Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era
24 March 2013
There will be no development, there will be no progress, unless there is a clear and uncompromising commitment to women's rights and gender equality and justice. The post-2015 agenda must be based on the principle of non-regression and firmly rooted in human rights obligations and commitments from the UN conferences of the 1990s and their follow ups, which are yet to be fully implemented. As women we say a "promise is a promise" and we demand that these promises now are kept.
We insist on a new development paradigm that is based on principles of human rights, equality and redistributive justice. The international community must commit to real reforms of the monetary, financial and trade regimes that perpetuate inequalities and violence and undermine women's and girls' human rights. Global macroeconomic structures must be coherent with governments’ human rights obligations. Governments, private philanthropy organizations, investors, micro finance institutions and transnational corporations must be held accountable to human rights, to principles of equality and equity, non-discrimination, and environmental sustainability norms and standards. We demand new models of global partnership that are truly democratic, non-exploitative and sustainable and where women, girls and those most affected have the greatest voice.
The current development model, which gives corporations control over our natural wealth, water and resources, as well as technology and intellectual property, while depriving women of land and food sovereignty, undermines gender equality, sends communities into conflict with governments, increases militarization, and women's vulnerability to violence and economic shock. This must change.
The new development framework must recognise that patriarchal systems and practices are a major impediment for development. Ending violence against women and girls and promoting democratic empowerment and leadership of women at home, in the community, nationally and internationally is a fundamental prerequisite for women’s rights enjoyment, gender equality, sustainable development and genuine democracy.
Rising fundamentalisms that manifest in attempts to control women’s bodies and freedoms must be countered. Governments must never use cultural, traditional or religious values to avoid their obligations to respect, protect and fulfill the full range of women's human rights and prevent and address violence. Women's and girls' rights to bodily autonomy and integrity are fundamental to our ability to enjoy other human rights. No form of violence impeding on women’s and girls' bodily integrity should be tolerated and no limitation of our rights to make our own informed sexual and reproductive choices should be accepted.
We demand that the Post-2015 development agenda aims to fairly redistribute wealth, power and resources to achieve social, economic, ecological, and gender justice, rather than be driven by donors and the corporate sector. It must include means of implementation that prioritize public financing over public-private partnerships in order to realize state obligations to allocate the maximum available resources to economic and social services.
Gender inequalities must be understood and addressed from an intersectional approach and the post-2015 development framework must recognize how factors such as age, race, caste, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, poverty, migration status, and location can compound stigma, discrimination, social exclusion and marginalization and lead to violence, as well as other violations of women's rights. Specific attention is needed to address the violence and rights violations faced by girls, adolescent and young women, women human rights defenders, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer women, indigenous women, rural women, sex workers, women with disabilities, women living with HIV, women working in conflict and militarized contexts, women migrant workers, displaced women, women from language minorities and women who use drugs, among others.
We demand the new development framework includes a dedicated gender equality goal, as well as specific targets and indicators that are integrated throughout the framework. It is critical that the post-2015 agenda commit to:
• End all forms of gender-based violence, including intimate partner violence and sexual violence and address its intersections with HIV infection. Set targets to reduce militarization and conflict by limiting military budgets.
• Guarantee sexual and reproductive rights as fundamental human rights, along with women's and girls' universal access to quality, comprehensive and integrated sexual and reproductive health services, including contraceptives, safe abortion, prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections and HIV, and safe maternity care;
• Include specific goals for reducing inequalities of wealth, power and resources between countries, between rich and poor, between men and women;
• Ensure women’s rights to and control over land, property, including intellectual property, productive resources, information and technology, and promote fair asset distribution among different social groups;
• Guarantee women’s economic independence including by ensuring that women have access to decent work including legal protection for sex workers and domestic workers, a living wage that enables women to live with dignity, and affordable child care;
• Recognize women's role in the care economy and ensure their rights to social protection and the equal distribution of paid and unpaid work;
• Guarantee investments in public services such as in child care, education and elderly care in order to eliminate the sexual division of labour;
• Guarantee women’s rights to participate in leadership and decision-making at all levels, including in economic and social development and international financial institutions;
• Repeal laws and policies that discriminate on the basis of gender; criminalize or marginalize specific groups of women based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, participation in sex work, or other status; or erect barriers to services, and adopt measures to counter discriminatory practices and ensure women’s access to justice; and
• Guarantee universal access by women and girls to quality education throughout the life course, including comprehensive sexuality education and education on human rights, gender equality and environmental sustainability, and ensure women’s and girls’ literacy.
