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en Son las 06.56 pm de Mié, Enero 9, 2013

Synthesis Report on the Global Thematic Consultation on Addressing Inequalities

Detalles:

Co-led by UNICEF and UN Women with support from the Governments of Denmark and Ghana

Revised - 13th March 2013

Disclaimer: This Report is based on and reflects an extensive global public consultation, held from Sept 2012 - Jan 2013. Its content and recommendations do not necessarily reflect the views and positions of UNICEF, UN Women, the United Nations or the Governments of Denmark or Ghana.

Please click on the pdf file or DOWNLOAD below to read the Report.  

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BUSINESS INNOVATION RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT
Son las 11.19 am de Sáb, Agosto 3, 2013
Addressing urban inequalities ask to understand the city.
Which city? (Which is very likely a political issue).
Whose city? (A same city can mean different things for different people)
Green cities? Multicultural cities? Cities for trade? Cities for leisure? Floating cities?.....
BUSINESS INNOVATION RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT
Son las 11.42 am de Mié, Julio 31, 2013
List of issues:
+ More flats and houses
+ Indicators for housing, costs and status
+ Global climate
+ Housing for people and less for hotels
+ Shaping houses
+ Framework of law for housing varibility
+ Mobile homes
+ Ground for families in city center, nearby towns and forests
+ Nomadic tribes (Roms, indians, touaregs...)- remove authorizations
+ Equality between all citizens
+ No housing discriminatons
+ Look for housing ambassadors (champions)
+ Support development close to communities
+ Policy for branding the city claim (50% of people living in towns)
+ Build cities for the future (in prospective)
+ Social Solidarity Economy
Bojana Beri, MD, PhD, CHES, Monmouth University, USA from United States of America
Son las 06.38 pm de Mié, Abril 10, 2013
Review and comments to the Global Thematic Consultation on the Post-2015 Development Agenda "Addressing Inequalities: Synthesis Report of Global Public Consultation"

By Bojana Beric, Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) Representative to UN

Sunday, March 24, 2013.

The Report is a comprehensive document that addresses the most important aspects of inequalities. The Overview of key messages on pp. 7-10 provides a logical process of identifying causes of inequalities, defining equality and human values that stem from principles and standards of the international/universal human rights, with the need for translating equality into practice, acknowledging that inequalities are a global challenge. Addressing inequalities will ensure sustainable and peaceful world for all, not only for those whose lives are most directly affected. (key messages 1-5)

Identified so rightly is the need to focus systematically on trends "beneath the averages" as well as the extent of inequalities. Access to natural resources are challenging, being the source of survival, wellbeing and economic progress. (key messages 6-8)

Multiple human rights are deprived in marginalized and excluded groups of people, such as decent jobs, food, housing, health, sexual and reproductive health rights, information, education, participation, physical integrity or judicial remedies, which are associated with specific forms of discrimination related to: gender, age, caste, race, ethnic and indigenous identity, minority status, (dis)ability, place of residence, marital and family status, HIV status, and sexual orientation. (key message 9)

Identifying so rightly, the structural drivers and barriers as a cause of the chronic poverty, powerlessness, marginalization and exclusion might be effective way of approaching the inequalities. The policies and programs that are intended to improve lives of people, actually only address the symptoms, not the underlying cause. Inequalities become "legitimate" by powerful groups using stereotypes and prejudice that justify discrimination (e.g., poor people = lazy; ethnic minorities and migrants=free riders; people with disabilities=unproductive people; older people=burden to society; children=a "residual" group). (key messages 10-12)

Gender-based discrimination (denial of the rights of women and girls, and their disempowerment to take control over their lives) is a single most widespread driver of inequalities in the world. Gender-based violence (female genital mutilation, forced early marriage, in many forms is a powerful element in violating the human rights, keeping women and girls in subordination to men. (key meassage 13)

Macroeconomic factors as well as policy development in the post-2015 framework need to have major roles, and should be universal in nature. Goals that aspire to "getting to zero" in eliminating poverty, violence, preventable deaths, malnutrition, and denial of basic service access will assist in moving towards realization of human rights for all. (key messages 14-21)

A self-standing global goal, in post-2015 framework with focus on gender inequalities and gender-related discrimination should be complemented with targets and indicators that focus on the situation of the most disadvantaged groups. Adaptation of the future global goals to national targets and indicators should be the result of inclusive and highly participatory processes of those disadvantaged most - children and young people, and monitoring and reporting led by citizens. Accountability of decision-makers and public institutions should be essential feature of just and equitable human progress and the realization of human rights. (key messages 22-24).

Suggestions for consideration:

Social norms and culture as structural barriers cause and sustain discrimination against women and girls, people with disabilities, indigenous people, migrant youth, and older people. Power needs to be distributed equally between boys and girls, men and women, in all areas of human functioning, and regardless of geographic location. Equal rights to health, housing, education, jobs, family and community safety, etc., need to be tightly knit and interwoven into the structure of cultures, societies, governmental and non-governmental systems that allow for healthy and productive growth of children, regardless of their status in terms of the ethnic, religious, migration, or the age, gender of their parents, or their own.

New dimensions such as knowledge, skills and humane values of peace and collaboration should be identified as criteria and indicators of progress. Those may be reinforced and reflected in revised school systems, which need careful consideration and inclusion under the umbrella of the post-2015 framework. Including empowerment of all children and youth to mutual respect of individual dignity, is a must if changes are to be measured as outcomes.

Bojana Beri, MD, PhD, CHES
Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Physical Education
Co-Director, Center for Human and Community Wellness (CHCW)
Monmouth University
Dr Anil Jacob from Array
Son las 09.55 am de Mar, Abril 9, 2013
The Synthesis Report on the post-2015 Development Agenda has addressed the issue of inequality based on wide consultations and has many useful inputs.

Yet one critical element needs more explication, especially considering one persistent dimension of inequality.

We refer in particular to the issue of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). In India alone, NCDs are estimated to account for nearly 53% of all deaths in India. Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases, Chronic Respiratory Diseases and Cancers constitute the major NCDs that share the modifiable behavioural risk factors of tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, physical inactivity and unhealthy diet.

Thanks to globalization, and urbanization, socio-economic and development transition drivers drive the rise in NCDs. Changes in lifestyle, dietary habits and living and work environments are proving unhealthy. Emerging economies are more vulnerable: India still continues to be marked by poverty, low levels of education, poor diet, and inequitable access to health services and gender disparity, it may be worse hit by the NCD epidemic.

The poor are more predisposed to the most common risk factors for the major NCDs in India. According to the National Family Health Survey-2 (NFHS-2), men and women in the poorest income quintile and no schooling have higher odds for smoking and chewing tobacco than their counterparts from the richest quintile. Tobacco use alone kills nearly one million Indians every year and recent studies suggest that if the accumulated prospective projections are calculated conservatively, some 100 million Indians can be anticipated to die prematurely from smoked tobacco in the decades to come.

Similarly, the proportions of men and women who consume alcohol in India is highest in the lowest income quintile as compared to higher income quintiles and among rural settings as compared to urban settings. Viewed through an economic lens, NCDs accounted for five of the six top causes of economic loss in 2008.

The chronic nature of NCDs implies long-term treatment, thereby imposing a high health care burden on the individuals and families. According to one study, 25% of Indian families with a member with Cardiovascular disease experience catastrophic expenditure. The treatment cost increases with cancer. 50% of households experience catastrophic spending, which drives 25% of them to poverty.

While the discussions on inequality are apropos, all the achievements of the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will invariably be retarded by the looming burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). This danger exists even in present debates that appear to skirt over the issue of NCDs For instance, three of the prominent health parameters of the MDGs -- Tuberculosis and maternal and child health issues-- are strongly associated with tobacco use, a major risk factor for NCDs. Yet NCDs are conspicuous by their absence in the current MDGs despite these strong socioeconomic drivers, determinants and impact on development – which the Synthesis Report rightly addresses. The omission of NCDs from the MDGs has meant reduced attention and resultant low resources for NCD programmes, policies and research. This is not in sync with the developmental aspirations of healthy people and productive nations contributing to a prosperous world.

The Global Monitoring Framework (GMF) that has been developed and agreed by Member States as a follow up of the UN High Level Meeting has set a target of 25% relative reduction in mortality from NCDs by 2025. Given the detrimental role NCDs would continue to play in the achievement of national development plans and international development agenda into the near future, NCD-Development interest groups in India recommend that the future development framework must continue to prioritise health in the post-2015 development framework and specifically recognise the emerging burden of NCDs. The post 2015 development agenda should include measurable targets for the prevention and control of NCDs, that lead to the achievements of the global goal of a 25% reduction in relative mortality from NCDs by 2025 as also integrate NCDs across all dimensions of the post 2015 framework. We reiterate that it is critical to include NCDs, their globally agreed targets, indicators and follow up actions to achieve any future development goals.

Posted on behalf of the NCD-Development Interest Group, India.

1. HealthBridge
2. All India Heart Foundation
3. India Alliance for Child Rights
4. Centre for Science & Environment
5. Public Health Foundation of India
6. Mamta Health Institute for Mother and Child
7. Indian Clinical Epidemiology Network Trust
8. The International Union Against Lung Diseases and Tuberculosis
9. Health Related Information Dissemination Amongst Youth -- Students Health Action
Network
10. Population Services International
11. Indian Cancer Society
12. Diabetes Foundation of India
13. Young Lives, Save the Children Project
Jessie Lydia Henshaw from Array
Son las 05.49 pm de Mié, Marzo 20, 2013
. I’m a natural systems scientist. I study some of the structural causes of growing inequity in social and natural systems. It’s often the case that you can’t change things without understanding how they developed. You can see that in examples like the recent ”Occupy” movement, that was missing a practical understanding of what would change “the system” they were very legitimately protesting.
Financial inequity is a major driver for all the other inequities in two ways. How to succeed financially is generally learned only within the social groups who are already successful. That also makes it feel that you can’t learn to be successful without joining those groups, and adopting the values if financially successful people, making the growing inequity between that “club” and other self-fulfilling.
A further problem is that the methods of financial success are all aimed at creating ever greater inequity, as their purpose, concentrating wealth and power in the hands of every one who succeeds financially, and doing so ‘exponentially’. It’s both “how the system works” and generally “what the system is for”. Most people don’t exactly understand that dynamic change is built right into “the rules of success”.
It ends up literally meaning that ‘capitalism’ is organized around ‘rules of the game’ in which everyone is trying to take control of an ever larger shares… of everyone else’s resources,… calling it “growth” or “development”. As a side effect it also depletes the earth of resources exponentially too, until as at present it drives up the costs of resources in a way that causes more and more development efforts to fail, and growing inequity with others to increase faster.
Why so few people seem aware of that structural feature of our common economic practices, the rule of using wealth to multiply wealth, is a mystery to me. It’s just deeply rooted in our culture. In reality most people don’t succeed and others continually succeed far beyond their wildest dreams. In a growing economy with extra wealth to pass around, that may be tolerable. At the limits of growth where being “successful” means making others ever more “unsuccessful”, it is then driving extreme inequities from both ends, like we find all around us today. Still, nearly everyone thinks is natural to try to “get rich” that even as it seems now to be destabilizing world cultures of all kinds.
At the UN I work with the Commons Cluster of NGO’s and the Commons Action for the UN
http://www.commonsactionfortheunitednations.org/
My related research is found on my site:
http://synapse9.com/signals
http://synapse9.com/issue/concept$.htm
Fionnuala Murphy from Array
Son las 06.02 pm de Mar, Febrero 19, 2013
The International HIV/AIDS Alliance welcomes the Equalities Thematic Report and particularly the following aspects of it:
• The Equalities Thematic Report is clear that the new framework needs to see inequality as wider than income disparity and to understand that measures focussed solely on alleviating poverty will not sustain long term change. The Alliance shares this position and believes strongly that the framework will have to practically address the root causes of inequality, which may be economic but are also social, environmental and political.
• The Equalities Thematic Report identifies four essential entitlements, and among these are the establishment of equality and non-discrimination in law and action by states to protect people from discrimination and violence by other actors. Law reform and legal protection have been identified as priorities by a large number of civil society organisations working on HIV sector and it is great to see them in central position.
• The Equalities Thematic Report argues that a self-standing goal on inequalities should be included in the framework, which should be complimented across all goal areas by targets and indicators focussed on the most disadvantaged groups. Again, we support these recommendations and would welcome an inequalities goal which aims to eliminate all forms of discrimination and achieve gender inequality with targets on law reform, service delivery, action plans to end violence and to build excluded people's capacities. We will also push for specific targets on equality under any health goal, in line with the report’s recommendations.

We also welcome references throughout the report to discrimination facing people living with HIV as well as women and girls and other key populations at high risk of HIV infection, including LGBTI people, sex workers etc. However, although we welcome the fact that there are specific sections on LGBTI rights in the report, these focus heavily on sexuality without addressing gender identity, and there is no explicit mention of the specific discrimination and violence affecting transgender women and men. In response to this, we have drafted a paragraph which we believe would fit well within the existing section on LGBTI people, on pages 40 and 41. We would like to recommend that the track coordinators include this additional language in their final report.

Transgender people lack the right to gender identity in laws across the world. This denies them the basic right to be viewed as a person in the eyes of the law and exacerbates the stigma, discrimination and marginalisation they experience in their daily lives. Transgender people are often the targets of violent hate crimes, frequently drop out of school early, struggle to find employment and do not receive appropriate care at health centres and hospitals, exacerbating their vulnerability to HIV. In the Latin America region, the transgender population has a higher HIV prevalence than all other groups, reaching 35% in some countries. In order to overcome these barriers states must enshrine the right to gender identify in law and must ban discrimination on the grounds of gender identity.
In addition to the legal denial of their rights by the state, transgender people often face violence from state actors. A study of transgender activists in Latin America found that 80 per cent of those interviewed reported violence or threats at the hands of state authorities. In the same region, law enforcement agencies have systematically failed to prosecute transphobic crime. According to Colombian activists, 60 transgender women were murdered between 2005 and 2012 without a single person having been brought to justice, and 35 transgender people were murdered in Guatemala with only one person prosecuted. In Honduras, 61 killings of LGBTI people were reported between 2008 and 2011, but only ten people have been brought to trial, and none for the death of transgender women, despite the fact that the latter account for two thirds of the cases.
Source:
The night is another country: Impunity and violence against transgender women human rights defenders in Latin America
Redlactrans and The International HIV/AIDS Alliance, 2012.
The Monrovia communiqué from the High Level Panel on the post 2015 framework emphasises that economic growth will not on its own be sufficient to ensure social justice and equity, and recognises that ‘the protection and empowerment of people’ are crucial. However, our understanding from the UK government is that efforts on equality will focus on lifting the poorest out of poverty, taking an income-focussed definition of exclusion. The challenge now for the equalities track will be to translate our ambitions into higher level commitments, in order to secure a stand alone goal on equality with ambitious targets on law reform, access to services, protection of women and girls and other excluded groups etc as the report recommends. How can we persuade the HLP to adopt this, and what can civil society do to facilitate this? Who are our allies and who are our strongest opponents?
Anonymous from Array
Son las 04.35 pm de Mar, Febrero 12, 2013
NGO Analytic report on inequities:

Do you know that the Global social parameter are based on gender quantity of majority to determine the rule of law for ruling!

