G20 Seoul Summit: Neglecting Gender ?

Civil society organizations and labour unions from around the world say they are “deeply concerned about the government’s emphasis on ‘economic growth-oriented development’ as it does not incorporate the values of democracy, human rights, ecological sustainability and gender equality.”

In a joint statement, the organisations said about gender equality: “The financial crisis is the crisis of women. The G20’s sound fiscal policy based on the measure to cut down on welfare spending will lead to increase in women’s unpaid care work and exacerbate feminization of poverty, thus resulting in shifting burden of the financial crisis on women.”

The gender equality issue, therefore, should be considered as a cross-cutting issue within the G20 discourse, says the Gender Justice Action group which also signed the joint statement.  In particular it asks the G20 to include plans to create decent job and social safety net for women and expand public fund investment on care service.

It urges the G20 to agree on financial transaction tax (FTT) and allocating 70 percent of that for antipoverty and empowering measures for women and the group alienated from the financial sector.  Also, the G20 development agenda should integrate gender equality issue and be connected to the UN Millennium Development Goals.

The joint statement calls on the G20 to abolish neoliberal agricultural policies putting more women farmers into poverty, stop the wars worsening economic instability and increase women’s seats in the peace negotiation table, and establish the Gender Equality Working Group for integration of gender equality issue to the G20 agenda and to monitor its implementation.

Source: IDN-InDepthNews/14.11.2010

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