A comprehensive civil society statement by the Women’s Major Group (WMG), as drafted by Beijing +25 Global Youth Task Force and others, was delivered at a regional conference in the lead up to the Beijing +25 events, building towards feminist equality around the globe. Key comments from civil society are condensed into this statement, including statements on the rights of diverse groups of women, issues from diverse geographic constituencies, and more.
The full statement is online, access here.
Excerpts follow, which show the values base of the WMG, of which the Temple of Understanding is a member.
Engaging Young Feminists
Youth activists clearly face barriers in regards to accessing to international platforms and spaces like this very room. In order to facilitate this, more direct funding to youth led organizations is needed. We demand structural changes and suggest 30 percent involvement of young feminists under 30 in decision making processes, and a transition from hierarchical to horizontal structures to foster more collaborations and co-creation. It is important to build digital infrastructure for better networking and connection with grassroots youth organizations who may not be able to travel
Climate, Environment and Women’s Rights
The climate crisis is having devastating impacts on the rights of women on the frontlines, in particular rural and indigenous women, whose needs and participation must be prioritized in national climate programs and in climate funding to achieve the Paris Agreement. Governments must divest from extractive and fossil fuel sectors and invest in sustainable local sectors that have committed to gender equality, set and fulfill targets for women’s participation and leadership in sustainable energy and climate policy decision-making and climate actions, and protect environmental and climate defenders who suffer from violence and harassment due to their gender.
Structural Economic Barriers
In order to overcome structural problems, especially economic barriers, we need to disrupt and redefine what we value and how.
We call for a complete overhaul of the current economic system, moving away from extractive and profit-driven capitalism. We need to move towards a care economy focused on people and planet and create measures that value international human rights law, women’s rights frameworks, and in promoting the rights of economic policies must be aligned with those traditionally marginalised, social progress, recognizes unpaid care work as “work” that gives right to social protection, connects social protection and taxing systems to individual rights, and addresses gender based violence at work.
All in all, we have hope, we have anger, and we call for immediate action!
We are encouraged by the mobilization and enthusiasm of young people, and are inspired by new and progressive developments, despite concerns for roll-back on sexual and reproductive health and rights all over the world.
We are dismayed by the worldwide trend of anti-women and anti-gender equality discourse and actions, and the pushback we are receiving, not only from populist governments, but also from many other sections of society. Our space is shrinking, yet we need to push back against the pushback.
We are calling on you to put considerable time, effort, and funding into implementing the commitments that you have made as States. Let’s walk the talk.
As you move on with the sessions today, please pay attention to, and keep in mind, these core messages from civil society representatives. They are the heart and soul of the fight for gender equality.