Category Archives: Partners

Nouzha Skalli (MP-Groupe du progrès démocratique, Morocco) speech during parliamentary discussion on 2013 budget. A good example on the use of new economic indicators & gender mainstreaming!!!

Go Nouzha Skalli! Former ADFM president for Casablanca and one of the movers and shakers of the reform of the Family Code in Morocco!
Intervention de la députée Nouzha Skalli
au nom du Groupe du progrès démocratiqueIntervenant dans le cadre de la discussion générale sur le PLF 2013 par ses pairs de la Chambre des représentants, Nouzka Skalli, députée PPS, a présenté, à

l’instar de ses collègues du Groupe du progrès démocratique, ses remarques sur ce projet, en axant son intervention, dont nous publions l’intégralité ci-après, sur quatre axes essentiels : la justice, l’égalité des sexes, la société civile et la culture. «Monsieur le Président, Messieurs les ministres
Honorables députés et députées
Je suis très heureuse de m’exprimer au nom du GPD dans cette séance que nous consacrons à la discussion générale de la deuxième partie du PLF 2013.
Je vais intervenir sur les secteurs relatifs à la justice, les droits et libertés ; la question de l’égalité des sexes ; les relations avec la société civile et, enfin, la culture.
Je laisserai la parole à mes collègues du groupe pour aborder d’autres axes.
Pour commencer je traiterai de certains axes du budget du ministère de la Justice et des libertés.
Au sein du groupe GPD nous enregistrons avec satisfaction de l’augmentation, même si elle reste insuffisante au regard des besoins, du budget 2013 par rapport à 2012, une augmentation qui atteint les 9,27%.
Nous pensons qu’en plus des moyens, le plus important c’est la volonté et la conscience collective de l’importance de la justice dans la construction générale de l’Etat de droit mais aussi pour le développement, l’investissement, le respect des droits individuels et collectifs et pour la démocratie.
C’est un chantier identifié comme prioritaire et où les attentes des citoyennes et citoyens sont immenses, de même que les attentes des opérateurs économiques et des acteurs politiques et, enfin Sa Majesté le Roi Mohammed VI que Dieu le garde, qui n’a cessé d’appeler à mettre en œuvre de toute urgence la réforme de la justice et qui a récemment mis en place «la Haute autorité pour le dialogue national sur la réforme de la justice».
Cette volonté collective est aujourd’hui traduite dans la Constitution du Royaume. Et nous sommes convaincus que cette volonté est plus forte que jamais au sein du gouvernement.
Bien sûr, il y a lieu d’affronter les poches de résistances sachant que la conduite du changement dans tous les domaines et dans tous les pays du monde conduit à des résistances qu’il y a lieu de gérer avec fermeté, mais aussi avec pondération et sagesse, et dans le cadre d’un dialogue constant.
Nous sommes par ailleurs fiers de la mutation en matière de droits de l’Homme que connait notre pays et nous saluons en particulier les efforts déployés par le CNDH dans l’accompagnement de l’aspiration de notre pays à être dans les rangs des pays avancés en matière de droits dans lesquels sont protégés les droits individuels et collectifs. Nous saluons également l’adoption d’un projet de loi pour l’adhésion du Maroc aux trois protocoles facultatifs de la CEDAW, de la convention contre la torture et du Pacte international relatif aux droits civils et politiques.
Mais nous sommes conscients que le déficit est grand et nous aimerions notamment attirer l’attention sur l’urgence d’étudier et de mettre en œuvre les recommandations des différents rapports sur la situation déplorable dans les prisons. Il s’agit surtout de combattre la surpopulation à travers le développement des peines alternatives et prendre des mesures fermes pour améliorer le traitement des prisonniers en harmonie avec nos engagements en matière de droits de l’Homme.
D’une façon générale, beaucoup d’efforts restent à déployer pour renforcer les acquis et les élargir et éviter les retours en arrière auxquels, hélas, nous restons exposés.
Nous appelons le gouvernement à être vigilant pour éviter toute forme de retour en arrière dans le domaine des droits dans notre pays.
Monsieur le président, le deuxième axe que je voudrai aborder, c’est celui relatif à l’égalité.
