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Posts Tagged ‘gender norms’

We, women’s rights organisations, movements and allies committed to advancing women’s human rights, come together to form the Gender and Trade Coalition in the firm belief that a feminist alliance on trade justice is required to address the pernicious impact of trade rules on women’s human rights and to produce informed policy responses addressing the structural causes of gendered human rights violations.

We welcome the increasing recognition from governments and institutions that trade and investment rules create gendered consequences. We are concerned, however, that common policy responses are simply designed to increase the numbers and role of women involved in the free flow of capital, resources, and labour. This approach positions women as instruments of trade growth, failing to address any adverse discriminatory and exploitative consequences of the global, rules based neoliberal order on women’s human rights. This is regardless of the significant role women play as producers, consumers, traders, workers, and principal providers of unpaid care.

The movements and organisations we represent recognise that the policies of austerity–trade liberalisation; finance, investment and labour deregulation; privatisation of public goods and services; and the constraints on public policy making and service delivery–produce devastating human rights outcomes for many of the world’s women.

We believe the guiding principles of the global economic order upon which trade and investment rules are built are fundamentally destructive for the advancement of women’s human rights. We recognise that neoliberalism, austerity, and trickle-down economics has failed around the world, yet the rules of this model are being cemented and deepened through trade and investment rules. We believe that the existential crises facing humanity–climate change, mass displacements and migration, obscene inequality and growing authoritarian, patriarchal governance–are linked to the global economic rules that have shaped the past forty years.

Trade rules constructed around principles of competition rather than solidarity, growth rather than human and sustainable development, consumption rather than conservation, individualism rather than public good, and market governance rather than participatory democracy cannot be the basis of a trade agenda that advances women’s human rights.

We believe that economic cooperation and multilateralism based on equitable, fair, sustainable, and gender-responsive principles can play a significant part in advancing women’s human rights. Global cooperation–rooted in principles of transparency, democracy and participation–that ensures capital contributes to the public goods and services necessary for the fulfilment of human rights is necessary. Global cooperation that redresses harm resulting from global trade supply chains is essential.

We believe that trade policies must affirm the primacy of governments’ human rights obligations under the UN Charter and international treaties and customary laws. Should trade policies diminish state capacity to meet human rights obligations, including the right to development, they must be modified.

We believe trade rules must not increase protections for multi-national corporations who are exerting a gigantic influence on trade policy making, avoiding taxes and accountability and exploiting labour, natural resources and personal data for their own profit maximisation. Trade rules must increase accountability of corporations who commit grave human rights violations, rather than provide corporations with unique recourse when judicial systems hold them accountable.

We believe trade policies should meet sustainable development needs of all countries, especially developing and Least-Developed countries, and the people including the women within these countries. Therefore trade policies must ensure the widest possible access to essential medicines, technologies and data and information, rather than restrict access. Trade policies should promote the sharing of seeds, resources and knowledge rather than penalising solidarity. Trade rules should expand and not limit governments’ capacities for broad-based and decent job creation based on living wages, especially for women. Trade rules should support governments to develop pro-poor policies and access to food including through the provision of food subsidies, public stockholdings and through providing preferential support to local, especially small-scale, women producers. We believe trade rules should support, not discourage, the growth of public spending on and ownership of public goods and services essential for human rights and the reduction and redistribution of women’s disproportionate burden of unpaid care work. These include food, water and sanitation, energy, infrastructure, transport, early childcare and education, healthcare services–rather than encourage privatisation.

We believe powerful vested interests should be prevented from influencing trade policies or providing financial support to political parties where they stand to benefit from the outcomes of trade negotiations. Instead trade policies should be developed democratically and facilitate informed participation in decision and consent processes by representative organizations of those most potentially impacted, such as women farmers, women workers, and Indigenous women.

We form this coalition to increase consciousness, capacity, research, and advocacy for trade and investment policies that facilitate a more equitable, socially just and sustainable global society in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms are actively promoted and can be fully enjoyed by all women.

 

Endorse the unity statement and join the Gender and Trade Coalition:
Read the unity statement here: bit.ly/JoinGenderTrade.The Gender and Trade Coalition is in formation, and all signatories are invited to share any analysis, experiences, and proposals to shape the coalition. Keep an eye out for future updates or email contact@gendertradecoalition.org directly to get involved.

