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Investing in Women
Makes Good Sense
It has been six years since the
United Nations conference on Financing for Development (FfD) and women
are still the poorest of the poor-more than two-thirds of the
one billion people living on less than $1.00 day are women and
though we hear again and again from the UN
Secretary-General, from the World Bank, from all sorts of
development experts that investing in women is
essential to development, we don't see the actions necessary
for improving the lives of women-an achievement that would
benefit the whole of society.
women make only 25% of the global income and own 1% of the
land. In most of the world, unpaid family and household care
still rests on women. It is estimated that this unremunerated,
invisible work amounts to 10-30% of world GDP, in the
trillions of dollars.
year's meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of Women
(CSW) held in March zeroed in on the critical issue of
financing for gender equality, in anticipation of the second
FfD conference to be held in Doha
large number of ministers of women's agencies and thousands of
women activists from around the world came to the meeting with a resounding
message: commitments to women's equality made at previous UN
development conferences are not being implemented because of a
lack of genuine political will.
have long understood that these commitments will only be met
if they are backed up by adequate financial resources.
Together, we are pushing for governments to dig into their
pockets and deliver the necessary funds.
June Zeitlin, Executive
the Spotlight: Q&A
with Lt. Governor Lawton of Wisconsin
With Anna Grossman, Communications
Women Demand U.S. Action on Climate Change (WDACC) is
the first campaign of its kind to reach out to the U.S.
women's organizations around climate policy. Across the
country, many groups are mobilizing to push for stronger U.S.
action on urgent climate issues, particularly on greenhouse
gas reductions and on a post-Kyoto international agreement. We
asked Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton of Wisconsin, who took part
in the March 14th launch of the campaign, to share her views
on ways in which the U.S. can step up action on climate
to take action on climate change has led you to develop
Economy Agenda. You also work with local
governments to shape their response to global climate change.
What has motivated you to take on climate change in your
office, and what sort of obstacles do you face in promoting
As daunting a challenge as global climate change can seem, it
is also an opportunity to connect women in the U.S. to women
across the world. Today in the U.S. it is very easy to flip
the channel on your television if you are confronted by a
disturbing image so that you don't have to think about the
role we play. But with climate change it is much harder to do.
As people begin to learn more about it, they begin to care
more. Climate change presents an opportunity for people to
become empowered in making decisions big and small. A small
decision might be changing the kind of light bulb you use; a
big one might be saying you won't reelect politicians unless
they are willing to make changes.
is interesting. There have been fewer obstacles to working on
climate change issues than you would think. When I went to the
annual National Lieutenant Governors Association and convinced
colleagues to sign on to a bold statement on climate change, I
had to think, how am I going to get broad majority support for
this, and in particular bi-partisan support? So I started by
working with the Republican Lt. Governor of Florida. I learned
a fascinating lesson-that on the issue of climate change,
there is tremendous potential to unite in new ways and under
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Because when women lead, the world benefits.
launch took place during the annual meeting of the United
Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), where the
under-resourcing of gender equality within the UN was touted
as evidence for the lack of a genuine commitment to women's
2006 budget for UNIFEM at $57 million is only 10 percent of
UNFPA's budget of close to $600 million and only a tiny
fraction of the $2.7 billion available to UNICEF and $3.5
billion available to UNDP.
"We believe it is well-demonstrated that the
lack of a strong, well-resourced women's entity with normative
and operational responsibilities, and an effective presence at
country level, led by an Under Secretary General, has impeded
the advancement of gender equality and the empowerment of
women," said June Zeitlin, WEDO Executive Director.
|Women Demand U.S. Action on Climate
As criticism of the United States'
position on climate change continues to mount, WEDO launched
the Women Demand U.S. Action on Climate Change
(WDACC) Campaign in an effort to
mobilize women's organizations to join with environmental and
other social justice organizations on the
Together with the Rockefeller Brothers Fund
(RBF), the Heinrich Boell Foundation (HBF) North America,
Oxfam America, InterAction, 1Sky, Feminist Majority, National
Organization for Women (NOW), U.S. Climate Action Network
(USCAN) and Communications Consortium Media Center (CCMC),
WEDO hosted a launch event in Washington, DC on March 14th,
called U.S. Climate Change
Policy: Why Women Matter.
The WDACC Campaign is designed to activate
women's groups to challenge U.S. climate change policy.