The entire Global social parameter of Gender quantity of male, female and transgender are live under inequity.

Gender/genetic inequities generate incomplete information, which wavering notion in mind and choose incomplete person during electoral process & practice corruption.

Are we living in corrupt free world ?

You all answer me and our NGO further will tell you all how to prevent Inequities around the world.

Regards
A.Karunakaran,
Author and Founder,
Childcare Consortium, Plot no-79, 6 th street, Kanadsan Nagar,
Chennai 600 089, India, e mail: a_karuna@live.com Cell: 9962424935

NGO is in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations
Anonymous from Array
Son las 06.20 pm de Vie, Febrero 1, 2013
COMMENTS ON THE DRAFT REPORT ON THE GLOBAL THEMATIC CONSULTATIONS ON INEQUALITIES

Hui-Chi Goh*

The draft Report on the Global Thematic Consultations on Inequalities is a commendable effort by UNICEF, UN Women, the United Nations, the Government of Denmark, and the Government of Ghana, to synthesise and highlight the main discussion points from the vigorous global consultations on inequalities and how they should be addressed by the post-2015 development framework. It presents a good overview of the types of inequalities there are, how they arise and are reproduced, methods of addressing them, examples of affirmative action measures from different countries, and the place of inequalities in the post-2015 framework. There are, however, some additional issues which the author feels need to be considered and they have been outlined as follows:

a) Defining inequalities: The report begins with a brief discussion about what inequalities are, explaining that they are ‘much greater than just “difference”’ and are often about fairness, social justice, the extreme differences in opportunities and outcomes which limit the life-choices and therefore create significant deprivation for people in different families, communities, and countries. To frame inequalities in such terms though, raises additional questions rather than resolves them as equality, fairness, and social justice are themselves extremely difficult concepts to define. Fairness and social justice are, for instance, intrinsically tied to often conflicting ideas of morality, ethics, law and religion in a society, which in turn are heavily influenced by the society’s cultural setting and history. Consider for instance, the wide range of schools and theories of justice which have emerged in Western thought – utilitarianism, redistributive justice, restorative justice, distributive justice, justice as natural law/divine command, justice as ‘having and doing what is one’s own’. With the processes of globalization bringing societies and their systems of thought and cultures closer together, the cross-infusion of ideas has made defining fairness and social justice even more complex. Fairness especially is the vaguest of terms and can be used to cover almost any situation which the individual feels has wronged him or her in some way.

Equal to what exactly? Fair and just to what? What is the leveling ground we seek to create? If the equality is to ‘the majority’ of society, then how do we identify this majority? Who is it that decides what is fair or equal? What are the standards or criteria to be used in deciding what is fair, just or equal, against whom are we measuring fairness or equality? Indeed, depending on the benchmarks used, greatly differing pictures of inequality could arise – to take a very simple example, a monthly income of US$114 in Uganda could be considered to be a perfectly reasonable amount within the country, but when compared against other high income countries it would be regarded as grossly unfair. How do we devise objective standards to capture peoples’ subjective experiences of feeling wronged? What is the range of experiences or ‘wrongs’ in peoples’ lives that we wish to capture and address? What are these opportunities and outcomes which are supposed to limit peoples’ life decisions? How significant does the deprivation have to be before an inequality is considered to have arisen? These are all issues which the author feels require much greater attention when considering how to define inequalities, and which must be answered before any discussions on the post-2015 development framework can take place – it is only when we identify the issues of concern in sufficient detail, that we can go on to devise the appropriate benchmarks, which in turn can lead to designing measurement tools to properly delineate the class of individuals affected.

We therefore need a more methodical approach to define inequalities, and it is suggested that the informing philosophy be ensuring that people have the capabilities, the freedom, the opportunities to undertake the actions and activities they want to engage in, to be whom they want to be, to live healthy lives which ensure them of their basic needs and enable them to be free from abuse, fear and exploitation. From here, we can identify the conditions, the barriers, which limit peoples’ access to the means for achieving these capabilities, such as decent work, education and healthy environments. Power imbalances which create abusive relationships, the denial of access to basic rights due to the person’s race, religion, sex, age and the person’s ‘unlucky’ star of being born in the wrong place at the wrong time, the inability to access the same range and quality of resources as others that is, discrimination, exploitation, and abuse of power, are all barriers to accessing these means and for the author they are a much better way of articulating what inequalities are. This is because these concepts have already been fleshed out in detail by international human rights instruments like the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is also suggested that as these instruments set the minimum standards needed for all individuals across the world to lead lives of freedom and dignity, that they should be used to identify the areas of deprivation in the opportunities, outcomes, and means for achieving one’s capabilities.

b) Private Actors: Much as inequalities can be created and perpetuated by the state (for example denying education and proper health services to remote areas and forbidding girls from attending school), private actors i.e. individuals, corporations and institutions are equally responsible for generating entrenched inequalities and prejudices within a society. To give a small, personal example, in Ahmedabad, a city located in the west of India, Hindu-dominated housing cooperatives or housing societies as they are called here, are at liberty to prohibit Muslims from purchasing residential homes in their areas. This has forced Muslims, who are generally more socio-economically disadvantaged than the Hindus, to occupy the fringe areas, the less developed parts of the rather prosperous city. This has not only worsened their socio-economic disadvantages but has also further entrenched discriminatory practices and the tensions between Hindus and Muslims. Another key example would be in gender inequality, where it is very much the personal attitudes and beliefs that determine how an individual treats members of the other sex. Indeed, on that matter it should also be noted that addressing gender inequality is a particular challenge as discriminatory practices and abuse happen within the private domestic sphere, putting such conduct outside the purview of the state.

As globalisation and trade liberalisation have made business transactions more fluid across countries’ borders, it has become commonplace for companies to conduct activities outside their country of origin. While this can create job opportunities and help with stimulating economies, especially those in disadvantaged countries, weak enforcement of corporate social responsibility practices and corporations’ disregard for human rights can generate enormous inequalities and worsen the conditions for the host country’s citizens. Countless examples can be found in the mining and natural resources sector, where multinational corporations working in poor countries such as the African nations, East Timor and Papua New Guinea, have caused extensive environmental degradation and pollution, refused to give proper compensation and royalties to the more often than not poor local communities, resorted to violence should the locals protest at their activities, and forced communities to relocate to more distant, less well-resourced areas. This has resulted in local communities being entrapped in the poverty cycle and being forced into situations where they face further environmental, geographic, social, economic, and political disadvantages. There is also an additional question whether, given the current dire global economic climate, the ‘job flight’ created by outsourcing employment to other countries just for the sake of ‘chasing the bottom line’ is generating further inequalities in the country of origin – this would require a detailed consideration and revisiting of the debate over trade protection and trade liberalisation.

At present the state is contemplated as having the primary responsibility for addressing inequalities. While this position should not be altered, the involvement of individuals, corporations and organisations in generating and perpetuating inequalities both within and outside their countries, show that any international framework for inequalities must include private actors and be accompanied by strategies which enable the framework to be applied to the private sector as well. To do so would require a re-theorising of the relationship between the individual, the state, and the international realm, and perhaps even a weakening of the doctrines of state sovereignty which still hold very strongly today and underpin international governance frameworks. With globalisation altering the roles of states, linking citizens closer together, and making state borders porous, and the increasing influence of the private sector on individuals’ lives, it would be timely indeed to start having such a debate.

c) State Implementation and Accountability: Inequalities is one area where states have, by and large, been fairly active in devising affirmative measures. For instance, in Australia state and national governments have enacted the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth), the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth), and the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic) to ensure that all its people are free from racial and sexual discrimination and have equal access to employment, accommodation, education, the provision of goods and services, and the disposal of land. In India, pursuant to the Constitution of India 1949 which is premised upon ensuring the fundamental rights, freedom, justices, liberty and equality of status and opportunity for all its citizens, the Government of India has enacted a plethora of policies and statutes to fulfill these goals. Due to corruption, lack of resources, and poor monitoring, compliance and implementation mechanisms, the potential of achieving the positive outcomes contemplated by these statues, policies, and schemes, have not been fulfilled

It is essential therefore, that the international community considers ways to support states in implementing equality measures, and to hold them to account should they fail to do so

d) Environment inequalities: The growing threats of climate change, the increased frequency and intensity of disasters, accelerated environment degradation, and shortages in food, water, energy and other natural resources across the world, create the very material risks of causing further inequalities in accessing resources, living conditions, and incomes. It was therefore a positive step to see that the draft report discussed the need for climate change resilience and pro-equality social policies, that it briefly alluded to participatory sustainable natural resource management approaches, and that it acknowledged the cross-cutting nature of environment inequalities with other socio-economic domains such as access to land, gender rights, and housing. Of concern to the author though, was that the report kept referring to ‘holistic human development’ and ‘sustainable human development’, which could result in an over-emphasis of the needs of mankind over those of the environment. This must urgently be rectified for humans occupy a symbiotic relationship with the environment, and to promote notions that the environment exists only to serve mankind could exacerbate our current crises in environment sustainability, and indeed is at odds with the trajectory of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Rio20+ Conference, the international environment sustainability frameworks, and the common consensus for environment sustainability which seems to be emerging across all the thematic ‘World We Want’ consultations.

It is also essential not to focus solely on climate change resilience to ensure equality for the climate is but one aspect of the environment we live in. A holistic understanding of a person’s living conditions must be taken, an integrated – rather than componential - perspective of the environment and the relationship humans occupy with the environment must be adopted and used to inform all decisions made in relation to environment management. In short, the author suggests that in addition to climate change resilience strategies, we need participatory, environment resilience strategies, which are backed by an effective enabling policy framework and implementation measures, to make a material impact in reducing inequalities.

Hui-Chi Goh
Anonymous from Array
Son las 06.10 pm de Vie, Febrero 1, 2013
Greetings from The Equal Rights Trust, an international human rights organisation whose mission is to combat all forms of discrimination and promote equality as a fundamental human right and a basic principle of social justice. Our expertise is in equality law, and we work from a unified human rights framework on equality as reflected in the Declaration of Principles on Equality. More about us can be seen here: www.equalrightstrust.org

I was very pleased to read the Draft Report. I think that the report is a great contribution to the process of formulating post-2015 development goals.

Although we have been aware of the ongoing consultation which led up to the draft report, I regret that due to our current other commitment – tackling equality projects in many countries around the world – my colleagues and I have not been able to participate in the consultation leading up to the draft report at earlier stages. Nonetheless, I thought I should offer a brief comment at this point, and hope to be involved in the process from now on.

Acknowledging the strengths of the report and agreeing with its general direction, I believe it might have benefitted from adding an equality law perspective to the analysis. In 2008, an authoritative and representative group of human rights and equality lawyers and advocates adopted the Declaration of Principles on Equality (link here: http://www.equalrightstrust.org/ertdocumentbank/Pages%20from%20Declarati... list of the original signatories – later joined by hundreds of others – can be viewed here: http://www.equalrightstrust.org/ertdocumentbank/declaration%20signatorie...)

The Declaration of Principles on Equality brings together the international human rights framework in its modern interpretation and the most recent generation of equality law – one that builds on the earlier generations of anti-discrimination law and that is based on a holistic ideal of transformative equality. The Declaration has been endorsed by the Council of Europe (November 2011) and is now “soft law” within this political space, with member states urged to comply with the Principles in developing national legislation and policies related to equality.

As recognised by many experts, the Declaration is indeed the “last word” of equality law, and expresses the current moral and professional consensus on the principles on equality. You may wonder what is it that the Declaration provides which is not already in international human rights law. In respect to equality legislation and policies, the key element of progress in the last 20 years is the trend towards overcoming the fragmentation in the protection from discrimination. However, this is work in progress: the field of equality is still a patchwork, with many gaps and inconsistencies. The holistic approach reflected in the Declaration is not sufficiently articulated and operationalised yet at the international and national level, but it is the way forward. Currently, while the rights to equality and non-discrimination are recognised as central and cross-cutting in international human rights law, they are scattered throughout the system of treaties, declarations and authoritative interpretations. Within the international human rights architecture, there is a need to upgrade the framework to reflect the rich concept of full and comprehensive substantive equality of participation enshrined in the Declaration; adopt better legal definitions of discrimination; fill the gaps and harmonise the levels of protection; and better integrate equality principles in the work on all human rights. At the national, level, there is a need for adopting comprehensive equality legislation by all states which do not have such legislation (which, regrettably, means most states.)

As I would like to keep this comment as brief as possible, let me point at one conceptual problem and make just one recommendation.

One specific problem I have identified which I think may be due to the apparent absence of an up to date equality law dimension from the otherwise rich expertise that underlies your draft report is reflected, inter alia, in the section “Framework for Transformative Change” and the table outlining “action to tackle inequalities” (pp 36-37). The problem is that equality law, in its most advanced forms in some national jurisdictions, and in the form it should take in the future, spans several of the boxes of the table and cannot be all boxed within the bottom left box at the “political” row.

One specific recommendation I would urge you to consider is to include in the new development goals that would hopefully be articulated for the post-2015 period the adoption by states of comprehensive equality legislation and policies. (This is a recommendation made by UN treaty bodies to individual governments on many occasions.) If you are interested, I can send you:
1) Copies of the Declaration of Principles on Equality in book format;
2) Legal commentary to the Declaration;
3) A short paper specifying the essential elements of what is meant by “comprehensive equality legislation” – what is covered by such legislative, in both substantive and procedural terms;
4) A short paper reviewing the current levels of implementation of this recommendation by states around the world – presenting a global map of national equality legislation, and grouping states into categories according to how advanced their equality law is – from states having virtually no protection from discrimination on any ground to states with comprehensive and very detailed equality acts and having decades of experience with implementation of such laws and related equality policies;
5) A bibliography of legal literature on this recent human rights based paradigm of equality law, references to which would enrich the draft report;
6) Any further comments or clarifications if the process from here onwards would allow this.

