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An e-discussion on Women and Poverty was organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) from 11 January to 12 February 2010 and hosted on the UNDP Gender-Net, MDG-Net and Poverty-Net.

Generating 120 responses from practitioners, experts and policy-makers from 47 countries, and inspiring 846 new members to join the already vast UNDP networks, the e-discussion presented a unique opportunity for the broader development community to formulate critical policy messages and action agenda to the Commission on the Status on Women’s 15 year review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action (1 to 12 March 2010); ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review on gender equality and empowerment of women (28 June – 3 July 2010); and the High-level Plenary Meeting of the sixty-fifth session of the General Assembly, focused on the Millennium Development Goals (September 2010).

The e-discussion addressed the following topics:

1. What are the new understandings of poverty and its gender dimensions that have evolved since the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action? What are good practices in gender-responsive poverty analysis and poverty reduction activities?

2. How can the institutional and policy environment for addressing the gender dimensions of poverty be strengthened, building on the Beijing Platform for Action and the Millennium Declaration? How can national poverty reduction strategies and programmes as well as international support more effectively address the gender dimensions of poverty in the build-up to 2015?

3. What are the core policy messages for leaders participating in the 2010 CSW, ECOSOC, and High-level Plenary Meeting on the MDGs? What are the most critical actions required to tackle ‘gender and poverty’, in light of new obstacles and challenges, such as climate change and the impact of the global economic and financial crisis? How financing for gender equality could be strengthened in order to alleviate the gender dimensions of poverty?

The e-discussion was open to all stakeholders and received a rich array of perspectives especially from the practitioners and grassroots women’s organizations at country level. The findings and recommendations of the e-discussion are captured in the Report of the E-discussion and were shared at the Fifty-fourth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (1 - 12 March 2010), New York.