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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).
New York, New York, International Women's Health Coalition [IWHC], . 2 p.Today, about 1 billion people are between 10 and 19 years of age, 85% of them in developing countries. The Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development recognized that adolescents have a special need for sexual and reproductive health information, education and services, and that these services must respect the right of adolescents to privacy. Many women around the world marry as adolescents. Across Sub-Saharan Africa, at least half of young women enter their first marriage or union by age 18 (e.g. Mali, Niger - more than 75% of young women; Cameroon, Malawi, Uganda, Nigeria - more than 50%). In Egypt and the Sudan, the proportion is 27%, but in Yemen, it is 49%. In Latin America and the Caribbean, between 20 and 40% of adolescent women in countries such as Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Trinidad and Tobago are married before age 18. Across Asia, the likelihood of early marriage is quite variable: 73% of women in Bangladesh enter a union by age 18, compared with 14% in the Philippines and Sri Lanka, and 5% in China. (excerpt)
International assistance to women's organizations. [Ayuda internacional a las organizaciones femeninas]
In: Women and civil war. Impact, organizations, and action, edited by Krishna Kumar. Boulder, Colorado, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2001. 205-214.Several factors have led the international donor community to support women's organizations both during and after conflict. One obvious factor is that because of lack of resources, shortage of skilled personnel, and general decline in the morale of the staff, public bureaucracies become extremely fragile in war-torn societies. They are often unable to provide urgently needed social services to the suffering populace. Therefore, the international community tends to develop partnerships with voluntary organizations, including women's organizations, to provide essential assistance to the needy people. There are two additional reasons for the international donor community to support women's organizations. First, by virtue of their leadership and commitment, these organizations are better able to reach women than are male-dominated or mixed civil-society organizations. Their staff members can easily empathize with the intended women beneficiaries, who in turn feel more at ease in sharing their problems with them. Second, the international community also sees in women's organizations potential for empowering women. In addition to channeling assistance, they contribute to the social and psychological empowerment of women by teaching self-reliance and leadership skills. (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)
Child support as a strategic interest: la Asociación de Madres Demandantes of El Salvador. [La cuota alimenticia como interés estratégico: Asociación de Madres Demandantes de El Salvador]
Gender and Development. 2003 Jul; 11(2):60-69.Among certain social sectors in El Salvador, couples have not necessarily engaged informal marriages. But with the economic and political crisis of the 1980s, many poor Salvador women were left with the sole financial responsibility for their children. With the 'modernisation' of the state in the post-war period, more of those women began to seek the assistance of the state in securing child support. This paper looks at the process that women had to go through to access that support and explores how Mujeres pot La Dignidad y La Vida (Women for Dignity and Life), afeminist organisation created out of the Salvadoran civil war, mobilised women to challenge institutionalised gender roles reflected in that process. The conflicts that arose within the new organisation they formed, the Asociacion de Madres Demandantes (Association of Mothers Seeking Child Support), highlight thedifferent interests of the women being organised and those organising them. These conflicts were intensified by the policies of donor organisations that supported the work of the Association. (author's)
[Unpublished] 2003 Jul 9. 15 p.How can information and communication technologies (ICT) be used to promote gender equality in developing nations and to empower women? This essay seeks to deal with that issue, and with the gender effects of the “information revolution.” While obvious linkages will be mentioned, the essay seeks to go beyond the obvious to deal with some of the indirect causal paths of the information revolution on the power of women and equality between the sexes. This is the third1 in a series of essays dealing with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). As such, it deals specifically with Goal 3: to promote gender equality and to empower women. It is published to coincide with the International Conference on Gender and Science and Technology. The essay will also deal with the specific targets and indicators for Goal 3. (excerpt)
Women and Environments International. 2003 Spring; (58-59):52.The Magdalena Pacifica Festival in Cali exhibited performances from some 30 Colombian companies, all of which focused on issues relating to women. The second part of the festival took place in Bogota at the invitation of Patricia Ariza, one of the most important and well-respected theatre activists in Colombia. (excerpt)
Women and Environments International. 2003 Spring; (58-59):43-47.Hands Across the Divide (HAD) is a newly formed NGO linking women of northern Turkish-speaking Cyprus and southern Greek-speaking Cyprus. It is unique, the first of its kind in Cyprus, and the first bi-communal Cypriot organization to gain international recognition. So total is the Cypriot partition, that it is legally impossible to register a bi-communal organization in Cyprus as a single organization. So the women of HAD went to London to register. Despite all the barriers to communication across the Green Line, the women of HAD are carrying out joint actions for peace. While the northern HAD women are sharing in the massive demonstrations in the north, the Greek Cypriot members of Hands Across the Divide have started their own action in the south. Cyprus now faces entry to the European Union bringing new urgency to the question of reunification and peace. (excerpt)
Women and Environments International. 2003 Spring; (58-59):15-18.This article presents two interviews: One with Carolyn Reicher of Canadian Women for Women In Afghanistan; the other with Sahar Saba of the Revolutionary Afghani Women's Association [RAWA].
