formed in this period began to work with battered women and to question women's legal, political, and domestic subordination. Few, however, were willing to embrace the concept of feminism. Late-conflict and post-conflict women's organizations (1986 to 2001) are characterized by women challenging gender hierarchies within mixed grass-roots organizations and putting forth a gendered discourse on specific women's rights, ranging from violence against women to inequities in the labor force. Feminism also became more prevalent during this time. In this chapter we look at the particular changes found in women's organizations and link them to specific historical, social, and economic circumstances. We then evaluate what the impact of women's organizations has been in terms of empowering Salvadoran women and make recommendations for international donor organizations so that they can better serve Salvadoran women's organizations. (excerpt)
Gender, Technology and Development. 2001 Sep-Dec; 5(3):341-364.Empowering women of forest based societies to participate in local forest management has become an essential rhetorical commitment of donor funded 'participatory' forestry projects and state policies for devolution of forest management. Instead of increasing women's empowerment, the top-down interventions of a World Bank funded forestry project in Uttarakhand are doing the opposite by disrupting and marginalizing their own struggles and achievements, transferring power and authority to the forest department and local elite men. A number of case studies illustrate the project's insensitivity to the dynamic functioning of existing self-governing institutions and the women's ongoing struggles within them to gain greater voice and control over forest resources for improving their quality of life and livelihood security. The article argues for active engagement of forest women and their communities in the policy and project formulation process itself, which permits building upon women's and men's own initiatives and struggles while strengthening gender-equal democratization of self-governing community forestry institutions. (author's)
The International Conference on Population and Development, Cairo, 1994. Is its Plan of Action important, desirable, and feasible? ICPD Plan of Action: its ideological effects.
HEALTH TRANSITION REVIEW. 1996 Oct; 6(2):228-9.This editorial notes that essential debate arose from the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). For example, it was charged that the ICPD Programme of Action (POA) fails to provide a realistic assessment of available resources. The POA, however, is extremely important in an ideological sense because it raises questions about development, about North-South economic inequities, and about production and consumption inequities, while it uncovers the underlying causes of resource shortages. The POA also has challenged conventional wisdom by placing "choice" on the agenda and by acknowledging the links between sexually transmitted diseases, family planning (FP), maternal health, and information services and by uncovering the fact that FP has been given a higher priority than such crucial services as provision of clean water. While resources are decreasing, the POA sets population goals in a broader context of equity and ethics, prods governments to reconsider their funding options, and encourages women's and community groups to challenge unacceptable practices. Many improvements in FP programs can be enacted without increased expenditures. While the POA focus on women (which is unique for a population document) has led to a backlash assertion of the central position of men in reproductive health, women are the most vulnerable to reproduction-related suffering, and limited resources must be focused on meeting their needs. While the POA cannot of itself alter the international order, it remains valuable for placing such issues on the agenda.
Women's Declaration on Population Policies (in preparation for the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development).
In: Towards women-centred reproductive health. Part 2. Ideas for action, [compiled by] Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women [ARROW]. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, ARROW, 1994. 30-5. (Information Package No. 1)In 1992, women's health advocates representing women's groups throughout the world met to create this draft declaration on population policies, for which they would seek widespread endorsement and which they would contribute to the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development. The document opens by listing seven fundamental ethical principles that must be honored by population policies and programs in order to assure women's well-being. These principles cover women's ability to make responsible decisions for themselves; women's rights to express their sexuality as they wish; women's rights to decide whether, how, and when to have children as well as how many children to have; men's responsibility for their own sexual behavior and fertility; violence against women and harmful traditional practices; and the necessity of including women in all aspects of decision-making. The minimum requirements of population programs are seen as 1) seeking a reduction and elimination of all pervasive inequalities suffered by women; 2) supporting women's organizations committed to women's reproductive health and rights and linked to women to be served; 3) assuring appropriate, affordable, good quality, comprehensive reproductive and sexual health care for women of all ages (without incentives or disincentives); 4) developing and providing the widest possible range of contraceptives to meet women's multiple needs throughout their lives; 5) ensuring sufficient financial resources to meet these goals; and 6) seeking wider social, political, and economic transformation to equalize the status of women with that of men. Specific priority actions include filling at least half of decision-making posts with women, increasing financial resources by 400%, allocating 20% of available resources to women's health and reproductive rights organizations, and instituting accountability measures.
Development. 1994; (1):63-6.Agenda 21 was adopted in June 1992 by the world community. The chapter on global action for women toward equitable and sustainable development discusses the integration of women into the development process. In this discussion some background history is presented on how women have been conceptualized and integrated into development issues. Women in development (WID) groups have not addressed the problems of traditional development approaches for women, the environment, or sustainability. The exception has been DAWN (Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era, a Southern nongovernmental coalition of women researchers). Programmatic impact of WID has been attained, but policy impact is still limited. Women have been recognized as the "first ecologists," but records of women's traditional practices which harmonize with environmental protection are not well researched. New knowledge and skills for women must be combined with the survival knowledge gleaned from long term interaction with the environment. Agenda 21 recognized the women, environment, and development (WED) links but without a full recognition of the issues. New research has only begun to reveal the harmful effects on women during pregnancy from toxic contaminants and burning of biomass fuels. Both gender bias and gender blindness prevent the examination of women's issues. Women suffer from lack of access to education and training, lack of access to property and credit, lack of access to decision making, and biases in resource allocation. These biases prevent a gender neutral setting for development. The inclusion of women's issues in planning would address, for example, women's traditional family roles in production and reproduction, women's roles in the community for assuring safe food water and security, women's daily interaction with the environment, women's responsibility for food security, women knowledge of ecology and biodiversity, and women's emerging roles as head of households. WID and WED are different approaches to the nature of development. Development objectives of industrialization, urbanization, and consumer societies are no longer primary goals and directly or indirect contribute to the world's misery. Justice and equity have been sacrificed in the past, and future approaches must be integrative and interdisciplinary.
VIVRE AUTREMENT. 1994 Oct; (Spec No):3.In November 1994 in Senegal, Dakar will host the regional conference on women. Its purpose is to develop a common action plan that Africa will present in Beijing. Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and governments have already been preparing for this meeting. This conference had been organized by a series of meetings continent-wide, where governments and NGOs clarified their positions on the 3 themes: equality, development, and peace. The Ministry of Women and the Family has the task of preparing the Senegalese viewpoint of the operation. Senegalese authorities want to make the meeting in Dakar a success. They have decided to have expositions, cultural displays, a women's business forum, a village restaurant where representatives from each country will get to know the culinary wealth of other countries, and a gala event. Everyone is ready to discuss equality, women's access to decision making structures (especially in the education sector), and better distribution of income between the sexes. NGOs do not intend to sit back and do nothing at the conference, but intend to influence the editing of the action plan. Many women's and health-based NGOs are rising up against the gaps of the action plan which only consider women's biological and physical aspects but not their mental and psychological aspects. Participants should consider the disastrous effects of sexual abuse and early marriages. Are governments ready to reform their laws which tend to discriminate against women and institutionalize their low status? Do they have the political will to check the conservative forces, such as those that spoke out against women in the final report of the forum in Tunisia? The number of women in powerful posts in Africa is growing. They can certainly advance things more rapidly than in the recent past. Women at Dakar should work together to address conflicts in Africa. Women should insist that women participate in all peace negotiations.