The future women want…
Among other things, the future women want commitment to gender equality and women’s rights to all nations. This summed up the Rio+20 Earth Summit which took place Friday (June 15) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, participated by women groups from Asia Pacific regions who were united in their call for Access to Resources, Decent work and Economic rights, Peace, and Voice. The Summit carried the theme: “Voices from Asia Pacific: Just and Sustainable Development Goals for Women.”
According to Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), these crucial issues of women’s rights and gender justices covered women’s four key areas for sustainable development.
APWLD is a non-governmental organization on consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations with its office in Thailand. The organization was born out from “dialogues” among women lawyers, social scientists and activists in Asia Pacific during the 1985 Third World Forum on Women, held in Nairobi, Kenya.
On access to resources, APWLD joined with other women throughout the world in demanding all countries to provide women “equal and enhanced access” to productive resources, health care and social services, land, finance, sustainable and appropriate technologies, information, education, training and markets. The group said this is “crucial for just and sustainable development as well as eradicating poverty,” specifically for the rural, indigenous and migrant women.
“Food sovereignty is crucial for sustainable development and eradication of poverty. Women must have ownership of and control over production, marketing and fair distribution of wealth and management of natural resources. This must be realized with agrarian and land tenure reform which stipulates women’s equal land and property ownership,” said Lita Mariano, a woman rice farmer from the Philippines during the Summit as relayed by the group.
On decent work and economic rights, the women demanded ”living wage, sufficient to cover enough food, adequate housing, education, utilities, health and daily expenses for a family to live in dignity (which is basic human right).”
”This must be extended to all women workers in industries, formal and informal, including domestic work, particularly women migrant domestic workers regardless of their legal status, “ Aliza Yuliana Syahrizal from Indonesia reiterated.
The group also said that peace be accorded to them, adding that “Militarization”, often a justification for peace and development, only fuels conflict in communities. Violence against women increases in military defense of natural resource extractions, they said.
“Governments must fulfill and protect women’s human rights and recognize women as leaders in peace processes to ensure just and lasting peace.” Nawn Latt from Burma said.
On giving “voice” to women, another participant Tess Vistro from the Philippines said: “Governments and development institutions must recognize rural, indigenous and migrant women’s knowledge and visions in decision making at all levels of development policies.”
Persistent inequalities – including economic, social, cultural and political – prevent rural indigenous and migrant women’s full and meaningful participation in policy making, development programmes and implementation, they said. (Comments at firstname.lastname@example.org)
By: Ronald O. Reyes
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