The U.S. lags far behind most industrialized countries in
commitments to reduce emissions and is the only country to not
have ratified the Kyoto Protocol, which requires achieving a
5% reduction below 1990 levels between 2008 and
Stops on "The Road to Doha"
The Financing for Development consultative
process is now in full swing with the official conference to
begin November 29 in Doha, Qatar. Women's rights and economic
justice advocates are working to ensure that the Doha outcome
document does more to address feminized poverty, environmental
crises and global economic inequities than the Monterrey
Consensus did in 2002. The draft document will be released in
July, with member state reactions and negotiations beginning
in early September. Several events have already been held,
allowing governments, UN agencies, civil society and the
private sector to present their perspectives and
recommendations on the various areas of the financing for
development agenda. The Women's Working Group on FfD will advocate and participate in each
remaining event of the official consultative
For more information about
upcoming FfD events and to learn more about the process visit
WEDO's FfD web
page. You can also
check out our online Gender and FfD
Resource Guide, and join the FfD Women's Caucus firstname.lastname@example.org to get "on the Road to
Women Unite to Transform U.S. Climate Policy reveals where the United States stands in
relation to the rest of the world's action on climate
change-and what you can do to get
|An Evening in Support of Climate
More than 40 friends and supporters gathered at the
beautiful Greenwich Village home of Ethel Klein in early
March for a reception for Women Demand
U.S. Action on Climate Change, an initiative designed to mobilize women in
the U.S. to press their leaders to rejoin the world community
in support of a strong post-Kyoto climate change
agreement. Those attending enjoyed remarks from Nafis
Sadik, former Executive Director of UNFPA and a WEDO Board
member, Rosalind Petchesky, Professor of
Political Science and Women's Studies at Hunter College and
former WEDO Board member, and June Zeitlin, WEDO's Executive
to our new colleagues!
WEDO welcomes Rachel T.
Harris to the position of U.S. Climate Change
Campaign Coordinator. Rachel will be leading the WDACC
(Women Demand U.S. Action on Climate Change) campaign. She is
a graduate of Columbia University with a Master's degree in
Climate and Society. Prior to coming to WEDO she worked with
environmental organizations including the World Resources
Institute, the International Research Institute for Climate
and Society and the Environmental Law Institute.
extends a warm and appreciative welcome to three new Spring
Julien is originally from Canada, where she was a
member of various community organizations focusing on issues
of economic and ecological justice. Having previously worked
in publishing, she is pursuing a Master's in Journalism at
CUNY and is interested in writing about corporate influence on
the global climate agenda. She is an intern with WEDO's Social
and Economic Justice program.
working as a freelance dancer and youth worker for the past
five years in New York, Pavithra Kathanadhi
decided to pursue her long-time interest in environmental
work. Currently in the process of applying to graduate
schools, Pavithra works for the Sustainable Development
program at WEDO.
Shaheen is from
Afghanistan and is on a Fulbright scholarship studying
international affairs with a concentration on social economic
development at The New School. As an intern with WEDO's Social
and Economic Justice program, she is working on the Misfortune
500 online journal to expose corporate misconduct and closely
following the UN Financing for Development process.
almost two years into her second era at WEDO, Rebecca
Pearl, Sustainable Development Program Coordinator,
has decided to return to consultancy work, where she will
continue in the area of climate change. "I am happy to have
had the opportunity to collaborate with all of WEDO's partners
and to be part of the continued growth of the
Sustainable Development program since my arrival in
2001. I plan to keep in touch with many of
you and continue to collaborate with WEDO," she said.
Owren, who has
been working with Rebecca on the gender and climate change
work for over a year, will move into the role of Program
CEDAW Book Commemorates 25 Years of Work
The Circle of Empowerment, a collection of
substantive essays and personal reflections by former and
current members of the Committee on the Elimination of
Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), celebrates 25 years of
work for women's human rights. The book, edited by Hanna Beate
Schöpp-Schilling and Associate Editor, Cees Flinterman,
highlights both achievements and new challenges in
implementing the women's convention. To order a
copy visit The Feminist Press at www.feministpress.org or call
212-817-7920. The book can also be purchased on-line at
is an international organization that advocates for women's
equality in global policy. Working in key global forums
such as the UN, WEDO advocates for and seeks to empower women
as decision makers to achieve economic, social and gender
justice, a healthy, peaceful planet and human rights for all.
For more information, visit www.wedo.org.
Editors: Anna Grossman and Mary
Contributors: Rachel Harris,
Cate Owren, Mary Fridley, Nadia Johnson, Jelena Pia-Comella,