In: Progress of the world's women 2000: UNIFEM biennial report, [compiled by] United Nations Development Fund for Women [UNIFEM]. New York, New York, UNIFEM, 2000. 15-36.This document, which is the first chapter of a UN publication entitled “Progress of the World’s Women 2000,” examines the economic dimension of women’s ability to realize themselves as full human beings. In that context, it argues for the expansion of the current definition of human development, which is defined as a process of enlarging people’s choices, to include women’s empowerment, or specifically, giving women the courage to choose. Overall, the document aims to contribute to the global dialog that is sparked by commitments made to women in human rights treaties, UN conferences and grounded in women's organizations' own efforts to humanize the world. To that end, it is noted that women have to defend their right to paid work in the private, public and nongovernmental sectors in the face of familial and community opposition, and, increasingly, in the face of pressures from globalization. In addition, they have to defend their right to more equal ways of sharing and supporting unpaid care work in the home. However, the document also acknowledges that women face constraints not of their own making or choosing, and that many countries can be weakened by social choices, collectively made, and not through individual choices alone.
Washington, D.C., World Bank, Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network, Gender and Development Group, 2000. viii, 36 p.This report outlines actions taken by the World Bank in integrating gender equality into its work since the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. The World Bank's mission is to reduce poverty and improve well-being by helping low- and middle-income countries achieve sustainable and equitable development. The Bank pursues its missions through a variety of instruments, which include 1) lending to governments, 2) policy advice, 3) technical assistance, 4) capacity building, and 5) research activities. Increasingly, it works in partnership with all levels of government, other international and donor organizations, the private sector, and civil society. The Beijing Conference, in which the Bank actively participated, is one of the forces driving the Bank's efforts to deepen its gender focus. At the conference, women's organizations recommended the Bank to take actions on four sets of initiatives, which are in line with the Beijing Platform of Action. These include 1) increasing Bank lending for basic education, health, and credit programs that benefit women; 2) institutionalizing the participation of nongovernmental organizations and civil society in economic formulations; and 3) promoting the number of women in the management of the Bank. A number of programs integrating gender concerns into its work have been included in the World Bank's efforts since 1995. Moreover, the Bank will publish a Policy Report on gender and development which will examine the links between gender equality, public policy, and development.
CHOICES. 2001 Mar; 13-5.The South Asia Poverty Alleviation Programme (SAPAP) provides new hope to poor women in regions such as Anantpur, India. Financially supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and working in partnership with the state government and local non-government organizations, the project provides financial aid to income-generation activities. Before SAPAP, these women faced futures of perpetual debt to moneylenders for money to raise their children. Yet with SAPAP, these women shifted from wage labor to self-help or self-employment. Supplementary loans, used mainly to buy livestock, seeds, sewing machines and, occasionally, auto rickshaws, have been made to these women by the UNDP, the UN International Partnership Trust Fund, or local banks. The women contribute a weekly fee, and so far no one has defaulted on her loan. The SAPAP/UNDP program has also addressed the issue of child labor in Anantpur. Three residential schools, each with 100 students, have been set up to rehabilitate child workers.
In: All of us. Births and a better life: population, development and environment in a globalized world. Selections from the pages of the Earth Times, edited by Jack Freeman and Pranay Gupte. New York, New York, Earth Times Books, 1999. 105-8.The Fourth World Conference on Women, also known as the Beijing Women's Conference, has had a positive impact on Chinese women. The most immediate result was the political participation of Chinese women. They are transforming themselves, striving to gain political power that is based on democracy. Also, the conference marked a turning point for the All China Women's Federation (ACWF), the largest women's nongovernmental organization in the world. The conference provided a big boost in status to the ACWF and gave new life to its long administrative arm. Overall, the Beijing women's conference clearly contributed to the country's political renaissance. It helped Chinese women see themselves as leaders in the forefront of China's modernization.
New York, New York, United Nations Development Fund for Women [UNIFEM], 1995. 269 p.This book, entitled "A Commitment to the World's Women", raises some of the crucial issues involving women and development. Published by the UN Development Fund for Women, the book provides useful guidance to the international community as the UN seeks to build consensus on the concrete actions and commitments which member states can undertake to ensure that women can be full and active participants in development. In this book, articles were contributed by more than 30 authors who have proven their own high level of commitment to the empowerment of women during their many years of dedicated work on gender issues. The authors re-visit the crucial issues and processes that have affected women, their families and societies and offer recommendations and insights for achieving a sustainable future. Lastly, this book offers a diverse range of powerful visions for political and economic changes needed to reconstruct a new development agenda based on justice and equality for all sectors of society.