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One of the co-authors of a background paper, Thais
Corral, and of a workshop paper, Dr. Irmgard Schultz, made presentations.
Dr. Irmgard Schultz emphasised the need to reform the
linkage between knowledge generation and political decision making. She
criticised the Agenda 21 information provisions as being a one-way strategy to
bring satellite-based information into “traditional information” while the
former was male-expert-based, technology monopolised and excluded all forms
of the latter. The question was rather how to ‘rebound’ satellite based
information on “traditional” forms of information. Moreover the ‘sputnik
view’ of the planet was a male scientists’ worldview which excluded social
dimensions. There was a need to apply new participatory scoping methods, give nations
the right to refuse ‘being geoscoped’, examine gender dimensions and incorporate
a kind of ‘People’s Earth Observation System’ into existing Earth Watch
Introducing her paper
1, Thais Corral stated that thanks to a
major mobilisation of women in 1991, culminating in the Global Assembly of Women
and the Environment, immediately followed by the World Women’s Congress for
a Healthy Planet, 120 recommendations relating to women and the entire chapter
23 had been incorporated into Agenda 21, adopted a year later by the UN
Conference on Environment and Development in Rio. Whilst a number of developing countries were now increasing
availability and dissemination of gender-sensitive statistics as well as mainstreaming
gender in policy actions, there remained major challenges in may areas. High
rates of female illiteracy (women accounting for 65% of the world’s
illiterate people) affected both their economic security and potential for a
role in civil society. Recent declines in this illiteracy in most regions were
balanced by reports of increased female illiteracy in South Asia.
Amongst the many points made by participants in the
subsequent discussion were:
in the workshop adopted the following recommendations:
and information for decision-making:
1.1 Due to the global digital divide there are significant knowledge gaps, particularly between North and South and between women and men. The UNDP Human Development Report 1999, for example, is outlining strategies designed to bridge these gaps. Governments and donor agencies should support projects related to the se strategies;
Gender expertise needs to be integrated into research; scientific
advisory bodies and environmental impact assessments (EIAs); for example:
1.3 The dominating
world-view is comparably science-based and technology-oriented. While this
paradigm provides an important tool in order to understand environmental,
economic and social inter-linkages, it was felt that this needs to be
complemented by the 'human factor'.
2. Linking information to people and politics
2.1 Equal access by women to
information technology and its application in interactive decision-making for
sustainable development need to be ensured;
Public interest groups need to be empowered by funding and capacity
building to serve as intermediaries of relevant information on gender and
sustainable development policies.
3. Developing indicators and indicator systems
Gender disaggregated data need to be generated on all levels;
A gender perspective should be integrated into all indicators within the
CSD indicator system, where appropriate;
The CSD indicator system needs to take into account the research done by
UNIFEM and other relevant organisations;
Apart from gender sensitive indicators with regard to issues such as
freshwater, human settlements, etc., key issues that need to be integrated
into sustainability indicator systems are:
A side event should be held at CSD-9 on gender aspects of sustainable development
Plenary Discussion on the 2002 Summit Process
Participants reviewed ideas arising from discussions
with organisations and individuals prior to and at the Berlin conference, as
well as those developed within the CSD Women's Caucus.
These included the need for a global vision
incorporating regional perspectives, developing strategies for women’s
involvement whether within NGOs, governmental processes or pre-the 2002 Summit
multi-stakeholder dialogues and within on-going reviews of Agenda 21. Media
outreach and host country activities also needed to be developed. The need for
the involvement of women parliamentarians in future activities was urged as
well as better integration into all UN activities, and organisations such as
the Global Environment Facility, where Northern networks were very active.
WEDO's plans, presented by Thais Corral, for a
re-launch of the Women's Action Agenda for a Healthy Planet received strong
support, and had previously been discussed and supported by the Women’s
Caucus at its meetings during CSD-8. On WEDO’s activities on Local Agenda 21
and women, an activity carried out with ICLEI, she said that these would both be
presented to the 2002 Summit, and be continued beyond it.