Rappelons que nous discutons le projet de budget 2013 dans le contexte de la Constitution de 2011 adoptée par le peuple marocain et qui a proclamé dans son préambule l’égalité et qui a interdit la discrimination basée sur le sexe.
je m’arrête sur l’article 19 de la constitution qui consacre l’égalité entre les femmes et les hommes en matière de libertés et de droits civils, politiques, économiques sociaux, culturels et environnementaux, et l’aspiration à la parité.
Le budget que nous discutons aujourd’hui nous interpelle à plus d’un titre.
Si nous rappelons que le gouvernement est composé exclusivement d’hommes et d’une seule femme et si on considère que le budget du ministère de la Solidarité, de la femme, de la famille et du développement social constitue 0,25% du budget général de l’Etat, on peut considérer que 99,75% du budget est géré par les hommes, et que seulement 0,25% est géré par une femme, alors qu’au niveau des ressources financières de l’Etat personne n’a jamais entendu parler d’abattements fiscaux réservés aux femmes.
Mais le budget ne se limite pas à des chiffres et des équilibres. C’est aussi un ensemble de mesures qui doivent traduire les principes constitutionnels d’égalité et de parité et de non discrimination qui s’imposent à tous, et particulièrement aux pouvoirs publics en charge de programmer, d’exécuter et d’évaluer les politiques publiques.
Au sein du Groupe du progrès démocratique, nous enregistrons positivement la publication de la 8e édition du rapport budget genre qui accompagne le PLF, et qui constitue à notre avis un instrument important pour évaluer les réalisations en matière de promotion de l’égalité, mais également les insuffisances et les défis.
Par contre, quelle est l’importance qui est donnée à ce rapport au niveau politique? A-t-il fait l’objet d’une présentation de la part du gouvernement? Nous aurions aimé qu’il soit au moins cité par une des deux interventions de notre honorable ministre ou de notre honorable ministre délégué lors de la présentation du PLF. Combien parmi nous ont lu ce rapport sur le budget genre? Et combien parmi nous se sont appuyés sur ce rapport durant la discussion du budget de l’Etat et des budgets sectoriels?
L’expérience du Maroc en matière de Budgétisation sensible au genre (BSG) est considérée comme un modèle au plan international et nous a valu l’honneur d’accueillir une conférence scientifique de haut niveau avec l’appui de l’ONU-Femmes à Marrakech au début du mois de novembre 2012 et qui a été l’occasion d’annoncer que le Maroc abritera «un centre d’excellence de la BSG».
Dans ce contexte, nous pensons que le gouvernement aurait dû faire un effort pour mettre la note de présentation du PLF en harmonie avec l’esprit de la Constitution et sa philosophie fondée sur les droits humains des hommes et des femmes, et ceci en mettant en avant les données sexo-spécifiques et les mesures destinées à promouvoir l’égalité des sexes et lutter contre les disparités de genre.
Le pire est dans le fait de parler de «la politique de la femme». Et à la fin du document. Les mots dans ce sens ont une grande importance et ne sont pas neutres. Il y avait lieu en fait de parler de politique de l’égalité et de lutte contre les discriminations et de considérer cette approche comme transversale dans l’ensemble des secteurs. Car les femmes dans notre pays ne sont pas le problème ou l’obstacle, elles sont la solution pour réaliser le développement pour peu que les politiques publiques leur rendent justice et leur permettent d’atteindre l’égalité dans l’accès à l’éducation, à l’emploi, aux soins, particulièrement en matière de santé reproductive, aux équipements sociaux de base, aux ressources, à la protection des femmes et des filles contre toutes les formes de violence et de harcèlement sexuel.
Ce qui nous fait mal, c’est que l’énorme travail effectué par les femmes rurales qui travaillent de l’aube à la tombée du jour n’est pas comptabilisé, car n’est pas rémunéré, et les femmes rurales sont simplement considérées comme aides familiales, et ça c’est une grande catastrophe dans le Maroc d’après la constitution de 2011.
Notre pays peut et doit protéger les filles et les femmes les plus vulnérables. Il peut et doit éradiquer le travail domestique des fillettes et le mariage précoce.
