Tag Archives: Kampala



June 25th, 2014

We representatives of women’s rights, faith and community-based, civil society organizations, media and government from over 14 countries across the continent convened to deliberate on ‘Strengthening African Women’s Voices in the Post-2015 Processes’and the Africa We Want and Need.

We recognize that the Common African Position (CAP) has strong commitments to ensure that “No person – regardless of ethnicity, gender, geography, disability, race or other status – is denied universal human rights and basic economic opportunities.” African Heads of State specifically highlighted the inextricable link between gender equality, women’s rights, women’s empowerment and Africa’s structural transformation.

Within the Post-2015 global process, this recognition has led to a dedicated goal on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. For gender equality and women’s empowerment to be truly transformative, it must be anchored in a human rights framework. In addition to a stand-alone goal, it is essential that women’s rights be a cross-cutting priority within the entire Sustainable Development Goals framework.

The prioritization of women’s rights will ensure that spatial, political, social and economic inequalities are addressed. Furthermore, the redistribution of wealth, power, opportunities and resources is critical for addressing prevalent inequalities between men and women, within and between countries.  In addition, development cannot be achieved without peace, security and accountable governance as clearly articulated in CAP.

We therefore call for your support on the following:-

a)      A transformative goal on gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment;

b)      Recognition, reduction and redistribution of unpaid care work – the burden of care falls disproportionately on women and girls and must be shared among men and women; the State; Private Sector, Communities;

c)       Eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls – in policies, laws and practices. This includes the elimination of harmful practices including FGM and early, child and forced marriage;

d)      Universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights; which would address unacceptably high levels of maternal mortality, teenage pregnancies, transmission of STIs, HIV/AIDS

e)     Access to, control over and ownership of resources and assets including land, energy, credit, information and technology;

f)   Mobilize domestic resources through innovative financing such as curbing illicit financial flows, eliminating tax havens, instituting progressive taxation, gender-responsive budgets, reallocating military expenditures and eliminating corruption;

g)    Ensuring gender parity in decision-making, transparent and accountable governance at all levels

h)     Addressing peace as stand-alone goal and also ensure its mainstreaming throughout all other goals with an emphasis on the principles of good governance and rule of law.

We urge you to keep the spaces open for meaningful CSO engagement in all stages of the formulation, implementation and monitoring of the Post 2015 development framework. We also emphasize the need to mobilize the maximum available resources tomeet existing human rights obligations and ensure the full enjoyment of economic and social rights, following principles of Common but Differentiated Responsibilitiesnon-retrogression for the diversity of actors engaged in development, especially women’s organizations and movements. As CSO representatives and other stakeholders, we are committed to work in partnership with African governments to ensure the realization of the above to deliver an inclusive, participatory and equitable Africa we want and need – not only for the next 15 years but for generations to come. Let this be our legacy.

For more information, contact: communication@femnet.or.ke



Breaking Down Silos – in Post-2015 and Beyond


FEMNET-AMWA-meeting-e1404324294838-870x532By Muchiri Nyaggah*

In their paper The Benefits of a Big Tent: Opening Up Government in Developing Countries, J Goldstein and J Weinstein argue for a “big tent”; one term under which open data and open government communities can pursue a common goal. I believe the term is fitting for the post-2015 processes and the unprecedented opportunity they present stakeholders in the development sector.

The development sector is peppered with silos and silos-within-silos as stakeholders carve out niches and ring-fence them with descriptive names and jargon to go with it. We have the transparency movement, the accountability movement, the human rights movement, the feminist movement, the climate change movement, the environmental protection movement, the access to information movement….the list could, quite literally, go on and on. A cursory glance through the recent zero draft from the co-chairs of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals shows many of these constituencies are represented across the 17 focus areas. Indeed their input, especially through the Major Groups, is documented in Rio+20 and throughout the 12 OWG sessions that resulted in the current zero draft. When attempts to mainstream certain aspects such as gender equality, women’s rights or even peace and security are made, it introduces some challenges at implementation and oversight (the latter a role played by among others civil society). This is because those advocating for accountability and public participation, for instance, now have to understand the challenges of doing so in fragile states. Those working in open government need to remain aware of the need to be gender responsive in design of initiatives. Those working in peace and security need to be aware of the issues related to illicit financial flows and international trade. These are just three examples of what can become a complex programming challenge.

I recently had the honour of participating in a strategy meeting organised by FEMNET, FOWODE, Ipas, Akina Mama Wa Afrika and the Government of Uganda on Strengthening African Women’s Voices in the Post-2015 Process. Held in Kampala, Uganda the meeting was opened by the Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development Hon. Mary Karooro Okurut and brought together participants working in women’s rights, women’s empowerment and gender equality in Africa. There were participants from organisations working in political empowerment, open government, sexual & reproductive health rights, governments and media. The value of bringing together stakeholders from such a broad cross-section of civil society and the public sector was, in my opinion, immense as many who attended can attest. This was, for me, a practical illustration of how the Post-2015 process has provided a big tent for the development sector.

In appropriating the term “big tent” to the post-2015 context I hope to conceptualise the post-2015 process as an opportunity which stakeholders can leverage to tackle the grand challenge of poverty eradication as a single global community effort. We need to ensure none of the issues we deem critically important for Africa’s development goals are left unarticulated in the final post-2015 development framework.

The efforts of FEMNET, FOWODE, Akina Mama Wa Afrika and others to bring together those who are not normally part of these conversations is laudable. It’s efforts like these that we at Open Institute are keen to catalyse and promote because of their potential to perforate the silos and release new insights across constituencies. We look forward to collaborating with others under this tent as we continue to encourage our governments to maintain ambitious and transformative goals in the post-2015 agenda.

A key output of this meeting was the development and publication of a position statement by civil society organisations encouraging governments to support a transformative goal on gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment among seven other issues. You can find the Kampala Position Statement on 2015 here on the FEMNET website.

*Muchiri Nyaggah is the Deputy Executive Director of the Open Institute. Connect with him @Muchiri or Muchiri@openinstitute.com