Women’s rights organizations and gender equality advocates met in Busan, South Korea, ahead of the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-4) Nov 29 – Dec 1 to agree on common strategies to influence the development cooperation framework that will come out of HLF-4.

Political Statement from the Busan Global Women’s Forum

Excerpt: “We believe in development as a Right and that international solidarity through sustainable international cooperation has a crucial role to play in fulfilling states’ responsibility to ensure that all people realise their rights. Development is a right and not a leverage for often unequal, unsustainable growth. We challenge mainstream economic development models and aim to shift the dominant development discourse towards an inclusive, sustainable, and just paradigm.”

The Political Statement from the Busan Global Women’s Forum is the document in which women’s rights activists state their vision of transformation for a world where aid is no longer necessary. Development cooperation, they say, “should not increase divisions and inequalities in developing countries, but instead provide the basis for the achievement of human rights, including women’s rights, and of commitments on gender equality, decent work and environmental sustainability”.

The Women’s Global Forum was part of the Busan Global Civil Society Forum that took place from 26 to 28, November 2011. It was co-organized by women’s orgs part of the BetterAid Coordinating Group: Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET), WIDE Network, and Coordinadora de la Mujer/Bolivia with the support of other women’s organizations.

Women’s organizations have chosen not to endorse the current Busan Joint Action Plan on Gender Equality and Development being proposed by the US. The groups are releasing a position statement (attached) on the plan which expresses concern about the overwhelming focus on promoting women as vehicles of economic growth, rather than rights holders in the plan

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