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Resources Should Focus On Addressing Gender-Based Violence, Rather Than Broad Gender Equality Goals

SciDev.Net: Focus on Gender: Let’s drop bland Beijing+20 aims
Henrietta Miers, senior associate of WISE Development

“…Leaders at the CSW [U.N.’s Commission on the Status of Women] adopted a political declaration reaffirming the principles of the landmark World Conference on Women held 20 years ago in Beijing, China. Signatories to the declaration hope to see the full realization of gender equality and the empowerment of women by 2030. … Not surprisingly, the declaration has been criticized by women’s rights activists for being bland. I would add the charge of being overambitious: the target is almost certainly beyond anyone’s reach — and impossible to measure. … Rather than setting unachievable targets to achieve gender equality, perhaps the development community should pull together and focus on resolving a single issue that affects women and girls: violence. And another idea: how about diverting the funds presently lavished on high-level gatherings such as the latest in New York to NGOs that have the flexibility, creativity, and links with communities to reduce violence. … These kinds of programming actually make a difference in women’s lives. We should be flooding them with money, not wasting it on over-ambitious declarations” (4/2).

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