2012-2016: crises, feminism and European policies

WIDE+ 2015 Report: Women’s rights need a transformation of the global development paradigm

The report contains proposals to revitalize an encompassing women’s rights agenda. The report is the result of the meetings WIDE+ organized in Barcelona, Spain, on 17 and 18 June this year, financed through the Spanish and Catalan Development Agency (Plataforma 2015 y más and ACCD). The reports, available in English, Spanish and Catalan, can be accessed here:


All the issues covered in the BPfA are still relevant for today’s feminist agenda. However, using knowledge and perspectives from across the world, it is necessary to widen and deepen many of the aspects covered to address the current backlash. The past decennia has led to a development model that is more and more framed as the ‘marketization of everything’. There is a continued proliferation of free trade agreements and policies that lead to resource-grabbing and growing inequalities. At the same time, today there are ideologies and social movements that support neo-conservative and even fundamentalist ideas and values, which are opposed to those that women’s movements across the globe have for decades been striving for: gender equality, reproductive rights, women’s bodily integrity and rights to economic agency.

Tools for feminist economy literacy, by WIDE+ members

Summer 2015. Economic literacy allows a better understanding of processes in economic spheres and empowers people to create alternative ways of thinking and acting that can improve their standing in their daily lives, on the labour market, and as citizens. This offers a collection of “good-practice tools” that include a variety of methods, training tools, multimedia tools, and research approaches. It is the result of a collaboration between WIDE+ member associations KULU in Denmark, Le Monde selon Les Femmes in Belgium, WIDE Austria, WIDE Switzerland and WIDE-E Spain.

The publication is in English and Spanish to be found on the websites of the associations: http://www.wide-netzwerk.at/


WIDE+’s Critical reflections and key recommendations for WB’s new Gender Equality Strategy

Summer, 21015. 14 years after their previous strategy on gender mainstreaming, the WBG has decided to develop a new Gender Equality (GE) Strategy. From a conceptual viewpoint, the new strategy outlined in the Concept Note presents important flaws. First, it relocates economic growth and business promotion as key levers for achieving gender equality. Second, it avoids any commitment with women’s human rights, nor does it conceptualise gender equality in connection with the do not harm approach or principle. Third, the Concept Notes stresses the importance of promoting the creation of “better jobs” for women, overlooking the important issue of decent work.

To read WIDE+’s analysis in full: WIDE_WBGstrategy_2015

The Analysis from the WWG, including WIDE+, around the outcomes of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development: Addis Ababa Action Agenda

The Women’s Major Working Group, representing more than 600 women’s groups from over 100 countries that includes the active involvement of WIDE+, is deeply disappointed with the outcome of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, July 2015. What came out of the conference, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, is the world’s plan for implementing and financing global development. It fails to address profound inequalities in economic policies and institutions that undermine human rights and gender equality.

Read the full reaction of the Women’s Major Working Group: Women Working Group Reaction to Addis Action Agenda – 16 July 2015-FINALFINAL

Analysis from conference ‘Gender@sustainability’, Bern, Switzerland, 31 October 2014, organized by WIDE Switzerland

Inputs, reports and pictures from the conference gender@sustainability are now online: Link

This conference organized by WIDE Switzerland provides thought provoking and analytical presentations on the relations between the concepts of gender equality and sustainability. It also reflects on current international policy developments such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the several trade negotiations (TTIP and TISA). And it reflects on actions and responses by citizens.

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.


GADN briefing paper “Unpaid care: a priority for the post-2015 development goals and beyond”

The Gender and Development Network (GADN), a WIDE+ member, published in the second part of 2014 a briefing paper on unpaid care. While it suggests that the current wording of the proposed target could be improved, the recognition of unpaid care in this global development agenda would in itself represent an important advance, and therefore our main concern is to preserve its inclusion. http://www.gadnetwork.org/storage/gadn-responses-and-briefings/GADN%20Unpaid%20Care%20briefing.pdf

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

In their recently launched magazine ’European Women’s Voice: Women’s Economic Independence in Times of Austerity’, the European Women’s Lobby has included an article by WIDE+ members Patricia Muñoz Cabrera and Virginia López Calvo. The piece is available on page 35, and we reproduce it below in full.

As has been demonstrated, structural adjustment programmes (SAPs) imposed by international financial institutions (IFIs) on Global South economies and governments’ development agendas have been implemented for more than five decades, with a devastating impact on women and men on the ground.

Conference: ‘The European Economic Crisis and its consequences for women’

The network Gender and Development in Practice (GADIP), WIDE+ member, and the University of Gothenburg organized a conference on 20 and 21 March 2014 in Sweden. The conference was comprised of five keynote speeches, three workshops, and a concluding panel discussion with all the keynote speakers. The speakers and participants discussed many different aspects about the gendered impact of the economic crisis in Europe.

Click here for the full report: http://www.globalstudies.gu.se/digitalAssets/1483/1483221_european-crises-consequenses-for-women.pdf

Feminist demands for post 2015 Development

In February 2014, right after the 8th session of the UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a feminist strategy meeting on the post 2015 agenda took place in Tarrytown, New York. 60 feminist activists from different regions of the world took part in this meeting, in order to exchange and strategize about how to bring feminist demands into the post 2015 development framework within the next two years. WIDE Austria was among the participating networks.


WIDE+ Workshop report: “Identifying feminist opportunities and voices in times of crises”, Madrid, Spain, 4 July, 2013

Full report: https://wideplusnetwork.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/widespecial_oct2013.pdf

Around 40 feminists from across Europe gathered in Madrid, Spain, last July 4th 2013, to reflect on the new strategies, spaces and challenges that feminists face. Five key note speeches and an open floor session gave room to an inspiring and sharp debate where the key question was: ‘what kind of strategies and action should feminist and other human rights advocates take in this changing global order?’. https://wideplusnetwork.wordpress.com/news/wide-workshop-identifying-feminist-opportunities-and-voices-in-times-of-crises/

Also in Spanish (see WIDE+ e-newsletters 2013).

Gender, Development and New Aid Architecture post 2015: Architects or Pawns in Development Engineering?

Women rights activists have gained in the current international governments processes around development, but also lost a lot in the processes. Reviewing the effects, together with a decrease in recourses because of multiple crises, it calls upon feminists to be very strategic in their resistance to mainstream neo-liberal policies. Article by WIDE+ member.


Report on how the European crisis impacts women’s lives

WIDE Report on how the European crises is impacting women’s lives, report from the session at the AWID Forum, held in April 2012.

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