Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Progressio’s recommendations for the post-2015 process 4/4

Progressio believes that including women and girls in the post-2015 framework will send a powerful message to the international community, especially governments, to tackle gender inequalities in terms of non-discrimination, equality, sustainability and rights. There should be universality in tackling exclusion and violence against women and girls, rather than this being an option, in order to encourage collective responsibility to changing outright the negative attitudes and societal values towards women. Moreover, supporting the building of inclusive governance structures with full participation of women embedded from the start is fundamental in achieving social and political transformation in fragile states. Particular attention should be given to support gender equality programmes in fragile states given the weaknesses in governance structures.

To tackle gender inequality and build an inclusive society, the post–2015 framework should include:
A strong goal on women’s empowerment which is action orientated and measurable;
A bold goal on women’s empowerment, calling for a new discourse on gender equality and end of stereotypes;
An inclusive goal on women’s empowerment, calling on governments and civil society to work together in building a society which fully respects both genders and acknowledges their mutual contribution;
A special focus on building the capacity of women in fragile states, because this is where women are most marginalised and excluded.
These are all essential ingredients for embedding women’s rights and empowerment in nation building and institutional strengthening.
As a member of the Gender and Development Network (GADN), a network of 70 UK leading development NGOs and gender experts, Progressio also calls for action to address structural inequalities:
A strong and well-resourced standalone goal on women’s empowerment and gender equality, together with the mainstreaming of transformative gender targets across the framework, is the approach most likely to address the structural inequalities, which persist for women and girls. It is also the best way to foster the necessary political will, resources and national ownership to create sustainable and effective action on gender equality and women’s rights.22
In their report, GADN conclusions included:
• The most effective way to achieve gender equality is through a ‘twin track’ approach, combining a standalone goal with mainstreaming throughout the framework.
• In the context of the current political debate, a standalone goal on gender equality is vital because of the political commitment and dedicated resources that a specific focus brings.
• Targets across the framework must be transformative so that they reflect a lasting change in the power and choices women have over their own lives and tackle the root causes of inequality.
Specific gender indicators, that are deliverable and measurable, should be adopted to ensure that the objective does not become a ‘tick-box exercise’. This will require:
• A multi-sectoral, holistic and integrated approach to tackle violence against women and girls (eg media, education, donors, governments);
• Economic empowerment programmes to generate autonomy and independence amongst women and girls
• Multi-sectoral coordination to ensure that all stakeholders work together to maximise resources and opportunities;
• Partnerships between developing and developed countries to maximise learning and opportunities.

The post-2015 goals should strive to achieve a degree of coherence with other processes and policies to avoid duplication and tensions. They must also overcome the real obstacles that undermined the MDGs and are still applicable today:
• Lack of consultation with grassroots organisations;
• Lack of implementation and enforcement;
• Lack of funding resources for women-focused programmes;
• Other priorities taking over and pushing women’s rights to the bottom of the political agenda.
Therefore, Progressio is calling for the incorporation of support for women’s empowerment projects in the post-2015 framework. Furthermore, priority should be given to strengthening gender equality in fragile states, which includes gender mainstreaming and capacity building programmes on gender equality and women’s rights. The goal number 2 ‘Empower Girls and Women and Achieve Gender Equality’, more defined by target 2d in the High-Level Panel
Report (‘Eliminate discrimination against women in political, economic, and public life’),23 could be strengthened by the following proposed indicators:

  • Number of projects which support women’s empowerment, and especially women’s participation on a local or national level (in states which have a gender inequality index below XYZ).
  • Number of awareness-raising campaigns to support change agents with a vision for gender equality on a local, or national level.
  • Funding increased for supporting initiatives which integrate women-friendly governance structures, especially in the context of fragile states and post-conflict societies.
  • Number of programmes campaigning for the elimination of cultural practices and traditions that perpetuate discrimination or harm against women and girls.
  • Number of programmes that champion religious leaders to challenge discrimination against women and girls.rls;

Authors: Lizzette Robleto-Gonzalez and Fatima Haase For further information, please contact: Lizzette Robleto-Gonzalez, policy officer on women and fragile states, lizzette@progressio.org.uk Media enquiries: Esther Trewinnard, esther@progressio.org.uk
Women and fragile states: Empowered women must be active participants in decision-making
Progressio policy briefing for the post-2015 discussions

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