Towards Total Empowerment

total empowermentTowards Total Empowerment…
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Food for an unacceptable patriarchal thought
Human Rights Reader 408

IN 1793, THE MILITANT REVOLUTIONARY OLYMPIA DE GOUGES PROPOSED A DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN INCLUDING THEIR CIVIC RIGHTS. THE GUILLOTINE CHOPPED HER HEAD. (Eduardo Galeano)

In many parts of the world, cows are given more rights than women. (Huffington Post)

We cannot let anybody forget the-female-face-of-poverty

1. Women are subjected to multiple and intersecting discrimination and negative gender stereotypes that continue to subjugate them and impede efforts to achieve equality between men and women. Not only do discrimination and stereotypes prevent women from escaping poverty, but they inhibit women’s political participation and, therefore, among other, their ability to influence the distribution of resources.

2. While both men and women suffer in poverty, gender discrimination means that women have far fewer resources to cope. Women rendered poor and living in poverty face extra marginalization. Measures targeted to reduce women’s poverty are thus critical. Therefore, starting by collecting better information to track how poverty affects women differently, is essential for solving the problem. Let us be categorical: Ending extreme poverty will come within reach only by fully involving women and respecting their rights –at every step along the way. (http://beijing20.unwomen.org/en/in-focus/poverty#sthash.NoITORtY.dpuf)

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A Long But Important Thought

Food for a long but important thought
Human Rights Reader 407

INEQUALITY IS NOT JUST AN ECONOMIC ISSUE, BUT A HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE. EXTREME INEQUALITY IS THE ANTITHESIS OF HUMAN RIGHTS (Philip Alston)

[Taken from ‘From Disparity to Dignity: Tackling Economic Inequality Through the SDGs’, Human Rights Policy Brief, CESR, November 2016. I found this briefing to be a gold mine of what I call iron laws. I wanted to share them with you in case you have not had the opportunity to read the full document –which I highly recommend. I do apologize for the length and compactness of this Reader].

There are (long surpassed) limits to the degree of inequality that can be reconciled with notions of dignity and commitments to human rights for everyone.

1. If economic growth over the last 30 years had been more equally distributed, the world would be on track to eliminate extreme poverty completely by 2030

• The current global indicators proposed to measure progress towards SDGs Goal 10 (‘to reduce inequality within and among countries’) are manifestly inadequate –for example, in failing to include a robust measure of economic inequality.
• The agreed indicators to measure SDG10 do not properly address the scope and intentions of the goal and targets. They do not incentivize those policy actions that have been proven effective in advancing equality in society and the economy.
• SDG10 does address a central and much-noted weakness of the MDGs, namely, that they praised and celebrated aggregate progress while masking (or even encouraging neglect-of) economic and social inequalities. But, beware, Goal 10 remains vulnerable to strategic neglect, and in some cases political backlash.
There is a high risk that Goal 10 will remain an ‘orphan’ goal –hostage to the ebbs and flows of competing international development priorities and diverging national interests. Governments will simply need to take much more proactive and timely steps towards achieving Goal 10 –and we are not seeing this.
• SDG10 has no obvious set of institutions at the national or international level whose mandate is to drive actions and funding-to or monitoring this goal.
• Furthermore, the policies that drive inequalities between countries go largely unmeasured by Goal 10 targets.
• The World Bank’s approach to Goal 10 is shaped by its institutional priority to promote what it calls ‘shared prosperity’ rather than embracing a more comprehensive need to tackle income and wealth inequality.

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