In the past 30 years one model of development has been promoted and ensconced globally: Market driven, neo-liberal development. This model assumes that ‘development’ and growth are synonymous. The more profit extracted from enterprise, the more resources extracted from the earth, the more people consume, the more developed, it is assumed, a country will become. Governments facilitate this process by reducing public spending, privatising public assets and services, reducing any regulations on industry, promoting cheap and flexible labour and re-framing their role as primarily a lubricant for free markets and foreign investment.
This model of development has completely failed the majority of the Earth. It has channeled wealth from working people to the rich, from developing countries to wealthy countries. It has contributed to the warming of our Earth, caused displacements of millions of people, lowered real wages, increased labour migration and caused the crises of finance, environment, food and energy that devastate the lives of women in the global south.
APWLD is working to promote a new model of development, focused on people rather than on economic growth. Since 2013, the international community was prioritising the creation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, through several processes: the High Level Panel finalised consultations and released its report; states started to position themselves within the UN through the Open Working Group processes in New York; and regional intergovernmental processes started with ESCAP organising an intergovernmental meeting to identify priorities. While these processes were taking place, the Feminist Development Justice Programme was established to build on our work of the previous two years and position women’s rights at the center of development policies at international, regional and national levels.
The Feminist Development Programme takes multiple approaches to influence the processes:
– Developing capacity of members and partners to engage in development advocacy;
– Developing tools, campaign materials, analysis and resources for members;
– Engaging in public advocacy through media, public engagement and telling the stories of the impact of mal-development on women;
– Influencing official processes, language, outcomes and state positions;
– Igniting movements for development justice.