Date: Sun, 17 Sep 1995 09:42:31 -0400
Sender: Progressive News & Views List <> Subject: Statement of African NGOs for the 4

/* Written Sep 14, 1995 by gn:apcwomen in igc:women.unwcw */
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From: APC Womens Networking Support Program Info Team <apcwomen>

/* Written Sep 14, 1995 by wcw:melanie in gn:online.pavilio */
/* ---------- "Statemenf of African NGOs for the 4" ---------- */
From: (Melanie A. Verzola)
Subject: Statemenf of African NGOs for the 4th World Conference on Women

Statement of the African NGO Caucus for the 4th World Conference on Women

12 September, 1995.


The African NGOs represented here at the 4th WCW, would like to acknowledged the achivements made at this meeting, fort the African Region, with reference to the African Platform for Action (APA). We are particularly pelased that the issue of the Girl Child which was sprearheaded by the region at the last Prep Comm in New York, March 1995, has now been incorporated into the Global Platform for Action (APA).

We would also like to highligt the achivements made on health issues and specifically the contraversial chapter 8.25 of the ICAD document that threatened to derail the Cairo Conference last fall. The achivement of removal of brackets on "unsafe abortion"; now recognized as a pedia health problem in the region; as indicative of the determination of women worldwide to secure control over their reproductive health. This make the beginning for women in Africa to consolidate the struggle for their rights in all spehere of their lives.

The Women's struggle in Africa cannot be isolated from the overall struggle for political, economic and social transformation and liberation. The women's agenda for equality, therefor is an integral part of the overall development agenda of the continet. Afircan women expect the global community, including the women's movement in the Norht, to take responsibility for fighting global poverty by taking concrete steps to not only met the agreed upon targets for the redistribution of global resources, but also ensuing that macro-economic processes inconssistent with the women's agenda and long-term development are not imposed on Africa Institutional Mechanisms and Financial Arrangement for Mainstreaming Womens Issues.

While acknowledging the achievement made here in Beijing, the African NGO are deeply concernned about IMPLEMENTATION of the Platform for Action. The inadequate and lack of commitments made by many African States, invalidates the Platform of Action. The world should be reminded that the success of the Beijing Conference rests not on words, but on RESOURCES, IMPLEMENTATION, ENFORCEMENT, MANISTREAMING AND ACCOUNTABILITY. Not only are resouces for implementation largely uncommitted no APPROPRIATE INSTITUTIONAL MACHINERIES for the agreed actions have been identified. The UN machinery, national governments and to add here HGOs, have not established adequate machineries to ensure monitoring and evaluation progress on global implementation.

The African NGOs are convinced that Africa could generate and mobilize some of its own resources necessary for implementaion of the APA. However, for this to happen poor gvernance the absence of processes towards democratization and the exclusion of women's participation in these processe must be urgently addressed. The phenomenon of refugees, displaced and internally displaced persons in the African continent is a testimony to poor governance and resistance of some states to the processes of democratization (of the stimated 20M refugees globally nearly 35% are in Africa, 80% are women and children source:)

While supporting the G77 call for cancellation of multilateral debt and fair terms of trade, we call upon our African States to show commitment by shifting the available resources from military expenditure ( where this is in excess) to social development i.e. education and healt, targetting the Girl Child and women's empowerment. We recognized that the continuing incapacitate of African States by the International Financial Institutions wil have a negative impact on implementation of the Platform for Action. However, the political will to suipport the advancement of women must be accompanied by the will to transform the unequal gender power relations as well as the structures which have thus far marginalizing women.


Based on the foregoing the African NGOs represented here reaffirm their role in the reclamation theri role in the reclamation and reconstruction of African and commit ourselves to the following:

  1. To show by example leadership which is democratic transparent responsive and accoutable to the needs and interest of marginalized groups, in general and marinalized women in particular;
  2. Working to ensure that NGOs in the region are not used as agents for the resurgence of neocolonialism;
  3. To support and strengthen our governments efforts towards the implementation of the Platform fo Action;
  4. To strengthen grassroot organizations, indigenous NGOs and an emerging "authentic" African Womens Movement that will be perspectives of the people of African and provide the necessary leadership in defining the new vision for the 21st century and transforming the social, political and economic reality in Africa;
  5. To continue establishing and strengthening alliances and networks with womens movements in other parts of the world so as to continually influence the global agenda and force public opinion to see women's concerns as control to the new development agend and the survival of the entire global community.


In conclusion, the African NGOs call upon:


1. To creat an enabling environment for partnership with NGOs

11. To recognize the significant role of NGOs in development by articulating clear and responsive policies on the work of NGOs;

111. To honor their committment to the "20:20 clause" made in the Copenhagen World Summit early this year;

1V. To invest in the empowerment of women and other critical social development programs;

V. to make concrete and measurable committments to empowring the status of women in Africa.


1. To increase the number of African women within the key decision-making category of teh UN system;

11. To increase accessibility and meaningful collaboration with NGOs in Africa.


1. To cancel all multilateral debt of African States to show the committment of these institutions to improving the status of women in Africa.

11. To remove the "imposed" Structural Adjustment Programmes" which have had a negative impact particularlly on the stuatus of women globally

111. To respect Africa's development priorities and interventions for recovery from the debt crisis.

12 SEPTEMBER, 1995

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