Resources, August 2015

WILPF 2015 Manifesto identifies neoliberal capitalism as one of the key challenges facing peace and freedom for women

WILPF, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, the oldest women’s peace organization in the world published is 2015 Manifesto, celebrating its 100th anniversary. In this manifesto the current neoliberalism in economies was taken up as one of the key challenges to address:

“In this global, neoliberal phase of capitalism, the power of corporations and financiers has far outstripped the ability of elected governments to moderate or control them. Slavery and forced labour are widespread and many of the victims are women and children. Identifying the capitalist system as one of the root causes of war, WILPF has always had the goal of revolutionary change by non-violent means for purposes of social and economic justice…The challenge for the future therefore is to contribute to a process in which people come to refuse the human costs of the capitalist mode of production, believe ‘another world is possible’ and devise non-violent means to bring it into being”.

ActionAid UK publishes ‘FEARLESS: Standing with women and girls to end violence’

In this new report published by ActionAid UK, it urges the UK and the international community to champion the anticipated target on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls in the forthcoming Sustainable Development Goals by ensuring adequate financing, accountability, and the full participation of women’s organisations to ensure its implementation. You can sign their petition to David Cameron here. Supporting this finding, ActionAid’s new survey of frontline women’s rights activists found that they feel increasingly under threat, with nearly two thirds reporting a deterioration in their safety and security in the last two years.

‘FEARLESS: Standing with women and girls to end violence’

OECD brochure on Donor aid towards Gender Equality& Women’s Empowerment  

The OECD has published a brochure that summarises statistics on aid focused on gender equality and women’s empowerment by each DAC member in 2012-2013. It includes the gender equality policy marker coverage, the top ten recipients and a sector breakdown. Together OECD DAC governments spent in total 400 million Euros per year on women’s equality organizations and institutions (CSOs, etc.).

OECD publication ‘In It Together–why less inequality benefits all’

The gap between rich and poor keeps widening. This book highlights the key areas where inequalities are created and where new policies are required, including consequences of current consolidation policies, structural labour market changes (rising non-standard work and job polarization), persisting gender gaps, the challenge of high wealth concentration, and the role for redistribution policies. Women’s participation in economic life is identified as one of four main policy areas to reduce inequalities.

Publication on how people jointly struggle for justice against TransNational Companies

‘Peoples Sovereignty vs. Impunity Inc.: Counterpower and Struggles for Justice’ presents, in eight articles, various cases that aim to serve as tools of action for activists from different continents to use in their fight for access to justice against the systematic violation of human rights and other crimes committed by transnational corporations.

This publication has been produced in the framework of the Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity. It is published by Transnational Institute (TNI) and Observatorio de la Deuda en la Globalización (ODG).

Download the pdf version

New study on ‘Business Accountability FOR Development’

How can we ensure that business – in particular multinational enterprises (MNEs) – really contribute to development in the countries where they operate? How can responsibility of their actions be granted against development impacts? How do we keep them accountable for spending public money? These questions are answered in this publication through reviewing current weak accountability systems for MNEs.

The publication is the result of a cooperation with ITUC-TUDCN and EURODAD and supported by the CPDE. It highlights existing business accountability mechanisms in general, and puts forward specific criteria to grant effectiveness of private sector initiatives in development.

Read the full publication

EU Gender Equality Index 2015: Marginal Improvements in Gender Equality

Since 2005 the EU is still only half way towards gender equality, as shown by the Gender Equality Index 2015 of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE). Two years on from the launch in 2013, EIGE has built a time series of the Index covering 2005, 2010 and 2012. The total score of the Index for the EU rose marginally from 51.3 out of 100 in 2005 and to 52.9 in 2012. The progress per Member State and per domain however is uneven – some Member States have improved while some have regressed.

The domain of time reveals the lowest score (37.6 out of 100) across the six core domains of the Index. This highlights the unequal division of unpaid work between women and men in the private sphere, which remains the greatest barrier to gender equality. The satellite domain of violence shows that the context in which violence against women takes place, societal attitudes towards violence and trust in institutions, matter in explaining the levels of violence against women. Results show that data collection in this area needs a concerted effort from the Member States.

Direct Link to Full 188-Page 2015 Publication:

Fashion Brand violate Labour Laws in Eastern Europe report finds 

Research busts the myth that ‘Made in Europe’ means fair working conditions according to a recent report published by the Clean Clothes Campaign. Eastern Europe and Turkey, with about 3 million workers, is part of a ‘cheap-labour sewing backyard’. Adidas, Primark and Zara are among a host of western brands accused of profiting from a supply chain that pays garment workers in eastern Europe and Turkey poverty wages and tramples over their labour rights. A majority of the garment workers are young women.

Article in Guardian: Publication:

First ‘State of the World’s Fathers Report 2015’

This report published by MenCare brings together key international research findings along with programme and policy examples related to men’s participation in caregiving; in

sexual and reproductive health and rights; in maternal, newborn, and child health; in violence and violence prevention; and in child development.

Direct Link to Full 288-Page 2015 Report:

Report ‘What lies beneath? A critical assessment of Public-Private Partnerships and their impact on sustainable development’

This report challenges the conventionally accepted benefits of these partnership (PPPs). The report criticizes the high public sector debt that can result from PPPs and the often opaque government procurement practices around creating the deals — both of which are bad for local citizens. Also, private finance only provides about 15–20 per cent of total infrastructure investment. The lion’s share is still provided by the public sector, and this situation is likely to continue. Therefore, questions remain about why so much focus is placed on the private sector rather than improving public sector delivery.

Publication ‘Anti-Gender Movements on the Rise? Strategizing for Gender Equality in Central & Eastern Europe’

This publication published by the Heinrich Böll Foundation reports on an International Gender Workshop with scholars and activists from Armenia, Belarus, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, and Ukraine. The cases discussed in this volume are part of a wider, at least regional trend, consisting of right-wing populists, ultra-nationalist extremists, and anti-egalitarian movements (frequently anti-immigrant as well as anti-feminist), which are worming their way into public discourse.

The experts disagreed about the root causes of this phenomenon, with some interpreting it as a symptom of growing discontent with neoliberal globalisation and transformation processes in Central and Eastern Europe, while others saw in it an expression of the need to unify around a seemingly simple «matter of the heart» in order to recreate community and belonging in an increasingly alienating environment. The contributions collected in this publication can be roughly divided into two, unfortunately rather uneven, groups – those expressing grave concern about the current situation in a given country – and those giving reason for hope.

Direct Link to Full 112-Page 2015 Publication: b.pdf

European Parliament published study on gender gaps & barriers to (social) entrepreneurship

This study identifies differences in rates, barriers and enablers between women and men entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs. The study also attempts to identify the impacts of EU legislation concerning gender discrimination in access to finance. This study was conducted using a combination of literature review and field research carried out in four case study countries: the Czech Republic, Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom (UK).

New Study on Domestic Work Labour Migration & Trafficking in and around India

A new ILO study exposes the pitfalls of labour migration for women domestic workers both within India and abroad and provides policy-makers and service providers with deeper insight into the nature of forced labour and trafficking in the region.

The study, done in collaboration with the Self Employed Women’s Association in India (SEWA) , examines two of the most frequented migrant routes for Indian female domestic workers: from the state of Kerala in Southern India to the Arab countries and from Jharkhand state in Eastern India to New Delhi. It concluded that the majority of migrant domestic workers to the Arab States and some of the internal migrants from Jharkhand are victims of trafficking and forced labour according to international definitions of these crimes.

Indispensable yet unprotected: Working conditions of Indian domestic workers at home and abroad (2015).

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