Claire Duncanson-Gender and the MDGs

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GCL EventL Gender Equality and Female Empowerment
1st November 2011

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Claire Duncanson-Gender and the MDGs

  1. 1. Gender and the MDGs Dr Claire DuncansonSchool of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh Global Community Links
  2. 2. Millennium Development Goals
  3. 3. Strengths• Explicit inclusion of gender in goal 3 – powerful symbol of success of feminist movement (Subrahmanian 2004)• Moves beyond economic understanding of poverty – focus on education and healthcare• Focus on maternal mortality• Measurement• Assessing obstacles to progress• Accountability
  4. 4. Maternal Mortality• 99% of maternal deaths occur in global South (Freedman 2003)• In S-SA, lifetime risk of dying in pregnancy is 1 in 16 (Panos 2005)• Children 3-10 times more likely to die within two years of mother’s death (Fraser 2005)• Maternal mortality rates – UK: 8 deaths per 100,000 live births – Malawi: 1,140 deaths per 100,000 live births (Guardian 2010)
  5. 5. Weaknesses• MDGs = “Major Distraction Gimmick” (Antrobus, 2005)• MDGs don’t capture the reality of poverty as experienced by women• MDGs neglect Human Rights Framework of CEDAW (‘79), Cairo (‘94) and Beijing (‘95)• MDGs technical tool for a political problem• MDGs serve the neo-liberal agenda
  6. 6. Way Forward• Rights-based approach to MDGs• Empowerment of grassroots women• Tackle gender inequality (rather than just adding women)
  7. 7. Further Reading: Monitoring the MDGs• UN Women: http://www.unifem.org/gender_issues/millennium_developm ent_goals/• The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/global- development/millennium-development-goals• Buvinic, M., Morrison, A.R., Sjoblom, M. and A. Waafas Ofosu- Amaah (2008) Equality for Women: Where Do We Stand on Millennium Goal 3? World Bank, available at http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTGENDER/Resources/Eq ualityforWomenfinal.pdf
  8. 8. Further Reading: Critical Perspectives and Debates• Barton, Carol and Laurie Prendergast (eds) (2005) Seeking accountability on womens human rights: Women debate the Millennium Development Goals, New York: Womens International Coalition for Social Justice.• Subrahmanian, R. (2004) ‘Promoting gender equality’ in R. Black and H. White (eds.) Targeting Development. Critical Perspectives on the Millennium Development Goals• Sweetman, C. (2005) Gender and the Millennium Development Goals

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