I hope this is helpful.

Kind regards

Dr Dimitrina Petrova
Executive Director
The Equal Rights Trust
London, United Kingdom
www.equalrightstrust.org
Anonymous from Array
Son las 05.58 pm de Vie, Febrero 1, 2013
Warm greetings from the Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW)!

Congratulations on this draft report, and thanks for giving the opportunity for further comments.

We commend the commitment to human rights and social justice as basis for reducing inequalities shown in the report.

We also highly appreciate that sexual and reproductive health, and sexual and reproductive rights are highlighted throughout the report. We see SRHR as fundamentally intertwined with other development issues.

Below are our some suggestions on the report:

We would like to request that the report extend the discussion to how SRHR issues interact with other inequalities. Lack of access to SRHR is both a cause and a symptom of poverty. In the section on Sexual and Reproductive Rights Failures (p. 26), for example, it can also be added that within countries, poorer women have higher risks of physical and psychological morbidity during pregnancy, delivery and after childbirth, as well as higher risks of dying from childbirth. (Ravindran) There is also staggeringly big gap between the maternal mortality ratios between low-income and high-income countries: 517 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in low-income countries versus 10 in high-income countries. (Raghuram, 2011) Women and girls who are able to realise their sexual and reproductive rights are more likely to reach higher levels of education than their counter-parts who are unable to meaningfully realise their SRR.

Linkages with poverty, food security and climate change also need to be made. For example, on the section on Environmental Inequalities (pp. 19-21), we would like to highlight that climate change-induced and natural disasters have grave implications on SRHR, especially of women. As Silliman notes, “post-disasters witness increases in early marriage, school dropouts, sexual harassment, trafficking, and greater incidence of sexually transmitted infections and violence towards women and girls.”(See also Murthy) Further, the lack of access to sexual and reproductive health supplies and services during times of emergencies, such as contraceptives, safe abortion and skilled delivery, make women vulnerable to unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions and unsafe childbirth, and making pregnancy and childbirth complications leading causes of death during disasters. (Toan) Climate change, as well as the financial crises, has significant impact on income and food security as well, reducing availability and stability of food supplies. Combined with patriarchal systems and gender norms in many societies that dictate women eat last and less, they exacerbate women’s poor health and nutrition. These in turn, have negative consequences, especially during pregnancy and childbirth. (Danguilan & Silliman)

On page 41, it is stated that: “Tackling SRR inequalities requires a comprehensive health policy, providing universal access to all necessary services. This includes measures to help women to make choices over their sexual and reproductive health, necessary services to enable them to access the highest standards of health care, and protection against violence, coercion and gender-based practices including genital mutilation.” Comprehensive sexuality education that utilises a rights-based approach should also be added here. This is critically needed towards forming a positive view of sexuality, and would prevent low levels of contraceptive use, early pregnancies, HIV and sexually transmitted infections, unsafe abortions, which have an impact on adolescent and young people’s lives and potential.

We also are glad that LGBTIQ, people/women with disabilities and migrants are mentioned throughout as a group that are particularly vulnerable. It would be good if the report can cover refugees and stateless citizens as well. Like migrants, they are vulnerable to sexual and gender-based violence; they also lack access to health services, including sexual and reproductive health services. Sex workers should also be added as another group, considering that criminalisation of sex work hinder their ability to exercise their human rights, increase their vulnerability to gender-based violence, and hinder access to health services, including for sexual and reproductive health.

Finally, the issue of international financing and aid commitments to reduce inequalities seems to be de-emphasised in discussions. Each government should definitely make investments and work to address inequality within country. However, the international aid community must remain true to their previous commitments. It must be noted that official development aid falls markedly below commitments (0.32% of gross national income in 2010 compared to 0.52% agreed by DAC member countries in 2005 and the 0.7% agreed by governments in 1970). (OECD in Raghuram) We hope that concrete recommendations towards consistent and long-term financial and political support to reducing inequalities and achieving social justice be included in the recommendations section.

We hope that these considerations can be included in the final version of the report.

Thank you and best regards,

Maria Melinda Ando (with input from Gaayathri Nair)
Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
www.arrow.org.my

References:

Danguilan, M. (2012). “Facing Reproductive Health Risks: Women as Food Producers and Buyers. ARROW for Change, Vol. 18 2012. Kuala Lumpur: ARROW. http://arrow.org.my/publications/AFC/v18SpEd.pdf

Murthy, R.K. (2008). “Feminist and Rights-based Perspectives: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Disaster Contexts.” ARROW for Change, Vol. 14 No. 3. Kuala Lumpur: ARROW.http://arrow.org.my/publications/AFC/v14n3.pdf

OECD figures, cited by Raghuram, S. (2011). “Repoliticising Financing: Re-energising Political Support for Women’s Health and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Right.” ARROW for Change Vol. 17 No. Kuala Lumpur: ARROW.1. http://arrow.org.my/publications/AFC/v17n1.pdf

Raghuram, S. (2013). Reclaiming & Redefining Rights - Thematic Studies Series 5: Poverty, Food Security, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights - Integrating and Reinforcing State Responsibilities, Integrating Societal Action. Kuala Lumpur: ARROW. www.arrow.org.my/publications/ICPD+15Country&ThematicCaseStudies/Poverty...

Ravindran, TKS & Nair, MR. (2012). “Poverty and Its Impact on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Women and Young People in the Region.” In Kuala Lumpur: ARROW. http://www.arrow.org.my/uploads/Thematic_Papers_Beyond_ICPD_&_the_MDGs.pdf

Silliman, J. (2012). “Addressing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the Context of Climate Change.” ARROW for Change, Vol. 18 2012. Kuala Lumpur: ARROW. http://arrow.org.my/publications/AFC/v18SpEd.pdf

Toan, T.N. (2007). “Life-saving: Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters in Crises.” ARROW for Change, Vol. 13 No. 3. Kuala Lumpur: ARROW.http://arrow.org.my/publications/AFC/v13n3.pdf
ICAE Secretariat from Array
Son las 04.59 pm de Vie, Febrero 1, 2013
Comments from the Gender and Education Office (GEO) of the International Council for Adult Education(ICAE) on the Zero Draft FOR DISCUSSION AND COMMENT “Report on the Global Thematic Consultation on Inequalities”
Introduction
Eradication of poverty requires transitioning away from the economic growth development paradigm. We need to think of a Learning planet, and a new paradigm of development that is able to link the well-being of people with well-being of the planet. SDGs debates should serve to build new definitions of well-being, and well-being of the planet; social redistribution of economic, social and political power; full citizenship, social and multicultural, decent jobs and gender justice. Adult learning is a key catalyst in this process. Only when adults have agency as learners, will we get good nutrition, clean water, improved health outcomes and better governance. Therefore, lifelong learning, as a human right demand should be an integral part of the definition of a new development paradigm. We urge to go beyond primary education targets and give centrality to all forms of education (non-formal and popular education) . Adult learning plays a catalytic role in the achievement of sustainable development for all; lifelong learning policies and practices are inevitably involved in responses to all of these issues, and a fundamental pre-requisite for the achievement of a range of other social policy goals.
The inclusion of a lifelong learning target must be the overarching principle for an education target in the new SDGs/MDGs; must have a key role in ensuring that strategies for sustainability include the active engagement of the people affected in helping shape the changing economic and social conditions necessary to secure sustainability for all in a climate changing society. The target should cover each of the phases of the education life-cycle from early childhood education , primary, secondary and tertiary, as well as adult and young people's education, recognise the different learning needs at different stages of the life-cycle and the need on equality of access for women, for indigenous peoples, and for all at risk of discrimination. We have to develop more effective strategies for ensuring the quality of learning opportunities, and a key to that is the need for improved initial and continuing training opportunities for teachers, popular educators and facilitators.

General Comments
The International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) affirms that a new development framework must draw from lessons learned and critically question the long-standing assumptions which drive dominant development models. A fundamental reorientation is necessary that puts human rights and well-being of all people and the natural environment at the center.
ICAE is concerned with the sad reality and news that poverty and inequality are on the rise. The goal of gender equality in primary education seems to be within reach. But although many countries have made considerable progress, according to the Global Monitoring Report (GMR) published by UNESCO, the other education goals will not be met by the 2015. We call for approaches that consider the gender and education dimensions of different development goals, and recognize the need for an integrated, transformative and rights-based agenda as a pre-condition for genuine sustainable development. As UNESCO reports in June 2012, with only three years left for the 2015 EFA and MDG deadlines, at least 22 countries in Africa are destined to miss key education goals. The hardest to reach children — from the poorest households, living in rural areas and particularly girls — are the most likely to be out of school. Women in the informal economy are least likely to have access to literacy or lifelong learning.
The Gender and Education Office (GEO) of ICAE sees gender equality, and women’s rights and empowerment as fundamental to the post-2015 framework, and therefore to any consideration of SDGs. To make this possible education must be included as a cross–cutting issue, particularly because education has proven to be a key issue for poverty eradication and an accelerator for development especially for these groups that face multiple forms of discrimination.
The Post-2015 development framework must have an holistic approach based in women’s human rights, There must be inter-linkages between the different goals to address women’s health and reproductive rights, food sovereignty, access to sustainable development, to clean water, to energy, to social protection, access to land and property, women unpaid work, child and elderly care as well as issues where women are hardly impacted such as climate change and natural disasters. The linkages must be explicit and connected, to uphold human rights and achieve gender equality. They need to be realistic for the wide range of country-level realities or we risk no progress.

Comments on specific sections
Section 1:
In this section the document refers to structural inequalities, but it doesn’t mention (nor critically challenges) historical inequalities related to gender, class and race, and how they are embedded in our political and economic systems. Also, it should consider how the policies pushed by the neoliberal model have become causes of inequalities.
Section 2:
This section should deepen on how lack of education, within policies of lifelong learning – not only among children but also among young people and adults, reinforces the perpetuation of inequalities. It does mention the role of globalization and new technologies as an opportunity for job creation to reduce inequalities and bring stability, however it should be highlighted that this is only possible with adequate lifelong learning policies.
Section 3:
When it comes to the lack of access to education, the report focuses on children’s education, as shown in this section. There is a need to recognize the human right to education for all and the right to lifelong learning throughout the document.
Section 4:
GEO would like to draw the attention to the following:
With reference to decent work, the document should refer to the role of education in fostering the approaches needed to be galvanized in the framework of post 2015 debates. Many crises are the direct product of unbalanced current arrangements affecting trade, food security, access to decent work, and decent learning, and that these arrangements need to be overhauled to secure human rights for all young people and adults. Capacity Building recommendations should focus on non-formal education and lifelong learning to strengthen women and men’s human rights and skills in such areas as governance, developing national agendas that reflect the population needs and priorities, skills among others for decent work, protection of the natural resources, disaster risk reduction, conflict resolution, energy.
It is important also to consider in the document, the role of education as an essential ingredient for development, impacting economic growth and envi¬ronmental protections. In this framework, when the document refers to education as one subject to eliminate social inequalities it should also include the need of quality of education as a fundamental part to eliminate social inequalities.
Another point that ICAE felt is important to consider in this section is to make reference to the role of adult learning as a key catalyst in the models of consumption and production that foster gender, social and environmental justice and no marketization of social basic services (including education and health). Only when adults have agency as learners, will people get good nutrition, clean water, improved health outcomes and better governance. Therefore, lifelong learning, as a human right demand should be an integral part of the definition of a new development paradigm. The document should go beyond primary education targets and give centrality to all forms of education (non-formal, informal and popular education).
Section 5 and 6
GEO would like the following recommendations to be included:
A target on the quality of education in achieving global development goals highlighting the knowledge and skills on individuals’ needs should be a central consideration when referring to equity. The MDGs had the effect of distorting the holistic nature of the Education For All goals. By pulling out just 2 it had the effect of marginalizing the others - yet for the aims behind UPE to be effective it need parents to be literate too. But the focus on UPE has meant that far from reducing illiteracy by 50% over 15 years, we have succeeded with just 12% in 12 years. It is important that Education goals have an equity focused target.
The post-2015 development framework should take into consideration financial resources and current policy making, in order to make a realistic plan of action.
Fran Luke from Array
Son las 11.47 am de Vie, Febrero 1, 2013
As much of the discussion turns toward the important issue of gender equality, I am left wondering if I am, or the estimated over 18 million globally who exist outside the Western concept of strict gender binary are, included in this discussion.
peace
Anonymous from Array
Son las 05.03 am de Vie, Febrero 1, 2013
Inequalities Draft Report Comments from the International Women's Health Coalition

IWHC is encouraged to see a strong recognition in the report of the fact that the denial of sexual and reproductive rights and health is a major driver of gender inequality. We offer the following recommendations as a means to further strengthen the report's analysis and recommendations in this area:

The terminology sexual and reproductive rights and health should be used, for conceptual clarity and to be consistent with existing agreements. Sexual and reproductive rights include, among other things, women's right to control all aspects of their sexuality, the right to decide the number and spacing of children, as well as the right to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services and information to enable them to do so. Sexual and reproductive health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being that implies the ability to have a safe and satisfying sex life, the information and means to prevent unwanted pregnancy, and go through pregnancy and childbirth safely, among other things. Thus the phrase sexual and reproductive rights and health is broader and more encompassing and the fulfillment of both are critical elements for women's empowerment and gender equality. (See the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action).

The report could be stronger by including a clear statement that the protection and promotion of sexual and reproductive rights and health are a necessary condition for women's empowerment and gender equality. Without the ability to decide who, when and whether to marry; to control all aspects of their sexuality; or to decide the number and spacing of their children, without fear of violence, coercion of discrimination, girls and women simply cannot engage on an equal basis in society, or benefit equally from educational, employment or other opportunities. (See for example, Millennium Project Task Force Report on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment 2005).

The report could strengthen the point that discrimination against women and girls often manifests in violations of their sexual and reproductive rights, which in turn reinforce gender inequalities and perepetuate regressive social and cultural gender norms. These include for example, legal restrictions on or denial of critical sexual and reproductive health services, such as emergency contraception and safe abortions, which can lead women to take extreme measures to address unwanted pregnancy. In Latin America and Africa, for example, more than 95% of all abortions that take place are unsafe, leading to unnecessary injury and death. Early and forced marriage, female genital mutilation, wife inheritance, and other harmful practices are also, as the report notes, violations of girls' and women's sexual and reproductive rights that are both a symptom of and perpetuate gender inequalities.

