Women demand rights and ambition at Rio+20 Negotiations

On May 5th, 2012, WEDO’s Eleanor Blomstrom delivered closing remarks on behalf of the Women’s Major Group at the Rio+20 negotiation. Watch Eleanor deliver the intervention below and read the statement in full.

Thank you chair. Distinguished delegates and colleagues,

I am Eleanor Blomstrom, of the Women’s Environment and Development Organization, speaking on behalf of the Women’s Major Group.

We entered these negotiations urging ambition. Unfortunately, we leave urging the same.

Rio+20 must take a rights based approach to poverty eradication and sustainable development, and can only succeed by integrating gender equality and women’s human rights in each of the three dimensions. We remain concerned about the bracketing and deleting of our rights. The Rio Principles must be reaffirmed alongside the full range of human rights, including sexual and reproductive rights. Further we would like to see more emphasis on sustainable (production and) consumption patterns and a stronger commitment to address issues of climate change that have caused havoc for many countries and communities.

Importantly, the outcome must go beyond general statements on gender equality – to strong commitments to action. Let me share three specific examples:

1. Women’s rights to land tenure, water, food, energy, education, movement and productive resources must be assured.

2. Leadership targets for women can be met via positive actions such as quotas. Paragraph CST 102 bis includes a 40% target, with the aim of parity.

3. The MDGs, limited as they are have yet to be reached, especially for gender equality, for women’s health and education. Therefore any discussions toward the SDGs should not gloss over the importance of a broad discussion on the post-2015 development agenda, which must maintain a laser focus on gender equality within all 3 dimensions of sustainable development.

Finally, the IFSD must fall within the United Nations and must ensure the meaningful participation of Major Groups and civil society stakeholders. We urge you to exhibit the political will necessary to move forward toward a bold outcome that will make a difference in women’s lives.

Thank you.