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Women daily caucus meeting at the informal informals
26 Apr 2012 - 4 May 2012
un New York

The Women's major group has prepared recommendations on the gender and empowerment of women section in the draft heads of state declaration for Rio+20.

Suggested amendments to select Gender Equality paragraphs in Section V of the Rio+20 draft declaration

Based on the co-chairs? suggested text dated 10 April 2012 17:00hrs
Proposed new text in bold.
Proposed deletions in brackets [ ]
Comments in grey italics

CST Gender equality and empowerment of women

The Women?s Major Group sees the need to strengthen the proposed text by the co-chairs for the sub-section on gender and empowerment of women, in particular by:
1. Retaining the proposed target for women in leadership positions
2. Adding language on informal work and women?s domestic, unpaid and care-taking work
3. Strengthening language on structural barriers, effective participation and rights

1.Retaining the proposed target for women in leadership positions
The co-chairs proposed text for paragraph 103 has not taken into account the proposal by Iceland, supported by many countries except one, to set a concrete target for women in leadership positions. The women?s major group recommends to retain the language as proposed by Iceland on the target, which is the only quantified proposal on women?s empowerment in the draft Rio+20 declaration.

CST 103. ter We agree to ensure that women have full and equal access to and control over productive resources through the equal right to own property and the right to inherit, and equal access to credit, financial and extension services along the entire value chain; ensuring women?s equal rights and opportunities in political decision-making processes that are participatory, responsive, equitable and inclusive and raise the proportion of women in leadership positions to at least 40 per cent, with the aim of reaching gender parity; and ensuring universal access to quality and affordable family-planning and other sexual and reproductive rights and health services, as well as to primary and post-primary education. (Paras 103.alt 2 and 103 ter) (to check against Cairo Declaration language).
Rationale: The aim of the Rio+20 summit is to move implementation forward, which necessitates clear gender equality and women?s empowerment language that leads to concrete implementation measures. The proposed language on per cent of women in leadership positions from paragraph 103quat of the compilation text sets concrete targets (as has been done for example in Millennium Development Goal 3), to create political will for implementation. All evidence shows that setting specific targets such as this proposal is an effective means for increasing women?s participation and leadership in decision-making processes.

2.Adding language on informal work and women?s domestic, unpaid and care-taking work

CST 102. bis We recognize that progress on gender equality has been made in some areas but that women make up the majority of the poor and bear a disproportionate burden in domestic, unpaid and informal work and [delete: the potential of women to engage in and contribute to sustainable development as leaders, participants and agents has not been fully realised on account of persistent social economic, and political inequities. Women can be among the greatest contributors to promoting, sharing and practicing sustainable development methods and practices if they are allocated equal access to opportunities and resources and are afforded critical decision-making roles in sustainable development. We] recognize that investing in the development of women has a multiplier effect. We therefore call for removing all barriers, including social, economic, cultural and legal, that prevent women from being full active participants in the economy and decision-making, and we support prioritizing measures to promote gender equality and women?s empowerment, including to reduce and address their disproportionate burdens in care-giving [delete: in all spheres of our societies]. (Merged 102 bis, 102 ter, quat and quint, 103 and 103 quat)

3.Strengthening language on structural barriers, effective participation and rights

CST 103. We call for removing any barriers that [delete: have prevented] prevent women from being full participants in the economy and unlocking their potential as drivers of sustainable development, including through the repeal of discriminatory laws and removal of [delete: formal barriers] structural forms of discrimination, through the reform of institutions and the development and adoption of innovative special measures to [delete: address] counter the negative impacts of informal and cultural practices that act as barriers. (Paras 103 and 103 alt 1)

CST 103. pre bis. We [delete: reiterate the importance of] commit to creating an enabling environment [delete: for improving the situation] that is informed by and that improves the rights and needs of rural women and girls, including indigenous women, by ensuring systematic attention to their needs, priorities and contributions, including through their full participation in the development, implementation and follow-up of all relevant development policies, and programmes, and strategies. (Merged 104 quint and sext)

CST 104. We [delete: encourage] commit to support the work of the UN system, including UN Women, in promoting and achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women in all aspects of life and bringing greater attention to the linkages between gender equality and the promotion of sustainable development. (104)

CST. 104. bis We call on donors, international organizations including the UN System organizations, IFIs, regional banks, major groups and the private sector, to take conscious account of gender considerations, and to ensure the effective and meaningful participation of women in their decision making, programme planning, budgeting, implementation, monitoring and reporting. (104. sept)

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