Friday, April 11, 2008

Missed opportunities for Financing for Gender Equality

Statement of Dutch NGO's on the Agreed Conclusions of CSW 52, March 2008

Financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women was chosen as the prime focus of the 52nd session of the CSW. Women’s rights organizations in the Netherlands and Europe, having been present at the CSW, remain deeply concerned that there are no meaningful commitments in the Agreed Conclusions related to financing for gender equality, with no concrete targets and timetables and no strong mechanisms for effective tracking and monitoring of financial resources spent on gender equality.

It is widely recognised, by governments and civil society, that the allocation of financial resources has been insufficient at all levels for real progress in all twelve critical areas of concern of the Beijing Platform for Action (1995). In addition progress toward meeting Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 3 on gender equality and MDG 5 on maternal mortality has been lagging behind progress made with respect to the other MDGs.

Instead of scaling up resources to support the work of crucial gender equality stakeholders, the Agreed Conclusions of this year’s CSW have been distracted by the renegotiations around the language of earlier agreed commitments and in some aspects even weakening those earlier agreed commitments, amongst others by the addition of "bearing in mind national priorities" with respect to the recommended following actions.

Moreover, the Agreed Conclusions fail to address the need for adequate resources and a diversity of funding mechanisms to support the indispensable role of women’s organizations as the driving force of the agenda of gender equality and empowerment of women at all levels. Since almost half the world population world-wide is under the age of 25, gender equality mechanisms should also address youth and encourage involvement of youth organizations. Therefore it is a missed opportunity that the Agreed Conclusions do not pay any attention to diminishing the specific problems youth organizations face in accessing funds for their activities working towards gender equality.

When an international, multi-stakeholder, gathering of gender experts can not make real progress with investing in women and girls, what can be expected from this year’s key events around the Monterrey Consensus and the Paris Declaration?

CHOICE for youth and sexuality, E-quality, Hivos, International Information Centre and Archives for the Women’s Movement, International Network of Liberal Women, Liberaal Vrouwen Netwerk, Netwerk VN-vrouwenverdrag, NVSN USA, WIDE (Women in Development Europe), WO=MEN Dutch Gender Platform, World Population Foundation/MYBODY, Nederlandse Vrouwen Raad, IFUW

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