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:


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.

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:

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:

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?’.

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.

Just Budgets: Budgeting for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, published 2011.

A Practical tool. Download the poster in English and in Spanish. The toolkit has been developed by One World Action and made available in Spanish by WIDE.

EU Donors under Women’s Watch – WIDE Checks up on Gender Equality and Women’s Rights in the Aid Effectiveness Agenda on the Road to Busan 2011, published in 2011.

Download EU Donors Under Womens Watch

EU-India Free Trade Agreement: People’s Lives and Livelihoods at Threat!, published in 2010

WIDE Policy Paper on EU-India Free Trade Agreement. Edited by Barbara Specht. WIDE paper on EU-India FTA 2010

Keep Women’s Rights Alive!, published in 2010

WIDE´s Policy Paper on women´s rights and gender justice in the context of the Beijing +15 Review. Edited by: Susanna Jussila. WIDE B+15 final 2010

Development Effectiveness? EU Donor Division of Labour and Gender Equality in Southern Countries, published in 2010

Lois Woestman analyses two key elements of official aid effectiveness practices: division of labour and harmonisation. She assesses these processes which are intended to reduce transactions costs and enable more money to reach the people on the ground who need it. Woestman examines whether aideffectiveness processes have helped European Union (EU) donors meet theircommitments to promote gender equality and women´s empowerment. Read here.

The Mobilisation of Gender Equality and Women´s Rights Organisations towards Accra: Actions, Strategies, Successes and Challenges, published in 2009

This publication aims to document crucial and key alliance among women´s rights organisations around the aid effectiveness agenda by analysing the different processes and actions that took place, the strengths and weaknesses found during the process, as well as providing lessons for the challenges of the future. Download the pdf version of this publication from Mobilisation_Towards_ACCRA 2009.

Trade Liberalisation, Gender Equality, Policy Space: the case of the contested EU-India FTA, published in 2009

In the context of the multidimensional crises and the restructuring of economic and political power relations, a fresh look at trade policies between the EU and India and at the nexus of social justice, gender, development and trade is necessary. Christa Wichterich and Kalyani Menon-Sen explore social and gender justice dimensions of the EU-India Free Trade Agreement negotiations.

Download the electronic version of this paper EU INDIA 09 WIDE.

Engendering EU General Budget Support: gender responsive budgeting as a tool for fostering gender equality in EU partner countries, published in 2009.

The purpose of this briefing paper written by Lois Woestman, is to contribute to the capacity building of women organizations and gender advocates, and promote their involvement in Aid Effectiveness processes. It is one of a series of briefing papers developed by WIDE on aid effectiveness from a European gender perspective.


A critical review of the Trade Sustainability Impact Assessment for the Free Trade Agreement between the EU and the Republic of India from a gender perspective, published in 2009

A critical review of the Trade Sustainability Impact Assessment for the Free Trade Agreement between the EU and the Republic of India from a gender perspective. Download WIDE SIA Briefing .

‘Trade – A Driving Force for Jobs and Women´s Empowerment? Focus on China and India’, published in 2009

Christa Wichterich counters the mainstream argument that trade has the potential to be a driving force for jobs and for women´s empowerment. Download Gender_and_Trade FES

Financing for Development and Women Rights: a critical review´, published in 2009

In the last decade, the way in which development is conceptualised and implemented has changed significantly, and so have the political contexts in which this implementation takes place. This has had implications on how gender equality and women´s empowerment is being achieved. The publication reviews the current debates about development, as well as the background for this new aid architecture, and analyses the international frameworks for financing for development and women rights, as well as governments´ commitments for resources. It also summarises and analyses all the contributions to the aid effectiveness agenda from a gender perspective.

The publication was written by Carmen de la Cruz and has been translated from Spanish into English. To download, financingfordevelopment2009translationcarmendelacruz.

