IWTC Women's GlobalNet #339
Activities and Initiatives of Women Worldwide

women’s advocacy around paris declaration on aid effectiveness and UNITED NATIONS gender equality architecture

August 21, 2008

Joeyta Bose


1.   women organize to prepare for forum to review paris declaration

on aid effectiveness

2. debate on gender equality architecture moves forward in the un  
    general assembly


1. women organize to prepare for forum to review paris declaration

on aid effectiveness

In anticipation of the Third High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness that will take place in Accra, Ghana, from September 2 to 4, 2008, women’s rights organizations, advocates and activists will be gathering at the Accra Women’s Forum on August 30 to articulate a coherent set of recommendations and plan for women’s effective engagement. The High-Level Forum will be a venue for donor and recipient governments to review the implementation of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness over the last three years and determine a fresh agenda for action on delivering and managing aid. The Paris Declaration seeks to increase the impact aid has in reducing inequalities, supporting growth, building capacity and accelerating the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals which aim to halve world poverty by 2015.


Women’s groups involved in the debates and discussions around the Paris Declaration have been promoting the perspective that neither aid nor development policies can be successful unless gender equality, environmental sustainability and human rights are recognized as crucial to the development agenda. This is especially important because more than half the population living in poverty are women who must confront the inequities of their situation as well as entrenched gender inequalities. The Accra Women’s Forum presents an opportunity for groups to debate the issues and frame precise recommendations; strategize on advocacy opportunities and approaches; and strengthen women’s participation and perspectives in the High-Level meeting.


The forum is being organized by a consortium of women’s organizations, including AWID, WIDE, DAWN and FEMNET. It will be held at the Ellking Hotel in East Legon, Accra. Women who will be in Accra for the High-Level meeting are encouraged to attend the women’s forum. For more information, go to http://www.awid.org/eng/About-AWID/AWID-News/SAVE-THE-DATE!-The-Accra-Women-s-Forum and/or contact Michele Knab at mknab@awid.org.


2. debate on gender equality architecture moves forward in the un general assembly



The UN Deputy Secretary General (DSG) recently circulated a paper in the General Assembly that explored and analyzed the four options that are being considered as possibilities to strengthen the UN’s work on gender equality and the empowerment of women. Part of the more comprehensive UN reform process, this restructuring would particularly affect the four women-specific entities: the United Nations Development Fund for Women, Office of the Special Advisor on Gender Issues, the Division for the Advancement of Women, and the International Research and Training Institute for Women. The four structural options presented in the paper are (i) maintaining the status quo; (ii) creating an autonomous fund/programme; (iii) creating a department within the Secretariat; and (iv) creating a composite entity of all four women-specific entities.


In response to the DSG’s report, the Gender Equality Architecture Reform (GEAR) Campaign published an analysis to facilitate further discussion about the options, especially because of the expectation that the General Assembly will hold an informal consultation at the end of August or early September to move the process forward with some type of resolution. The paper produced by the campaign supports the options for an autonomous fund or a c0mposite entity because these two seem to have the greatest likelihood of strengthening gender equality activities on the ground – a primary point of advocacy for the GEAR campaign. However, the analysis points out a critical need for clarity and detail on how the options will function to strengthen the work on gender equality in the UN, rather than just achieve better coordination. In addition, this process must also be accompanied by strong advocacy for a substantial increase in resources, especially at the country level.  The DSG’s report can be found at http://www.wedo.org/library.aspx?ResourceID=279 while the GEAR analysis can be accessed at http://gear.collectivex.com/discussion/topic/show/86809



The GEAR campaign has recently published a website as a networking and communication tool for campaign members and as an information point for those seeking to find out about the campaign. The site includes basic information about the campaign and its driving principles, a calendar of relevant events and a repository of past statements and records of global and regional advocacy on the issue. To access the website, go to: http://gear.collectivex.com/main/summary


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