Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP), a citizen’s movement that challenges the institutions that perpetuate poverty and inequality worldwide, spearheaded three days of action against poverty and inequality in October. Coinciding with the International Day for Rural Women (15 October), World Food Day (16 October), and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (17 October), events in over 30 countries were coordinated with Better Aid and GCAP’s Feminist Task Force, and centred on the launch of GCAP’s “The World We Want” report, as well as on the launch of the “Better Aid for the World We Want” campaign on 17 October.
The latter, especially prepared for the upcoming High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, to be held in Busan, Korea in November, focuses on improving the effectiveness of aid and its implementation. In particular, it addresses the urgency of eradicating poverty in the context of the threatening economic climate by working to strengthen systems of aid and resource distribution. Its key messages include:
the evaluation and confirmation of existing commitments to aid effectiveness;
a rights-based approach to development that includes gender equality, decent work, and environmental sustainability as its pillars;
governmental support for CSOs and creation of enabling atmospheres for their work; and
an initiation of reforms for better aid governance, including transparency, accountability, and equitable frameworks for cooperation.
The campaign represents a coalition of three organizations: Better Aid, a large coalition of development NGOs; Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness, a global, participatory consultation process on development standards; and GCAP. “Better Aid for the World We Want” held events in Africa, Asia, and Latin America that reflected the shared goals of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agenda and the campaign. Better Aid also aims to collect 10,000 signatures on its petition for development effectiveness by the end of November.
Additionally, GCAP’s Feminist Task Force held Women’s Tribunals on Gender and Climate Justice, in partnership with Greenpeace International and Inter Press Service. Beginning on 17 October, these 15 hearings shared testimonies from rural women and grassroots activists about the effects of climate change in their local communities in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. The tribunals form an essential aspect of GCAP’s “Road to Rio” agenda, which includes campaigning and advocacy directed at United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP17), the G20 Summit, the 56th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), and the MDGs and post-2015 development processes, in addition to the upcoming “Rio+20” conference.
Moreover, as mentioned above, GCAP published its 2011 inaugural edition of “The World We Want” report. Providing updates of recent advocacy by GCAP and the people it represents, the report calls for specific action by policy makers to eliminate inequality and poverty worldwide. The publication focuses its recommendations on accountability and human rights, gender justice, financing for development, climate justice, peace and security, and sustainable development objectives post-2015. The report outlines a three-step structure of goals, actions, and outcomes, and addresses its recommendations to national governments, while underscoring the role of civil society in achieving development objectives. The full text of “The World We Want” can be found here.
On 17 June, on the sidelines of the 26th regular session of the Human Rights Council, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, will give the opening statement at a side event on caste-based violence against women. Dalit women suffer rape and violence with impunity for the perpetrators at an alarmingly high level. Urgent action to end this reality is imperative and Dalit women fighting against caste-based rape and violence on the ground are asking for a global level response.