News on Gender, Climate and EU policy, Newsletter 4, December 2015

COP21 Climate Change Agreement doesn’t live up to the challenges

The Women and Gender Constituency that has advocated for a gender just Climate deal concluded that with the current agreement: “governments maintained their commitment to corporations over people and signaled opportunities for profit to be made from crisis…It is clear that in Paris we have not found the political will to make the Paris Agreement the platform the world truly needs to tackle this urgent challenge”. See for their analysis: http://womengenderclimate.org/a-reality-check-on-the-paris-agreement-women-demand-climate-justice/

Gender equality is mentioned in the agreement, but the final draft has become a much weaker draft in taking gender justice on board. It is safe to say gender is marginally taken on board: http://www.ipsnews.net/2015/12/paris-delivers-historic-climate-treaty-but-leaves-gender-untouched/

ENMW urges EU to focus on Gender-based dangers facing migrant and refugee women

On the International Day to End Violence Against Women, EWL member organisation the European Network of Migrant Women (ENMW) is urging the European leaders to put in place effective, gender appropriate measures, schemes and funding – in line with the international and European instruments – to protect the rights, safety and dignity of women fleeing conflict.

The full position paper and more information: http://www.womenlobby.org/25-November-Gender-based-dangers-facing-migrant-and-refugee-women.

A relevant article on this topic: ‘Women Refugees Fleeing through Europe Are Told “Rape Is Not a Real Issue.”’: http://www.buzzfeed.com/jinamoore/women-refugees-fleeing-through-europe-are-told-rape-is-not-a?utm_term=.ymlddrmxqm#.ta7eeVx71x\

 UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women Calls on All Member States to Establish a “Femicide Watch”

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its causes and consequences, Dubravka Šimonović, urged on 25 November on International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women, for all Member States to focus on prevention of gender-related killing of women by establishing a ‘Femicide Watch’. States must commit to prevent gender-related killing of women.

http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=16796&LangID=E

Grassroots women’s workers protest in India: an example improving labour standards

In October, the good news for the women’s movement in India came from Munnar, a hill station in Kerala, where a group of women workers won a bonus to improve their very poor wages against their employers, a tea estate by the name of Kanan Devan Hills Plantations, controlled by the Indian multinational Tata. The 47-year-old tea labourer Lissie Sunny along with 6,000 other ill- educated women labourers held protests as they said they had been exploited for years and were now ready for their rights. The male labour union leaders were put on notice thereby changing the history of male-dominated national trade union politics excluding women.

Lissie Sunny was then formally elected as the president of PO and said that though the extraordinary rebellion was initially against the union’s decision to cut the bonus paid to tea pickers but the actual revolt has deeper roots: “The unions have been cheating workers for generations. They have a mutual tie-up with the tea company managements. The leaders lead a flamboyant life; get free company houses to live in. Their children get good education and jobs thanks to the plantation owners,” she said.

News taken from: http://www.ipsnews.net/2015/11/jasmine-revolution-challenges-male-domination-of-tea-trade-unions/

http://oxfamblogs.org/fp2p/reading-the-tea-leaves-what-the-womens-movement-can-learn-from-a-victory-in-india/

New World’s Women Report assesses progress in Gender Equality

Although the status of women has improved in many areas over the last 20 years, progress continues to be slow, according to the UN’s Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) which launched the World’s Women Report. The sixth edition of the report, which examines the status of women and men globally, marks the 20th anniversary of the landmark Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. It reports every 5 years. In particular, it reported progress in life expectancy, maternal mortality, and education.

On average, life expectancy has risen by 5 years with women living up to 72 years and men up to 68 years. This is, in part, due to maternal death rates which, between 1990 and 2013, decreased by 45 percent. The gender gap in education has also narrowed, as participation in education has increased for boys and girls at all levels.

However, stark gender disparities still persevere around the world, the report found. Pressing gender issues include poor access to education, early marriage, lack of decision-making power, and violence against women. In 2010, approximately 26 percent of women between 20 to 24 years old worldwide were married before age 18, only five percent lower than in 1995. These rates are highest in Southern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. In Southern Asia, 44 percent of women aged 20 to 24 were married before age 18 while the rate was at 40 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa. The report noted that child marriage is not only a violation of human rights, but it also further exposes women and girls to the risk of domestic violence.

DESA stated that violence against women continues to be a “real global concern,” as one in three women in the world have experienced physical and/or sexual violence and 60 percent of all women victims of violence do not report their cases or seek any help. They also found that women who have experienced intimate partner violence are 50 percent more likely to be living with HIV than those who have not.

News taken from: http://www.ipsnews.net/2015/10/slow-progress-in-gender-equality-report-reveals/

The full report: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/gender/worldswomen.html