Conditionalities undermine the right to development: an analysis based on Women’s and Human Rights perspective, published in 2008

Conditionalities undermine the Right to Development: an analysis based on a Women´s and Human Rights perspective was published by the Association for Women´s Rights in development (AWID), in assosiation with WIDE, DAWN and IGTN. Download the publication CONDITIONALITIES web book.

WIDE Annual Conference Report 2008: “Feminist Visions for a Just Europe”.

In 2008 WIDE held its ´Conference on Feminist Visions for a Just Europe´ at the Peace Palace in The Hague, hosted by WO=MEN, the WIDE Dutch Gender Platform. The conference examined Europe´s role in the world, viewed through the lens of women´s rights, development and gender justice. Increasingly finance-led development, growing inequality and deepening ecological crisis makes it critical that European women working in development ensure that Europe contributes responsibly to the creation of a new, just and peaceful world order. The WIDE Annual Conference reflected on what role feminists and networks such as WIDE need to play in this process. The focus was on existing European policies for decent work and living conditions for women worldwide in a context of globalisation, feminisation and informalisation of labour, migration and changing aid structures. The conference analysed, strategised and debated not only these current policies but also the feminist alternatives that are emerging in the West, South and East that must shape a feminist approach to global social and economic justice.The report highlights the presentations of key note speakers, as well as discussions in plenary and paralell sessions.

You can access the annual conference report by clicking WIDEfinal2008.

“Fierce, Fair and Unfair Competition: the EU-China trade and its gender implications”, Updated Version, Christa Wichterich, WIDE June 2008

This report on the EU-China partnership and co-operation relations comes in a series of political analysis of EU trade agreements with countries in the South from a gendered perspective. China remains to a large extent a blind spot in the gendered analysis of neoliberal globalization. Only a few in-depth studies on women workers in export production have been published recently. In particular, the service sector and care economies are unknown territories which are, however, being increasingly affected by transnational trade regimes.

This is the revised and updated version of a paper written at the beginning of 2007, which will hopefully contribute to a constructive dialogue between CSO and policymakers in the EU. Transnational democratic spaces have to be opened for voices and resistance which link gender justice and global economic justice. To Download WIDE EU CHINA – FINAL 2008

“The Treaty of Lisbon from a gender perspective: changes and challenges”, Laura Bisio and Alessandra Cataldi, WIDE 2008

This briefing paper aims to present the main innovations in terms of institutional changes, policy perspectives and priorities that the Treaty of Lisbon is going to introduce if it is ratified by the Member States of the European Union (EU). The analysis focuses in particular on how the Treaty affects the dimension of citizenship, human rights and gender mainstreaming.

You can download this paper by clicking Lisbon Treaty FINAL 2008.

‘Key Feminist Concerns regarding core labour standards, decent work and corporate social responsibility’, Anja K. Franck, WIDE June 2008

‘Labor standards’ are established by the International Labour Organization conventions and implemented by national governments. A limited number of labor standards have been estalished as the ‘Core Labor Standards’ (CLS) that apply to all ILO members. A ‘social clause’ refers to the inclusion of labor issues in trade agreements. ‘Voluntary measures’ refer to voluntary corporate social responsability measures for private corporations. The opposition to including compulsory labor standards within the multilateral framework has made it increasingly popular to include them in bilateral and regional free trade negotiations. The EU has set out to include it as a part of the sustainable development section in its ongoing and future free trade agreements. To download: here.

WIDE Annual Conference report 2007 ‘New aid, expanding trade: what do women have to say?’

WIDE’s Annual Conference 2007 on “New aid, expanding trade: what do women have to say?”, hosted by the Gender and Development Working Group of the Spanish Platform of Development NGOs (CONGDE) set up an important series of questions and concerns for all women working in gender, trade, development and social justice. The conference brought together women´s organisations from all over the world, North, South and East to examine how ongoing reforms on trade, financial mechanisms, and development are linked, and to advocate for change. The Spanish platform (CONGDE) who co-hosted the meeting with WIDE provided not only an excellent work space but also a convivial atmosphere of solidarity where reflections on women´s contribution to different development processes and strategies for alternative visions for feminist ways forward could flourish.

