During #CSW52 (2008), in the light of the global financial crisis, stakeholders at the United Nations listened more eagerly than ever before to feminist economic claims. The Agreed Conclusions of 2008 is a great document of AGREED LANGUAGE “on financing gender equality and the empowerment of women”, to be reaffirmed in the first paragraphs and mainstreamed throughout the language in the Agreed Conclusions of the current CSW65.
It is time to price each measure and commitment!
During the Covid-19 crisis 2020 it seemed for a while as if the global politics, media and all stakeholders had realized that the existing gender inequalities and forms of violence against women and girls are part of a systemic crisis putting the survival of our life at risk.
Women, as care givers at home and in the care sectors with systemic pay and pension gaps, became visible in their importance. A lot of lip service was given in all regions that recovery plans and the rebuilding of finances and policies cannot go back to the old risky normal of Gender Inequalities. Recovery plans were announced, promising robust investments in Equality for Women, in securing better care and health sectors and many more nice things.
Feminist economic analysis proved that unfortunately nothing was realized when recovery plans were finally tabled. They needed to be adjusted, improved so as to make them work for Gender Equality.
It is estimated that the women’s gender pay and pension gap will have widened during the pandemic, that many women’s enterprises will have less access to recovery plans investments or credits. Many women’s SMEs and many women’s jobs might disappear from the economical and social landscape. Many women and girls might be affected by increasing gender based violence and be forced to struggle with the consequences of the lack of opportunities to unfold their talents and capabilities to gain equal participation. A deficit for the world.
The O Draft of CSW65 shows very little of this consensus that we need as a landmark investment for Gender Equality, not only for women, but for the well being and future of the whole world.
The document expresses concern on roll back, on too limited progress (PARA 7) and that “the effects of the pandemic are compounding existing obstacles to women’s participation and decision-making in public life”. And yes, women journalists, politicians, candidates and voters, in administration, women human rights defenders, activists are more than ever under threat (PARA 8). Human Rights Mechanisms, national and international, need to be more efficiently financed and mandated. There is an urgent need for effective funding of the implementation of binding national and international legal norms and of all kinds of measures (PARA 9) to seriously end violence against women and all discrimination to progress and instead accelerate de facto Gender Equality.
This has a price. Not only national and international budgets and funds need to be bold: – all financial instruments must be gender sensible. Financial institutions and trade policies must be engendered. No more time for delay and experiments. It is pay-day.
Ending violence against women can no longer be reduced only to infrastructure and a focus on measures for survivors AFTER grave human rights violations. It needs efficient financed and monitored prevention. There must be an end of impunity for perpetrators. Killing Women is FEMICIDE – by private non-state-actors or as war crimes by state and non-state actors. The world must invest to end this. Early and lifelong education, awareness raising, legal training, training and binding cooperation of all investigative forces and the judiciary must be funded and focus on gender stereotypes and changes of social norms.
The crucial work of NGOs and CSOs must be secured and financed. Rehabilitation of survivors must become much better and financial compensation a norm. All Ministries of Interior should design a bold feminist engagement, funding and commitment.
The #CSW65 must design a strategy for this decade – instead of issue hopping, deal with investment in change to end Violence against Women and for Gender Equality for a decade. It should improve its evaluation work and focus on steering towards an acceleration of positive impacts.