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“STRENGTHENING POLICY ANALYSIS AND ADVOCACY ON GENDER, ECONOMIC AND CLIMATE JUSTICE IN AFRICA ”DAWN & TWN-Africa REGIONAL CONSULTATION AND TRAINING INSTITUTE

A regional consultation and training institute on Gender, Economic and Environmental Justice (GEEJ) is being held in Accra, Ghana from 20-23 November 2010.

This meeting is convened by Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), in collaboration with Third World Network-Africa (TWN-Africa).

Researchers, academics and civil society members from the Africa region, including 12 young women activists, will work alongside DAWN facilitators from India, Philippines and Madagascar to build on shared knowledge of linkages between gender, economic and environmental justice, and to enhance intergenerational capacities within women’s movements at the regional level.

In the first decade of this 21st century, DAWN recognizes the emergence of a “fierce new world” that is characterised by run-away neoliberal globalization; a militarized and financialised political economy; a crisis in climate and other natural systems; deepening food crisis; an energy crisis from fossil-fuel dependence; the decline of the nation-state and the reconfiguration of the geopolitical context.

These global crises had magnified the human expression of structural distortions and policy failures of African economies by further skewing production, distribution and consumption, and magnifying differences between various social groups, including unequal power relations of men and women.

In particular, these have gravely penalized African women and care work through loss of jobs and means of livelihood, reduced public revenue, higher costs of social services and social protection systems that had been undermined threatened, by neoliberal policies. Women in Africa and in the economic south serve ever-increasingly as the surrogate safety nets for poor families and communities affected the triple crises.

Given these persisting challenges, DAWN and TWN-Africa recognize the urgent need to analyze the ways in which gender and other social implications are inter-linked with issues of economic justice, particularly as it relates to the key issue of the structural transformation of African economies.

Indeed, one of the key lessons learned from the triple crises is that the predominant sources of growth in Africa – relying mainly on primary commodity exports - do not only deplete natural resources. They have also generated poverty-inducing growth for many, especially women, whose fate in the post-crisis context hinges on the policy space and commitment of African governments to address the enduring structural weaknesses of their economies, which existed even before the global economic crisis and have prevented the creation of more equitable African societies.

The achievement of the inter-linked goals of gender, economic and environmental justice will depend on political will to devise approaches to growth and development that can best achieve, simultaneously, the twin-goals of structural change of Africa’s economies, as well as equity, as the necessary foundations for sustainable economic development in Africa.

This meeting therefore brings together key regional actors in various spheres of advocacy around gender, economic and environmental justice, in a setting of trust and collective reflection. At this 2nd round of DAWN Gender, Economic and Climate Justice (GEEJ) regional consultations and training Institutes in Ghana, Africa, discussions will focus on: Feminist Responses in the African Context; Africa in the International Economic Division of Labour and the Global Financial and Economic Crises; Policy Mechanisms and Challenges in Relation to Regional and Global Institutional Processes; and Strengthening Advocacy Platforms Towards Gender, Economic and Environmental Justice in Africa.

The DAWN GEEJ series of regional events commenced in the Pacific region in September 2010. The final regional event is scheduled to take place in 2011 in Latin America, with further regional and inter-regional advocacy throughout 2010-2012, leading to the Rio Plus 20 inter-governmental and people’s forums

Follow GEEJ at www.dawnnet.org

CALL TO ACTION AGAINST EUROPE’S AGGRESSIVE ECONOMIC AGENDA IN AFRICA

Declaration of civil society organisations at the meeting of the Africa Trade Network, Cape Town, South Africa

22nd February 2008

We, civil society organisations, including farmers, workers, women’s, faith-based and students’ groups and organisations, call on our people to redouble their efforts to stop the self-serving free trade agreements, misleading designated as ‘Economic Partnership Agreements’ that Europe seeks to impose on African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, and which will destroy the economies of these countries.a

At our meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, from 20-23 February 2008, under the umbrella of the Africa Trade Network, to review the latest developments in the EPA negotiations, we reaffirm our unequivocal opposition these agreements

When the EPA negotiations were launched, civil society organisations from all over Africa, the Caribbean, the Pacific and Europe warned that the EPAs were profoundly anti-developmental. We pointed out that the EPAs posed a threat not only specifically to government revenue, local producers and industries, food sovereignty, essential public services, and the regional integration of African countries; but also to the right and capacity in general of African countries to develop their economies according to the needs of their people and their own national, regional and continental priorities.  

The latest developments in these negotiations have exposed even more sharply the fundamental outrage represented by the EPAs.  

At the end of 2007, Europe deployed manipulative and heavy-handed tactics in an attempt to force African governments into so-called ‘interim’ agreements. When it became clear that no African regional bloc would agree to its demands, the European Commission, with the active support of its member ……

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