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Latest News

The Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) is mobilising worldwide on International Women’s Day to call for gender equality to end poverty. With women representing 70% of the worlds poor, the issue of gender equality in the fight to end poverty has been carried by campaigners to the doors of governments and multilateral instiutions by GCAP coalitions since 2005. This year represents a change in gear for campaigners, concerned by signs that women are the big losers in current development strategies and the poor pace of governments in meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

Ana Agostino, GCAP Co-Chair and spokesperson for the Feminist Task Force said:
“Poverty cannot be eradicated without equality and justice for women. Current international policies rob women of livelihoods, healthcare and other economic rights, while feeding a fundamentalist backlash and militarism that deprive women of personal autonomy and choices. Our demands are fundamental to breaking through this paradigm, they are not cosmetic, they need dedicated funding and integration into all existing policy decisions.”

In New York last week, GCAP members focused on the theme of this year’s Commission on the Status of Women meeting, “Financing for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment,” . They called on the UN for increased financing for gender equality and women’s empowerment as well as support for an improved gender equality architecture of the UN. GCAP’s Feminist Task Force (FTF) presented progress made since 2005 alongside the findings of International Women’s Tribunals on Poverty (see below), which were held in India and Peru in 2007.

In the Arab region, GCAP has produced a statement with specific demands for their
Governments. The 2007 Arab MDG report states that the participation of women in
non-agricultural employment in the least developed Arab countries decreased by almost 5% between 1990 and 2004. On average, women in the Arab region accounted for only 18.3% of total paid employments in the industrial and services sector in 2004. Moreover, the continuous military occupation in Palestine and Iraq and some regions of Lebanon and Syria has increased the level of poverty in these zones and undermined the development progress, and thus limited the chances for women’s economical empowerment. According to report, women in the Arab region held only 8.7% of the region’s parliamentary seats in April 2007, a figure among the lowest in the world.

GCAP’s Global demands for gender equality to end poverty on International Women’s Day are:

  • Trade Justice for women’s social, economic, cultural and political empowerment
  • Debt Cancellation to lift the burden on poor women and their families
  • More and Better Aid to fund an end to the feminization of poverty
  • Democratic, Transparent, Participatory and Accountable National Policy Processes to open doors for women and eliminate discriminatory policies
  • Gender Equality as central to achieving sustainable development


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