Intersecting forms of discrimination against certain groups of women sometimes manifest in some of the most severe sexual and reproductive rights violations, such as coerced or forced sterilization, forced or coereced abortion, or forced pregnancy. Women from ethnic or racial minorities, women with HIV, women with disabilities and lesbian, bisexual or transgender women, are particularly targeted for these abuses, denied critical services, or subject to violence or degrading treatment in health facilities when they seek sexual and reproductive health care.

The report should also note that poor sexual and reproductive health outcomes and access to care are correlated with spatial and income inequalities. There is clear evidence that the poorest women are less likely to benefit from critical reproductive health interventions, such as skilled care at childbirth, and as a result are more likely to suffer maternal injuries and deaths, hampering progress toward MDG 5. Similarly, in many countries, women in rural areas experience greater barriers to sexual and reproductive health services than their urban peers. Progress toward MDG 5 has not been equally distributed either within or between countries (See for example, the report of the Independent Expert Review Group on Women and Children's Health 2012).

The report notes that it is important to invest in comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, including contraceptive services and maternity care. Other essential services include those to prevent and treat HIV and other sexually transmissible infections and safe abortion services. These services should be provided through the primary health care system and in an integrated manner. However, investing in services alone is not enough. Governments need to address legal and policy barriers that prevent women from exercising their sexual and reproductive rights (such as laws restricting access to abortion or EC or parental or spousal consent requirements); amd provide access to evidence-based and comprehensive education and information about sexuality, reproduction, gender equality and human rights to all.

The evidence is clear that when women can exercise their sexual and reproductive rights and enjoy the highest attainable standard of sexual and reproductive health, it has benefits far beyond the impact on women's own lives. It helps to reduce poverty; increases girls' access to education; improves the health of women, their children and families; saves lives; helps to ensure environmental sustainability; and promotes women's leadership and social and economic participation. (See for example, UNFPA, Sexual and Reproductive Health For All: Reducing Poverty, Advancing Development and Protecting Human Rights 2010).

For these reasons, the report should include a clear recommendation that, as a critical intervention to address gender inequality (as well as improve health and address preventable mortality, and contribute to broader development goals), the next development framework must include a commitment to achieve universal access to sexual and reproductive health and protect and promote reproductive rights. This should not be left to national-level goal setting, as the report suggests, but needs to be an explicit international-level priority, building on existing and long-standing commitments in the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development; the Beijing Platform for Action; their follow-up conferences, and more recently the "Future We Want" outcome document from the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainabile Development.

A critical gap in the report is a discussion about inequalities faced by youth and adolescents, particularly young women and girls. This should be rectified in the next version. Key points include:

Young women, and girls face additional challenges to their sexual and reproductive rights and health and the consequences are devastating: 40% of girls have their first child before the age of twenty, many before the age of 18. Not only does this impact their life choices, girls are also more likely than adults to die, experience complications, or suffer chronic injuries related to childbirth. Because they have less access to contraceptives and are less sexually experienced, adolescents are more likely than adults to seek out unsafe (often late-term) abortions. Early pregnancy is often associated with child marriage, a practice which also puts girls at increased risk of HIV infection. Female genital mutilation, infanticide, nutritional bias—these and other harmful traditional practices disproportionately affect girls, infringing on their fundamental rights and opportunities for development. The health and rights of girls in particular, are a gap in this report, and in development responses more generally, that must be addressed.

Girls, especially the most vulnerable girls, continue to remain invisible, and are often not reached by youth-targeted services. Policymakers have consistently masked the specific needs of girls within “male-focused and male-dominated community-based activities and generic ‘youth’ prevention initiatives, all of which widely miss the mark” (Bruce, Temin, & Hallman, 2012). This generic youth programming disproportionately benefits boys over girls overall, but it also favors unmarried to married girls, well-connected to socially marginalized girls, urban to rural girls, girls belonging to an ethnic majority to migrant or indigenous girls, and so on.

The Post-2015 development framework should commit to invest in policies and programming aimed specifically at girls with an emphasis on the most at-risk populations of girls. Critical interventions include comprehensive sexuality education; comprehensive sexual and reprodcutive health care services, including contraception, safe abortion, maternity care, and the prevention and treatment of STIs, including HIV; education; and by providing empowering spaces where girls can be secure, develop their social and economic capital, and plan for their safety and development. Investments in changing the behaviors of boys, challenging gender norms, and promoting equality and positive masculinities, including through sexuality and gender education programs and mentoring, will also be critical to eliminate discrimination against girls and achieve gender equality.

For more information or resources, please contact skowalski@iwhc.org.
Anonymous from Array
Son las 04.00 am de Vie, Febrero 1, 2013
I think that the Report made great contribution with systematizing inequalities but solving the question of equality indirectly through reducing inequalities and combining four development dimensions makes that the solution cannot be fully exact and is complicated.
Explanation and defining of the question of equality so directly would deliver a firm, clear and coherent foundation for process of further and sustainable development with all its aspects integrated.
I proposed explanation of the question in my abstract “Human equality and its necessity arising from the Earth order – explained and measured by the single Earth order mechanism and model and referred to existing human organization and measurement methods” sent to the Call for discussion papers on Inequalities, not selected. I present it below.
Kind regards,
Urszula Marchlewicz
Marchlewicz Marketing Management Agency
Poland

„Human equality and its necessity arising from the Earth order – explained and measured by the single Earth order mechanism and model and referred to existing human organization and measurement methods
Urszula Marchlewicz
Marchlewicz Marketing Management Agency
Koszalin, Poland, 20th July 2012
Because human inequality is recognized as incorrect for human existence and development and human equality as correct due to human rights and justice but it is not enough explained and measured I identified it from the roots to justify it and to solve inequality.
I considered human equality in human existential environment – the Earth. There are recognized close relations of human being with it also regularity and logic of the Earth so I assumed that the human being and its equality belong to the Earth order.
Because the Earth order is not described in holistic way I analyzed and identified it as a single mechanism and model which explain and measure human equality, and referred them to existing organization of human being and measurements methods.
I identified the following mechanism. The Earth is established as pre-given and pre-planned coherent system in equilibrium however with embedded development potential designed for continuous development so building more excellent internal structure, driven and managed by human being.
I illustrated the mechanism in the model to allow to keep it in practice at raising density of interrelations with the time. The model having closed X-Y form illustrates and measure human and Earth system development through human life and generations. It allows to precise human rights, obligations and justice.
I referred the model to existing human organization by countries and corporate and national accounts methods. I analyzed development threats and demonstrated that further development is possible only at keeping balanced order of the Earth system, global coordination and use of the model.”
Mette Bloch Hansen from Array
Son las 11.24 pm de Jue, Enero 31, 2013
These comments are submitted on behalf of ActionAid Denmark.

Sincerely,

Mette Bloch Hansen
Policy Officer
ActionAid Denmark

Comments on the
Draft Report on the Global Thematic Consultation on Inequalities
We would like to express our appreciation of the opportunity for engagement in the process offered through the extensive global public consultation. The inclusiveness of the process is a positive step towards stronger ownership. However, we remain concerned at the suggestion of a post-2015 framework that does not have a separate and explicit focus on achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women. A new framework must tackle gender inequality head-on, with a standalone goal alongside mainstreamed targets that address the specific rights and experiences of women and girls.
ActionAid Denmark believes the Post 2015 framework should have a human rights approach that addresses the root causes of poverty, namely inequality, exclusion and unequal power relations from within the household to the global level. This must be based upon challenging the asymmetric power structures and the advancement of democratic governance and accountability. Therefore we are very pleased, that the Draft Report on Inequality reflects the importance of human rights in this context.
Principles for the new framework
ActionAid Denmark strongly supports the merging of the Post 2015 and SDG (sustainable development goals) agenda. A new comprehensive framework should apply the principles of universality, adaptability and accountability. Goals should be embedded for all countries, global north and south while allowing for adaptability to national contexts. The principle of common but differentiated responsibility should be adopted. The post 2015 framework including sustainable development goals must be backed up by strong accountability mechanisms not only for a governing body but also to the citizens to ensure progress towards the goals.
Inequality is unsustainable
Worldwide there remains discrimination across economic, legal, social and policies and inherent gender disparities remain a major driver of poverty. The post-2015 framework is a vital opportunity to combat discrimination and ensure realizing women’s rights and gender equality remains an international priority as an objective in its own right and a critical means to poverty eradication and sustainable development.
ActionAid Denmark recommends strongly elaborating the section on economic inequalities addressing the structural aspects at national and global level, including trade policies. There exist convincing examples that by redistributive policies such as tax and provision of public social services and by providing social protection governments can not only reduce inequality but also benefit the economy. Achieving inclusive economic transformation means revisiting how economic resources are generated, distributed and who has control over them. Critically, it demands a shift of power, opportunities and entitlements in favour of people living in poverty. Inclusive economic development cannot happen unless women are empowered to drive changes in economies, access decent work opportunities and benefit from these, and unless unpaid care work is taken into account and responsibilities redistributed. Otherwise the potential of half the population is systematically being left out of the balance sheet – locally, nationally and globally.

Due to the asymmetric intra-household power relations women’s lack of control over their money and earnings and are underrepresented in economic policy making, and in the business sector board rooms. We must commit to tackling structural barriers to fulfilling women’s economic rights, notably:
• access to decent work for women
• ending violence against women and girls including in the workplace
• addressing women’s unequal responsibility for unpaid care work
• ensuring women’s land and inheritance rights
• securing women’s power to decide and control their finances and resources.

Political inequalities
ActionAid Denmark is alarmed over the lack of clear messages regarding ”political inequalities”. It is an objective on its own but also a critical means to achievement of equality and a just distribution of resources that all citizens, including women and indigenous people, have free access and equal opportunity to participate in the political processes at all levels. This entails also supporting political empowerment and strengthening women’s decision-making power and capacity in formal and informal decision-making spaces, including the home, communities, local, district and national administrations by ensuring political literacy, support entering political spheres and support for meaningful participation and influence on decisions.
Women’s rights and gender equality
A strong and well-resourced standalone goal on women’s empowerment and gender equality , together with the mainstreaming of transformative gender targets across the framework, is the approach most likely to address the structural inequalities, which persist for women and girls and to create sustainable and effective action on gender equality and women’s rights. To achieve real and sustainable change, the post 2015 framework must focus on the social transformations needed to tackle poverty and empower people living in poverty. Due to the intersectionality of inequalities women and girls are disproportionally represented amongst the poorest and most disadvantaged in society. Social transformation cannot happen unless we tackle the underlying causes of inequality and removing the structural barriers. A barrier that is imbedded in both economic and social structures is unpaid care work.
A standing goal is needed to secure necessary resources, political attention, and to drive mainstreaming efforts across the framework. A standalone goal would situate issues as women’s political, economic and legal empowerment and combatting violence against women in all its forms in all contexts and ensuring SRHR - at the centre of development debates and discourse. To address these concerns as standalone goals shows their centrality to development and the need for political will and resources to address them.
Unpaid care work
Unpaid care work is essential to human development and sustaining households and communities. However, women’s disproportionate responsibility for this work is a principal barrier to the fulfilment of her civil, economic, social and cultural human rights.
The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) recognises women’s disproportionate burden of care in General Recommendation 21, “The responsibilities that women have to bear and raise children will affect their right to access education, employment and other activities related to their personal development. They also impose inequitable burdens of work on women.” Women’s roles as caregivers can undermine their rights to decent work, health, education, and political organisation. The violation of these rights then reinforces gender inequalities, as women are disadvantaged at the labour market and in the political system. Further a consequence is that paid care work is undervalued and thus contributes to the gender wage gap.
Triple R strategy towards Equality
ActionAid Denmark recommends a threefold strategy that recognise, reduce and redistribute unpaid care work is a vehicle to economic, legal and political empowerment. To recognise women’s work means making it visible within the community and society at large. - Time use surveys are a relevant tool. To reduce it means identifying policies that can minimise the difficulty, and therefore time, of undertaking unpaid care work – this includes investments in labour saving technologies focused on household level: fuel-saving stoves, mills, wells, piped water or sustainable fuels could be effective in reducing the time women and girls spend on unpaid care work. There are some responsibilities where it is not possible, nor desirable, to reduce the amount of time expensed – such as on childcare. To redistribute responsibilities include transferring responsibilities to the state as the primary duty-bearer. - Provision of social services, healthcare and protection of workers’ rights are means to deliver care, while creating employment for women. Further a more equitable division of labour in the household between women and men is desirable.

Access to decent work for women
Women living in poverty frequently lack access to decent work within formal and informal economies. In many countries, the structure of economies and labour regulations make it more likely that women find themselves in informal employment. Low wages, poor working conditions and flexible contracts that make these women more vulnerable to economic shocks are common realities for many women. We recommend the report to more comprehensively address these aspects of structural embedded inequalities at the labour marked and how they are reproduced and reinforce inequality in other spheres of life.
Women’s rights to Land
ActionAid Denmark appreciate that the issue of land is included in the draft report, however the report need to refer to this issue explicitly under the recommendations for economic equalities.
The question of smallholders and in particular women’s access to and control over land should be regarded a key concern for economic and legal equality but also with the view to sustainable development, food security and poverty reduction. -
Land tenure, is at the heart of many problems as it is difficult for poor women and men farmers and peasants to sustain themselves with limited and insecure access to land. The impact is felt most gravely by women, who face particular social and cultural barriers to their access to and control over land. Unless more effective government legislation on land tenure security and agricultural investment is developed and enforced, rural communities around the world will continue to be vulnerable to land grabbing and food insecurity. Land grabbing by external investors is more likely to take place in contexts where vulnerable communities do not have secure land tenure and where there is weak or unimplemented land legislation, coupled with discriminatory traditional practices.
The negative impacts of large-scale land acquisitions should be mitigated by incorporating the Voluntary Guidelines on governance of land tenure into national legislation, making provisions sensitive to each country’s circumstances but nonetheless upholding the main principles, especially on gender equality.
Women play a critical role in agriculture in developing countries contributing to ensuring food security and nutrition. Women are farmers, unpaid workers on family farms, paid or unpaid agricultural labourers on other farms and agricultural enterprises, food processors and vendors, home gardeners, cooks, and carers for children, sick and the elderly.
It is important to stress the need for securing women’s access, control and ownership of land as well as access to common lands and women’s rights to land in customary systems. Customary land management practices guide land governance in many rural communities. Ensuring that national and local land legislation and associated administrative procedures sufficiently recognise and adapt to customary systems – while respecting women’s equal right to land – is critical to ensuring land tenure security. The existence of plural systems can lead to a lack of clarity over land rights, and can be a major loophole for land grabbing. Therefore we recommend integrating into national policy and legislation customary institutions and functions that are accessible and non-discriminatory towards women. Governments should integrate where possible, the (often) different local tenure systems in legislation in order to promote land tenure security.