Sustainable development must fully be integrated into the post-2015 framework, building on existing commitments. Women's role in responding to climate change, protecting and safeguarding the environment, ensuring sustainable agriculture and food sovereignty must also be recognized.
Innovative, democratic financing mechanisms that allocate specific resources to women’s rights and gender equality must be a priority. Women must be involved in the development and monitoring of budgets at all levels.
The post-2015 agenda must ensure that women-led systems of monitoring and accountability are built into the framework, with clear and time-bound commitments. Data must be disaggregated on the basis of age, sex, and other status important to identify, make visible and respond to inequalities. Mechanisms of data collection and analysis for monitoring the new framework must be transparent and inclusive of input from women’s groups. National mechanisms, such as judiciaries, parliaments, and national human rights institutions, should be empowered to oversee implementation of the post-2015 framework and allow for women's access to justice when commitments are not met.
The post-2015 development framework must hold governments accountable for their duty to exercise oversight over and regulate private actors, especially corporate and private financial actors to guarantee they respect women’s human rights, including in their cross-border activities.
The UN system must also be held to account for their role in promoting and protecting women's rights, including by bringing pressure to bear on governments to implement their human rights obligations.
The United Nations and Member States must address in an integrated way the obstacles to gender equality at global, national, and local levels. Rather than remaining centered on the distribution of dwindling aid funds or the effective incorporation of the private sector, the post-2015 framework must provide clear guidelines on how to respond to the multiple crises that affect women globally, particularly in the global South.
To enable a transformative global partnership, the vital role of women’s movements must be recognized. Resources must be directed to feminist movement building and advocacy to ensure equality, human rights, democratic governance, and transformative change and development for all.
Agency for Co-operation and Research in Development (ACORD)
Asia Pacific Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (APA)
Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD)
Asian Pacific Resource and Research Center for Women (ARROW)
Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE)
Asociacion Rexch’ och’ Oxlaju Aj (Tierra Verde 13 Aj), Guatemala
Brazilian Confederation of Private Nature Resources
Center for Community Development and Education (CCDE) Banda Aceh, Indonesia
Center for Health, Education, Training and Nutrition Awareness (CHETNA)
Centro de Investigación para la Acción Femenina (CIPAF)
Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN)
Diverse Voices and Action for Equality, Fiji
Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits, Inc. (ECOWEB), Philippines
Fundación para Estudio e Investigación de la Mujer (FEIM), Argentina
Indonesia National Network of Sex Worker (OPSI)
International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC)
Likhaan Center for Women's Health, Philippines
NGO Federation of Nepal
NGO Forum on ADB
Niger Delta Women's movement for Peace and Development
Perkumpulan Sada Ahmo (PESADA)
Philippine Network of Rural Development Institutes
Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement
Philippine Social Enterprise Network
Realizing Sexual and Reproductive Justice (RESURJ)
Reproductive Rights Advocacy Alliance Malaysia (RRAAM)
Social Watch Philippines
Wada Na Todo Abhiyan
Women's Capacity Building and Development Organization (WCBDO)
Women for Sustainable Development Japan (WSDJ)
Carmen Capriles (Reacción Climática), Bolivia
Hilda Saeed (Shirkat Gah), Pakistan
Ketty Kadarwati (USAID Indonesia)
Marilou Pantua-Juanito (VSO Bahaginan)
Osprey Orielle Lake, Women's Earth and Climate Caucus
Saraj Gurung (WOREC), Nepal
Renu Rajbhandari (NAWHRD), Nepal
See original statement