Self-organized women’s and feminist organizations and networks and their allies that promote human rights–based sustainable development in UN-related processes. Participation is power!

OVERVIEW

The Women’s Major Group is self-organized and facilitated by a team of 8 Organizing Partners, including WEDO. The WMG has the mandate to facilitate women’s human rights and gender equality perspectives into UN policy processes on sustainable development. In recent years, the WMG program and project has been designed to influence two distinct phases in global sustainable development: (1) finalizing a universal Post-2015 Development agenda that is grounded in national and regional realities, in particular realities for women; and (2) ensuring its robust implementation at the national, regional and global levels.

The post-2015 development agenda is now the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It will determine where political and financial resources are concentrated in the coming decades. So it must be shaped, implemented and monitored by the people whose lives will be impacted by those choices.

WMG has and will continue to ensure rich and diverse participation of women advocates in the negotiation and follow-up of the agenda. The follow-up phase will involve support to operationalize and implement the framework in international, regional and country contexts, as well as to design review and accountability systems and strengthen the WMG, and its ties to the broader women’s movement, particularly at the regional level.

From the beginning, the WMG has been advocating for an ambitious and comprehensive agenda that is grounded in human rights with a central focus on achieving gender equality and the fulfillment of women’s human rights, including through progressive sustainable development goals, targets and indicators, clear and ambitious means of implementation, and robust mechanisms for accountability.

WEDO’s role: WEDO is an Organizing Partner of the Women’s Major Group. Officially in the OP role since 2014, WEDO has been a lead facilitator of the WMG since 2011 in the preparations for Rio+20. WEDO brings its expertise on climate change, cities, disaster risk reduction, gender equality and human rights, advocacy and textual analysis. WEDO also provides organizational support to administer grants to the WMG and facilitate participation and logistical coordination of travel grants for women to attend meetings in New York and elsewhere as part of Rio+20, the SDGs and Post-2015.

WEDO’s connections to the WMG are deep, going back to the Earth Summit in 1992, where WEDO led the Women’s Caucus and was instrumental in ensuring 172 references to women and gender in Agenda 21, including a full chapter on Women.

Women’s Major Group for Disaster Risk Reduction – The WMG for DRR is facilitated by WEDO, who was the Organizing Partner for the process around the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan, March 2015. See more information on the DRR Issue page

ACTIVITIES AND OBJECTIVES

The long-term goal of the WMG is to bring about policies based in a coherent global sustainable development framework that are founded on core principles of gender equality and justice, women’s human rights and environmental sustainability.

Objectives of the WMG are to ensure:

  • Analysis and synthesis of inputs from diverse women of all regions of the world through position papers and other policy documents
  • Advocacy and participation of diverse women in official intergovernmental processes, which includes facilitating strategy meetings, conference calls, surveys, and open calls for input to understand and prioritize issues on its agenda.
  • Network and movement building for effective advocacy for gender, economic, and ecological justice

Related activities include:

  • Facilitate active and direct participation of women and women’s organizations in the United Nations-level meetings, via travel support to global women experts in their fields and support to the strategic coordination by the WMG co-organizers.
  • Develop policy positions on the thematic areas of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals and to influence key international and regional processes on sustainable development and review of the 2030 Agenda
  • Presents women’s recommendations to policy makers as well as media
  • Raises awareness on gender equality and equitable and sustainable policy alternatives
  • Fundraising to ensure continuity in the work and support to women’s organizations worldwide

IMPACT

  1. Women’s rights and feminist organization participation in the intergovernmental processes on Post-2015 was equitable, effective and regionally balanced (both global and regional levels);
  2. WMG as a whole, and participants individually, have increasedtheir capacity to advocate for key messages at relevant Post-2015 meetings and in the follow-up and review processes (both global and regional levels)
  3. Cooperation has been strengthened between the WMG and feminist and women’s organizations and movements globally and in all regions, contributing to the realization of gender justice
  4. Governments have promoted and supported gender equality linked to economic, social and environmental issues within post-2015 development agenda; global follow up and review/HLPF; and in regional follow-up mechanisms

Recent specific achievements include:

  • Electing 8 organizing partners, expanding and diversifying from the previous team of 3 OPs
  • Attending all Open Working Group sessions and all Post-2015 intergovernmental negotiation sessions with a diverse, balanced team
  • WMG analysis of the context of the Post-2015 and the structural issues to be urgently addressed, including continuous updating and deepening of positions to incorporate new participants and expertise, which support collective WMG advocacy going forward
  • Preparation and dissemination of advocacy documents and text suggestions related to goals and targets for the SDGs and to the inputs for the Post-2015 agreement
  • Successful coordination and complementary work with the Women’s Working Group for Financing for Development process, which is intricately linked to the Post-2015 sustainable development agenda
  • Successful incorporation of WMG language into the SDGs and 2030 Agenda and recognition of the strength of the WMG’s organization throughout the process, by colleagues, the UN and Member States alike
  • Strong working relationships with Member States and other Major Groups and stakeholders

PARTNERS

The WMG has 8 Organizing Partners. In addition to WEDO, they are:

  • Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law & Development (Asia and the Pacific), Email: wmg@apwld.org
  • Gender Equity: Citizenship, Work and Family (Equidad de Género: Ciudadanía, Trabajo y Familia) (Latin America and the Caribbean), Emilia Reyes, Email: emilia@equidad.org.mx
  • Forum of Women’s NGOs of Kyrgyzstan (Central Asia & Europe), Nurgul Dzhanaeva, Email: nurguldj@gmail.com
  • Global Forest Coalition (GFC) (Global), Isis Alvarez, Email: isis.alvarez@globalforestcoalition.org
  • International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) (North America), Shannon Kowalski, Email: skowalski@iwhc.org
  • Women Environmental Programme (Africa), Priscilla Achakpa, Email: Priscilla.achakpa@wepnigeria.net
  • Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) (Global), Sascha Gabizon, Email: sascha.gabizon@wecf.eu
  • In addition to the Organizing Partners, the hundreds of other organizations in the WMG are counted as invaluable partners.

 

FUNDERS

Current
  • William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Former
  • UN Women
  • UN Women Brazil
  • GIZ

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