CONFERENCE REPORT 2007. And the report in Spanish.

EU Bilateral and Regional Free Trade Agreements: bringing women to the centre of the debate, WIDE November 2007

In view of the unlikely conclusions of the World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations before the end of 2008, the European Union´s (EU) attention has increasingly shifted towards concluding a new generation of comprehensive and competitiveness-driven bilateral and regional free trade agreements (FTAs) with key partners. At the end of November 2008, WIDE held a successful and intensive one-day consultation “EU bilateral and regional free trade agreements: Bringing women to the centre of the debate”. The consultation analysed the objectives of the EU trade strategy in relation to development, poverty eradication and its impact on women´s rights, entitlements and livelihoods. These were examined in relation to the current trade negotiations in Asia, the Middle East, Ukraine and Central America. This report of the consultation provides a good overview of the processes and a gender analysis of the potential impact in different geographical regions. Interestingly, although the negotiations are at different stages in these regions the case studies indicate many similarities in relation to the potential impact on women of free trade agreements

To download: WIDEEUBILATERAL2007.

Who decides – Gender mapping the European Union´s policy and decision-making in the areas of development, external relations and trade,
Maria Karadenizli, WIDE November 2007

This publication provides an analysis of the role that key European Union institutions ­ the Council of Ministers, the European Commission (EC), the EC Delegations, and the European Parliament (EP) ­ play in the definition of policy priorities in the areas of development, external relations and trade. The study critically analyses the role of these actors in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of development programmes in the countries of the South, as well as in negotiations on trade agreements at international, regional and bilateral levels.

To download: WHO DECIDES def2007.

Economic growth without social justice: EU­-India trade negotiations and their implications for social development and gender justice´,
Christa Wichterich, WIDE, November 2007

This paper attempts to place the EU-India FTA negotiations in their historical and topical context, and questions the coherence between the development aid agenda on the one hand, and the trade and investment agenda on the other. Does it still hold true what the European Commission stated in 1996 aiming at enhancing the EU-India partnership: “The European Union firmly believes that social development must be a parallel objective to economic development”? Exploring the main interests behind the FTA on both sides, the paper asks whether considerations regarding social inclusion, poverty eradication, and gender equality are informing trade policy-making. It looks at trade liberalisation and the FTA procedures through the prism of social justice and human development. Since bilateral trade negotiations are held in great secrecy, the paper wishes to provide civil society actors in the EU and India with background information and to build their capacity to engage critically in policy-making on trade and development and in transregional networking.

To download: WIDE EU INDIA NEW 2007.

Competition, the EU-China Trade Race and its Gender Implications’,

Christa Wichterich, WIDE, February 2007

Against the backdrop of China´s economic transformation and the re-invention of gender inequalities in the “socialist” market economy, this paper explores the gender implications of the Chinese trade race and the EU´s push for further rapid liberalisation by focussing on the trade-labour and the trade-equality nexus. To download: EU-China 2007.

WIDE Briefing Paper: “Gender Indicators for monitoring Trade Agreements”, Irene van Staveren, February 2007. To download Staveren gender indicators feb 2007.

Factsheets EU Free trade agreements and their impact on women:
-Naty Bernadino, ‘Gender Implications of the European Union – ASEAN Free Trade Agreement WIDE Factsheet’, November 2007. EU-ASEAN gender factsheet2007
-Tessa Mackenzie, ‘Gender Implications of the European Union – Central America association agreement WIDE Factsheet’, November 2007. EU-CA gender factsheet2007.
-Oksana Kisselyova, ‘Gender Implications of the European Union ­- Ukraine trade Relations WIDE Factsheet’, November 2007. EU-Ukraine gender factsheet2007

WIDE-FEMNET paper: ‘Trade integration and foreign direct investment from a gender perspective, including recommendations for the EU-Africa strategic partnership for Africa’s Development“, Roselynn Musa from FEMNET and Bénédicte Allaert from WIDE, November 2007, WIDEFEMNETPAPER2007.

