Women's empowerment, gender equality and the millennium development goals: a WEDO information and action guide.The complete text of this guide is available in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese on the WEDO WEDO Women's Environment & Development Organization (New York, New York) website at http://www.wedo.org/library.aspx?ResourceID=5. It includes numerous resources and useful links. We reprint reprint An individually bound copy of an article in a journal or science communication a slightly modified version of this extremely useful document below.
What is the United Nations Millennium Declaration The Millennium Declaration is a United Nations General Assembly Resolution adopted at the 8th plenary of the Millennium Summit meeting on 8 September 2000. ?
The UN Millennium Declaration was signed by 191 governments at the September 2000 UN Millennium Summit The Millennium Summit was a meeting among many world leaders lasting three days from 6 September to 8 September 2000 at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. , where 147 heads of government turned out for the largest gathering of world leaders For a list of heads of state, see .
World leaders is a MMORPG. The game involves creating a state, joining an alliance and going into war. It is mostly played by players from Israel, China, USA, Britain, Brazil and Saudi-Arabia. ever held. The Declaration is packed with positive language about people's needs for the new millennium and about women's centrality in the process of development. In the Declaration governments commit themselves "to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women as effective ways to combat poverty, hunger and disease and to stimulate development that is truly sustainable." The Declaration also addresses "the equal rights and opportunities of women and men" and pledges "to combat all forms of violence against women and to implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women" (CEDAW CEDAW Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (United Nations)
CEDAW Component Explosives Damage Assessment Workbook (reference for blast effects software modeling) ).
What are the United Nations Millennium Development goals “MDG” redirects here. For other uses, see MDG (disambiguation).
The Millennium Development Goals are eight goals that 192 United Nations member states have agreed to try to achieve by the year 2015. ?
The UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), issued by the UN Secretary General in 2001, are a "road map" for implementing the Millennium Declaration. The MDGs are comprised of eight goals supplemented by 18 numerical and time-bound targets and 48 indicators intended to improve living conditions living conditions npl → condiciones fpl de vida
living conditions npl → conditions fpl de vie
living conditions living and remedy key global imbalances by 2015. Goal 3 calls for gender equality and women's empowerment. In addition, the MDGs address several of the 12 Critical Areas of Concern in the Platform for Action adopted at the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women The United Nations convened the Fourth World Conference on Women on September 4-15, 1995 in Beijing, China. Delegates had prepared a Platform for Action that aimed at achieving greater equality and opportunity for women. in Beijing, namely poverty (Goal 1), education (Goal 2), health (Goal 5) and environmental sustainability (Goal 7).
How Have Women Responded to the MDGs?
The United Nations has been a key forum for women's advocacy. From the 1975 UN International Year on Women through the Decade on Women (1976-1985) and the global conferences and summits of the 1990s, women participated actively to shape economic, social and political development? In these settings, advocates established strategic mechanisms, influenced resolutions and won crucial commitments to set a far-reaching global policy agenda that recognizes gender equality and women's empowerment as essential components of poverty eradication, human development and human rights.
The Millennium Declaration reflects widespread international acknowledgement that empowerment of women and the achievement of gender equality are matters of human rights and social justice. It is another indication of the successful efforts of women to put gender on the global policy agenda.
However, the Millennium Development Goals do not represent the full vision of gender equity, equality and women's empowerment or poverty eradication and structural transformation envisioned in key human rights instruments (2) or in significant inter-governmental agreements like the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action. Chief among the gaps is the failure to include the issue of reproductive rights Reproductive rights or procreative liberty is what supporters view as human rights in areas of sexual reproduction. Advocates of reproductive rights support the right to control one's reproductive functions, such as the rights to reproduce (such as opposition to forced . Nor do the MDGs mention two critical issues in the Declaration: peace and human rights.
In the MDG MDG Millennium Development Goals (UNDP)
MDG Madagascar (ISO Country code)
MDG Medical Group (USAF)
MDG Air Madagascar (ICAO code) drafting process, WEDO and other women's rights The effort to secure equal rights for women and to remove gender discrimination from laws, institutions, and behavioral patterns.
