International Women’s Day: Funding in Question

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To avoid the marginalization of women, the United Nations presents five strategic axes this Friday, March 8, on the occasion of International Women’s Day. Around financing, these strategic axes aim to enable women to seize opportunities. But the stakes are huge.

Explanation by Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache

Investing in women, a human rights issue

Time is of the essence, says the United Nations (UN). Achieving gender equality remains the main human rights challenge. Yet progress on behalf of women benefits everyone, stresses the UN. But how can one invest in women if security conditions are not suitable?

In Comoros today, the SNJC, the Union of Comorian Journalists, sounds the alarm on facebook about the situation of women and girls in the Comoros. The organization discusses the rape and murder of a little girl aged 11 and 10 months. “This little girl who had her whole life ahead of her was raped, mutilated and killed.” This case of rape is not the first of its kind, the union says. The authorities’ silence is questionable. But public opinion is shocked, reports the SNJC.

“3 weeks after this tragedy, the criminal has still not been found.” The investigative methods used are described as inappropriate. ” It is regrettable that in 2024, the country does not have a file [tools], used to identify, locate sexual offenders.” The SNJC, a new member of the International Federation of Journalists, thanks the media professionals investigating this case. Two women in particular are in search of truth, indicates the union. For International Women’s Day, Comorian journalists call for the establishment of a database. The latter will seek to identify perpetrators of rape and sexual assault, the Comorian organization recommends.

Violence against women and girls rised during COVID 19 pandemic

But the rape and sexual assault issues raised questions. According to the UN, the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified violence against women and girls and has also revealed and exacerbated deep structural inequalities, reversing decades of progress in women’s labour market participation, increased the number of women living in extreme poverty and increased the burden of unpaid care and domestic work, all of which aggravate the risk factors and drivers of violence against women and girls .The COVID-19 pandemic and conflicts have caused extreme poverty since 2020. Another 75 million people have fallen into extreme poverty, the UN reminds.


Ending poverty and adapting funding

International Women’s Day is perceived differently in different countries. Women’s time goes beyond a day in some parts of the world. In the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Australia, March is all about women’s history. These countries highlight women’s achievements and contributions. Although there are positive initiatives, highlighting women, gender challenges are numerous at the global level. For the UN, the COVID-19 pandemic and conflicts have caused extreme poverty since 2020. Another 75 million people have fallen into extreme poverty.

Immediate action is urgent stresses the UN. More than 342 million women and girls would avoid living in poverty by 2030. Poverty is a global issue. But the responses are targeted. Those responses are linked to the financial resources of countries. South African President Cyrille Ramaphosa underlined this at the New Global Financial Compact in Paris in June 2023. Countries in the Northern Hemisphere were able to cope financially with COVID19, unlike countries in the Global South.

A response adapted to resources

Olanike Olugboji Daramola ( Founder of WISE in Nigeria)

Due to conflicts and rising prices, 75% of countries could reduce their public spending by 2025. This would have a negative impact on women . Public spending would be reduced. Moving to a green economy and a care society is necessary. The current economic system must be adapted. This system disproportionately affects women. Some are proposing a move to a green economy and a care society, with a stronger voice for women.

There are women who are rising and show empowerment. “Access to affordable capital is the only way to invest in sustainable development,” emphasizes Vera Songwe, Facility and co-chair of the Independent High Level Expert Panel on Climate Finance (Cameroon). She was selected among the 8 women environmental champions on March 8 ( Global Landscape Forum). Could the creation of businesses and associations by women be the solution in the field of ecological transition? The UN concludes its advocacy for women with a call to support agents of feminist change. Official development assistance to feminist organizations is 0.13%.

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