Women’s Human Rights and Gender Justice in the post-2015 era: the role of WIDE+ and feminist organizations

A two-days programme on 17-18 June in Barcelona, Spain

See the programme here.

Fill in this application form and return it to conference@wide-network.org by 20 May to participate.

2015 is an important year for the future of international development. States around the world plan to commit themselves to new development goals in several key development agendas. It could have also become the year in which governments realise new global commitments to respect, protect and enforce women’s human rights, since it celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Declaration and Platform for Action Agenda agreed upon in 1995 at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. After 20 years of reviewing the implementation of the BPfA and other agendas around women’s rights, feminist networks and CSOs have to take their time to reflect on the concepts and strategies enshrined in the BPfA: the paradigm of women’s human rights, of gender equality and state-CSO-partnership.

It remains an ongoing struggle to keep discourses, laws and policies that foster gender justice in place. In the post-2015 era, feminist groups and networks are confronted with a new configuration of dominant policies, discourses and alliances that undercut women’s human rights. Not only that countries like Iran, the Holy See and Russia, among others, are successful at the UN pushing back any new global commitments to Sexual / Reproductive Health and Rights; neo-conservative parties at the EU parliament block progressive gender policies; and conservative forces and religious fundamentalist organisations from among the civil society challenge sexual orientations and gender identities. At the same time, neo-liberal policies that EU decision makers push forward, attack livelihood security through external trade and investment policies, land grabbing and resource extractivism, and they increase the unpaid care burden on mostly women by austerity policies and privatization. These are some illustrations of an underlying trend to slow down, stop, or even reverse progress in women’s human rights.

Feminist networks and groups, such as WIDE+, are confronted with questions about the strategic viability of the Beijing-paradigm under changed power relations. If it is currently so difficult to advance the implementation and progress on commitments, should we opt for new strategic avenues and reformulate our feminist agendas? What are key issues we should focus on as feminists? And what can we concretely do to advocate for the future of the women’s rights paradigm in the post-2015 agenda?

The public panel in the evening of 17 June and the full day WIDE+ meeting will give members and strategic allies a chance to deeply reflect and discuss these questions in a highly participatory manner. The success of the events depends on the active participation of those present. Interested members are encouraged to contribute ideas, and to be speakers, rapporteurs and facilitators, as explained in the application form.

The events have been made possible thanks to the financial support from the Catalan Agency for Development (ACCD) and others.

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The role of TNCs and trade agreements in the recent disaster in Atacama, Chile

Recently, an active WIDE+ member, Patricia Muñoz, visited the Atacama region in Chile, a region devastated by abnormal rain floods and mud avalanches. There she spoke to women from two nodes of La Via Campesina movement: ANAMURI and RATMURI.

ANAMURI is an organisation of women grassroots workers (indigenous, migrant, poor women in rural and urban areas, seasonal workers in the agro-business and mining industry). They work locally, nationally and globally. Locally, they are represented in many regions. WIDE+ met with various local representatives of RATMURI and ANAMURI in Atacama, North of Chile – a region that has recently come to the forefront of international news following the disasters provoked by abnormal rain floods and mud avalanches..

Anamuri visit_May 2015 3

María Cartagena, A representative of RATMURI/ANAMURI shows a brick of mud where formerly stood corn fields. Credit: Patricia Muñoz

The women of RATMURI are working hard to show that the natural disaster in the North of Chile has broader implications which point to the devastating impact of  extractivist-driven trade in the region. They also have an interesting approach to violence that links violence against women with the violence of neoliberalism (including land dispossession, and air, water and land poisoning by trade related activities, amongst others). Importantly, their experiences with trade-related human rights violations are reminiscent of the testimonies from women in Papua New Guinea, in Angola and Mozambique. Keeping contextual differences in mind, there are commonalities in the kind of violence and suffering that corporate-driven trade is causing to grassroots women, to their livelihoods, their bodies and the future of their children.

On their part, and amongst other activities, the women of ANAMURI are working on an ethical tribunal against transnational companies. These tribunals are spreading in the continent and are being promoted by grassroots women’s and mixed organisations throughout Latin America (such as CLOC, the Latin American coordination body of La Via Campesina movement). Such ethical tribunal may represent an entry point to conduct advocacy joining the dots between EU’s discussions on Trade agreements with Chile and Mercosur and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

More extensive analysis will follow in WIDE+ upcoming newsletter, to be published this month.