The women's rights movement began in the nineteenth century with the demand by some women reformers for the right to vote, known as suffrage, and advocates argued that gender equality and women's empowerment are essential crosscutting cross·cut·ting
A technique used especially in filmmaking in which shots of two or more separate, usually concurrent scenes are interwoven. Also called intercutting. components for achievement of all the goals. If the approach to implementation is gender- blind, if adequate resources are not identified, and if global economic policies remain discordant dis·cor·dant
1. Not being in accord; conflicting.
2. Disagreeable in sound; harsh or dissonant.
dis·cor with social and environmental needs, the MDGs cannot succeed. Unfortunately, the MDGs include women's empowerment and gender equality only as a single goal, and the consequences are already apparent: country reports tend to confine these concerns to Goal 3 and the goals on health (Goals 4, 5, 6) and to exclude them from the goals on poverty eradication (Goal 1), environmental sustainability (Goal 7) and global partnerships (Goal 8).
Nonetheless, the MDGs do contain time-bound targets for holding governments and international institutions accountable, and they are mutually reinforcing--progress towards one goal affects progress towards the others. In addition, the MDGs have broad support: the 191 UN member states, UN agencies and international trade and financial institutions have made commitments to the 2015 timeline. Additionally, the review and follow-up processes to UN conferences and summits of the past decade will focus extensively on achieving the goals, providing a critical opportunity to implement the policy gains of the international women's movement women's movement: see feminism; woman suffrage.
Diverse social movement, largely based in the U.S., seeking equal rights and opportunities for women in their economic activities, personal lives, and politics. .
For these reasons, the MDGs can be seen as another avenue of engagement for monitoring the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and other key international policy agreements. In this regard, the MDG process offers three main challenges to advocates:
* To ensure a gender-sensitive approach to implementation at the national level, integrating gender across all the goals;
* To demand adequate resources and equitable global economic policies that are consistent with social and environmental needs;
* To link the MDGs to other ongoing global and national policy processes, particularly the ten-year review of the Beijing Platform for Action (or Beijing +10) in 2005.
Making the Case for Women
In Defense of a Gender Perspective: Goals 1-7
Gender equality is not only a goal in its own right but an essential ingredient for achieving all the MDGs, be they poverty eradication, protecting the environment, or access to health care. Attempting to meet the MDGs without incorporating gender equality will both increase the costs and minimize success. Because the MDGs are mutually reinforcing, success in meeting the goals will have positive impacts on gender equality, just as progress toward gender equality in any one area will help to further each of the other goals.
Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. It is now generally recognized that the majority of the world's poor are women. Goal 1 reflects this by broadening the definition of poverty to encompass not only income but other dimensions Other Dimensions is a collection of stories by author Clark Ashton Smith. It was released in 1970 and was the author's sixth collection of stories published by Arkham House. It was released in an edition of 3,144 copies. such as lack of empowerment, opportunity, capacity and security. Because many aspects of gender inequality influence the different dimensions of poverty, promoting gender equality in the design of strategies and actions to meet this goal is critical. Gender equality has a direct impact on economic growth and the reduction of income poverty by raising productivity improving efficiency, increasing economic opportunities and empowering women.
Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education. Of the 150 million children aged six to eleven who don't attend school, over 90 million are girls. Meeting the education goal therefore requires that the distinctive conditions preventing girls or boys from attending or completing primary school be addressed. Reducing education costs, improving quality, tackling parental concerns about female modesty or safety and increasing the returns to families that invest in female schooling are factors that can overcome social and economic barriers to girls' education. Goal 2 is key to achieving Goal 1; eliminating gender disparities in education is one of the most effective poverty reduction strategies.
Goal 3: Promote gender equality and women's empowerment. Of the world's 876 million illiterate ILLITERATE. This term is applied to one unacquainted with letters.