Tout cela va de pair avec le renforcement de leur accès aux postes de responsabilité et de décision dans l’administration et à tous les niveaux national, régional, provincial et communal, et avec la promotion de la culture de l’égalité.
Tout cela fait partie intégrale des droits humains des femmes et nécessite la mise en œuvre urgente de l’agenda gouvernemental de l’égalité auquel s’était engagé Mr le chef de gouvernement et pour lequel l’Union européenne a accordé 45 millions d’euros.
Nous appelons également le gouvernement à accélérer la révision du code pénal à travers un projet de loi contre la violence à l’égard des femmes, avec une approche participative ouverte sur les organisations sérieuses connues pour leur expertise et leur engagement en matière de droits humains et qui croient en la démocratie et l’égalité.
Cette réforme permettra de réviser les concepts pour les moderniser et les adapter à ceux contenus dans les chartes internationales et dans la Constitution de notre pays que nous considérons comme une véritable charte des droits et des libertés.
Nous voulons un code pénal qui protège réellement l’intégrité physique et morale et la dignité de nos filles et nos femmes, et qui ne se contente pas de protéger les mœurs publiques et l’ordre des familles, car cela, nous le savons, conduit à des drames qui ne font pas honneur à notre pays et aux formidables évolutions qu’il a connues en matière de droits humains et de libertés.
Nous proposons d’ouvrir un débat entre le gouvernement et l’ensemble du parlement sur la BSG. et nous appelons le gouvernement à intégrer un axe dans le colloque sur la politique fiscale prévu en février prochain, sur «la politique fiscale et les questions de genre» en espérant que ce colloque s’appuiera sur une approche participative avec la société civile et les universitaires.
Enfin, concernant les relations avec la société civile, outre le fait que la constitution en fait des partenaires essentiels dans l’élaboration, la mise en œuvre et l’évaluation des politiques publiques, il y a lieu d’insister sur le fait que cette démarche est incontournable, particulièrement en matière de politiques sociales et de lutte contre la précarité dans toutes ses dimensions : femmes battues, enfants des rues, enfants abandonnés, etc.
Les associations initiatrices de ces actions ont en effet accumulé durant plusieurs décennies une expertise et un savoir-faire remarquable dont ne disposent pas les pouvoirs publics. Ils constituent un potentiel de mobilisation sociale très important et ont un engagement pour des causes qui méritent tout le soutien, en plus du respect notamment de leur caractère non gouvernemental et donc de leur indépendance.
A noter l’action des associations d’appui aux enfants à besoins spécifiques qui sont bien souvent constitués de parents et amis des enfants en situations d’handicap et qui s’organisent pour pouvoir palier au déficit de l’Etat en matière d’intégration des besoins de ces enfants aux politiques publiques.
Concernant le secteur de la culture, nous exprimons nos regrets pour le recul du budget consacré au ministère de la Culture pour l’année 2013 à environ 571 millions de dirhams, budget nettement insuffisant pour la réalisation du plan d’action sectoriel de la culture.
Nous espérons que cette situation sera réparée lors du budget de 2014. Malgré cela, les efforts déployés traduisent une grande audace pour dépasser l’approche purement financière. Les mesures programmées dans ce secteur contribueront sans doute à surmonter le manque de moyen et à faire ressortir le rôle de la culture dans le développement économique et social de notre société.
Il est important pour nous d’appeler à cesser de considérer la culture comme un luxe, un secteur de trop ! Une nation qui ne s’intéresse pas à sa culture et à son patrimoine est une nation qui ne respecte pas son histoire et ses enfants.
Nous, qui allons voter ce budget et les budgets des années suivantes, nous devons veiller à ce que ce secteur bénéficie pleinement de son droit si nous voulons effectivement construire l’avenir de nos enfants, filles et garçons, et leur permettre de s’intégrer harmonieusement dans la culture du monde tout en protégeant pleinement leur identité plurielle et leur culture propre.
Je vous remercie de votre attention et cède la parole à mes collègues pour les axes suivants.»

