Our Perspective

      • Post-2015: Are women and men equally shaping future development goals? | Tracy Vaughan Gough

        27 May 2013

        image
        A woman joins her two male co-workers at a brick field in West Bengal, India. (Photo: Joydeep Mukherjee/UNDP Photo Contest)

        Roughly half of the 700,000 people who have taken part so far in the UN’s global discussions about the future development framework are women and girls. Demand is increasing for both an individual goal on gender equality which would tackle underlying discrimination and for more emphasis on gender issues in general. This is partly because men and women do not always share the same concerns, as is illustrated by the MY World global survey. Data shows that both sexes agree on the top development priorities for their lives — a good education, better healthcare and an honest and responsive government — but a key difference is that women rank equality between men and women in ninth place whereas men rank it second to last, in 15th place.   Differences have also emerged during the 88 national consultations that are taking place around the world. In Kosovo for example, women said they were concerned about discrimination and social attitudes toward them, whereas men focused more on their status and health issues. In Egypt, female participants highlighted how violence against women and girls is used as a means to limit their public engagement.   Gender issues came up in many other Post-2015 platforms. A meeting Read More

      • Africa's renaissance deserves continued support | Helen Clark

        24 May 2013

        image
        Women in Burundi recycle waste as part of a programme to reintegrate returnees and ex-combatants into society. (Photo: UNDP Burundi)

        Many African countries have made significant progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.  Many more children, including girls, are getting an education than ever before. The proportion of people living in extreme poverty is falling.  The numbers of women elected to legislatures is growing, and the tide is turning on HIV. Meanwhile, there has been a rise in trade, investment and development cooperation with emerging economies, which have been successful in the fight against poverty. Over the past decade, nearly half the financing of infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa was provided by governments and regional funds from elsewhere in the South. The rise of Africa is thus associated with a rising South overall. A significant number of developing countries have transformed themselves into dynamic emerging economies with growing influence, and the proportion of the world’s population living in extreme poverty has fallen from 43 percent to 22 percent. This good news has been the result of pragmatic economic strategies, innovative social policies, and the willingness of proactive developing states to invest in physical infrastructure and human development. Africa’s battle against poverty and hunger is not yet over, but at UNDP we are confident  it can and will be won. The challenge now is Read More

      • Indigenous peoples’ political inclusion enriches democracy in Latin America | Heraldo Muñoz

        23 May 2013

        image
        "Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions." - Article 5 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. (UN Photo)

        One of the most significant roles of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is to help boost indigenous peoples’ political participation. It is crucial to ensure that all people participate in political life and are active decision-makers—especially indigenous peoples. This is essential to overcome historical inequalities and discrimination. In Latin America and the Caribbean there are approximately 50 million indigenous peoples, about 10 percent of the total population. In Peru and Guatemala indigenous peoples account for almost half of the population, while in Bolivia they are more than 60 percent. Even though in Mexico indigenous peoples cover only 10 percent of the total population, Mexico and Peru contain the region’s largest indigenous population: about 11 million people. Mexico, for example, is advancing the ‘coexistence’ of indigenous peoples’ legal systems with the national legal system. It is not an easy process. The indigenous peoples’ representation at local and national levels, including dispute resolution methods, can differ widely and also spark tensions. However, indigenous peoples have shown that they are aware of how modern democracies work, as well as the limitations imposed to their political participation. For this reason, indigenous peoples have been adapting their traditional knowledge systems and their institutions Read More