carol sobritcheaIsis International board member Dr. Carol Sobritchea calls for a faster and even implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) especially when it comes to women and girls’ concerns and substantial participation in different processes of implementation.

This was the resonating theme of her talk given as part of the interactive expert panel during the March 12 official meeting at the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). A professorial lecturer at the University of the Philippines Diliman, Dr. Sobritchea was part of the Panel 2 meeting that discussed the CSW’s priority theme of accountability and participation of women and girls in the implementation of the (MDGs).

Her talk pointed to three accountability measures to eradicate the slow and uneven MDG implementation, which are: the participation of women and girls in monitoring the implementation of the MDGs; getting the commitment of state parties to mainstream gender equality and women’s empowerment principles across the MDG goals; and having continuous judicial and legal reforms vital to enhance women’s participation in development. Dr. Sobritchea pointed out how these three measures are already being done by other countries yet others still have to keep up with this global commitment. She also emphasised how there should be substantive equality between women and men, and not just having equality as a mere platitude of gender equity.

Dr. Sobritchea also raised very important points in terms of MDG implementation which has to have an anchor in a human rights approach. It is also important to remind state actors that these MDG goals are legally binding commitments from the international arena that should be translated down to the local arena. Outcomes need not be measured solely though quantity but also through quality, as she pointed out that equality of access to opportunity and equality of results should also be present. However, the most crucial point she raised has to do with the lack of funding being made available to civil society organisations to work on the implementation of projects for women's rights. The lack of funds greatly hampers the implementation of MDG-oriented projects.

To conclude her talk, Dr. Sobritchea also reminded the panel of a forward-looking approach and also consider what needs to be done to accelerate the MDG implementation in relation to what’s beyond MDG15. She also encouraged everyone to participate as she stated, “We don’t need biological females to fight for women’s rights. We want gender sensitive feminists and women’s advocates.”

Other members of this expert panel included Lourdes Bandeira from Brazil (Vice-Minister of the Secretariat of Women Policies), Urmas Paet from Estonia (Minister of Foreign Affairs), Salina Sanou from Kenya (Head of Policy and Advocacy, Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development), and Maarit Kohonen Sheriff (the Deputy Director of the New York Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights). It was moderated by Neli Shiolashvili of Georgia who is the Vice-Chair of the Commission.

Hear Dr. Sobritchea’s full speech at the CSW Panel 2 here.

Read her full paper presentation here.

For more information and extensive details of these panels, discussions and presentation, visit Isis International’s website (isiswomen.org) or follow the social media account on Facebook (www.facebook.com/IsisInternationalOrg). For more up-to-date information, follow Isis International’s Twitter account (@IsisIntl) where Isis women are livetweeting from the events until the CSW58’s conclusion on March 21.

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