Workshop on Women’s Invisible Work: Taking Steps Forward in Egypt

 

 

Around 30 participants coming from various Egyptian organisations gathered on the 25th and 26th of June at the Association of  Upper Egypt for Education and Development (AUEED) to reflect on women’s invisible work at the global, regional and national level and strengthen their communications and social media capacity, within the framework of the Collective for Research and Training on Development – Action led project Sustainable Economic Opportunities for Women, currently being implemented in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Morocco.

Participants came from all over Egypt from the Future Eve association, the New Woman Foundation, the Association of  Upper Egypt for Education and Development, the Badia Foundation, the Egyptian Association for Sustainable Development, the Forum of Women in Development and the Evangelical Association for Comprehensive Development.

During two days, participants worked on the meanings of women’s work amidst political changes in Egypt. The first day of the workshop was dedicated to a short summary of what has been achieved so far in terms of research and round tables on the  topic of women’s work in the informal sector and of domestic work. Papers prepared by CRTD.A consultants Ms Rabea Naciri and Tina Wallace, dealing with women’s informal work in the MENA region and in Lebanon, were briefly presented, along with the debates that have been organised in Lebanon on mainstream indicators and the ideologies underlying them and on women’s informal work in Lebanon. The glaring results of these studies so far have been that women’s work at home and in the informal sector, while being absolutely crucial to household economics and society as a whole, is rarely recognized, let alone valued and accounted for. This is particularly oppressive to women as in the MENA region, the overwhelming majority of women work in the informal sector and/or at home, carrying the bulk of society’s reproduction, while official indicators still estimate the female activity rate at around 20%, one of the lowest in the world.

The issue of accounting for and accurately measuring women’s participation to the economy has been extensively tackled afterwards by the resource person coming from the WIDE Network, Ms Bénédicte Allaert who questioned in her presentation mainstream indicators that we usually take for granted, such as the GDP or what constitutes work under the ILO definition. Ms Allaert went on to demonstrate that these indicators indeed did not paint an accurate picture of economic realities, globally and in the region. Participants were then invited to break into groups and work on the concepts of women’s informal work, women’s work in the household, gender stereotypes pertaining to what is perceived as “women’s work” and the three roles women have to play (productive, reproductive and in the community) paid work/unpaid work, and women in the formal sector. The outcome of the group work was the very purpose of it: participants had different understandings of the concepts, highlighting that what is being measured and studied in the economy is only the tip of the iceberg, with most of economic relationships happening unnoticed and invisible.  This knowledge and research will serve as a basis to inform and influence future and global public policies in order to improve the protection, respect and fulfilment of women’s economic rights.

The role of neo-liberal policies and their impact coupled with the impact of the economic crisis on Egyptian women were also discussed. In Egypt, lack of employment opportunities and long-standing weak social protection and work conditions systems were only worsened by the decrease in foreign investment brought about by the economic crisis, as well as the decrease in tourism. The impact of that depression in the economy was first and foremost borne by women who had to endure massive losses of jobs, and carry on the majority of the housework load.

The second day was articulated around social media and on how can Facebook Twitter and blogs help raise awareness on this topic and allow for partner to stay in touch in between physical meetings. The workshop ended with participants drafting action plans to carry the project forward, with the ultimate aim to change not only policies and laws, but also mentalities.

Stay in touch as we will soon publish interviews with Egyptian women on their points of view on why the issue of women’s work is important and relevant!

Egypt Participants Working on Social Media!

…Wish them luck, as they’re working hard to promote women’s work and women’s economic participation!

The SEOW2 Project in the Region: Upcoming Workshops on Women’s Invisible Work in Egypt and Morocco

Ever wondered why mainstream economic indicators almost never took into account women’s domestic work and work in the informal sector, even though it plays a crucial part in the economy and society?