See Putting women at the centre of the post 2015 economic transformation agenda
ActionAid UK 2013
Unpaid Care Work: “The term ‘unpaid’ differentiates this care from paid care provided by employees in the public and NGO sectors and employees and self-employed persons in the private sector. The word ‘care’ indicates that the services provided nurture other people. The word ‘work’ indicates that these activities are costly in time and energy and are undertaken as obligations (contractual or social).” - Diane Elson, ‘Unpaid Care Work.’ UNDP: Policy Brief Issue: Gender Equality and Poverty Reduction, Issue 1.Oct 2009.
More than 100 member countries of the United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS) unanimously adopted the "Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests" in Rome on 11 May 2012. The Guidelines provide guidance, mostly to govern¬ments, on how to improve the development and implementation of land rights and tenure governance systems. As the first-ever global land tenure agreement that is anchored in a rights-based approach with a gender focus, the Guidelines have significant potential to protect community rights if adopted and implemented. At the same time, the Guidelines need to be improved, since they are only voluntary, do not oppose as a matter of principle large-scale acquisitions and fail to recognise the principle of free, prior and informed consent of non-indigenous poor communities. http://www.fao.org/nr/tenure/voluntary-guidelines/en/
Anonymous from Array
Son las 11.13 pm de Jue, Enero 31, 2013
Comments on the
Draft Report on the Global Thematic Consultation on Inequalities
We would like to express our appreciation of the opportunity for engagement in the process offered through the extensive global public consultation. The inclusiveness of the process is a positive step towards stronger ownership. However, we remain concerned at the suggestion of a post-2015 framework that does not have a separate and explicit focus on achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women. A new framework must tackle gender inequality head-on, with a standalone goal alongside mainstreamed targets that address the specific rights and experiences of women and girls.
ActionAid Denmark believes the Post 2015 framework should have a human rights approach that addresses the root causes of poverty, namely inequality, exclusion and unequal power relations from within the household to the global level. This must be based upon challenging the asymmetric power structures and the advancement of democratic governance and accountability. Therefore we are very pleased, that the Draft Report on Inequality reflects the importance of human rights in this context.
Principles for the new framework
ActionAid Denmark strongly supports the merging of the Post 2015 and SDG (sustainable development goals) agenda. A new comprehensive framework should apply the principles of universality, adaptability and accountability. Goals should be embedded for all countries, global north and south while allowing for adaptability to national contexts. The principle of common but differentiated responsibility should be adopted. The post 2015 framework including sustainable development goals must be backed up by strong accountability mechanisms not only for a governing body but also to the citizens to ensure progress towards the goals.
Inequality is unsustainable
Worldwide there remains discrimination across economic, legal, social and policies and inherent gender disparities remain a major driver of poverty. The post-2015 framework is a vital opportunity to combat discrimination and ensure realizing women’s rights and gender equality remains an international priority as an objective in its own right and a critical means to poverty eradication and sustainable development.
ActionAid Denmark recommends strongly elaborating the section on economic inequalities addressing the structural aspects at national and global level, including trade policies. There exist convincing examples that by redistributive policies such as tax and provision of public social services and by providing social protection governments can not only reduce inequality but also benefit the economy. Achieving inclusive economic transformation means revisiting how economic resources are generated, distributed and who has control over them. Critically, it demands a shift of power, opportunities and entitlements in favour of people living in poverty. Inclusive economic development cannot happen unless women are empowered to drive changes in economies, access decent work opportunities and benefit from these, and unless unpaid care work is taken into account and responsibilities redistributed. Otherwise the potential of half the population is systematically being left out of the balance sheet – locally, nationally and globally.

Due to the asymmetric intra-household power relations women’s lack of control over their money and earnings and are underrepresented in economic policy making, and in the business sector board rooms. We must commit to tackling structural barriers to fulfilling women’s economic rights, notably:
• access to decent work for women
• ending violence against women and girls including in the workplace
• addressing women’s unequal responsibility for unpaid care work
• ensuring women’s land and inheritance rights
• securing women’s power to decide and control their finances and resources.

Political inequalities
ActionAid Denmark is alarmed over the lack of clear messages regarding ”political inequalities”. It is an objective on its own but also a critical means to achievement of equality and a just distribution of resources that all citizens, including women and indigenous people, have free access and equal opportunity to participate in the political processes at all levels. This entails also supporting political empowerment and strengthening women’s decision-making power and capacity in formal and informal decision-making spaces, including the home, communities, local, district and national administrations by ensuring political literacy, support entering political spheres and support for meaningful participation and influence on decisions.
Women’s rights and gender equality
A strong and well-resourced standalone goal on women’s empowerment and gender equality , together with the mainstreaming of transformative gender targets across the framework, is the approach most likely to address the structural inequalities, which persist for women and girls and to create sustainable and effective action on gender equality and women’s rights. To achieve real and sustainable change, the post 2015 framework must focus on the social transformations needed to tackle poverty and empower people living in poverty. Due to the intersectionality of inequalities women and girls are disproportionally represented amongst the poorest and most disadvantaged in society. Social transformation cannot happen unless we tackle the underlying causes of inequality and removing the structural barriers. A barrier that is imbedded in both economic and social structures is unpaid care work.
A standing goal is needed to secure necessary resources, political attention, and to drive mainstreaming efforts across the framework. A standalone goal would situate issues as women’s political, economic and legal empowerment and combatting violence against women in all its forms in all contexts and ensuring SRHR - at the centre of development debates and discourse. To address these concerns as standalone goals shows their centrality to development and the need for political will and resources to address them.
Unpaid care work
Unpaid care work is essential to human development and sustaining households and communities. However, women’s disproportionate responsibility for this work is a principal barrier to the fulfilment of her civil, economic, social and cultural human rights.
The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) recognises women’s disproportionate burden of care in General Recommendation 21, “The responsibilities that women have to bear and raise children will affect their right to access education, employment and other activities related to their personal development. They also impose inequitable burdens of work on women.” Women’s roles as caregivers can undermine their rights to decent work, health, education, and political organisation. The violation of these rights then reinforces gender inequalities, as women are disadvantaged at the labour market and in the political system. Further a consequence is that paid care work is undervalued and thus contributes to the gender wage gap.
Triple R strategy towards Equality
ActionAid Denmark recommends a threefold strategy that recognise, reduce and redistribute unpaid care work is a vehicle to economic, legal and political empowerment. To recognise women’s work means making it visible within the community and society at large. - Time use surveys are a relevant tool. To reduce it means identifying policies that can minimise the difficulty, and therefore time, of undertaking unpaid care work – this includes investments in labour saving technologies focused on household level: fuel-saving stoves, mills, wells, piped water or sustainable fuels could be effective in reducing the time women and girls spend on unpaid care work. There are some responsibilities where it is not possible, nor desirable, to reduce the amount of time expensed – such as on childcare. To redistribute responsibilities include transferring responsibilities to the state as the primary duty-bearer. - Provision of social services, healthcare and protection of workers’ rights are means to deliver care, while creating employment for women. Further a more equitable division of labour in the household between women and men is desirable.

Access to decent work for women
Women living in poverty frequently lack access to decent work within formal and informal economies. In many countries, the structure of economies and labour regulations make it more likely that women find themselves in informal employment. Low wages, poor working conditions and flexible contracts that make these women more vulnerable to economic shocks are common realities for many women. We recommend the report to more comprehensively address these aspects of structural embedded inequalities at the labour marked and how they are reproduced and reinforce inequality in other spheres of life.
Women’s rights to Land
ActionAid Denmark appreciate that the issue of land is included in the draft report, however the report need to refer to this issue explicitly under the recommendations for economic equalities.
The question of smallholders and in particular women’s access to and control over land should be regarded a key concern for economic and legal equality but also with the view to sustainable development, food security and poverty reduction. -
Land tenure, is at the heart of many problems as it is difficult for poor women and men farmers and peasants to sustain themselves with limited and insecure access to land. The impact is felt most gravely by women, who face particular social and cultural barriers to their access to and control over land. Unless more effective government legislation on land tenure security and agricultural investment is developed and enforced, rural communities around the world will continue to be vulnerable to land grabbing and food insecurity. Land grabbing by external investors is more likely to take place in contexts where vulnerable communities do not have secure land tenure and where there is weak or unimplemented land legislation, coupled with discriminatory traditional practices.
The negative impacts of large-scale land acquisitions should be mitigated by incorporating the Voluntary Guidelines on governance of land tenure into national legislation, making provisions sensitive to each country’s circumstances but nonetheless upholding the main principles, especially on gender equality.
Women play a critical role in agriculture in developing countries contributing to ensuring food security and nutrition. Women are farmers, unpaid workers on family farms, paid or unpaid agricultural labourers on other farms and agricultural enterprises, food processors and vendors, home gardeners, cooks, and carers for children, sick and the elderly.
It is important to stress the need for securing women’s access, control and ownership of land as well as access to common lands and women’s rights to land in customary systems. Customary land management practices guide land governance in many rural communities. Ensuring that national and local land legislation and associated administrative procedures sufficiently recognise and adapt to customary systems – while respecting women’s equal right to land – is critical to ensuring land tenure security. The existence of plural systems can lead to a lack of clarity over land rights, and can be a major loophole for land grabbing. Therefore we recommend integrating into national policy and legislation customary institutions and functions that are accessible and non-discriminatory towards women. Governments should integrate where possible, the (often) different local tenure systems in legislation in order to promote land tenure security.
Anonymous from Array
Son las 10.52 pm de Jue, Enero 31, 2013
Comments on the
Draft Report on the Global Thematic Consultation on Inequalities
We would like to express our appreciation of the opportunity for engagement in the process offered through the extensive global public consultation. The inclusiveness of the process is a positive step towards stronger ownership. However, we remain concerned at the suggestion of a post-2015 framework that does not have a separate and explicit focus on achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women. A new framework must tackle gender inequality head-on, with a standalone goal alongside mainstreamed targets that address the specific rights and experiences of women and girls.
ActionAid Denmark believes the Post 2015 framework should have a human rights approach that addresses the root causes of poverty, namely inequality, exclusion and unequal power relations from within the household to the global level. This must be based upon challenging the asymmetric power structures and the advancement of democratic governance and accountability. Therefore we are very pleased, that the Draft Report on Inequality reflects the importance of human rights in this context.
Principles for the new framework
ActionAid Denmark strongly supports the merging of the Post 2015 and SDG (sustainable development goals) agenda. A new comprehensive framework should apply the principles of universality, adaptability and accountability. Goals should be embedded for all countries, global north and south while allowing for adaptability to national contexts. The principle of common but differentiated responsibility should be adopted. The post 2015 framework including sustainable development goals must be backed up by strong accountability mechanisms not only for a governing body but also to the citizens to ensure progress towards the goals.
Inequality is unsustainable
Worldwide there remains discrimination across economic, legal, social and policies and inherent gender disparities remain a major driver of poverty. The post-2015 framework is a vital opportunity to combat discrimination and ensure realizing women’s rights and gender equality remains an international priority as an objective in its own right and a critical means to poverty eradication and sustainable development.
ActionAid Denmark recommends strongly elaborating the section on economic inequalities addressing the structural aspects at national and global level, including trade policies. There exist convincing examples that by redistributive policies such as tax and provision of public social services and by providing social protection governments can not only reduce inequality but also benefit the economy. Achieving inclusive economic transformation means revisiting how economic resources are generated, distributed and who has control over them. Critically, it demands a shift of power, opportunities and entitlements in favour of people living in poverty. Inclusive economic development cannot happen unless women are empowered to drive changes in economies, access decent work opportunities and benefit from these, and unless unpaid care work is taken into account and responsibilities redistributed. Otherwise the potential of half the population is systematically being left out of the balance sheet – locally, nationally and globally.

Due to the asymmetric intra-household power relations women’s lack of control over their money and earnings and are underrepresented in economic policy making, and in the business sector board rooms. We must commit to tackling structural barriers to fulfilling women’s economic rights, notably:
• access to decent work for women
• ending violence against women and girls including in the workplace
• addressing women’s unequal responsibility for unpaid care work
• ensuring women’s land and inheritance rights
• securing women’s power to decide and control their finances and resources.

Political inequalities
ActionAid Denmark is alarmed over the lack of clear messages regarding ”political inequalities”. It is an objective on its own but also a critical means to achievement of equality and a just distribution of resources that all citizens, including women and indigenous people, have free access and equal opportunity to participate in the political processes at all levels. This entails also supporting political empowerment and strengthening women’s decision-making power and capacity in formal and informal decision-making spaces, including the home, communities, local, district and national administrations by ensuring political literacy, support entering political spheres and support for meaningful participation and influence on decisions.
Women’s rights and gender equality
A strong and well-resourced standalone goal on women’s empowerment and gender equality , together with the mainstreaming of transformative gender targets across the framework, is the approach most likely to address the structural inequalities, which persist for women and girls and to create sustainable and effective action on gender equality and women’s rights. To achieve real and sustainable change, the post 2015 framework must focus on the social transformations needed to tackle poverty and empower people living in poverty. Due to the intersectionality of inequalities women and girls are disproportionally represented amongst the poorest and most disadvantaged in society. Social transformation cannot happen unless we tackle the underlying causes of inequality and removing the structural barriers. A barrier that is imbedded in both economic and social structures is unpaid care work.
A standing goal is needed to secure necessary resources, political attention, and to drive mainstreaming efforts across the framework. A standalone goal would situate issues as women’s political, economic and legal empowerment and combatting violence against women in all its forms in all contexts and ensuring SRHR - at the centre of development debates and discourse. To address these concerns as standalone goals shows their centrality to development and the need for political will and resources to address them.
Unpaid care work
Unpaid care work is essential to human development and sustaining households and communities. However, women’s disproportionate responsibility for this work is a principal barrier to the fulfilment of her civil, economic, social and cultural human rights.
The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) recognises women’s disproportionate burden of care in General Recommendation 21, “The responsibilities that women have to bear and raise children will affect their right to access education, employment and other activities related to their personal development. They also impose inequitable burdens of work on women.” Women’s roles as caregivers can undermine their rights to decent work, health, education, and political organisation. The violation of these rights then reinforces gender inequalities, as women are disadvantaged at the labour market and in the political system. Further a consequence is that paid care work is undervalued and thus contributes to the gender wage gap.
Triple R strategy towards Equality
ActionAid Denmark recommends a threefold strategy that recognise, reduce and redistribute unpaid care work is a vehicle to economic, legal and political empowerment. To recognise women’s work means making it visible within the community and society at large. - Time use surveys are a relevant tool. To reduce it means identifying policies that can minimise the difficulty, and therefore time, of undertaking unpaid care work – this includes investments in labour saving technologies focused on household level: fuel-saving stoves, mills, wells, piped water or sustainable fuels could be effective in reducing the time women and girls spend on unpaid care work. There are some responsibilities where it is not possible, nor desirable, to reduce the amount of time expensed – such as on childcare. To redistribute responsibilities include transferring responsibilities to the state as the primary duty-bearer. - Provision of social services, healthcare and protection of workers’ rights are means to deliver care, while creating employment for women. Further a more equitable division of labour in the household between women and men is desirable.

