Vienna Policy Dialogue focuses on women empowerment

At its December meeting, the Vienna Policy Dialogue of the UN Development Cooperation Forum discussed how to firmly anchor gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in the evolving post-2015 UN development agenda. 

Organized by UNDESA, in partnership with UN Women and the Government of Austria, the Vienna Policy Dialogue on 13 and 14 December 2012 brought together more than 80 senior representatives and experts from national and local governments, civil society organizations, parliaments, and women’s organizations with representatives of international organizations.

With gender inequalities persisting across the globe, the main objective of the meeting was to explore how to put gender equality and the empowerment of women at the heart of the post 2015 development agenda to put an end to gender injustice. The meeting reviewed the role which development cooperation can play to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women. 

A key message emerging from the meeting was that Millennium Development Goals have helped to mobilize financial resources for gender equality and galvanize political support. At the same time, it acknowledged that the MDGs have not sufficiently addressed the root causes of gender inequality. Participants have therefore called for a post 2015 development agenda, which has both a standalone goal on gender equality and the integration of gender equality across the entire post 2015 development agenda.   

Participants also examined the role of mutual accountability mechanisms and gender responsive budgeting in addressing gender inequalities. Both were seen as powerful tools to ensure that gender equality becomes a reality on the ground. There was broad agreement that development partnerships at all level must reflect womens’ voices. Mutual accountability mechanisms can help to empower citizens in their efforts to hold their governments and providers of external assistance to account for gender-responsive policy making. 

The Vienna Policy Dialogue is the first in a series of consultations in preparation of the 2014 DCF.  The DCF is the principal multi-stakeholder platform for global dialogue and policy aimed at reviewing trends and progress in international development cooperation.  It provides policy guidance and recommendations to promote more effective and coherent international development cooperation.

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