Established under the umbrella of the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP), this broad group of hundreds of advocates including the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), ActionAid International, and Oxfam International, focuses exclusively on the importance of framing poverty as a women’s issue.
Women from Around the World joined the Launch of the Global Call to Action for Women’s Rights
At the event, people who have joined the global GCAP movement wore white bands in support of the cause. With faces from nearly every continent, this compelling visual symbolized an unwavering resolve to end global poverty.
This event, the first in a series for 2005, attracted a who’s who in the area of women’s rights groups.
Ten years after the Fourth World Conference on Women in
Two-thirds of the world’s 1.3 billion desperately poor are women, living on less than one dollar a day.
Gender inequality makes women particularly vulnerable to poverty. In many parts of the world, women are the main–and sometimes the only–caregivers for their families while earning low wages through labor- intensive work. Though they make productive and essential contributions to their community and country, women face more economic obstacles than men and have less access to education, land, money, time, and other resources. Consider this:
In many countries, including some of those in Sub- Saharan Africa, women have no right to own property, moveable or immovable. Property rights belong to their husbands. If the men die, their families can take control of all possessions.
HIV rates in developing countries are soaring. Nearly 50% of women in Sub-Saharan Africa are infected with HIV. Lack of rights makes women particularly vulnerable. A study in
Even women who are educated about safer sex are fearful of violence if they ask a partner to use a condom. This powerlessness increases the likelihood that women will become HIV positive and no longer be able to provide for their families.
According to Everjoice Win, International Head of Women’s Rights for ActionAid International, ‘Governments should, at the very least, come up with legislation and policies, and implement them at the national level to make sure that the status of women is uplifted and the right of women are guaranteed not just on paper but in practice. When we talk about poverty for women, we’re not just talking about material lack.
In many countries of the world where ActionAid works, women are regarded as non-persons who don’t have a voice to speak for themselves, who don’t have choices about their own life.’
The Global Call to Action against Poverty is a worldwide alliance committed to pressuring world leaders to fulfill their promises outlined by the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Hundreds of civil society organizations from all over the world — including women’s groups, trade unions, faith groups and human rights organizations — are joining together to work toward shifts in national and international policies in order to end poverty and both achieve and exceed the Millennium Development Goals. Mary Robinson, former Irish president and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, is among the high profile individuals who are weighing in strongly behind the campaign. With the upcoming G-8
‘Though the GCAP alliance is global, the real work is done by women in their home towns and villages,’ says Joanna Kerr, Executive Director of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), a co-host of the event. ‘Women will return to their countries to mobilize others to influence their government leaders to effect lasting changes.’
Please contact Bernice Manallo or Ciara Gaynor to receive an electronic press packet. Download the Global Call to Action for Women’s Rights leaflet here.
Event Co-hosts: ActionAid, African Women’s Development Fund, Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), Centre for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL), Comite de America Latina Y el Caribe Para la Defensa de los Derechos de la Mujer (CLADEM), INFORM Sri Lanka, International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), International Gender and Trade Network (IGTN), International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), International Women’s Human Rights Law Clinic, National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, Oxfam International, Red de Educacion Popular Entre Mujeres, Sancharika Samuha (Women’s Media Forum) Nepal, UN Millennium Campaign, Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice, Women’s International Coalition for Economic Justice (WICEJ).
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