Anamuri visit_May 2015

WIDE+ meets with María Cartagena (left) and María Vargas (right), leaders of RATMURI/ANAMURI, women from La Vía Campesina. Credit: Patricia Muñoz

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Petition for the release of five detained feminist activists in China

Five Chinese feminists were detained just before the international women’s day. They are still being detained and there are concerns whether the activists receive a proper legal process and get the needed medical care. They were not protesting against the government but raising awareness on sexual harassment. They had planned to distribute stickers calling for action against sexual harassment. You can sign two petitions to show solidarity: http://goo.gl/forms/v7m4L8tYdB https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Nop5uoVF3punlPphwgve2HIPGefj1ct53tPgTpAeg7U/viewform?c=0&w=1 See here for more updated information.

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WIDE+ joins EWL statement on latest disappointing UN Commission of the Status of Women Declaration

European Women’s Lobby CSW59 Political Declaration: Women’s organisations in Europe and North America call on UN member states to Commit, Accelerate and Invest in women’s and girls’ human rights

The just concluded 59th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59), provided a disappointing outcome. UN member states did not deliver on CSO’s expectations to strongly reaffirm their commitment to realize women’s and girls’ human rights and to take step further to accelerate progress.

WIDE+ undersigned this statement that provides an analysis of the outcome and the role of the EU: http://www.womenlobby.org/spip.php?article7148&lang=en

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Turning Promises into Progress – joint GADN GAPS and UKSRHR network report

2015 represents an important moment for gender equality and women’s and girls’ rights. It is twenty years since the landmark Beijing Conference on Women and fifteen years since the ground-breaking United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security was adopted. In light of these key milestones and as the post-2015 development framework is agreed and implemented, three UK Networks – WIDE+ member GADN, GAPS and the UK SRHR network have come together to assess progress.

Over the last two decades there have been many new commitments and increasing political rhetoric on gender equality and the realisation of rights for women and girls, but limited real progress in achieving either.  In the report, Turning Promises to Progressthe networks conclude that this is, in part, because the underlying causes of gender equality have not been addressed and there was insufficient political will to make the changes needed on the ground.  Detailed recommendations for concrete action to turn rhetoric into change are outlined throughout the report.

A copy of Turning Promises into Progress can be found on GADN websites: www.gadnetwork.org/turning-promises-into-progress and www.gaps-uk.org/2015-report.  Attached is a copy of the Summary Briefing. For a printed briefing, please contact: info[at]gadnetwork.org.

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Women’s Major Group Recommendations for the Aid Effectiveness Agenda, February 2015

The Women’s Working Group on Financing for Development (WWG on FfD) of which WIDE+ is a member, has reviewed the paper for the new Aid Effectiveness Agenda that will be decided upon in Addis Ababa, in July of this year.

The Women’s Major Group acknowledges the Co-facilitators proposed “Elements Paper for Declaration Discussion”, but feels the content and structure need a stronger focus on the Sustainable Development Goals. In addition, the declaration must prioritize human rights, gender equality and the full realization of women’s and girl’s human rights, ending inequalities, and achieving environmental sustainability, peaceful societies, accountability and justice through a profound transformation of the current neoliberal economic model of development.

http://www.womenmajorgroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/FINAL-SBI-Intervention-by-Gertrude.pdf

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WIDE+ Newsletter 2015, issue 1

WIDE+ ANALYSIS

Reports and pictures from Conference ‘Gender@sustainability’ and celebration: A toast to WIDE+’, 31 October, 2014, Switzerland

This international conference organized by WIDE Switzerland provided thought provoking and analytical  presentations on the relations between the concepts of gender equality and sustainability. It also addressed current international policy developments such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the several trade negotiations (TTIP and TISA). And strategies for collective action towards sustainable and equal societies were discussed. Parallel to the conference WIDE+ founding General Assembly was held that resulted in a new board, an adopted constitution and founding members. The formalization of WIDE+ was celebrated during the evening after the conference: a toast to WIDE+!