Access to decent work for women
Women living in poverty frequently lack access to decent work within formal and informal economies. In many countries, the structure of economies and labour regulations make it more likely that women find themselves in informal employment. Low wages, poor working conditions and flexible contracts that make these women more vulnerable to economic shocks are common realities for many women. We recommend the report to more comprehensively address these aspects of structural embedded inequalities at the labour marked and how they are reproduced and reinforce inequality in other spheres of life.
Women’s rights to Land
ActionAid Denmark appreciate that the issue of land is included in the draft report, however the report need to refer to this issue explicitly under the recommendations for economic equalities.
The question of smallholders and in particular women’s access to and control over land should be regarded a key concern for economic and legal equality but also with the view to sustainable development, food security and poverty reduction. -
Land tenure, is at the heart of many problems as it is difficult for poor women and men farmers and peasants to sustain themselves with limited and insecure access to land. The impact is felt most gravely by women, who face particular social and cultural barriers to their access to and control over land. Unless more effective government legislation on land tenure security and agricultural investment is developed and enforced, rural communities around the world will continue to be vulnerable to land grabbing and food insecurity. Land grabbing by external investors is more likely to take place in contexts where vulnerable communities do not have secure land tenure and where there is weak or unimplemented land legislation, coupled with discriminatory traditional practices.
The negative impacts of large-scale land acquisitions should be mitigated by incorporating the Voluntary Guidelines on governance of land tenure into national legislation, making provisions sensitive to each country’s circumstances but nonetheless upholding the main principles, especially on gender equality.
Women play a critical role in agriculture in developing countries contributing to ensuring food security and nutrition. Women are farmers, unpaid workers on family farms, paid or unpaid agricultural labourers on other farms and agricultural enterprises, food processors and vendors, home gardeners, cooks, and carers for children, sick and the elderly.
It is important to stress the need for securing women’s access, control and ownership of land as well as access to common lands and women’s rights to land in customary systems. Customary land management practices guide land governance in many rural communities. Ensuring that national and local land legislation and associated administrative procedures sufficiently recognise and adapt to customary systems – while respecting women’s equal right to land – is critical to ensuring land tenure security. The existence of plural systems can lead to a lack of clarity over land rights, and can be a major loophole for land grabbing. Therefore we recommend integrating into national policy and legislation customary institutions and functions that are accessible and non-discriminatory towards women. Governments should integrate where possible, the (often) different local tenure systems in legislation in order to promote land tenure security.
Anonymous from Array
Son las 10.16 pm de Jue, Enero 31, 2013
The Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (YCSRR) welcomes the opportunity to provide feedback on the Draft Report on the Global Thematic Consultation on Inequalities. Having contributed to various components of the Thematic Consultation on Inequalities; specifically: Young People and Inequalities, Inequalities and the LGBTQI Community and Gender-based Inequalities, the YCSRR commends the discussion moderators and co-led UN agencies and organizations for compiling the extensive data.

The YCSRR also commends the authors for highlighting the intersectional analysis of inequalities and for recognizing that a development framework that prioritizes equality, human rights, universality and non discrimination, is key to combating inequalities and achieving development goals. Specific to the YCSRR’s key areas of work, we commend the authors for recognizing the fundamental linkages between sexual and reproductive rights and gender-based inequalities. Specifically, the report acknowledges the equal standing of sexual and reproductive rights, alongside all other human rights. We welcome the recommendations on sexual and reproductive health rights as the lack of commitment and focus on this as a priority issue, was a major failing of the MDG framework. Finally, the YCSRR commends the authors for recognizing that expanding access to decent work for women, young people and other groups requires specific actions and measures.

Reflecting on these aspects of the report, the YCSRR draws attention to areas which we feel could be strengthened, while highlighting their importance within the post-2015 development framework. Specifically, the YCSRR calls on the authors of the report to:

Ensure that human rights are essential recommendation and central to the post-2015 development agenda and not present them simply as evidence and in support of data. In this context, all stakeholders must acknowledge the social, cultural and religious norms and political and legal structures that prevent the full exercise of human rights, preventing states from committing to the realization of universal human rights. In particular, legal barriers that prevent women and girls from fully realizing their right to live free from discrimination, violence and stigma, including policy and legal barriers that result in sexual and reproductive health services that are criminalized or not accessible, quality, legal or safe, including abortion.

Consider the needs and experiences of LGBTQI people from a rights-based perspective. It is also important to consider the barriers to accessing services (including health and education) and employment that LGBTQI people face, particularly young LGBTQI people; in addition to the legal protections required to prevent rights-based violations or criminalization based on sexual orientation. As such, we encourage the writers to expand the section on gender-based violence to highlight violence and discrimination against LGBTQI people. Specifically, we recommend that the section on inequalities and LGBTQI people on page 29 be expanded to reflect the specific inequalities that young LGBTQI people experience. Young LGBTIQ people experience severe inequalities because of their sexual orientations and gender identities. Such inequalities persist in the form of violence, stigma, discrimination, persecution, denial of access to services and information, bullying, and criminalization, among many others. Young LGBTIQ people experience these violations of their human rights all around the world, every single day.

Expand the ‘Inequalities and children’ section to include specific reference to young people and adolescents. In this context it is essential that our evolving capacities be considered when discussing our ability to make free and informed decisions regarding our health and well-being. It is also important to recognize the important role that access to rights-based comprehensive sexuality education has when ensuring that we have the information and skills required to live healthy lives, express our sexuality and enjoy equitable relationships. The report on page 26 alludes to women lacking access to comprehensive information, but provides no concrete examples or recommendations. This section also fails to address that services are not only not available or accessible, but are often criminalized, such as in the case of abortion, unsafe and are not provided as part of a comprehensive package of health services that are free of stigma and discrimination. Parental and spousal consent and how this impact the rights of young people and adolescents in realizing their rights in all aspects of their lives must be highlighted further in the report.

Highlight the impact of gender-based violence on girls and young women using the intersectional analysis advanced throughout the paper. For example, violence against young women, especially young brides, in the home is a serious problem that reflects both gender and age discrimination.

A group that is not mentioned in the report, but requires substantive recognition is sex workers. Their experience of serious human rights violations, discrimination, stigma and marginalization in both social and economic contexts is important to highlight and address throughout the report.

Shifting the focus towards what can concretely be done to address the myriad of inequalities experienced by people of all ages, backgrounds, nationalities and geographic locations, we draw specific attention to the recommendations sections that address Social and Economic inequalities.

In the Economic inequalities Section (p.37-40), the YCSRR calls on the authors to:
- Identify the equal rights of women to own and inherit land and other resources (as made reference to on p.16).
Address the promotion of women and transgender people’s access to decent work and the elimination of wage disparities (as referenced on p. 14-15) and the reduction of reduce unequal burden of unpaid and domestic work (as referenced on p. 14-15).
- Establish specific measures to address the above, as well as to combat violence against women, girls, sex workers and LGBTQI people; particularly migrant women, and those working in the sphere of domestic employment (p. 14-15)
- Recognize respect for and promotion of our right to education; as a means of ensuring our transition to decent work, healthy futures and overall well-being. Young people can no longer be viewed as those perpetuating civil invest and violence, but rather as rights-holders; who when empowered with their rights can achieve positive outcomes. As referenced to on page 15, referring to our generation as ‘combustible’ perpetuates fear of young people and stigmatizes us as angry, aggressive, and violent. To avoid such stereotypes and in order to protect our rights, we require that governments take specific measures to address youth unemployment, with measures to address the specific needs and experiences of young women and girls. Practically, this means establishing education targets at all levels, and creating enabling environments that consider and address dropout rates, bullying and gender-based inequalities.

In the Social Equalities recommendations section, the YCSRR calls on the authors to:
- Recognize sexual and reproductive rights, as human rights. This is fundamental towards ensuring that we as young people have access to the information and services we need to live healthy and productive lives. This recognition provides us and our allies with the tools needed to hold governments, and other stakeholders, accountable when upholding all rights associated with sexual and reproductive rights, including the right to health, the right to education, the right to live free from all forms of stigma and discrimination, among many other rights.
- Recognize the needs and experiences of marginalized populations that are vulnerable to human rights abuses, including sex workers. We also call on the authors to pay particular attention to the needs, experiences and realities of adolescents, ensuring that their human rights, particularly their sexual and reproductive rights are respected and promoted.
Recognize the our specific Right to highest possible standard of physical and mental health. For young people, this means guaranteeing our right to a comprehensive package of sexual and reproductive health services and information, that is non-discriminatory, equal, respectful, affordable, accessible, and provided in a youth-friendly manner. This also means removing political and legal barriers that criminalize health services, including abortion.
- Recognize our right to live free of all forms of stigma, discrimination and violence; which includes the elimination of harmful traditional, religious and cultural practices. Regarding the references to violence against women in the report, we urge the authors to reframe the discussion on page 19, specifically, the graph “When are men justified in beating their wives? Women’s responses,” which reveals important and troubling information about wide levels of acceptability of violence against women. It is essential that this reference be considered from an intersecting factors of oppression perspective. WIthout such an analysis, the graph and corresponding discussion pigeon holes’ women who experience violence as permanent victims, thereby removing their agency and limiting society’s role in ensuring that women’s right to life, and to live free from all forms of stigma, discrimination and violence is guaranteed.
Anonymous from Array
Son las 09.51 pm de Jue, Enero 31, 2013
NCD Alliance Comments on the Inequalities Consultation Draft

The NCD Alliance (NCDA) is a network of over 2,000 civil society organisations from 170 countries united by our vision for a future free from preventable suffering and death caused NCDs. Our founders are four leading international federations- the Union for International Cancer Control, the International Diabetes Federation, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, and the World Heart Federation.

The draft report on the inequalities consultation highlights the economic, social and environmental inequalities that have contributed to poverty. It provides recommendations on tackling inequalities for the dimensions mentioned above as well as for specific focus groups, gender, minorities, and children.

However the draft report fails to address the impact of inequalities in health on poverty and development. It does not provide a vision for health in terms of reducing inequalities in sexual and reproductive health, infectious diseases, and non-communicable diseases (cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes).

Death and disability from NCDs are both a result of and an outcome of social and economic inequalities. Evident within and across countries and at all income levels, stark disparities exacerbate poor health outcomes and threaten to negatively impact progress made across all dimensions of human development.

Equitable access to healthcare is a prerequisite for sustainable development and improves outcomes across various health issues. It is vital that health systems strengthening efforts ensure more equitable access to acute and chronic care to ensure equity and rights to health. Health systems that offer a wider range of care, with special attention the health needs of vulnerable populations (e.g. women, children, indigenous peoples), are urgently required.

Gender Impact

NCDs are a leading cause of death for women. They cause 65% of all female deaths, amounting to 18 million deaths each year in most countries. Although on average women live longer than men, they are in poor health for many of those years as a result of NCDs. As well as a high death toll, NCDs cause serious complications and disability.

As a result of socioeconomic conditions, girls and women with NCDs experience specific barriers in preventing NCDs and accessing affordable diagnosis, management, and treatment, particularly in developing countries. The low socio-economic, legal and political status of girls and women is increasing their exposure and vulnerability to the risk factors of NCDs - including poor diet and nutrition, physical inactivity, tobacco consultation and harmful use of alcohol. 60% of the world’s poor are women, twice as many women as men suffer from malnutrition, and two-thirds of illiterate adults are women. These underlying determinants are putting girls and women at a disadvantage in their capacity to protect themselves from the main NCD risk factors

Girls and women living with NCDs experience specific challenges in accessing cost-effective prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment and care of NCDs, particularly in developing countries. Entrenched poverty, gender inequality, the stigma associated with NCDs, women’s family responsibilities and the costs of seeking care are all significant barriers. These factors are compounded by health systems that may fail to respond to the specific needs of girls and women with NCDs.

Despite being the biggest killers worldwide, a lack of awareness and misinformation can provoke NCD-related stigma in many countries, preventing people with NCDs from playing an active role in society.6 Women and men, girls and boys can suffer discrimination in employment, insurance, education and many other areas of life. Girls and women with NCDs can be discriminated against in terms of marriageability, which in many societies represents their main route to economic and social status, particularly in rural areas. This may discourage families in some societies from revealing the health status of their daughters and discourage them from seeking diagnosis and treatment. Women with NCDs are more likely to be divorced, separated or abandoned by their husbands, leaving them financially vulnerable.

Social Impact

Social protection programs to protect against low incomes and their structural causes, as well as sharp declines in income due to illness, old age, and other contingencies (disasters, market risks etc.) are especially relevant to equitably address the NCD challenge.

A variety of similar and complementary solutions can be applied to both NCDs and other established global health priorities. For example, universal access to affordable medications and treatments—including NCDs and infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS—is urgently needed worldwide. NCD prevention and control can help improve maternal health, by contributing to services for women’s health and by improving models of universal access to sexual and reproductive health.

Economic Impact

In addition to the human cost, NCDs are a major cause of poverty and a barrier to economic stability. These four diseases and related risk factors pose a severe threat to global, national, and household economies.