Agrofuel Production: the World Food Situation, the Right to Food and the Impact on Women, published in 2011

Increasing oil prices, rising energy demands, climate change and Kyoto Protocol commitments are the causes of an emerging worldwide renewable energy boom. These renewables include agrofuels, such as agrodiesel made from rapeseed, palm oil, soybean oil or other types of vegetable oil, as well as agroethanol made from corn, wheat, sugarcane, sugar beet and other starch-containing plants. This paper aims to study the relation between the extensive cultivation of crops (staple, for the most part) for these fuels and the right to food, as well as the obligation of states to ensure food security. Moreover, we will also analyse agrofuels´ real climate change mitigation potential.

Download: Agrofuel Production English and Agrofuel Production German.

The Other Financial Crisis: Poor Women, Small Credits, Big Businesses, published in 2010

India is in the midst of a financial crisis that shows striking similarities to the US subprime crisis, both in its origins and the rescue strategies used. Just as the cheap mortgage granted to low-income households in the USA, the microcredits given to poor women in rural areas worked out as financialisation of everyday life and integration of the women into the global financial market with its return-based logic.

Download: TheOtherFinancialCrisisonMicrocredit.

WIDE Annual Conference 2010 Report ‘Migration, women rights and globalisation’

Women from all corners of the globe including many representatives from European migrant women associations came together at the WIDE conference to share and reflect on this open question of migrant women´s human rights at risk, compelling us to rethink, expose and denounce the architecture of policy-making in Europe (and globally), and to explore the links between decisions taken at a global level and the impact they have on the ground.

Download: AC2010ReportFinal.

Women’s Labour Migration in the Context of Globalisation, published 2010

The report Women’s labour migration in the context of globalisation offers an introduction to important contemporary political analysis on the influence of globalisation on women´s work, mobility and empowerment. Authors of the report Anja K. Franck and Andrea Spehar explain how globalisation shapes women´s labour migration.

Download: full report. Executive summary of this study is available in EnglishFrench, SpanishGerman and Russian.

Feminist Alternatives for Social Justice: from a Capitalist “Care-less” Economy to wards a Solidarity-based “Care-full” Economy, published in 2010
Taking Stock: The financial crisis and development from a feminist perspective, published in 2009

This is WIDE’s position paper on the global social, economic and environmental crisis. This publication has been authored by Ursula Dullnig, Brita Neuhold, Traude Novy, Kathrin Pelzer, Edith Schnitzer, Barbara Schöllenberger, Claudia Thallmayer from WIDE Austria.

Download: Taking Stock in English.

In Search of Economic Alternatives for Gender and Social Justice: Voices from India, published in 2009

“In search of economic alternatives: Voices from India” is a new publication from WIDE. It is an edited collection of short essays by Indian authors on economic structures, relations and principles that are needed to serve the goals of sustainable economic and human development, poverty eradication, social justice, and empowerment of the most vulnerable segments of society: women, Taken together, the 12 essays form an agenda of alternative thinking, linking gender with other social, livelihood, and democratic concerns.

Download: Economic Alternatives in India.

Microcredit: an alternative for women’s empowerment?, published in 2009

A report of a one-day consultation, organized by WIDE on May 15th, 2009 in Brussels. Download the report in English, in French  and in Spanish.

WIDE Annual Conference report 2009: We CARE! Feminist responses to the care crisis

Care and care work must be understood ­ not as prerequisites to economic growth ­ but as the centre of human life. This understanding can bring about a political and economic shift in priorities from moneymaking and consumption, to creating new ways of being and living that are more dignifying and ethical.

WIDE Annual Conference 2009 workshops. Download the report from worskhopreportsAC.


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