Delivered by Virisila Buadromo from Fiji Women’s Rights Movement on behalf of WMG.
On behalf of Asia Pacific women’s major group, feminist and women’s rights organisations participating in this meeting and the preparatory civil society meeting.
Women represent 70% of people living in poverty in Asia Pacific. The current model of development exacerbates patriarchal inequalities and makes women bear the burden of unsustainable economic growth and environmental disasters despite the fact that they are least responsible. Women, as the majority of subsistence farmers and agricultural producers are subject to environmental disasters, rendered homeless and often forcibly evicted from their homes and land by government and corporate land grabbing. Women in our region produce the world’s food and other products at increasingly lower prices, working far below subsistence wages in unbearable conditions. Women workers are denied rights to organize and bargain. In the Asia and the Pacific regions, most women work as domestic worker without a day off, nor guaranteed wage. They are separated from family and routinely abused at home and abroad where they also now take on roles in an unregulated and often exploitative global care chain. In homes, countries, and the region, women’s rights and autonomy over our bodies and life decisions are violated, particularly due to escalating fundamentalisms.
Women’s rights and gender equality and justice must be cornerstones of Development Justice.
Policymaking and global architecture over the past 3 decades has led to wealth, power and resources accruing to tiny minority of the world richest and most powerful people and corporations.
Concretely, we contend that the new framework must include the following:
- A specific goal that aims to redistribute wealth, power and resource inequalities between countries, between rich and poor, and between men and women.
- A specific goal that calls for deep and structural changes to existing global systems of power, resources and decision-making. We need new frameworks and institutions designed to be democratic, accountable to all people and particularly those most affected, based on internationally agreed human rights standards and obligations.
- A redistributive goal that requires land and resource equity and monitors distribution and land grabbing.
- A decent work goal which includes a living wage target,
- A universal and comprehensive social protection goal;
- A goal to ensure full, equal and meaningful participation of women in all decision making bodies at all levels. Good governance starts at home with women able to make decisions over their own bodies, sexuality and lives. For that, we must at a minimum guarantee that women can fully exercise their sexual, health and reproductive rights, Laws and policies that discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation and gender identity must be repealed and the vital role of women’s movements recognized.
- A specific goal that calls for the formation of truly democratic accountability institutions and processes that extends to macroeconomic governance and the private sector. The framework must hold governments accountable for their duty to exercise oversight over and regulate private actors, especially corporate and private financial actors to guarantee they respect women’s human rights, including in their cross-border activities.
Finally we would like to remind all delegates that the issues of environmental justice, sustainable consumption and production have been agreed upon in Rio. Backtracking from State responsibilities is detrimental to sustainable development and women’s human rights.
We fully endorse the Bangkok Civil Society Declaration on Development Justice and remind our governments that without the five foundational shifts of development justice, women’s rights will continue to be routinely denied.
Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), National Alliance of Women Human Rights Defenders Nepal, Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM), Asia and Pacific Resource and Research Center for Women (ARROW), International Women’s Health Coalition, Development Alternatives for Women in a New era (DAWN), Forum of Women NGOS Kyrgystan, Indonesian Positive Women Network, WOCAN.