Statement by the Post 2015 Women's Coalition read by Gro Lindstad of FOKUS

Thursday, March 19, 2015
United Nation Theme: 
WILPF, NGO & Advocacy Documents

Realization of Gender Equality, Women?s Rights and Women?s Empowerment within and beyond the Post 2015 Development Agenda - Presented by Gro Lindstad (FOKUS)

"Nothing about us without us: women's organizations and feminist organizations must have a seat at the CSW decision-making table and be able to participate in developing the policies that affect our lives."

Your Excellencies,

We, as the Post 2015 Women?s Coalition are deeply concerned that 20 years after the Beijing Platform for Action, so many commitments on gender equality and women?s human rights remain unfulfilled. Instead, environmental sustainability and social development, including the promotion of women?s human rights, are consistently being excluded and negotiated out, while the threat to peace and security and the feminization of poverty is increasing worldwide.

We believe that implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action as well as the Post-2015 development framework must address structural causes of poverty and inequality and multiple forms of discrimination. Accountability requires integrating a comprehensive strategy that ensures redistribution of wealth, gender equality and the realization of all women?s and girls? human rights as recognized in CEDAW and other existing international human right instruments.

As we review the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and move into the next phases of the Post-2015 process, it is critical that we reflect on challenges and highlight opportunities for advancing gender equality. We must also ensure women?s and girls? human rights and empowerment progressively, without non-regression, and through utilization of maximum available resources.

Thus, we collectively call for:

  • A World free of Poverty and Inequalities: We recognize that gender inequalities and discrimination are drivers of women?s poverty with root-causes derived from structural barriers, discriminatory laws and social norms, compounded by a global economy that exploits women and marginalized groups.  We demand that States pay greater attention to the deep inequalities between and within countries, and how these affect women and girls, especially in relation to heavy unpaid care and non-care workloads, poor infrastructure and the scaling back of public services.
  • Women's and Girls' Healthy Lives, Holistic Knowledge, and Inclusive Participation: We recognize that the full realization of human rights of women and girls requires full recognition and universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights including sexuality education beyond contraception and family planning while ensuring freedom from sexual and gender based violence and harmful traditional practices. We stress the need for States to guarantee women's access to and control over land and resources, social security and acknowledge education as a human right. We call on States to scale up efforts to ensure womens full inclusion and active participation at all levels of decision-making.
  • A Development Model that Works for Women and Girls: We are concerned that the current macro-economic model fails to address structural barriers to gender equality and the fulfillment of women's and girls' human rights perpetuating poverty, inequality and gendered division of labor. We demand the restructuring of the international institutions whose actions tend to entrench inequalities and the redesign and redevelopment of policies and initiatives to prioritize people over profit.
  • Environmental Sustainability: We recognize the urgent need for action on climate change and endorse the Common but Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR) principle as a development model that works for women and girls.  We demand that States commit to a radical transition from extractive, profit-based economies to people-centered models that are just, equitable, gender-sensitive and are locally driven.
  • Peaceful, Safe and Participatory Societies and Just Institutions: We emphasize that disarmament, nonproliferation of the arms trade and protection of Women Human Rights Defenders are key to ensuring peaceful societies and ending militarism and gender-based violence. We call for all stakeholders to comply with humanitarian law to promote women's participation, protection, and rights in conflict prevention through post-conflict reconstruction processes, including by regulating arms through national mechanisms at least consistent with the Arms Trade Treaty. We demand strong financing for peace and gender justice, and reducing and redirecting military spending to gender equitable social spending.

In conclusion, we demand that States and the international community take immediate action to agree on  a comprehensive strategy to ensure the immediate realization of gender equality and women's and girls' rights, and work to strengthen institutionalization, financing, accountability, and political-will for gender justice.