Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Money Matters Indeed

Thank you Mr. Moderator, honourable Ministers, distinguished delegates and NGO colleagues and friends,

On behalf of the Dutch development agency Hivos I would like to express our excitement that the M word, Money, is on the CSW agenda. Equality requires money and investments and so Money Matters Indeed.

It is a matter of political will of all stakeholders to reverse the negative trend of de-investment in gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls throughout the world.
This negative trend has been remarkably universal and similar. In the South, East, and the North. In the field of international co-operation and at the domestic levels.

In 1995 women departed from Beijing excited with high expectations given the political, policy and financial commitments agreed upon by in fact all the states in the world.
All stakeholders were guided to implement the two-track strategy of the Beijing Platform for Action:
- specific policy, programmes and resources for the empowerment of women and girls and;
- integration of women’s interests and gender equality perspectives into the mainstream of all policies, programmes and resource allocations.

Today we know what has happened to this twin strategy. Both twins have been undernourished. Twin one consists of women’s rights organisations and gender experts. They are the prime drivers of the women’s rights and equality agenda. Current funding and policy modalities have reduced their access to financial resources. So it has been and still is a situation of starvation and survival and no scaling up of resources.
Twin two, known by the infamous term gender mainstreaming, was away streamed into invisibility, nobody’s responsibility and therefore no accountability to the agenda of women’s rights, equality and empowerment.

Evaluations by a wide range of actors, AWID’s research on Where is the Money for Women’s Rights, CEDAW shadow reports, the OECD-DAC Gender Equality Policy Marker and various bi- and multilaterals all point to the same direction. A persistent gap between policy and implementation. The required human and financial resources do not match the rhetoric and policy objectives on gender equality.

My message is a simple one, based on Hivos experience. Formulate and implement financial targets. Allocate substantial, earmarked, long-term budgets for both tracks. Empowerment and gender equality should be a compulsory sector in its own right for all stakeholders and at all levels, with status, mandate and resources. The promised scaling up of resources and for results should above all go to and benefit women’s rights organisations. We need no more words and documents but we do need money right now! I suggest that you shall include this in your agreed conclusions for the CSW.

Thank you!
Ireen Dubel - Hivos

Om de speech in het Farsi te lezen, zie: http://www.shahrzadnews.org/article.php5?id=872

1 comment:

zaandamnl said...

Ireen,
thank you for your blog. The Farsi version of your contribution will be published on Wed february the 27th.
good luck
mina