Options for developing a structured strategy were
discussed, so as to cluster the ideas and thereby assign responsibilities.
Women's strategies towards the 2002 Summit could be facilitated by a small
steering group / facilitating team of experienced organisations, including the
CSD NGO Women's Caucus, with a broader forum of all interested groups around
the facilitating group to facilitate effective communication and concerted
efforts and ensure transparency. Task Forces for certain subject areas should
The meeting agreed to continue discussions via the CSD
NGO Women's caucus list serve and at the CSD Intersessional and CSD-9 and CSD-10
meetings on the basis of the following initial task force structure (overlaps
Advocacy task force
Parallel event task force
Women's Action Agenda for a
Healthy Planet (initial documents based on existing coalition documents;
working with issue specific networks)
Women & Local Agenda 21
(survey, analysis and developing strategies with ICLEI; hold regional meetings
on LA21 & women, e.g. linked with regional PrepComms)
Information & networking
(share information about plans and projects)
Host country task force
Media & communication task force
Resource task force
Participants agreed that each task force should seek
how to learn from previous experiences and successful strategies. Each of
the task forces should work to ensure a global approach, networking and
transparency and at the same time ensure appropriate reflection of regional
The pros and cons of holding a separate women's event
in South Africa around the Summit and/or focus on working within the NGO
activities in South Africa were discussed; participants agreed that this was
mainly up to the South African groups to decide, while non-South African
groups and networks would stand ready to help upon request.
It was decided that this initial structure should be
further developed by WEDO and UNED Forum (which co-co-ordinate the Women's
Caucus), and comments were invited. Further strategy developments should
include information about who was doing what, to be published via the women's
caucus list serve and all conference participants' networks, so as to ensure
transparency, generate opportunities for collaboration and mutual support, and
allow for input and involvement from interested organisations. Participants
also expressed the wish that organisations and networks share information about
their on-going and planned activities for Earth Summit 2002, and should, whenever
possible, share information about resources they were accessing.
Further discussions on conference follow-up included
the call on all participants to disseminate the conference’s outcomes
(co-chairs’ summary and full report) within their networks and to other
stakeholder groups such as parliamentarians who were often overlooked.
For CSD-9, the women's caucus should convene joint
meetings with the NGO energy caucus, the transport caucus, and the forthcoming
caucus on information for decision-making.
Participants of the various issue-focused workshops and
discussions should keep in touch and strengthen their links and collaboration,
for example, participants in the energy workshop should become part of a
worldwide women and energy network. Participants should aim to become active
participants in existing NGO networks on these issues to ensure gender
mainstreaming of their work.
Funds would be requested from both official UN
structures and private foundations, whilst European based organisations should
look to European institutions.
Gender and Energy
in the South: A perspective from South Africa.
By Hesphina Rukato, Minerals and Energy Policy Centre, South Africa.
Energy in the North.
Roehr, Life e.V. FrauenUmweltNetz, Frankfurt, Germany. (Authors’ summaries/abstracts and weblink for full
texts are given in Annex IV).
Gender and Transport in Less Developed
Countries: A Background Paper in Preparation for CSD-9 by
Deike Peters Co-Co-ordinator, UN CSD Caucus on Sustainable Transport. Gender
and Transport in Developed Countries by Kerry Hamilton, University of East London, UK. (Authors’ summaries/abstracts are given in Annex IV, as well as
weblinks for full texts.)
1 Women and Information for Participation and Decision-Making in Sustainable Development in Developing Countries by Thais Corral and Pamela Ransom; REDEH Brazil / WEDO. (Author’s summary/abstract given in Annex IV with weblink for full text.) Satellite-based information and political decision-making by Irmgard Schultz, ISOE-Institute for Social Ecological Research, Frankfurt, Germany.
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