[DAWN@Rio+20] PRESS RELEASE
Governments Gamble with our Future. South Feminists Demand Responsible Action Now!
RIO DE JANEIRO (June 22) – “The Rio+20 outcome text is imbalanced across the three pillars of sustainable development without sufficient attention to gender and social justice, including women’s rights. It fails to tackle the systemic inequities of the international monetary, financial and trading systems; and prioritizes economic growth over ecology and equity,” says Anita Nayar of Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN).
The Rio+20 outcome document “The Future We Want” that was adopted at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development held from June 20-22 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has relegated women’s rights and gender equality to the periphery without recognition of a wider structural analysis, according to a team of south women and feminist activists here at Rio.
DAWN, in coalition with a group of feminists across the global South from Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Pacific, has been actively engaging in the Rio+20 process and will continue to demand that governments stop regressing on their commitments and start addressing the structural transformations needed for genuine sustainable development.
The corporate interests that are protected in the Rio+20 outcome document have warped sustainable development paradigms into a so-called “green economy”. It is skewed toward the economic pillar, and emphasizes sustained economic growth over equitable development and without any ecological limits. Women are regarded as either welfare recipients or as a supplier of labour for the green economy, but nowhere are they acknowledged as rights holders, especially of economic, social and cultural rights.
“There is a reference to women’s ‘unpaid work’ in the document but without recognizing the unequal and unfair burden that women carry in sustaining care and wellbeing. This is further exacerbated in the current economic and ecological crisis when women’s unpaid labour acts as a stabilizer and increases their burden,” added Nicole Bidegain of DAWN.
Women are outraged that a vocal small group of ultra conservative states (with the strong support of an observer state – the Holy See) has hijacked the text on gender and health and blocked mention of sexual and reproductive rights, claiming that these have nothing to do with sustainable development. Meanwhile most states concentrated on what they considered their 'big ticket' items of finance, trade and aid with little interest to incorporate a gender analysis into these macroeconomic issues. “Our challenge is to make sure that states stand for us, and don’t trade us away down a polluted river,” Gita Sen of DAWN stressed.
READ the full text of the DAWN Analysis of the Rio+20 outcome document HERE.
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