Experts Agree to New Areas for “Aid Architecture” to Promote Gender Equality and Women’s Rights
Thursday, November 17, 2005 3:00 PM

Last week, at a three-day conference held by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the European Commission, some 130 gender equality experts identified new areas in need of “aid architecture” to promote gender equality and women’s rights. The conference recognized that women’s voices and concerns must be central to the processes of development assistance to achieve national ownership and accountability.

In an effort to remove gender inequalities and reduce poverty, the conference identified 5 necessary steps towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These five steps included: political forum, greater political leverage of gender equality groups, a secure knowledge base, accountability at the national and regional levels, and the simplification of key issues in promoting gender equality in human development.

At the conference, entitled “Owning Development: Promoting Gender Equality in New Modalities and Partnerships,” UNIFEM Executive Director Noleen Heyzer told delegates, “The new development architecture now taking shape represents a historic opportunity to invest in strategies that actually work. We need to recognize this and commit the resources needed to apply them broadly, especially in the world’s poorest countries.”

Lieve Fransen, head of the human and social development unit in the European Commission agreed with general consensus that action needs to be taken at the ground level, saying “there are things that we can do now. We don't need more research, we have money to do it now.”

Compiled from: Bianchi, Stefania. “Women Agree New Areas for Action,” Inter Press Service News Agency (2005)