Today, Thursday March 12 the Post 2015 Women’s Coalition will launch their Vision Statement for feminist alternative approaches to sustainable development. The Coalition made up of feminist, women’s rights, women’s development, grassroots, peace and social justice organizations from around the world have come to attend the 59th Annual Commission on the Status of Women to call in a collective voice for real progress in the lives of women.
The launch of the Vision Statement comes at a critical time in history, demanding a new development agenda that strengthens gender equality for all and is deeply concerned that 20 years after the Beijing Platform for Action, so many commitments on gender equality and women’s human rights are not fulfilled.
The Coalition also demands to see dramatic changes in the state of macroeconomic policies and calls for a new framework that prioritizes people over profit, actively combats feminized poverty, and redistributes unpaid care and non-care work borne disproportionately by women. “All women work. Recognize women as workers, producers and as individual right holders. Recognize, reduce and redistribute women’s unpaid work, including domestic work, direct care work, and subsistence forms of livelihoods,” said Priti Darooka the Executive Director of the Programme on Women’s Economic Social and Cultural Rights (PWESCR) from India.
“We must finance development with disarmament and invest in gender justice for sustainable peace,” said the Secretary General of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Madeleine Rees. Coalition members highlight the need for greater and intentional support for gender budgeting and innovative financing including through reducing military expenditure and strengthening financing for gender equality and peace. Hibaaq Othman, Executive Director of Karama urged, “the need for greater international support for women’s inclusion, participation, and protection in post-conflict and transition situations and processes.”
The coalition is deeply disturbed that as discussions at the UN on the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the CSW unfold, sexual and reproductive health and rights are being erased and have been excluded from the conference’s Political Declaration. The Executive Director of ARROW (the Asian-Pacific Recourse and Research Centre for Women), Sivananthi Thanenthiran said, “Some special interest groups can enjoy the luxury of dismissing the complex realities of women’s lives by making it increasingly difficult for member states to discuss and agree on human rights issues, especially sexual and reproductive health and rights. But we do not have this luxury; without autonomy over bodies, we cannot achieve autonomy over our lives.”
Sharon Bhagwan Rolls from the non-governmental organization FemLINKPacific explained that if the new sustainable development goals are to truly transform the lives of women and their families, if there is to be development that prevents conflicts, “we need to ensure women and communities are connected to information and communications systems and decision making processes which are accountable, participatory and transformative.” She added, “Our community radio network in Fiji shows how this can be done right.”