At the micro level, NCDs can have a devastating economic impact on families. Out of pocket payments for treatment and care can trap poor households in cycles of catastrophic expenditure, impoverishment and illness, particularly in LMICs that lack social and health insurance. Risk of financial ruin is further compounded by the shift in age distribution of NCDs in LMICs, where these diseases are increasingly striking household breadwinners. Debilitating complications and premature death of the main income earner means less money for basic necessities such as food and shelter and the key drivers of development such as education.

The economic effects of NCDs at the household level add up to substantial macroeconomic toll. Lost productivity and rising healthcare costs are crippling government budgets worldwide and slowing economic growth. NCDs are estimated to cause cumulative economic losses of nearly $500 billion USD per year, or a total of $47 trillion USD by 2030 . As the NCD epidemic grows fastest in resource-poor settings, significant investment in NCD prevention and control will be needed to support fragile health systems, stretched healthcare budgets and prevent economic progress being undermined.

As the global community evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of past development efforts, gauges current and emerging development challenges, and reflects upon the future we want, health equity and NCDs needs to be at forefront of development.
Sarah Green from Array
Son las 09.17 pm de Jue, Enero 31, 2013
From the High Level Task Force for ICPD Secretariat

We thank the drafters of the report and welcome this opportunity to provide the following brief comments for consideration in your process of finalization, as we consider they also reflect inputs provided by various stakeholders to the earlier online consultations – centred on gender equality, adolescents and youth and sexual and reproductive health and rights:

1) The introductory presentation of gender-based violence should be clearly referenced as a pervasive human rights violation (beyond “social ill”) and emphasize not only ‘bodily harm’ but the mental health and psychological aspects and consequences (we note these references come later, but suggest the initial framing be adjusted). The listing of forms early in that section should include “sexual violence” after IPV (as among the most prevalent) and add “among others” at end, given the many additional forms.

2) There appears to be limited attention to adolescents and youth overall. While youth employment issues are addressed in narrative, this is not clear in the recommendations – we suggest it be added, with attention to equal opportunities for young women. Adolescents, and in particular adolescent girls, seem to be neglected as a specific group facing gender, age and additional intersecting forms of inequality at a critical stage in life, especially (but not only) in the context of poverty. This includes issues of completing secondary education, accessing comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health information and services – including to prevent HIV, unwanted pregnancy and maternal mortality and morbidity among adolescent girls (including from unsafe abortion) as a leading cause of mortality in low and middle income countries- and gender-based violence perpetrated against adolescent girls and young women, especially as girls enter adolescence and including various forms of sexual violence and harmful practices.

3) Gender inequality and transforming social norms and practices: To address the cultural and traditional norms that perpetuate gender discrimination and violence (as acknowledged in the earlier part of the draft) the recommendations should include a call for measures to eliminate barriers and revoke customary, traditional or religious practices that nullify women’s and girls’ enjoyment of their human rights and freedoms, including as regards their rights to freedom from gender-based violence and access to justice, sexual and reproductive health and rights and access to related health services.

Related, the role of men and boys in this process is neglected; a recommendation could include measures and efforts to engage them as responsible partners and agents for positive change in advancing gender equality in public and private life, ending violence against women and girls, and fulfilling sexual and reproductive health and rights.

4) The term `sexual and reproductive health and rights’ should be used (instead of ‘sexual and reproductive health rights’), as encompassing the range of human rights principles (beyond rights to health implicit in the term used in the draft).

5) “Tackling SRR inequalities requires multisectoral, rights-based approaches, as well as “a comprehensive health policy and universal access to quality, integrated sexual and reproductive health information and services”.

Finally, while we note the recommendation on a goal on social inequalities, we hope the final report reflects the calls for explicit attention (including as a specific goal/highest order of the development framework) to women’s empowerment and gender equality as structural social, economic, political and cultural inequality.
Anonymous from Array
Son las 08.19 pm de Jue, Enero 31, 2013
I strongly support Dr. Zainul that inequalities can be eradicated only if the root cause is directly addressed. Girls and boys deserve to be treated with equal dignity care and rights. We should begin right from nuturing the female fetus to giving the girl child social, cultural and political status and power.
Anonymous from Array
Son las 07.38 pm de Jue, Enero 31, 2013
The draft report covers an impressive range of ground, providing a sensitive and informative summary of the wide-ranging contributions that have been made to the consultation across multiple dimensions of inequality. The recommendations that the report puts forward are sound, including the emphasis on the need for disaggregated data, and the suggestions for the types of targets that would help to tackle inequality across different thematic goal areas. However, we are extremely concerned that the report does not include a stronger focus on gender inequality, or make a recommendation for a standalone goal on women’s empowerment.

Women are not a minority group in society, yet continue to suffer disproportionately from discrimination and poverty across all four dimensions of inequality highlighted in the report. The MDG framework recognised the need for focused action to address this critical issue through defining gender equality and women’s empowerment as a standalone goal. This helped to make the issue more visible, mobilising political will and funding to advance women’s rights. Whilst it is widely accepted that the targets contained under MDG 3 did not go far enough, the goal itself was a step in the right direction. It is therefore both disappointing and worrying that the draft inequalities report does not make a recommendation for a standalone goal on gender equality and women’s empowerment. This is not only a symbolic step backwards, but also risks eroding the funding and political awareness that are desperately needed to realise women’s fundamental right to equality and freedom from discrimination.

As highlighted in VSO’s submission to the inequalities consultation, and in the Gender and Development Network’s submission and subsequent report, the inclusion of a standalone goal on gender equality and women’s empowerment in the post-2015 framework would allow for issues to be tackled that do not fall under other goal areas. This point is made in the draft report’s recommendation for a broad goal on social inequality (p.56), but would have been stronger if made in reference to a standalone goal on gender equality. Eliminating discrimination in women’s participation in public and political life is also notable in its absence in the list of recommended targets for the proposed social inequality goal (p.55). This issue is referred to only implicitly, without reference to gender, in the recommendation for targets to tackle “all manifestations of discrimination” and in the recommendations for political equalities (p.55). Explicit and concrete targets on women’s participation and influence are needed. Advances in this area would not only help to realise women’s fundamental right to participate in society on an equal basis to men, but would also help to tackle the discriminatory social norms and attitudes that lie at the heart of gender inequality, and improve the quality and representativeness of public decision making.

Finally, we welcome the draft report’s warning that the use of simple and proxy indicators could distract policy attention from the inherent complexities that underpin multiple and intersecting manifestations of inequality (p.57). This argument would be stronger if accompanied by practical recommendations of how to guard against this, including the inclusion of self-reported or subjective indicators that directly monitor discriminatory social norms and marginalised people’s own sense of agency and opportunity. The report could also be strengthened by recommendations about how political inequalities could be tackled through the accountability and implementation mechanisms of the new framework, as well as through its goals and targets. For example, mechanisms should be provided that enable associations and voluntary groups that work with marginalised people to participate in the processes of setting contextualised targets, monitoring progress and holding leaders to account. Such mechanisms would serve a dual purpose of helping to increase the influence and participation of marginalised groups, whilst also helping to ensure that the framework is implemented in an effective and accountable manner.
Anonymous from Array
Son las 06.17 pm de Jue, Enero 31, 2013
Greetings from UNICEF Turkey Office Social Policy Section! First of all, we would like to thank you for putting this comprehensive, well-organized, excellent report together.
As UNICEF Turkey Office we led national consultations on inequalities and we were able to address inequalities in health, education, gender inequalities, disability and inequalities and poverty, social policy and inequalities through several round table discussions with the participation of government, private sector, academia and civil society representatives.

Most of the key messages highlighted by the participant in these national consultations are already reflected in this global draft report on inequalities. There are only three points we would like to suggest to add in the report since these points were strongly underlined during the national consultations by participants.

1. Child labour in post 2015: In the report, there is no mention to child labour at all. As we all know, child labour is both a cause and a consequence of poverty and inequalities and lead to intergenerational transfer of poverty if not addressed properly and adequately. The rise of unemployment during the financial and economic crisis has led to an increase in the rate of child labour in many countries. Although action to eliminate child labour has been a hot topic on the agenda since many years, it should not lose its priority in post 2015.

2. Social policies should not target a group at the expense of other groups: Social policies introduced to reduce inequalities especially the ones for care of children, elderly and disabled, puts main responsibilities on women’s shoulders. At least, this was the case in the Turkish context and should be relevant for other countries too. These policies have increased the well-being of children, elderly and disabled while deteriorating the status of women and increases the already existing gender equality. Therefore, social policies should be designed delicately making sure that they will not do harm on one group while improving the conditions of others.

3. Lack of publicity of the available services and assistance: The need to have accessible and affordable social services has already been mentioned in the report. However, the lack of information on these available services still undermines the accessibility of the available programmes which might benefit the disadvantaged groups. That is to say, basic and social services and assistance schemes targeting to reduce inequalities should not only accessible and affordable but also publicly well-known.

We hope these comments are useful and we are more than happy to provide further details if needed.

Best regards.
Iraz Oyku SOYALP
Social Policy Officer, UNICEF Turkey
Anonymous from Array
Son las 06.13 pm de Jue, Enero 31, 2013
Identifying the root causes is fundamental towards achieving sustainable and high impact goals. Focused attention on 0 – 15 is critical if we are to make achieve a better quality of life for girls and boys living with poverty. I concur with Dr. Zainul Sajan Virgi.
Fran Luke from Array
Son las 04.46 pm de Jue, Enero 31, 2013
Once again, in the spirit of discourse, it is my assertion the root cause is empire. No longer completely empire of the United States, now failing, or even empire of the so-called tri-lateral countries of the west. Like all empires in history these have started to cannibalize themselves. This form of empire differs from those of history. It is globalization, the empire of unregulated corporate capitalism, of profit. It may have begun in the west, but is now reaching into every corner of the world. If this path is not altered there will be nowhere to hide and nothing left for our children.
There is mention of social and cultural determinant with regard to inequalities. Are not these determinants formed through the education system of empire, whether through schooling or implicitly? I am in many ways a product of western knowledge and indoctrination, as are, I suspect many of the contributors to this discussion. It is perhaps time to look past our conditioning. On another point, how sustainable is a ground-up approach on a large scale when the oppression is applied from above?
Hallo FORDI, it’s nice to see solidarity, even if I am again left to the end.  :-)
Valerie Slonecki from Array
Son las 10.00 pm de Mié, Marzo 6, 2013
I could not agree with you more. I have long thought over coping with top-down oppression while having ground-up approaches as seemingly my only option. My answer has been CULTURE. This works for any society, anywhere in the world - change the oppressive parts of the prevailing culture and, in relatively short time, the policies etc will follow suit. There is no point in changing policy if we don't change the people creating it or those intended to abide by said policy. Changing culture absolutely works from a ground-up approach.
Basu Guragain from Array
Son las 04.31 pm de Jue, Enero 31, 2013
I am gay man from Nepal.The discrimination and stigma we are facing in Nepal being a LGBTI people.I would like to share how are rights are not ensure by family or society or government.The inequality being a gay man is a not fair for us.I want a world where there is no inequality for any cast or sexuality.
Anonymous from Array
Son las 03.32 pm de Jue, Enero 31, 2013
IBON INTERNATIONAL SUBMISSION FOR THE DRAFT INEQUALITIES REPORT

IBON International, as a member of the Campaign for People’s Goals, submits the following comments on the draft Report on the Global Thematic Consultation on Inequalities (Report on Inequalities):

The Campaign for People’s Goals for Sustainable Development is a global campaign of grassroots organizations, labor unions, social movements and non-governmental organizations and other institutions committed to promoting new pathways to the future we want.

The draft report is comprehensive in addressing various themes of inequality, however, we do not know to what extent the synthesis report is faithful to the submissions to the inequality consultation.

While the report covers many critical aspects which drive inequality, it falls short of making strong and detailed policy recommendations to address structural inequalities which will create real and sustainable equality. Some of these major gaps are:

1. On Redistribution

Over the last twenty years, there has been a marked increase in inequality, as the rich have become richer and the poor, poorer. Today, it is estimated that the wealthiest 30% account for 87% of the global wealth while the poorest 20% enjoy less than 1%. This is not a continuation of inequality, but rather a demonstration that inequality has become worse as the top 1% of the global population have seen their incomes increase by 60%.

While the draft report recognises that inequality is a pressing issue and that there should be a fair distribution of wealth, it does not go so far as to as to address the core issue of redistribution, which is, a democratic restructuring of asset ownership. It is not just a matter of making the poor catch up to the rich to narrow the gap i.e. “levelling up measures”. There is a case for making the rich less rich in as much as monopolistic control over the global economy by a tiny section of the population ultimately leads to unjust and even inefficient outcomes. Indeed, much of the surplus wealth of the top 1% of the world’s population is being used for speculative transactions that lead to asset inflation, financial volatility and ultimately, busts and economic crises that hit the poor and vulnerable sections of society most severely – while the big banks are bailed out.

Critically, redistribution is not recognised in the framework as being at the heart of transformative change to tackle inequalities (page 36). Given the vast disparities of wealth accumulation globally and within countries it is essential that there be a sustainable and equitable ownership of and access to wealth and resources. This can only be achieved through direct redistribution efforts.

The draft report’s recommendations for redistribution are limited to pro-poor subsidies and targeted reforms and social protection schemes. These are not substantial redistribution efforts and will not go far enough to address the primary structural causes of inequality. They are limited to treating the symptoms of inequality – lack of education, access to healthcare and income – rather than addressing the cause – monopolistic control over investment resources, capture of natural resources by elites; exploitative working conditions and low pay.

It is surprising that there are no recommendations regarding substantive redistribution of wealth and resources as this was also a recommendation within the UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development agenda thematic think piece on Addressing Inequalities. The UN think piece recommended wealth and income redistribution through land reform and progressive taxation on income and corporations and pro-poor fiscal and trade policies and development assistance to finance widely accessible social provisions. This is supported by Section 2 (on Reproducing Inequalities) repeatedly mentioned increasing disparities in asset ownership and control resulting in increased inequality but falls short of connecting this analysis to concrete recommendations in section 4 and 5. There is a disjoint between the analysis and the recommendations.

IBON International calls for substantive recommendations which support redistribution of ownership and access to natural recourses (land, water, energy); as well as wealth and finances. This can take place through redistribution programmes, progressive taxation and substantial corporate taxation systems and anti-trust measures including increasing public control over banks and other industries where the public interest is greatly at stake.

