Without Brazil, governments and organizations launch program to tackle gender inequalities – 04/01/2021 – Worldwide

UN Women and a group led by 92 organizations and 24 countries presented on Wednesday (31) a series of actions and guidelines to guide the fight against gender inequalities over the next five years.

The agenda was debated during the Generation Equality forum, which brought together civil society groups, international organizations, businesses and governments to discuss six areas, called “action coalitions”: gender-based violence, economic justice, reproductive health, gender and climate change, technology and innovation and the promotion of women’s movements and leadership.

For three days, proposals were analyzed in each of the areas. Now they will be turned into a document that will be presented to governments in the second part of the forum, which will take place in Paris – or, most likely, virtually – between June 30 and July 2.

Among the points that should be included in the report are, for example, the goal of doubling the number of women and girls with access to the Internet and the creation of eight million jobs for women in the technology sector, according to the director of UN Women. , the Nigerian Phumzile Mlambo-Ngucka.

The concern for equal pay and “shecession” (term derived from the union of the words “recession” and “she”, in English) caused by the coronavirus pandemic will also be integrated.

The final agenda can be absorbed by all member countries of the body, even those that, like Brazil, are not part of the steering group. “There will always be room to integrate new partners, and I hope that Brazil will be part of it,” said Folha Nadine Gasman, representative of UN Women in Brazil and president of the National Institute of Women in Brazil. Mexico.

Certain aspects should however make the participation of Brazil complex, because one of the fundamental axes of the coalitions is the reproductive health and the bodily autonomy of the women, which goes against the policy of defense of the “right to life”. from conception ”promoted by the Bolsonaro government.

Folha contacted the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights, headed by Damares Alves, to ask why Brazil did not participate in the forum and if the country will participate in the event planned in Paris. , but did not receive a response.

On Wednesday, businesses and governments announced the first concrete measures. The Ford Foundation and Canada have entered into a partnership whereby the institute linked to the American automaker will invest US $ 15 million (R $ 84 million) in the Equality Fund, a Canadian program for feminist movements.

The government of the country will put 10 million dollars (56 million reais) in the United Nations fund to fight violence against women. The philanthropic association Women Moving Millions, in turn, pledged to raise 100 million dollars (563 million reais) to support the development of the actions of the coalition.

One of the main themes of the forum was the imbalance of unpaid work, especially with regard to the “culture of care”. That is, the time spent by women with dependents, such as children and the elderly. To this end, the Mexican government has announced a partnership with UN Women for the creation of the Alliance for Care Work, a program to encourage the creation of nurseries and other mechanisms to reduce the “care crisis” aggravated by the crisis. pandemic.

The Brazilian presence was made through civil society organizations, without government representatives.

Representatives of Géledes – Instituto da Mulher Negra, of the Permanent Forum for Racial Equality, of the articulation of Brazilian organizations of black women, of the Brazilian Committee of Black Women, of the Libertarian Union of trans and transvestites and from UN Women Brazil participated.

In Latin America, they are part of the management of the agency Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Costa Rica and Mexico, which “hosted” the event. So, in quotes, since, thanks to Covid, all the debates were online.

The forum should have taken place in 2020, to mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing conference, during which a program was put in place to fight against gender inequalities, ratified by the 189 UN countries, and to put in place a plan to accelerate the achievement of the goals, which were not met.

The pandemic, however, postponed the event. Now virtual, the meeting compensated for the lack of meetings between the conferences with the creation, by the forum audience, of WhatsApp groups. The most frequented has 257 members and messages are exchanged in English, Spanish, French, Arabic and Greek.

Anyone who entered the virtual platform simulating a conference center, with access to several rooms with their own program and even an information kiosk, was confronted with a tribute to Marielle Franco (PSOL), murdered in 2018. The name of the city councilor named one of the three auditoriums of the event. When asked, the organization said the idea did not come from Brazil.

The presidents of France, Emmanuel Macron and of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, participated in the opening. The Frenchman said that equality between men and women is not negotiable and cannot be relativized for any value, including religious.

López Obrador, in his speech, spoke more about neoliberalism than specific issues related to women. He also said his government had a policy of zero impunity for gender-based violence, although the Mexican NGO Impunidad Cero’s bulletin notes that in 2019, less than half of femicides in the country were punished.

The event closed outside, in a park in Mexico City. “We are full of hope, but also ambition. Hope is important, but it is not a strategy. So we need ambition, ”said Mlambo-Ngucka, Executive Director of UN Women.

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