Did you know that the overwhelming majority of women in the MENA region work in the informal sector, yet their work remains unrecognised, unvalued and unaccounted for?

To answer these questions and go deeper in analysing the definition of women’s work and making women’s invisible work visible, the Collective for Research and Training on Development – Action is organising within the framework of the Sustainable Economic Opportunities for Women project a round of capacity building sessions in partner countries.

These workshops are within the continuation of CRTD.A’s commitment to highlight women’s economic participation in the region, with the long term objective of influencing public policies and actions towards the realisation of women’s economic rights and a reshaping of how economic indicators are built.

Following two round tables in Lebanon women’s informal work and economic indicators, the next capacity building workshops will take place in Egypt on the 25th and 26th of June and in Morocco on the 10th and 11th of July. During these sessions, partner organisations and their own local partners will discuss concepts pertaining to  the definition of women’s work, such as domestic work, women in the informal economy and the gendered division of labour. Resource person Ms Bénédicte Allaert from the WIDE Network and Ms Rabea Naciri  will facilitate discussions respectively in Egypt and Morocco around concepts and indicators while participants will also receive sessions on using social media for awareness raising and advocacy.

Participants will also share their own experience working on women’s rights in various local contexts and will strategize on the next steps to follow to raise awareness on the issue of women’s work and reach labour gender equality and social justice.

As the region is undergoing so many upheavals and transitions, it has never been more important to keep women’s rights at the top of the agenda and carry on our struggle for gender equality that translates in policy and practice. Stay Tuned for updates on the workshops and discussion on women’s work!

CRTD.A At the AWID Forum: Forging a new path for women’s economic rights in the MENA region

CRTD.A Stand at the Education Space

The AWID Forum has come and gone, and it took us some time to process all the energy, commitment and reflection that happened from the 18th to the 22nd of April 2012.

The Collective for Research and Training on Development – Action (CRTD.A) wasn’t only a mere participant to the event: with a delegation of five people, it played an active role in the sessions, either by organizing break out or in-depth sessions, or by participating to panels or by asking questions and looking deeper into issues.

 

The theme of this AWID Forum was “Transforming Economic Powers to Advance Women’s Rights and Justice”, a key priority for the CRTD.A who has been working on issues of economic justice for women in the Middle East for the past ten years now, advocating for the economic empowerment of women via skills-building projects, the setting up and partnerships with cooperatives, facilitating their management and access to market for example. Besides, the CRTDA has recently started opening up the debate in Lebanon, Morocco, Egypt and Jordan on women’s work, the indicators measuring the work women do and its contribution to the economies of these four countries, as well as on women’s work in the informal sector.

 

These questions being central to the Forum, CRTD.A has been invited by the AWID Education Corner at the Forum to be part of a panel on sharing experiences on skills building sessions on women economic rights. The panel was shared with NGO workers, activists and academic from all over the world, includingIndia, theUSA, andBolivia. During this panel, CRTD.A was able to share its experience building the capacity of its constituency within the Sustainable Economic Opportunities for Women (SEOW2) project. It was interesting to study the similarities of experiences between the panelists despite the diversity of contexts: indeed, the global patriarchal system undermining women’s participation and contribution to the economy, along with the global conservative neo-liberal agendas impact all contexts present during the panel, which prompted panelists and the audience as a whole to have a conversation on what could be done to counteract the adverse effects on women of these two oppressive systems. While not one size-fits-all answer would be relevant, participants emphasized the need for solidarity and networking not only with and between national partners, but also among women’s rights defenders worldwide. The question of resources was also heavily debated, with the conundrum many NGOs and activists face: while donor funding is crucial to achieving sustainable work, it is also a form of dependence, and sometimes, imperialism, and civil society organizations should come up with alternative, independent ways of funding.

 

In that logic, the Resources Mobilization corner at the Forum provided a great platform to ask and discuss these questions.