2. When an ignorant man, unable to read, signs a deed or agreement, or makes his mark instead of a signature, and he alleges, and can provide that it was falsely read to him, he is not bound by people over 15 years old, two-thirds are women; working women have less social protection and employment rights; a third of all women have been violently abused; over 500,000 women die each year in pregnancy and childbirth; and rates of HIV/AIDS HIV/AIDS Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome infection among women are rapidly increasing. The proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments is also included as an indicator, making this goal important in its own right and to all the other MDG goals.
Goals 4, 5 and 6: Reduce child mortality; Improve maternal health Maternal health care is a concept that encompasses preconception, prenatal, and postnatal care. Goals of preconception care can include providing health promotion, screening and interventions for women of reproductive age to reduce risk factors that might affect future pregnancies. ; Combat HIV/AIDS malaria and other diseases, Evidence from countries around the world demonstrates that gender equality is key to improving maternal and child health and stemming the spread of HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Some 500,000 women--the majority in poor countries--die each year due to pregnancy-related causes. Reducing maternal mortality depends on the extent of health care availability for expectant mothers expectant mother n → futura madre f
expectant mother expect n → werdende Mutter f
expectant mother n , particularly when dealing with complications. Greater control of income by women tends to lower child mortality even when the household's total income is taken into account. Child mortality rates are also linked to gender-related norms and customs. Globally, 48 percent of adults living with HIV/AIDS are women, and in many regions, women make up the majority of infected adults. Meeting the health goals requires an awareness of the biological aspects of disease transmission and treatment as well as the social and cultural factors that promote or reduce good health. Women cannot achieve empowerment and equality unless their reproductive rights are fully and legally realized.
Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability. Men's and women's different roles and responsibilities are strongly linked to environmental sustainability. Women's survival, and that of their households and communities, depends on access to and control of natural resources--land, water, forests and plants. Every day, women and girls walk long distances to bring water and fuel to their families. Women perform the majority of the world's agricultural work, producing food for their families, as well as other goods that are sold in national and international markets. Over generations, women have developed in-depth knowledge of the uses and care of medicinal plants medicinal plants, plants used as natural medicines. This practice has existed since prehistoric times. There are three ways in which plants have been found useful in medicine. . Women have learned to manage these resources to preserve them for future generations. Yet these vital contributions are generally ignored or exploited.
In Defense of Adequate Resources and Equitable Global Economic Policies: Goal 8
Achieving Goals 1-7 will depend on the extent to which the UN system, national governments and international trade and financial institutions are able to develop Goal 8, a global partnership for development that currently includes targets or indicators of the global trade and financial system, good governance The terms governance and good governance are increasingly being used in development literature. Governance describes the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented). , official development assistance (ODA ODA - Open Document Architecture (formerly Office Document Architecture). ), market access and debt.
Yet the current targets and indicators do not adequately address the systemic inequities and power imbalances within the global economic system that undermine the goals. The focus has been more on what the poorest countries need to do to achieve the MDGs and less on accountability of the most powerful global actors--the richest countries and the international financial and trade institutions. Moreover, there are no time frames, quantifiable benchmarks or instruments that can hold industrialized in·dus·tri·al·ize
v. in·dus·tri·al·ized, in·dus·tri·al·iz·ing, in·dus·tri·al·iz·es
1. To develop industry in (a country or society, for example).
2. countries, economic institutions and corporations accountable. Establishing such accountability mechanisms is therefore vital, particularly when countries fail to meet the goals due to lack of financial resources.
Over the past decade, the neoliberal ne·o·lib·er·al·ism
A political movement beginning in the 1960s that blends traditional liberal concerns for social justice with an emphasis on economic growth.
ne economic model and market-driven policies--particularly trade and finance rules and the deregulation Deregulation
The reduction or elimination of government power in a particular industry, usually enacted to create more competition within the industry.
Traditional areas that have been deregulated are the telephone and airline industries. and privatization privatization: see nationalization.
Transfer of government services or assets to the private sector. State-owned assets may be sold to private owners, or statutory restrictions on competition between privately and publicly owned of public goods and services--have exacerbated poverty, food insecurity and economic exclusion of the majority while increasing the wealth and over-consumption of the privileged few.