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Are you interested in a Master on gender??

finally a university in Lebanon has prepared and is offering an MA in gender studies:

LAU has an  M.A. Program in Interdisciplinary Gender Studies . It aims to promote ” gender equality and inclusiveness”. “The program focuses on gender, the socially-constructed understandings of what it means to be female or male, and how understandings of gender affects people across all social categories.”

below is the pdf that IWSAW sent me! check it out !!!

 

MA gender studies in Lebanon by LAU rita chemaly

 

 

Rita Chemaly

 

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IN THE patriarchal societies of the Arab world, quite a few women are getting noticed for flouting conventional gender norms. There’s Saudi Arabia’s Manal al-Sharif, who lost her job and came under great pressure for driving a car and putting a video of it on YouTube; Sheikha Mayassa Al Thani, a powerful art patron in Qatar; and Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, a globe-trotting minister of foreign trade for the United Arab Emirates (UAE). And later this year the region will see its first museum dedicated to the accomplishments of women.

The Women’s Museum of the United Arab Emirates is the creation of Rafia Obaid Ghubash, an academic, psychiatrist and former president of the Arabian Gulf University, who campaigns for women’s education. Her aim is to educate visitors—locals, expats and tourists—that Emirati women have enjoyed more power and influence than is recognised. She also wants to re-connect the fast-moving modern Emirates with its history and tradition. The three-storey museum is determinedly contemporary: traditional jewellery hangs suspended in minimalist cases; material wraps a stylised mannequin; worn housework tools are displayed alongside artwork by modern female Emirati artists.

Dr Ghubash declined a free site in Bastakya (an official Dubai heritage district), preferring to buy one in Deira, Dubai’s old nexus of souks. She sold off some commercial property she owned to finance the museum herself, at a cost of around $4m, and plans to seek sponsors for its projects and exhibitions. She explains that her mother taught her that womanhood need not equal subservience. Speaking in the museum to the sounds of saws and final touches, her iPhone headphones threading through her fingers like worry beads, Dr Ghubash recalls her mother telling her: “You have to learn that your rights are born with you. Don’t think the government or a man or your husband will give you a right. It’s inside you, just practise it.”

This belief emanates from the art and artefacts on permanent display, from photographs to literature, mosaics, paintings and objects. They tell the stories of Sheikhas operating as peacemakers and dynastic linchpins, women who became pioneers in education and business, and also poets (“When you say Shakespeare, we would say Ousha Bint Khalifa”, says Dr Ghubash). Emirati women today are much better off, she adds, because many of them are now able to go to school and work, which enables financial independence. Dr Ghubash sees these changes as the legacy of Sheikh Zayeed of Abu Dhabi, who was president of the UAE from its foundation in 1971 to his death in 2004.

For Dr Ghubash the appreciation of history and tradition in rapidly developed societies like the UAE isn’t just good cross-generational manners, but mentally healthy. “Those who keep their tradition in dealing with modernity will be healthier than those who take out their tradition,” she explains. “Globalisation is an umbrella to use in part of your life but not all of your life.” When talking of Dubai’s near-famine years during the second world war and the six months of every year the men spent away pearl fishing, she asks, “Who was running society? Just recently you can see us but we were behind the door all the time.”

She accepts that there is a dual attitude to Arab women. “Part of the tradition is kind to women. But part is very negative. Those who are not educated just utilise the negative part.” Now female UAE graduates outnumber males two to one. Dr Ghubash wants to reach those young women, and help them appreciate the achievements of earlier female generations. “They are educated, they become powerful, you see them everywhere but there is something missing.” She also wants to close the distance between non-Arabs and locals. “Foreigners are the majority here. They know nothing about our society. You live with us and you don’t know us.”

Dr Ghubash hopes locals will feel a sense of pride, and visitors will have a richer understanding of the Emirates as a place where women have played important roles in politics, business and education. The message of the museum, she says, is that “everything from your past is important to you.”

 

source: the Economist July 30 2012 http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2012/07/museums-middle-east

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