The draft report’s recommendations on addressing structural inequalities in post -2015 mentions redistribution but this must be greatly strengthened to reflect a substantive definition of redistribution as stated above.

2. Inter-country inequality

“The dominance of economically powerful countries in global decision making in virtually all contexts is mirrored by the power and reach of transnational private sector companies”
“The interests of richer countries also predominate in ownership and control over new knowledge.”
“…poorer countries and their nationals have significantly less influence on regional and global decision making.”

“Inequalities in power and influence are in some cases institutionalised t the highest level: a good example is the ‘customary’ appointment of citizens of designated countries to lead UN agencies.”

Page 10, Draft Report

The draft report recognises the critical importance of addressing inter-country and international inequalities. Branko Milanovic’s report on inequality finds that the world's Gini coefficient is 70, up from 55 in 1850.

Economically powerful countries dominate international forums and platforms and maintain international systems and structures which ensure global wealth accrues to them. Despite recognising these structural problems in Section 1 driving inequality between countries and regions, there is no mention in section 4 and 5 on recommendations to address these failings. Section 1 explicitly refers to the dominance of rich countries and their influence over poorer countries, which should have led to a call for a democratic restructuring of the system of international trade, economic and development cooperation. There should also be recommendations in developing more inclusive and more democratic processes at the highest international levels. As the recommendations stand, they only call for regulatory reforms in the international financial system and tax justice, which will not be sufficient to address the inequality between countries and consequential imbalance of power.

For the post-2015 development agenda to reverse the trend in growing inequality, there needs to be real commitment to change the status quo. We cannot continue with nominal changes. There needs to be substantive reform of the existing international trade, financial and monetary architecture –to tackle the root causes, rather than merely the symptoms.

IBON International strongly recommends that the draft report recognise the need for reform in current trade relations to promote mutual benefit among trade partners and to uphold the special and differential treatment of developing countries. There also needs to be direct recommendations on how to address the unregulated, volatile and failing financial and monetary architecture, which promotes unsustainable and extremely destructive financial speculation, and appeals for a mandatory system of enabling technology transfer from rich to poor countries.


3. Non-government actors: Role of Corporate sector in driving inequality

The draft report states:
“Global corporations which serve the interests of the global elite, enjoy systems that permit large scale tax evasion. They have continued to exist at the behest of richer countries, most often denying tax revenues to poorer nations”

There is some recognition in the draft report of the role of the corporate sector in driving inequality. Global corporations have amassed substantial power, economic weight and are becoming increasingly consolidated into smaller interlocking networks. An independent analysis of 43,000 transnational corporations has identified that a core group of companies control each other through shareholding networks and thus control the majority of the world’s economy. This study found that less than 1% of companies are able to control 40% of the network of transnational corporations.

The growing interconnection of transnational corporations exposes the vulnerability of the global economy - collapse of one member of the core group will have substantial effects on the rest of the transnational corporations and the global economy as a whole. The report found that the interconnectedness is a natural effect from an unregulated market but it illustrates the need for regulations on these corporations to prevent the global economy and financial system becoming unduly vulnerable. This is especially relevant given the fallout of the recent multiple crises which resulted in the poor being affected disproportionately and widening inequality.

These same corporations also influence national governments and international institutions – as the report recognises - to adopt policies which are beneficial to their business operations but which result in deepening poverty and inequality and expose the national economies.

This is borne out by the increasing contractualization of labour – leading to precarious employment, declining labour conditions and repression of labour unions. It is also seen in the increasing dependence of developing countries on export-led economic models which makes them vulnerable to global economic crises. Transnational corporations encourage these conditions and in many cases actively pursue them.

Decent work, recognised in the draft report, is a key factor to reducing inequality and poverty and yet is not achievable without addressing the unfettered power of transnational corporations which seek ever lower working conditions to keep production costs at a minimum while enjoying extreme and unprecedented profits.

Draft report page 39
The inequalities derived from international financial systems, including tax avoidance and evasion, are increasingly identified as drivers of disparities both within and between rich and poor countries. Practices of transfer pricing, shifting profits into tax havens away from both countries of production and of markets, is having very substantial effects on many treasuries, and on many people.
The power to address this serious matter [inequalities from international tax system] lies very largely with rich industrialised countries.

The draft report recognises the liability of corporations and existing international financial systems in creating financial structures which are inherently volatile. The corporations and international financial elites must also be held to account for its dangerous and fickle actions that have wrought devastation on global economy and affected many poor families. This is necessary to ensure that such practices do not persist.

However, the draft report’s recommendations for international commitment to equitable economic and financial rules are not enough to address the imbalance of power accrued by transnational corporations and their unregulated behaviour. Strong regulatory frameworks for large corporations with mandatory reporting requirements and accountability mechanisms should be adopted rather than relying on mere voluntary commitments. Corporate accountability must become one corner stone of any post-2015 development framework.



4. Accountability

Governments are the enactors of measures and policies to address inequality however not all governments respond effectively to the needs and wants of their people. Governments are also vulnerable to capture by elites who direct these institutions to serve their interests as opposed to addressing the particular interests of the people. This is why there is a need for systems of direct participation and accountability where the people themselves can hold their governments and other influential institutions to account.

People’s participation should extend beyond positioning them as “service users” and “receivers of charity”. All citizens should be involved in decision-making processes that affect them and they should be given opportunities to express their interests and needs. Measures to address inequality are structured from above without people’s real involvement and participation and therefore often fall short of addressing their interests and priorities. People’s participation should extend substantively to their having an active role in decision making in the formation and implementation of policies. The draft report does not address the role of people’s participation adequately and falls short of enumerating accountability mechanisms whereby the people can ensure that the policies developed for them and not only in their name. Additional notes

Even as the draft report identifies the need to improve access to decent work, insufficient attention and detail are given to addressing the growing global unemployment rate—especially among the youth—which was identified by UN DESA as a major stumbling block towards economic recovery1. In light of the draft report’s assertion that inequalities have a strong tendency to reproduce over generations, concrete policy recommendations must be formulated to address a situation that can reinforce unequal relations and precipitate social unrest.

1. United Nations. World Economic Situation and Prospects Mid-2012 Update. June 2012.http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/policy/wesp/wesp_current/2012wesp.pdf
Anonymous from Array
Son las 02.58 pm de Jue, Enero 31, 2013
The Danish Family Planning Association (DFPA) would like to congratulate the author of the ‘Report on the Global thematic Consultation on Inequalities’ for having drafted a very comprehensive and interesting report on a very broad and complex issue.

We note that aspects of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), including discrimination against LGBTQI, are included in the report and that the report encourages an adoption of a post-2015 framework with universal targets for the fulfillment of gender equality and SRHR. It is critical that this consultation continues to document the need to complete the unfinished business of the current MDG-framework post-2015.

However, as the report is finalized, we would like to take this opportunity to highlight some points that would strengthen the report further:

Page 7: In the last paragraph on that page it is stated that ‘multiple inequalities tend to affect and adhere to particular and identifiable population groups, often based on discrimination on the grounds of religion, racial, ethnic…’. Considering the wide-spread discrimination against women, which remains highly prevalent, it is important to include the word ‘sex’ in the list.

Page 11: As an example under the heading ‘Equalising opportunities or outcomes?’ on the middle of page 11 an example has been provided by Save the Children on what determines the opportunities children have. Here it is key to include the aspect of educational gender disparities, as girls in many settings still have less access to education than boys. As UNICEF has stated on their website: ‘Of an estimated 101 million children not in school, more than half are girls. They are being denied their basic human right to education, with far-reaching consequences: Without it, their future opportunities are dramatically limited’. Furthermore, in relation to this example it is relevant to add the aspect of girl drop-outs and rate of girls who manage to complete secondary school and the related consequences, as this influences economic, social and political inequality in numerous ways.

Page 15: We appreciate that the challenge related to youth unemployment is reflected and linked to conflict. However, it is important to note the mere size of the problem, as the world never has had a larger young generation: more than 1.5 billion people are between the ages of 10 and 24 - approximately 70 per cent live in developing countries, 60 per cent in Asia alone. In addition to the point made related to how massive youth unemployment can lead to social unrest and violence, it is key to include that in countries in conflict, young people are more susceptible towards STI/HIV infection, experiencing unwanted pregnancies, sexual violence partly as sexual violence has been seen to be part of grim war strategies but also due to the breakdown of health infrastructure and thus SRHR service provision. This inequality has been recognized in a number of UN resolutions highlighting the severe consequences that war has on women.

Page 19/20: In the section on Environmental inequalities we would like to underline the importance of the report also addressing the negative links between high population densities and environmental risks e.g. air and water pollution, floods etc., which can accumulate and have negative impacts on people’s health. For this reason population dynamics and SRHR are critical, cross-cutting issues for sustainable development, the post-2015 development agenda and addressing inequalities. A focus on these issues in ways that respect and protect rights has the potential to drive progress towards a range of sustainable development goals, including poverty alleviation, health, food and water security, gender equality and environmental sustainability.
Between now and 2100 the world population is projected to increase from 7 to 10 billion, with the vast majority of this growth expected in developing countries. Whether it is closer to seven or ten billion will significantly affect the world’s potential to reach its development goals. Population dynamics and particularly population size, but also urbanization, migration, etc. determine the scale and shape of the development challenges we face. While development prospects are dependent on governments’ capacities to increase access to health, education and other basic services, population growth rates in many countries threaten to outpace these investments and undermine poverty alleviation and thereby efforts to create a equal society.
Again, by investing in increasing access to family planning and other reproductive health services that women want and need offers real opportunities to reduce population growth and associated pressures on the environment, by preventing unplanned pregnancies.

Page 29/30: We appreciate the emphasis on the vulnerabilities of migrant workers and would like to make reference to the recently adopted declaration at the Bali Youth forum held in December 2012 in which the human rights of migrant workers are emphasized: ‘Governments should ensure legal recognition of undocumented workers including migrants, decriminalize sex work, and eliminate mandatory medical checks that are used as a basis for discrimination, especially mandatory HIV, and pregnancy testing in the general protection, respect and fulfillment of the rights of all young people to decent employment’ (Bali declaration p. 15).

Page 32: Malnutrition in mothers and children is mentioned to have a number of disadvantages however, we would like to draw the attention to the fact that malnutrition not only can have ‘irreversible effects on physical and cognitive development’ but unfortunately often leads to maternal deaths as poor nutrition often leads to anemia, which again can lead to maternal mortality due to e.g. increased risk of hemorrhage.
Gitte Dyrhagen Husager from Array
Son las 02.43 pm de Jue, Enero 31, 2013
This comment is submitted on behalf of the International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN); an international network working for the elimination of caste-based discrimination globally (www.idsn.org)

The draft report captures many of the challenges to address inequalities in the post-2015 development framework, which is a great step forward in the debate. Hopefully, these important observations – e.g. on structural inequalities – will be fully recognized and included when the future framework is formulated and implemented, including with regards to proposed measures, targets and assessments.

Inequalities caused by caste-based discrimination are mainstreamed into various sections of the draft report with country examples from India; a country with at least 167 million Dalits according to official statistics. While the majority of people affected by caste discrimination live in South Asian countries, similar forms of discrimination are found in Japan, Yemen, some African communities, and the South Asian Disaspora, as confirmed in a comprehensive UN study on the topic. It is estimated to affected 260 million persons globally.

In the section on ‘Social inequalities’, the following patterns of horizontal inequalities are mentioned: ethnicity, caste, gender, sexuality, religion or place of residence. Persons affected by caste discrimination are also included in the list of disadvantaged groups, who are understood to be inferior or “other” to the mainstream on the basis of their identity, and therefore face particular challenges in accessing resources. According to the UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to drinking water and sanitation, Dalits in South Asia belong to the category of particularly stigmatized groups, who may suffer from pervasive negative stereotyping, social exclusion and denial of fundamental human rights. In her last thematic report to the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/21/42, para. 32), she finds that “caste systems across the world are deeply rooted in social segregation, based on ideas of purity and pollution and lending traditional ‘legitimacy’ to discrimination.”

As argued in IDSN’s preliminary input on inclusion of caste discrimination in the post-2015 framework (Nov 2012) , caste discrimination is a major obstacle to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). IDSN therefore recommends that caste discrimination is explicitly addressed as a major structural factor underlying poverty, and as a root cause of structural inequalities in the post-2015 development framework. Victims of caste discrimination – estimated to affect at least 260 million persons globally – are routinely denied access to water, schools, health services, land, markets and employment. The social exclusion of Dalits and similarly affected communities lead to high levels of poverty among affected population groups and exclusion, or reduced benefits, from development processes. It furthermore precludes their involvement in decision making and governance, and their meaningful participation in public and civil life.

In effect, it is necessary that inequalities caused by caste-based discrimination come at the forefront of the debate – including in the draft report. When addressing the “structural inqualities’ in the draft report, specific groups are highlighted on page 7. In this context, IDSN recommends that persons affected by caste discrimination are included on the list of particularly excluded groups.

Regarding the draft report's discussion on the choice of approach when analyzing inequalities, it is necessary to look at the nature and extent of the root cause to inequalities, such as caste discrimination. Analyses based on economic facts alone will not present an adequate picture of the challenges that exist, and the measures that must be taken to ensure equal distribution of resources in accordance with the overall human rights principles of non-discrimination, equality, and inclusion. This is particularly relevant when looking at means and ways to address inequalities in some of the world's most caste-affected countries such as India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. One example is gender-based violence, which takes a unique form when gender and caste intersects, as explained in IDSN input to the online discussion on ”Gender-based violence” concerning the situation of Dalit women and girls.

Unless there is an understanding of the underlying causes to such caste-based forms of violence and exclusion, measures and targets taken to address the situation of affected persons risk neglecting – and in the worst case exacerbating – their rights and needs. As documented by various studies, this has also been the case in some relief responses to humanitarian disasters, where efforts taken by governments and donors to address and rehabilitate the situation of excluded groups like Dalits have failed. Experience has shown that failure to overcome the particular development challenges stemming from caste discrimination are linked to a lack of recognition of the problem, lack of relevant strategies, policy analyses and tools, as well as a lack of involvement of Dalits in development processes and as staff. On this basis, IDSN recommends that special measures must be applied in development and relief programmes, as well as in other forms of cooperation, to avoid a repetition of the engrained patterns of discrimination against Dalits and their exclusion from development and relief benefits.
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