Intervention made by the Women’s Major Group during the Sixth Session of the Open Working Group (OWG-6) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ~ December 11, 2013

“Thank you for the floor Chair.

I am Nebila Abdulmelik with FEMNET, a pan African organization working to advance women’s rights, speaking on behalf of the Women’s Major Group.

On Means of Implementation, I would like to address a few points on financing and partnerships.

A global partnership in the SDGs needs to stand for meaningful analyses and reforms of global systemic issues in trade, finance, macroeconomic, industrial and financial policies, as well as social policies concerning women and the care economy, senior citizens, indigenous, differently abed and all those marginalized or discriminated. The reforms are necessary in order to remove the main impediments to development and secure an accommodating international environment for sustainable development.

It is reassuring to hear interventions that speak of a shift away from the traditional donor-recipient relationship. It is essential that there is a shift in the power dynamics between and amongst partners for a global partnership that is accountable and transparent for all parties, one that is justice and human rights centred and based, and therefore one that gives true voice and agency to the most marginalized. This will give rise to a global partnership that fosters ownership – which is critical for the realization of the SDGs.

Chair, you asked us for targets. One of our targets is increased domestic resource mobilization. How do we do this? Through a number of radical reforms – including tax reforms that see implementation of progressive taxation. This would mean that we must overturn the current status where huge multi-national corporations that have multi-million dollar profits enjoy tax breaks while the mama mbogas as we call them, or the woman who is running a very small scale business selling vegetables and fruits on the streets and is taxed a burdensome percentage of her income. These reforms would also see reversal of regressive tax on essential products, jeopardizing livelihoods.

One of our asks has been women and girl’s access to, control over and ownership of resources, including technology and information that would promote transparency and accountability. This is essential to ensure that we are able to monitor how our budgets are being spent, that they are gender-responsive, that our fiscal policies support rather than undermine human rights – for example a reduction in spending on militarization and an increase in spending on social services and social protection mechanisms – particularly for the most marginalized in our communities.

Civil society organizations, including women rights organizations must be meaningfully engaged in the articulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Means of Implementation.

We must get the means of Implementation right if we are to see truly transformative SDGs that create conditions for all of us, and generations to come, to lead dignified lives. I thank you.”

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