Friday, August 14, 2015

Urge to make specific and transformative commitments. Women/Gender & The Post-2015 Development Agenda

Global Member State Leaders Meeting on Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment: Commitment to Action!
Women/Gender & The Post-2015 Development Agenda
We are now at a critical time in history. Twenty years after the landmark Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, and at a time when the global community is defining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the post-2015 era, the international discourse on the need to achieve gender equality is stronger than ever before. We have made formidable gains in awareness, laws and some policies, but implementation of commitments is uneven and slow. Further, women’s human rights defenders are under attack in too many countries. The adoption of a new development framework and the Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015 is the next critical moment when the international community can highlight increased action and investment for gender equality, women’s rights and women’s and girls’ empowerment at the center of the global agenda for sustainable development.
In this context, the People’s Republic of China and UN Women will co-organize and co-host the Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: A Commitment to Action, to be held on Sunday, 27 September 2015, starting at 9.00 am at United Nations Headquarters in New York.
The Meeting will be convened in conjunction with the United Nations summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda, to be held from 25 to 27 September 2015, in New York. The meeting will call upon Member States and other policy makers to make clear commitments to the accelerated implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, of CEDAW, and achievement of gender equality within the timeframe of the post-development agenda that is, to deliver demonstrable results by 2030.

Urge your leaders to make specific and transformative commitments!
This is an opportunity to demand genuine and renewed political commitment, at the highest possible level, for the full implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and realization of the gender equality goals and targets in the post-2015 development agenda and Sustainable Development Goals, as well as other international commitments to women’s rights made at other relevant UN events.
Lobby your governments between now and the summit in September so that they can make strong and clear commitments that will ensure real progress towards gender equality in your country, region and in the world. Governments willingness to set clear targets that are in line with priorities of women’s movements – from achieving parity in the number of women holding decision-making positions in the public and private sector to eliminating gender-based wage gaps or impunity for sexual violence – will make it easier for local groups and the global community to monitor progress and call for accountability.
Specific commitments should be made in cooperation with women’s movements, human rights defenders, and other NGOS and could be related to things such as:
  • Setting new benchmarks for investing in gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls;
  • Updating or establishing new inclusive and coherent local, national, and regional action plans, strategies and policies on gender equality that will lead to transformative equality of results and that have accountability measures built in;
  • Taking ambitious actions for enhancing women’s leadership and participation at all levels of decision-making, including in public and private settings as well as in conflict, post-conflict and peace processes;
  • Removing gender discriminatory provisions in legal and policy frameworks adopting new laws, and implementing existing ones to promote gender equality;
  • Introducing or enhancing measures that address social norms and stereotypes that condone gender inequality, multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, human rights abuse and violence;
  • Launching gender sensitive public mobilization campaigns to promote gender equality and women’s human rights;
  • Putting significant financial and human resources into, including utilizing gender budgeting, to deliver on implementation of commitments to women’s and girls’ rights and equality;

What women’s movements and civil society advocates can do to influence leaders between now and September:
  • Lobby and get others to put pressure on governmental leaders directly;
  • Strategize with the gender/women’s national ministries to expand collective voice and influence;
  • Work with parliamentarians and national/local administrations;
  • Connect with media, including social media, hold press conferences, write Op-eds and give interviews to draw attention to the summit in September and the leadership role that your country can play in making strong commitments to gender equality; use UN Women newsletters and websites as well as those of civil society advocates for information on this;
  • Collaborate with various civil society actors on this issue – and put gender equality on the agenda of broad coalitions organizing for the 2015 Summit -- so that there is louder conversation on the opportunity that your country has at the summit in September to make a strong commitment to gender equality;

  • Work with the diversity of women’s movements and networks – with a strong focus on including women’s networks and groups that are often excluded -- to lobby more cohesively with your political leadership for concrete commitments at the summit;

It is useful to coordinate your actions with local, regional and global women’s and other NGO/CSO groups that are working for women’s rights and gender equality in the post 2015 process, such as the Women’s Coalition for Post 2015 at and the Women’s Major Group at
WUNRN has been advised that this High Level Meeting will be for Heads of State and their entourages. BUT, we are told the session will be UN WEBCAST.

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