Gender-blind macroeconomic mac·ro·ec·o·nom·ics
n. (used with a sing. verb)
The study of the overall aspects and workings of a national economy, such as income, output, and the interrelationship among diverse economic sectors. and national policies keep women concentrated in the informal sector without job or safety protections and in the lowest-paying, most hazardous jobs in the formal wage economy while rendering their household labor invisible. Women still earn less than men for the same work and remain drastically underrepresented un·der·rep·re·sent·ed
Insufficiently or inadequately represented: the underrepresented minority groups, ignored by the government. in decision-making.
The impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic pandemic /pan·dem·ic/ (pan-dem´ik)
1. a widespread epidemic of a disease.
2. widely epidemic.
Epidemic over a wide geographic area.
n. has further increased women's income-earning, domestic and care-taking responsibilities. The lack of land tenure land tenure: see tenure, in law. or inheritance rights and economic trends such as water privatization Water privatization is a short-hand for the privatization of water services, although more rarely it refers to privatization of water resources themselves. Because water services are seen as such a key public service, proposals for privatization of them often evoke stronger undermine the ability of women to own, manage, use and conserve natural resources and to provide for themselves and their families. In working towards implementation, women's rights advocates can use Goal 8 to push for accountability in global arenas and hold international financial institutions (the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund), the World Trade Organization, the UN and national governments accountable for creating the necessary enabling conditions for implementation. At the UN the ongoing Financing for Development (FfD) process provides the necessary arena to engage in issues of global governance Global governance refers to political interaction and the creation and empowering of international organizations aimed at solving problems that affect more than one state or region, when there is no democratic power of enforcing compliance. and macroeconomic policy and strategies for the mobilization of resources needed for implementation of international development commitments. The World Summit on Sustainable Development Sustainable development is a socio-ecological process characterized by the fulfilment of human needs while maintaining the quality of the natural environment indefinitely. The linkage between environment and development was globally recognized in 1980, when the International Union (WSSD WSSD World Summit on Sustainable Development (UN)
WSSD World Summit for Social Development
WSSD Websphere Studio Site Developer
WSSD Work Skills Series Manual Dexterity
WSSD Weapon System Support Development ) outcomes and follow-up, monitored through the Commission on Sustainable Development The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development - (CSD) - was established in December 1992 by General Assembly Resolution A/RES/47/191 as a functional commission of the UN Economic and Social Council, implementing a recommendation in Chapter 38 of Agenda 21, the landmark , focuses on partnerships and a variety of strategies needed to ensure progress towards the MDGs and larger development agenda of peace, equality and sustainability. Women's rights advocates can use both processes to push for global accountability.
(1.) These conferences included: the Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro, city, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro (rē`ō də zhänā`rō, Port. rē` thĭ zhənĕē`r , 1992) where women's vital role in environmental management and development and the need for their full participation to achieve sustainable development was recognized; the International Conference on Human Rights (Vienna, 1993) where women's human rights were spelled out for the first time; the International Conference on Population and Development The United Nations coordinated an International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt from 5-13 September 1994. Its resulting Programme of Action is the steering document for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). (Cairo, 1994) where formal recognition of women's reproductive rights prevailed despite bitter opposition; the World Summit on Social Development (Copenhagen, 1995) where the link between gender equality and poverty was explicitly recognized; and the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995) where advocates won a broad-based agenda for promoting and protecting women's human rights worldwide while establishing the principle of shared power and responsibility between women and men in all arenas.
(2.) For women, the most significant of these is the 1981 UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), available online at http:/ /www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/.
Gender Equality and the MDGs (World Bank), online at http://www.worldbank.org/ gender/gendermdg.pdf.
The Millennium Development Goals, online at http://www.un.org/millennium/declaration/ ares552e.htm.
Promises to Keep: Achieving Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (ICRW ICRW International Center for Research on Women
ICRW International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling ), online at www.unmillenniumproject. org/documents/tf03genaprl8.pdf.
UN Millennium Declaration, online at http:// www.un.org/millenniumgoals.
RELATED ARTICLE: Bring back Beijing.
