DAWN worked on the intersectional issues of maternal mortality and human rights. At the 8th Session of the HRC held in June 2008, DAWN representatives expressed support for the proposal of a resolution on maternal mortality and human rights. Since then, DAWN has linked up with other CSOs and has worked in close partnership with partner States and relevant UN agencies in strategizing towards the collective development and promotion of a resolution on Maternal Mortality and Human Rights, which was tabled and adopted by consensus at the 11th Session of the HRC, in June 2009. DAWN was one of the CSOs that co-sponsored a panel debate entitled “Combating maternal mortality: why bring human rights into the picture?”, which took place on June 5th, 2009, as a parallel event to the 11th session.
DAWN has been engaging with a Southern feminist perspective in the Human Rights Council (HRC) to contribute to the expanding of the policy space for incorporating gender perspectives into the diverse and interrelated human development and human rights themes. The network had been present during the sessions of the HRC and in so doing had come to work closely with key human rights and sexuality rights groups. The debates around sexual rights and sexuality have evolved and changed substantially over the last decades. Women and feminists have joined other sexual rights-related social movements to produce substantive analysis on specific sexuality related themes and policies. This process was positive because it provided the opportunity for specific social movements to get empowered and their analyses strengthened (for example, Gays, Lesbians and bisexuals, transgender and intersex people, women’s groups, young people, sex workers, HIV/AIDS groups, among others). However, there remains the need to strengthen dialogues among sexual rights advocates and even within the SRHR movements to capture diverse and multiple areas and dynamics.
Together with other groups that are also engaged in UN negotiations and processes, DAWN had formed an informal gender caucus in the HRC. Through Angela Collet, the network actively works with the caucus in pushing for the integration of a gender perspective throughout the work of the Council, including its Special Procedures. Other areas of the HRC in which DAWN is engaged that demand gender analyses, include special mandates on critical ecological concerns such as toxic and dangerous products and wastes; the right to food; access to safe drinking water and sanitation. DAWN believes that the Council can effectively contribute toward illuminating the linkages between the devastating health and livelihood effects of environmental degradation, the increasing impoverishment of women, and human rights violations worldwide.
DAWN actively calls for the integration of human rights in financing for development. Last year, it participated in the International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus in Doha, held at a time when there were clear signs showing the failure of national and international governance institutions and the inability of regulatory systems to respond to the need to stabilize financial markets. At the conference, governments recognized and affirmed that "all human rights derive from the dignity and worth inherent in the human person, and that the human person is the central subject of human rights and fundamental freedoms...", and noted that "the promotion and protection of human rights is a matter of priority for the international community". The conference also reaffirmed "the right to development as established in the Declaration on the Right to Development, as a universal and inalienable right and an integral part of fundamental human rights."
Gigi Francisco represented DAWN in this conference and attended the workshop entitled "Vienna Meets Monterey: Integrating human rights in financing for development," organized by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in conjunction with the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Network (ESCR-Net) and the Center of Concern (CoC), where she made a presentation on "Human Rights, Investment and Social Risk Insurances in a Period of Financial Globalization".
Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN)
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