 

Shady Khalil’s Graffiti 7arimi were also present at the AWID Forum

CRTD.A organized as well a session on Collective Advocacy in Muslim-majority countries with panelists Bénédicte Allaert from the WIDE Network, Egyptian activist Amal Abdel Hadi and Tunisian activist and doctor Ahlem Belhaj. This session started with a presentation on the CRTD.A’s SEOW2 project, as the project is regional and deals with economic empowerment of women in four Muslim majority countries: therefore, examples of collective advocacy in such contexts were given from the CRTD.A’s perspective. Ms Allaert shared then with the audience the research she has been working on on mainstream indicators and the ideologies underlying them. What is being measured at a global and regional level? Are there some best practices from governments who actually measure and take into account women’s work? “We value what we measure” has been a good maxim to show the poor level of measuring women’s work, and therefore of valuing it. The example of Liberia, which integrates the contribution of women’s work in the informal economy within the active women statistics was a good illustration that alternative measurements of the economy are possible and that the GDP-based, classical model did not reflect the reality of many Southern economies, and more particularly, the reality of many Middle Eastern contexts, where women account for roughly 70% of the informal work force, if not more.

 

Amal Abdel Hadi and Ahlem Belhaj spoke about the specific context of revolutionaryEgyptandTunisia, and on how women’s work remained invisible despite the change in regime and despite women being so active and present during the uprisings. Vigilance with regards to the pervasive patriarchal agenda seemed to be their words of warning for the future. Many questions were asked by a predominantly Middle Eastern and North African audience, notably on the issue of Qiwama and dialogues lasted long after the session was over, with ,many contacts being exchanged to carry on the conversation and collective action.

 

One of the innovation of this edition of the Forum was the organization of in-depth sessions, allowing for a strong focus on a certain topic, running for three hours and a half every day of the forum, a bit like an intensive lecture/participatory session. CRTD.A took active part in this pilot by co-organising with its partner the Women’s Learning Partnership the in-depth session on women’s rights and transition democracy in the MENA region. After a plenary in which Rabea Naciri from Morocco and Asma Khader from Jordan spoke about the constitutional processes and changes in the region, participants broke into groups to discuss constitutional reforms, the role of media and social media in making women’s claims visible and processes on transitional justice. I was lucky to be part of the group on constitutional reforms: it felt incredibly empowering sitting at the heart of a women’s cluster, reflecting and suggesting strategies on the core laws and processes of the countries of the region.

 

Women’s invisibility and the lack of gender perspective in the current constitutional assemblies (notably in Tunisia and Egypt) lead us to emphasize the need first of all of popular education on the importance of constitutional reforms and second of all, on the absolute necessity to have assemblies of women drafting their own version of the Constitution. The issue of negotiations with conservative powers came up: as feminists, where should we draw the line? What are the non negotiable? Should we have a long term vision and keep our radical agenda and invest on education and awareness-raising or should we cede on some points in the short to mid-term to insert ourselves in the debates and decisions? But if we do, would that keep the integrity of our thoughts and vision or who would be compromising the aims of our struggle? There are no clear cut, one size-fits-all answer to these questions, they take in-depth research, historical perspective, thinking and anticipation, input from different experiences and expertise to have a clearer picture of how to influence and shape the society we hope to see and want. We are still working on what the ideal gender sensitive constitution would be, but Rabea Naciri outlined some relevant, core points that Constitutions in post revolution countries should include, such as clarity of language and terminology so as to prevent any harmful-to-women interpretations and explicit prohibition of any type of discrimination based on gender on top of calling for substantive gender equality. Constitutions should also specifically speak to the rights of political opposition and mention and include civil society and its contribution to society as a whole.

 

The trouble with women’s Work…

CRTD.A’s delegation was also very active on social media, linking online then offline with partners, following sessions that were relevant to their work but also sessions that were related to issues of women’s rights they might not have been familiar with in order to build their own capacity, initiative new contacts and widen their perspectives and reflections.

