Posted by: africanpressorganization | 22 May 2008

Media Invitation: African Women’s Regional Consultative Meeting on Aid Effectiveness and Gender Equality: Road to Accra.


PRESS INVITATION

 

Media Invitation: African Women’s Regional Consultative Meeting on Aid Effectiveness and Gender Equality: Road to Accra.

Date: May 26-27, 2008

Venue: Panafric Hotel, Nairobi

Time:
from 08h30 on May 26th.

 

We invite your media house to send a journalist to cover the opening ceremony of the consultative meeting on Aid Effectiveness and Gender Equality. The meeting will be opened by the Gender Commissioner Dr Regina Karega.

 

Questions have been raised about the effectiveness of aid disbursed to developing countries including Kenya. Years of experience of actual aid failures, to critiques of donor conditionality and to the fact that the development agenda has been, for the most part, externally driven.

 

Similarly women’s rights advocates around the world are concern that resources for gender equality work have decreased drastically since the Beijing Conference in 1995. Women’s organizations are finding it increasingly difficult to get funding within the new aid modalities promoted by the Paris Declaration signed between developed and developing countries, which aims to make aid more effective. According to Statistics:

 

  • With the net Official Development Assistance (ODA) disbursement of ($69bn), a mere 0.6% went to programmes with gender equality as the principal objective, in 2003.
  • In 2002, UNIFEM’s (The United Nations Development Fund for Women) budget was just $36m, compared to UNICEF’s (The United Nations Children’s Fund) $1.5bn.
  • Of the EU’s total annual external budget of 8 billion euro, just 8 million euro is devoted specifically to gender equality work.

 

However, if the goal is to reduce poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), any development assistance will not be effective without sufficient resources for gender equality and women’s rights. Gender equality, environment and human rights, are crucial to development effectiveness, they should not be considered as cross-cutting issues but “central goals to development”,

 

2008 is a critical year for debates on aid effectiveness and the financing for development. In September, a high level forum meeting will be held in Accra, Ghana, to assess the implementation of the Paris Declaration and its principles that will inform the Doha conference which will discuss the availbility of funding. Many women’s rights organizations around the world, particularly those in developing countries are seriously concerned that the Paris Declaration is nearly void of references to gender equality and funding for women’s human rights.

 

In order to ensure that the voices of African women are heard in the up-coming High Level Forum in Accra, and to ensure that gender equality and women’s empowerment issues will be taken on the board, FEMNET in collaboration with AWDF, AWEPON, Action Aid International and UNIFEM has invited 70 participants from all over Africa to an African Women’s Regional Consultative Meeting on Aid Effectiveness and Gender Equality: Road to Accra to be held in Nairobi, May 26-27. Among the participants are NGO activists, government representatives, researchers and representatives from UN agencies.


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