Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Geneva NGO Forum - Beijing + 20 - and the Human Rights of Older Women

Between November 3 - 5, 2014, the Geneva NGO Forum - Beijing+20 - UN ECE Regional Review was held.
One of the outcomes of this important meeting was the NGO Declaration and Recommendations regarding the rights of women.
The declaration included some general and universal statements, such as:

"We call for: (1) Fulfilment of the Beijing commitments to all interconnected and universal human rights and systematic implementation of a women’s rights approach delivered through and monitored by strong well-funded Institutional Mechanisms for the Advancement of Women at every level of government; buttressed by an accountability, resourcing, tax and public fiscal and revenue framework capable of sustainably financing progressive realization of women’s human rights."

However, from the perspective of the rights of older persons in general, and the rights of older women in specific, some very important recommendations were made, e.g. the need to:

Implement existing laws and policies that
protect human rights for all women, every
minute and everywhere, especially for girls,
young women and older women, ethnic
minorities, indigenous women, Roma women
and girls, women with disabilities, rural
women, and LGBTI persons.

Adopt an intergenerational justice approach
to women’s human rights and empowerment,
recognising the specific priorities, needs and
circumstances of women at different of stages
of their life course, especially for girls and
older women, and mothers.

Eliminate age-based stereotypes which
undermine the full potential and effective
participation and leadership of women and
girls of all ages.

Develop an international convention on the
rights of older persons incorporating rights
articulated in CEDAW.

Ensure older women adequate income to live
in dignity and implement social protection
laws and policies that enable older women
to be autonomous, full participants in the
development of society.

Enable age-friendly rural and urban physical
and social environments, structures and
services accessible to, and inclusive of, older
women with varying capacities, especially
women with disabilities.

This important declaration emphasized once again the importance of developing a specific human rights instrument to promote the rights of older persons in general, and older women in specific.

Here is the link to the forum's meeting: