WIDE+ Founding General Assembly is held on 30 October in Bern, Switzerland. The General Assembly will establish WIDE+ network as association registered in Belgium. It will adopt the constitution and elect the board and caucus members. The new WIDE+-structure has 2 main decision-making bodies: the caucus and the board. The caucus will be responsible for the overall strategic direction of the network while the board will be responsible for the related financial and executive governance.
The General Assembly will also adopt the members of the network.
For further information and registration one can contact: Gea Meijers at info[at]wide-network.org.
Feminist Perspectives on Responses to the Crises in Ecology and (Care) Economy
WIDE Switzerland is organizing this one day conference. The international agenda and national policy debates have been dominated by the discourses on sustainability as a response to the ongoing crises. But what exactly does sustainability encompass and what influence does it have on the global regimes? Who has the power to de/regulate and what kind of logic is hiding behind it? Can we speak of a sustainable development at all, when visions of statehood, democracy and our common future seem to disregard gender justice?
Is sustainability a viable ‘domain’ for gender justice? What do feminist perspectives on work and standard of living, on social security and justice disclose on the processes of development and sustainability? Can they influence these processes?
Experts at the WIDE conference analyse the responses to the economic and ecological crises and reflect on the social consequences. Researchers, activists and interested parties are welcome to participate in the discussions.
More inforation: http://www.wide-network.ch/en/Gender_at_Sustainability/index.php
Read the articles on the blog or download the PDF version:WIDE+2014_1
The latest WIDE+ newsletter brings you articles and news about:
Feminist demands for a post 2015 Development http://wideplusnetwork.wordpress.com/news/feminist-demands-for-post-2015-development/
Institutional Violence against women in Spain http://wideplusnetwork.wordpress.com/news/institutional-violence-against-women-in-spain/
WIDE+ at the 1st Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation High-Level Meeting in Mexico http://wideplusnetwork.wordpress.com/news/wide-at-the-1st-global-partnership-for-effective-development-cooperation-high-level-meeting-in-mexico/
WIDE+ participated in international feminist meeting ‘Together, for a global feminist struggle’, San Salvador, 19-23 May 2014 http://wideplusnetwork.wordpress.com/news/wide-participated-in-international-feminist-meeting-together-for-a-global-feminist-struggle-san-salvador-19-23-may-2014/
International Conference ‘The European Economic Crisis and its consequences for women’, March 2014 http://wideplusnetwork.wordpress.com/news/international-conference-the-european-economic-crisis-and-its-consequences-for-women-march-2014/
KULU Impressions of the UN Commission on the Status of Women’s 58th Session, 2014 http://wideplusnetwork.wordpress.com/news/kulu-impressions-of-the-un-commission-on-the-status-of-womens-58th-session-2014/
Founding General Assembly WIDE+ will be held on 30 October 2014 http://wideplusnetwork.wordpress.com/about/founding-general-assembly-wide-will-be-held-on-30-october-2014/
Building an Inclusive Media: report workshop co-hosted by the Central America Women’s Network and Frauensolidarität http://wideplusnetwork.wordpress.com/news/building-an-inclusive-media-report-workshop-co-hosted-by-the-central-america-womens-network-and-frauensolidaritat/
European Union News, WIDE+ member News, Other News and Resources
International Conference and Consultation “Beijing+20 Meets Post-2015”, 20 October, UN City, Copenhagen organized by KULU
An International Conference back-to-back with a Women’s Rights Consultation and Coordination Meeting will be organized by WIDE+ member KULU. It is the core of phase 2 of KULU’s debate and advocacy project ”Beijing+20 Meets Post-2015 – Global Alliance and Action for Progress Until and After 2015”. It will be a Danish contribution to a critical celebration and monitoring of Beijing+20 and an input to the subsequent European “Beijing+20 NGO Forum for the ECE region” held from 3-5 November in Geneva.
The purpose of the conference and smaller Women’s Rights Consultation is to focus on the Beijing+20 process and the work of strategy and alliance building in order to fast forward the women’s rights and gender equality agenda and link it with the other parallel UN processes, in cooperation with partners. The conferences aims to contribute as well to an evaluation of the Millennium development Goals implementation and to the post-2015 development process.
The conference is being organized in cooperation with UN Women’s Nordic Office and the UN Association of Denmark
Venue: UN City, Copenhagen, DK.
Dates: Conference – 20 October; Women’s Rights Consultation – 21 October.
Further information and registration: http://www.kulu.dk/english
Stand with RH Reality Check, the International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion, the Salvadoran Citizen Group for the Decriminalization of Abortion and 6,788 other signers to tell the government of El Salvador to grant pardons for 17 Salvadoran women imprisoned for pregnancy complications.
Background: Because of El Salvador’s absolute ban on all abortions, seventeen Salvadoran women who live in circumstances of poverty and marginalization are unjustly imprisoned as a result of miscarriages, stillbirths, or other obstetrical complications they suffered without medical attention. When they arrived at public healthcare facilities, often hemorrhaging and unconscious, they were accused of provoking an abortion and turned over to police. Frequently they were arrested and taken directly from the hospital to the jail. Based on a constitutional amendment declaring that life begins at conception, prosecutors amended charges to aggravated homicide, and they received prison sentences of up to 40 years.
A careful review of their court files revealed that prosecutors failed to present any evidence that they had committed any wrongdoing or had any responsibility for the deaths of their fetuses or newborns. The women were denied their rights to due process, a presumption of innocence, a standard of reasonable doubt, and an effective legal defense.
WIDE+ members have been monitoring the TTIP negotiations, the trade liberalization negotiations between the EU and the US. WIDE Austria published recently a position paper on TTIP and the possible effects on women and men’s human rights. They conclude:
“From our point of view, the TTIP is a large-scale redistribution project that will make the wealthy even wealthier. This is done through the expropriation of public goods through privatisations and the use of the public budget for, to name but one example, compensation payments states have to make
following a court conviction….Also, The anti-union policies of US corporations and the wish for transatlantic harmonisation could push forward the already existing tendency to weaken the unions in Europe as well. This gives rise to the fear that, once again, women will be forced into low-wage jobs and precarious, atypical labour contracts that resemble exploitation…
Measured against all value added and the number of employees, the entire EU consists of service
economies. In Austria, approximately 83% of employed women work in service jobs. One of these
areas is care. The TTIP could open the market even further for profit-oriented care-facility operators.
As women grow older than men and therefore require more care services, and as the majority of
paid care workers are also women, it is essential in terms of welfare effects what care and work look
like in these facilities, which standards of care apply and whether they are affected by downward
harmonisation. This will also be a crucial factor in deciding how much unpaid care work women have
What is the TTIP?
The TTIP – Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement aims at further opening the markets of the US and the EU member states for product imports, services and investments. The
goal is to maximise liberalisation, guaranteeing the highest standards of protection of the investments of European and US groups and investors. As there has been an increase in similar
bilateral agreements from 500 to approx. 3,000 since the 1990s, the TTIP should be discussed in a
wider context. The agreements are to be safeguarded through the Investor to State Dispute
Settlement mechanism, which gives corporations the power to bring a claim for compensation
against a state.
This trade partnership aims at
1) further reducing tariffs that have already been reduced to a minimum;
2) reducing non-tariff barriers, which will be a main area of change;
3) creating optimum conditions for investors.
To read the WIDE Austria position paper:
The EU and the crisis: from austerity to solidarity: the verdict of the other voices and a call for another Europe
Brussels – A Tribunal on EU economic governance and the Troika took place in Brussels on 15-16 May. Eleven witnesses from ten countries in Southern, Eastern and Western Europe gave testimony to the failure of the EU and Troika policies to address the crisis.
In fact many testified that the strategy of the austerity policy measures is a deliberate attack on working people’s standards of living. Indeed, people’s lives and livelihoods have been devastated by the austerity and other policy measures – whether via the Troika (European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund) or by direct imposition on national governments of straitjacket fiscal policies, the restructuring of labour and social policies that favour the financial markets, the big banks, and corporations. According to Christos Giovanopoulos (Solidarity4All, Greece), “with the financial and political dictatorship of the Troika, we are confronted with an (un)constitutional ‘coup d’état’ that has brought the loss of national and popular sovereignty and the demise of democracy”.
Witness after witness testified to increasing inequality, unemployment (affecting women and men, across generations, but is especially high among the youth), homelessness, and impoverishment. According to Georg Rammer (Attac Germany), “the most recent statistics from the OECD indicate that around 20% of the population in Germany is affected by poverty or social exclusion. Children are particularly affected. The IAB (German Labour Market Institute) has calculated that one in four children lives in a family affected by poverty”. In Slovenia, according to Kira Cerjak (Iniciative for Democratic Socialism), “the labour force is increasingly forced into precarious work which does not suffice for decent livelihood”.
Across the EU, according to Gabriele Michalitsch (Vienna University), “we have an enormous increase in female poverty and of unpaid work in the home. We also see the privatization of child care and elderly care being transferred informally, particularly to women migrants who are deprived of their basic rights and expected to work for very low wages”.
Europe-wide reports from rapporteurs on debt, democracy, poverty, public services, wages and feminist perspectives collaborated the narratives presented on the national situations indicating alarming developments, including intensifying racism and neo-fascism. Since the beginning of the crisis, a restructuring has occurred that takes Europe on a track to social and political regression, violations of labour, social and migrant rights, attacks on women’s reproductive rights and increased violence against women and an unprecedented roll-back of democratic achievements. All the testimonies pinpoint to similar trends across the EU – giving a strong message that this is not the crisis of one country, it is a Europe-wide crisis and a crisis of the economic model.
However the dominant message from the Tribunal is that resistance continues in large and small mobilizations and in many creative experiments of grassroots democracy. Ana Maria Jimenez of the PAH (Platform of People affected by Mortgages in Spain) reported that: “Today we are more than 200 nodes in the state. We have stopped over 1.000 evictions, we have relocated over 1.000 people through our Obra Social campaign”.
Despite great difficulties, people are organizing to demonstrate that water is a public commons and cannot be privatized as in the Thessaloniki and Italy initiatives involving citizens and local government; stopping evictions in Spain; trade unions defending their right to organize and defeating attempts of social dumping as in the Dockers strike in Portugal; confronting racism and neo-fascism in many countries; building several forms of people’s self-organisation to counter the effects of austerity and constructing a different paradigm of socially managed public services and an economy of commons.
The outstanding challenges for social movements in the next years include: the roll-back of austerity laws imposed by the European institutions; the cancellation of illegitimate and unsustainable debt; redistributive measures to reverse inequality and enforcement of taxation on corporations and wealthy individuals; the full recognition at the European level of the right to housing, water, food, education and health services; the closure of the camps where migrants and refugees are imprisoned and the full recognition of the right to collective bargaining and an end to precarious work.
Social movements in Europe are already in a necessary process to re-invent ways of doing politics. But to be able to counter the policies of EU economic governance and the Troika, the greatest challenge is to converge and strengthen forces and set another agenda for another Europe.
Further information Supporting organisations and full program: http://www.tni.org/events/eu-crisis-policies-put-trial
The Tribunal took place in the context of the European Week of Action – 3 of our witnesses even were among the 281 arrested during a peaceful protest against the European Business Summit on the 15th: