You may ask: what exactly is “women’s empowerment” and how can we support this effort to promote sustainable development in a comprehensive and long-term way, while at the same time respecting human rights?
Not only is the Rio +20 outcome document, “The Future We Want,” silent on sexual and reproductive rights, but during the negotiations many of the EU and G77 countries who have been progressive on these issues in the past were completely silent.
While the last hours of negotiations unfold, we begin to look forward to future demographic trends and how to turn them into dividends rather losses.
Today I participated in an extraordinary side-event on “Rio+20 and Women’s lives: A Cross-General Dialogue” at the Ford Foundation Pavilion. This event was very intimate, it drew you in, with women’s personal stories for Rio+20 and beyond.
Today, here at the BEMFAM clinic in Cachoeirinha Favela in Rio de Janeiro, youth were having a very animated discussion about how they viewed sexuality, reproductive health, being young, and their feelings and emotions about this period in their life.
During meetings to finalize the Rio+20 document, Heads of State will adopt in the next few days at Rio+20, delegates agreed on a plan short on vision and big on compromises, including trading away women’s rights to placate the Vatican, Egypt, and Syria.
If ICPD and CPD showed a commitment by world leadership to achieve a better quality of life for all, what will Rio+20 show?
This week begins the major UN Rio+20 “Earth Summit,” and I’ll be covering women and reproductive health (RH) issues as relate to the official UN proceedings, the NGO perspectives, and global south women’s personal stories on how Rio+20 touches their lives.
In 1992, women’s human rights advocates played a critical role in shaping Agenda 21, ensuring that “three pillars” of sustainable development (social, environmental and economic) remained central to the sustainable development agenda, and that women remained central to all three pillars. Today, conservative forces are fighting to return to the past.