 

The AWID Forum has been a whirlwind of events, sessions, conversations and experiences, and CRTD.A felt proud to be a part of this event, and to carry on the work and priorities it has set for itself, feeling stronger now more than ever having this visit to the Feminist family.

 

The Costs of Undervaluing Women’s Work

Posted first  on 02 April 2012 by lina Abou Habib on WLP Website

On March 29, 2012 WLP-Lebanon/CRTD.A organized a round table discussion on economic indicators and how they measure women’s economic participation, contribution and empowerment.

CRTD.A has been working on the issue of women’s economic rights and participation for more than a decade.

During the past few years, CRTD.A engaged in a regional initiative including five MENA countries with the aim of exploring sustainable economic alternatives for women. The initiative investigated, amongst other things, the issue of women’s invisible work and its contribution to the economy. Research conducted in Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Algeria and Morocco revealed that:
• Conventional statistics and indicators fail to capture all the work that women do, especially all the care work that they do for others;
• Women’s care work, including household work, is often a non-negotiable obligation and expectation;
• Household and care work constitute a tangible obstacle towards women’s participation in public and political life, and are major hurdles to their entering and re-entering the job market, as well as to career advancement;
• With states in the MENA region systematically retreating from service provision and securing social entitlements, women are more and more bearing the brunt of care work;
• The entire sector of the care economy in the MENA region is by and large feminized and continues to be hidden, unrecognized, and not valued.

The main conclusion is that indicators measure only what is valued in society and exclude women’s work mainly in view of the poor value attributed to it!

Over the past few years, CRTD.A has been furthering the analysis on the issue of what constitutes women’s work? How is the value of this work attributed? In which way does this value contribute to excluding women not only from public life but also from public policy?

As a result of this work, a round table discussion was organized on March 29, 2012 to look specifically at the mainstream economic indicators with a view to analyze what these indicators measure. How do they measure it? What are the underlying ideologies which determine what is measured and what is left out? What are the implications at the level of policy making? What are the proposed alternatives that serve not only to capture women’s actual contribution to the economy but also to better inform inclusive policies?

The round table discussion was attended by some 40 participants including a small group of researchers and academics from the Lebanese University, the American University of Beirut, the Lebanese American University and the University of Balamand. Other participants included representatives of local women’s organizations, development organizations, political parties, and UN organizations.

The round table discussion began with an overview of mainstream economic indicators, including a critical analysis of the most commonly used indicators (GDP, GNP, Employment and Unemployment rates, Economic Activity Rates, etc.) and the ideologies on which these indicators are based, namely economic growth, monetary transactions, “trickle-down effect,” etc. The case was made that these indicators fail to recognize the more important non-monetary transactions, which constitute the bulk of work that is required for securing well-being and livelihoods, and exclude costs in terms if depletion of natural and human resources. Alternative indicators were also discussed whilst emphasizing their complex and composite nature and the experimental ways in which they are being implemented in a number of developing and developed countries.

In kicking off this round table discussion, CRTD.A intended to mobilize local actors in engaging in an in-depth and critical debate on women’s economic rights and participation through understanding and critically analyzing how mainstream economic indicators reflect a patriarchal ideology and how they can, alternatively be challenged.

Several of the participants provided excellent commentaries and suggestions on moving forward with the discussion. We have retained further research on the key concepts that underline the feminist analysis of the economy, notably household work, care work, invisible work, formal and informal work, etc. Capacity building on these concepts was also put forward as a priority for action, especially in regards to women’s economic participation and the visibilization and valorization of women’s invisible care and reproductive work.

CRTD.A / WLP-Lebanon is continuing its engagement in the issue of women’s economic rights and participation with a view to produce further pedagogical material, adding to the leadership, political participation, and other training material already produced by the Partnership.

eNews32: Women’s Rights in Democratic Transitions, Plus New Resources

Check out partners Women’s Learning Partnership newsletter for updates on women’s right in democratic transitions and new publications such as Victories over Violence: Ensuring Safety for Women and Girls.

eNews32: Women’s Rights in Democratic Transitions, Plus New Resources.