CSOs, including WIDE+, request WTO to extend waiver for pharmaceutical products

As civil society organizations concerned with ensuring prompt availability of affordable medicines in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) we call on World Trade Oorganization (WTO) Members to unconditionally accord the LDC Group an extension of the transition period with respect to pharmaceutical products and waivers from obligations under Article 70.8 (mailbox obligation) and Article70.9 (exclusive marketing rights) as requested in their duly motivated request to the TRIPs Council (IP/C/W/605).

To read the letter in full (English, Spanish and French):
CSO letterFinal, CSO letterSP, CSO letterFR

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WIDE+ and other CSOs send open letter to the governments present at the EU-CELAC Summit

Members and representatives of diverse collectives and organizations from Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean, who are meeting in Brussels have sent an open letter to all governments attending the second EU-CELAC summit.

The CSOs organized and participated in the Days of Mobilization for Peoples Sovereignty against TNC Corporate power and the Architecture of Impunity established through Free Trade and Investment Treaties held during the second EU-CELAC summit. WIDE+ is one of the co-convenors to the Days of Mobilization.

The letter expresses our strong objection and rejection of the neoliberal and austerity policies that are being applied in the EU countries.

We demand substantive changes to the resource extraction policies in Latin America and the Caribbean that have been generalized all over, from Mexico to Argentina and from Brazil to Bolivia, generating dispossession and land expropriation, massive displacement of communities and environmental damages.

We demand the governments to immediately suspend indefinitely the negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) of the UE with the United States, the Trade in Service Agreement (TiSA) which involves the EU and several States from Latin America, as well as the Transpacific Partnership (TPP). We call on the governments of the MERCOSUR countries not to reinitiate the negotiations for an FTA with the UE. We reiterate our call against the ratification of the EU FTAs with Colombia, Peru, Central America, currently under discussion in Parliament in several European countries.

Instead of negotiating more free trade deals, we call for for the establishment of an international legally binding instrument on business and human rights, as mandated by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2014 (decision A/HRC/26/L.22/Rev.1) in order to force transnational corporations to respect human rights wherever they operate.

The second EU-CELAC summit is developing under the theme of “Shaping our common future: working for a prosperous cohesive and sustainable societies for our citizens“. However, by insisting in focusing that relationship on the multiplication and establishment of Free Trade Agreements –cloaked as ‘partnership agreements’– these objectives will only get derailed and diluted and our societies will be driven to new and ever deeper crises.

To read the letter in full in English and Spanish: ESP-ENG – CARTA ABIERTA A LOS GOBIERNOS DE UE

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States at CELAC-EU Summit should do more to eradicate violence against women, in particular its extreme manifestation femicide

Civil Society urges the Heads of State at the CELAC-EU Summit taking place at this moment in Brussels (10 and 11 June) to take effective measures to guarantee that progress is made in the eradication of violence against women.

Civil society organisations in Latin America and Europe are convinced that the eradication of violence against women and girls (VAW) in all its forms and, in particular, its most extreme manifestation, namely femicide / feminicide, requires that States must comply with the duty to exercise due diligence to ensure the rights of women.

One of the central issues in the bi-regional EU-CELAC dialogue on gender in the 2013Santiago Summit was the struggle to eradicate violence against women and femicide or feminicide. This marked an important milestone for bi-regional cooperation; however, it has so far proved insufficient in the follow up by Heads of States after the Summit.

As noted in the Santiago Summit, dialogue should be strengthened through the participation of women’s and feminist organisations from both regions, who will share the progress made in each of their countries.

The declaration with recommendations is a result from the big conference on femicide / feminicide held in Brussels last week.

To read the full declaration: Declaration Conf femicide ENG (there is also a Spanish version available).

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WIDE+ Newsletter May 2015, issue 2

Days of Mobilization around EU-Latin America Summit, 8-11 June, 2015 http://wideplus.org/days-of-mobilization-around-eu-latin-america-summit-8-11-june-2

CSW 2015 celebrated Beijing+20 with record large participation but limited space for CSOs

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

UK: Turning promises into progress for Gender Equality and Women’s and Girls’ Rights

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.

New Book about Male Maternity: review by Caterina Dominici http://wideplus.org/new-book-about-male-maternity-review-by-caterina-dominici-newsletter-may-2015/

Join petition to unblock the European Maternity Leave Directive
Join Campaign for end to UN Immunity when peacekeepers commit Sexual Exploitation and Abuse
Join #WhoMadeMyClothes?
Join online consultations: towards a renewed World Bank Group Gender Strategy
Take Action to Stop Fast Track & the Trans-Pacific Partnership


GADN report: Summary of positions on the Post-2015 negotiations
Women’s Major Group Recommendations for the Aid Effectiveness Agenda, February 2015 Civil Society: if the European Commission want to achieve new development goals they need to take on major reforms in the international trade system
A Geopolitical Analysis of the Financing for Development agenda
OECD identifies priorities for Financing Gender Equality under SDGs
Briefing paper on the Struggle of CSOs to Shape the Post-2015 Agenda and Financing
Paper “The Post-2015 Corporate Development Agenda”


News on Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

Call on the members of the European Parliament to firmly reject special rights for foreign investors
28 May TTIP: European Parliament trade committee voted in favour of big business
Article: Will the TTIP lower EU food safety standards?
Publication “Why the rest of the world should be beware TTIP”
MEPs want health excluded from TTIP talks MEP Greens meeting on different studies TTIP


European Parliament FEMM Committee adopts its recommendations for the EU Strategy for equality between women and men
EWL wants a concrete, ambitious EU new Strategy for Equality between women and men
CONCORD Gender Working Group’s preliminary recommendations for the new EU Gender Action Plan 2016 – 2020
EIGE research: Gender gap in pensions in the EU
MEP Greens organizing events around Social and Solidarity Economy CONCORD Brief: who benefits from the EPA between the EU and West Africa?
Eurobarometer Report on Gender Equality
European Report on Development 2015: Trade before gender justice


Equality Now Advocacy Report: Reviewing sex discrimination in the law
CARE Report: Tackling the double injustice of climate change and gender inequality
Womankind report: Women’s rights at the crossroads in 2015
Article “Why Women Are More at Risk than Men in Earthquake-Ravaged Nepal”
Article “Governments priority for civil and political rights over other rights constraints addressing gender justice”
Article “survey concludes that nearly 2 billion women worldwide are struggling”
UNRISD Classics, Volume II: Gendered Dimensions of Development


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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

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 public panel is an open event; the WIDE+ meeting is for invited WIDE+ members and strategic allies.

fondo para proyeccion

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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 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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