In acknowledgement of the urgent need for more effective and interlinked regional feminist responses from the economic south involving and in support of women advocates working in areas of gender and development, DAWN is organising a series of regional consultations and training institutes on “Strengthening Policy Analysis and Advocacy on Gender, Economic and Ecological Justice” in three regions - the Pacific, Africa and Latin America - in 2010 and 2011.
This advocacy is part of DAWN’s on-going effort to help promote awareness on and resolution to three major challenges highlighted in global governance debates: The first challenge is the existence of double standards in the response to the triple crisis. An unequal playing field in key policy areas is a major obstacle to coordinated response. The second challenge is the search for a sustainable model of economic recovery, growth, and development. The focus on financing climate change mitigation and adaptation is too narrow given the significant resource flows needed for developing countries to shift from high carbon, fossil-fuel energy to low carbon, renewable energy sources; to address the food crisis exacerbated by extreme and frequent climate events, floods, droughts, storms, loss of arable land and biodiversity; and to provide social protection for groups most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change including disease, landlessness, migration, poverty, and much more. Thus, far solutions to all these challenges have tended to be market- or technology-oriented and driven by corporate interests, which have created new inequalities between the North and the South. The third challenge is the inconsistencies between international trade rules (both WTO and regional trade mechanisms) and international environmental agreements.While economic south governments and civil society acknowledge some of these converging crises, as in other regions of the globe the inter-linkages between them are often ignored.
This project brings together actors working in various spheres of the areas of gender, economic and climate justice in the three regions of the Pacific, Africa and Latin America, in settings where people can raise difficult questions and political challenges in an atmosphere of trust and collective reflection. Specifically, participants include researchers and analysts from academia and civil society; policy makers from government, inter-governmental and regional institutions; and young and local women activists. The training institutes and consultations aim to provide venues for sharing information on a range of global and regional responses to the world multiples crises, including new initiatives that challenge hegemonic thinking and systems in finance, trade and monetary, and environmental policymaking, as well as for mapping current measures, mechanisms and programs at national and regional levels; and discuss possibilities, constraints and contradictions. The women’s rights activists from local and regional organizations will have their own facilitated input process.
Through the process, DAWN also hopes to encourage young feminists and women’s rights advocates to increase their engagement in transforming global economic and climate change governance structures; build capacity in policy analysis and advocacy on key gender, economic and climate justice issues, and their interlinkages; and encourage solidarity and support to contribute to policy proposals and social movement activism toward and during regional and global policy advocacy targets including the Tarawa Climate Change Conference (Kiribati, Nov 9-12 2010), CBD COP 10 (Nagoya, 27-29 October 2010), UNFCCC COP 16 (Mexico, Nov 29-Dec 10, 2010), Rio+20' Earth Summit (New York, May 2012), UNFCCC COP 17 (South Africa) and others.*
The GEEJ series began in the Pacific last September 2010, followed by Africa in November 2010, and to be continued in Latin America in March 2011.
Statement on Gender, Economic and Ecological Justice by Young Pacific Women Activists
We are local and young women activists in various countries of the Pacific, gathered in Suva, Fiji on 6-9 September 2010 for the Regional Training and Consultation on Gender, Economic and Ecological Justice that was convened by the Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN) and the Pacific Network on Globalization (PANG).
The Pacific region is confronted by the onslaughts of market forces through processes of trade, financial and services liberalization, and the implication of environmental changes on food security, water scarcity, sea level rise and intrusion. These are causing major upheavals and chaos in our social relationships, communities and societies at large.
In this context, we need policies and programs that empower communities, families and individuals, rather then exposing us to market assault and the changes in climate that affect land, livelihoods, handicrafts, indigenous medicines, staple food, symbolic wealth and our caring social relationships that include women’s informal networks of mutual support.
While we are in solidarity with the struggle of people’s movements and nongovernmental organizations, a political response based on a feminist interlinkages perspective on gender, economic, and climate justice, is yet another way by which we can contribute to the development of an alternative paradigm of sustainable development in the Pacific.
Such a feminist approach utilizes concepts of social reproduction and women’s right over our bodies and sexualities as core principles in our political analyses and actions. By this we mean that care of individuals should not be bargained away by governments when they negotiate trade and environmental agreements like PACER PLUS, WTO, UNFCC, CBD, etc. In guaranteeing social reproduction, such as health, education, water, livelihoods, etc. the state must also protect and promote the right of women to control our bodies and our sexualities in all places -our homes, schools, communities, etc. This means putting in place a policy, legislative and program environment that:
(a) gives justice to women who are physically and sexually abused and denied their sexual & reproductive health life & rights;
(b) provides equal access, control and ownership of resources of both land and the sea;
(c) ensures women’s meaningful participation in decision making in politics and citizen’s mobilizations;
(d) supports the empowerment and voices of Pacific women to confront aspects of our culture that are hampering our development and autonomy; and
(e) ends all forms of discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, class, gender identity, sexual orientation and abilities.
We will therefore adopt various strategies aimed at promoting a feminist inter-linkages analyses and activities aimed at: our organizations; constituents and allies; and regional platforms facilitated through intergovernmental or social dialogues.
We also strongly commit to continue networking with each other as we continually strengthen and recreate a vibrant regional Pacific feminist women’s movement that engages in a politically interlinked way - locally, nationally, regionally and internationally.
Dated: 20 October 2010
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READ combined statements by Pacific, Africa, Latin America and Carribean young women activists.
GEEJ Pacific and Africa discussions are available at DAWN Informs December 2010 Issue
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