Inputs, reports and pictures from the conference gender@sustainability are now online together with the evening of celebrating WIDE+: http://www.wide-network.ch/en/Gender_at_Sustainability/conference_documentation.php

The 13th Encuentro Feminista Latinoamericano y del Caribe in Peru, Lima, 22-25 November, 2014

http://wp.me/P2KSLS-aM

Searching for socio-ecological and socio-economic transformation: a feminist perspective on the 4th De-Growth Conference in Germany

In this article Christa Wichterich reflects on the discourses and strategies discussed during the 4th De-Growth Conference. De conference brought 3000 people together in Leipzig, in September 2014, through 450 workshops, cultural events and plenaries.

http://wp.me/P2KSLS-aU

The globalization of structural adjustment programmes: Lessons from feminists and women in the Global South

In the recently launched magazine of the EWL, WIDE+ members Patricia Muñoz Cabrera and Virginia López Calvo reflected on the Structural Adjustment programmes: http://wp.me/p2KSLS-ak

WIDE+ NEWS

WIDE+ undersigns statement against regulatory cooperation in TTIP negotiations, February 2015

Regulatory cooperation is the ultimate tool to prevent or weaken future public interest standards for citizens, workers, consumers, and the environment. This is the key message from the statement signed by around 170 civil society organizations on regulatory cooperation in the negotiations on TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a neo-liberal trade agreement) between the EU and the US. The latest leaked European Commission position on the regulatory cooperation chapter of the TTIP negotiations has further heightened the concerns from all CSOs.

http://wp.me/P2KSLS-aW

UN postMDG2015 negotiations lack understanding of women’s human rights and needed economic conditions and Financing for Development agenda, the past and upcoming processes, February 2015

https://wideplusnetwork.wordpress.com/news/financing-for-development-and-the-post-2015-agenda-the-past-and-upcoming-processes-february-2015/

WIDE+ signs statement of Financial Transparency Coalition and Latindadd Conference “Tackle the links between illicit capital flows, tax policies and gender justice”

http://wp.me/p2KSLS-a0

WIDE+ supports statement on recognising women’s rights in UNHRC Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other People Living in Rural Areas

http://wp.me/p2KSLS-aw

WIDE+ MEMBERS NEWS

GADN publication “Unpaid care: a priority for the post-2015 development goals and beyond”
http://www.gadnetwork.org/storage/gadn-responses-and-briefings/GADN%20Unpaid%20Care%20briefing.pdf

Formation de formatrices et formateurs en genre, Bruxelles, Belgium by Le Monde selon Les Femmes
http://www.mondefemmes.be/genre-developpement-formations_stages_formation-formateurs.htm

Karat Coalition’s statement during the UNECE NGO Geneva Forum available
To read the full statement: http://www.karat.org/category/karats-statements/

WIDE+ member TIYE International released statement at NGO Forum and UNECE Meeting “BEIJING + 20”, November 2014
http://www.tiye-international.org/wordpress/?page_id=49

 Spanish NGOs, including WIDE+ members CEIM and WIDE+E, are critical towards Spanish Action Plan UN 1325
https://wideplusnetwork.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/def-englishnap2014.pdf

WIDE+ member Karat coordinates alternative CEDAW report Poland
http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CEDAW/Shared%20Documents/POL/INT_CEDAW_NGO_POL_18378_E.pdf

RESOURCES 

Highlights:

*Gender and Social and Solidarity Economy, paper series by UNRISD.

*European Women’s Lobby report “1995-2015: From Words to Action”.

*The Cost of Inequality in Women’s Work – Close the Gap!, 2015 report by Action Aid.

http://wp.me/P2KSLS-b3


NEWS ABOUT FEMINISM AND WOMEN’S RIGHTS

*UN General Assembly adopts historic resolution on child, early & forced marriage.

*Feminist Principles of the internet.

*Beijing+20 UNECE NGO Forum Declaration.

*Women at Lima Climate Change Conference blast failure for real Action.

*Sexual violence in the Ukraine war.

*One women acquitted from imprisonment for miscarriage in El Salvador, now more should follow.

http://wp.me/P2KSLS-b7

EUROPEAN NEWS

http://wp.me/P2KSLS-b9


UPCOMING EVENTS among others;

*WILPF 2015 Conference: Uniting a Global Movement of Women’s Power to Stop War, 27-29 April, 2015, The Hague, the Netherlands

*International Conference “The strength of Critique: Trajectories of Marxism – Feminism”, 20-22 March, Berlin, Germany

http://wp.me/P2KSLS-bf

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