Statement to the Inequality & Growth Dialogue Segment by the Civil Society FfD Group (including the Women’s Working Group on FfD) -, delivered by Patricia Miranda, Latindadd and SID on May 22, 2017 (FfD Forum 2017)

I speak on behalf of the Women’s Working Group on FFD and the CSO Group on FFD. Our comments want to highlight first and foremost that the human rights framework, gender equality and sustainability criteria should be cross-cutting elements to the whole operationalization of the FFD agenda. While the explicit references to women’s human rights and gender equality are appreciated, these cannot be framed as exclusively functional to economic growth. What if losses of gender inequities would not be significant in economic terms, would this then be a reason to slow down the pursuit of gender equality? The same with youth participation: young people should be taken into consideration as subjects of rights and not as instruments that will be used to pursue economic growth.

The full realization of women’s human rights and gender equality should be achieved [as a priority] through macro economic and systemic measures and all matters related to the financing for development agenda. Addressing the differentiated needs of diverse groups of population to achieve the wellbeing of people is of crucial importance, for instance, closing the gender pay gap requires a policy of ‘equal pay for work of equal value’.

Gender equality cannot be achieved without comprehensive fiscal measures with a gender perspective, including progressive taxation and gender-responsive budgets at the national and local level. We want to state clearly that “women’s empowerment” alone is not enough, because we still need to ensure the reduction, recognition, sharing and redistribution of unpaid domestic and care work between and among the State, Private sector, communities, families, women and men.

In this regard, we cannot highlight enough the centrality of the provision of technology, infrastructure, social protection policies, and public services such as education, health- including sexual and reproductive health and rights-, water and sanitation, renewable energy, transport, information technologies, as well as accessible, affordable and quality childcare and care facilities for older persons, persons with disabilities, persons living with HIV and AIDS, and all others in need of care. Latin America and the Caribbean recognizes the right to care and it should be extended to the rest of the world.

Moreover, governments need to effectively address the negative impacts of illicit financial flows, including tax avoidance and evasion, on gender equality, because, as the CEDAW Committee stated in December 2016, they have “a negative impact on the ability of other States, particularly those already short of revenue, to mobilise the maximum available resources for the fulfilment of women’s rights”.

As it has been made clear, women’s human rights and gender equality need to be addressed in a macro-economic dimension in every aspect of the FFD Agenda, and it is for this reason that we suggest [as a priority] that the IATF includes within its mandate the preparation of a comprehensive inventory of guidelines, principles and other policy interventions on how to mainstream women’s human rights into the implementation of the Financing for Development Agenda to be discussed in the 2018 session of the ECOSOC FfD Forum.

Thank you.

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