"It is essential to design, implement and monitor ... efficient and mutually reinforcing gender-sensitive policies and programmes ... at all levels [to] foster the empowerment and advancement of women."
Engendering Targets and Indicators
Any discussion on attaining the MDGs must start with an understanding of the different positions of women and men, girls and boys in society.
Actions You Can Take
Lobby your government to apply a broader gender lens to measure progress: Promote the use of sex-disaggregated data to measure and monitor the impact of fiscal and social policies on women compared with men, including those data that have been marginalized or are missing from the MDGs. This data is essential and should be applied in analyses of policies at all levels: national, provincial and local.
Expand the MDG indicators: Many gender-sensitive indicators already exist and have been used to measure progress of other agreements from United Nations world conferences such as the Beijing Platform for Action. Use them.
Look for local indicators in national plans drawn up after the Beijing Conference. More than 70 percent of the 187 governments that agreed the Beijing Platform of Action drafted national plans by March 1998. Women's monitoring reports in Mapping Progress, a 1998 WEDO publication, cover progress in 90 of these countries, online at http://www.wedo.org/monitor/ MP.htm.
Look for other gender-sensitive indicators developed by international agencies:
United Nations Development Programme Human Development Indicators, including key Gender Indicators: http://hdr.undp.org/reports/global/ 2002/en/indicator/indicator.cfm? File=index.html
UN Gender Mainstreaming Mandate on Statistics: http://www.un.org/ womenwatch/osagi/gmsatistics.htm
UN Economic Commission for Latin America Noun 1. Economic Commission for Latin America - the commission of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations that is concerned with economic development in Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC ECLAC Economic Commission for Latin America & the Caribbean ) Economic and Social Statistical Yearbooks, including sex-disaggregated data: http://www.eclac.cl/estadisticas/ default.asp?idioma=IN World Bank Gender-Sensitive HIV/ AIDS Indicators http://www.worldbank. org/gender/genaids/factsheet.pdf
Monitoring Government Progress
Following the 1995 conference in Beijing, women began monitoring their governments' efforts--or lack thereof--to turn policy promises into action. In preparation for UN reviews in which governments present progress reports, women's organizations This is a list of women's organisations. International
Actions You Can Take
Track implementation of measures necessary to meet the MDG targets: This provides advocates with a further opportunity to pressure governments and inter-governmental bodies to mainstream gender.
Millennium Development Goals: National Reports--A Look Through a Gender Lens. http://www.undp.org/ gender/docs/mdgs-genderlens.pdf
United Nations Millennium Development Group--Reporting on the Millennium Development Goals at the Country Level. http://www.undp.org/ mainundp/propoor/docs/UNDGMDG-Guidance-NoteENG.doc
Push for country reports to be put through a gender review process: to assess whether gender is adequately addressed or if they are simply following the global matrix that limits gender equality to girls' education as in the Goal 3 target.
Develop a local version of the MDGs: Get input from all the stakeholders Stakeholders
All parties that have an interest, financial or otherwise, in a firm-stockholders, creditors, bondholders, employees, customers, management, the community, and the government. including women's organizations and other civil society sectors as well as government representatives and UN agencies.
Bring all the stakeholders together: To review the UNDP common country assessment (online at http://www.undp. org/dpa/coweblinks/index.html), Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (online at http://www.undp.org/dpa/publications/poverty.html), or equivalent national poverty reduction plan, in the context of the Millennium Development Goals.
Keep up-to-date with global progress:
Country progress towards the goals from the UNDP Human Development Report 2002 http://hdr.undp.org/reports/global/2002/en/pdf/hd 2002_a l_3.pdf
How many countries are on track? (Data from the Human Development Report 2002) http://hdr.undp.org/reports/global/2002/en/pdf/hd 2002_feature_1_1.pdf
The MDGs at a Glance
1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
2. Achieve universal primary education.
3. Promote gender equality and women's empowerment.
4. Reduce child mortality.
5. Improve maternal health.
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
7. Ensure environmental sustainability.
8. Develop a global partnership for development.