"I am not an NGO! I represent elected women from Africa and the World. Today through, for REFFELA and UCLG, we need to register as NGOs to be able to talk before you. We need however to understand the great opportunities that resourced local governance can offer" Fatimetou Mint Abdel Malick, Mayor of Tevragh-Zeina, Mauritania.
On the occasion of the interactive panel taking place at the Commission on the Status of Women from 10 to 21 March in United Nations Headquarters, New-York, UCLG’s representative has been invited to address the States on the topic of the panel: ”accountability and participation of women and girls for implementation of the MDGs”.
Ms. Fatimetou Mint Abdel Malick, Mayor of Tevragh-Zeina, Mauritania and President of REFELA (network of local elected women in Africa), stressed the importance of addressing the specific needs of women and girls in the framework of the MDG’s review and Post-2015 development agenda.
She further noted with disappointment that not enough attention was given to the key role of local governance as basic environment to promote development and equity and calling on States to ensure local authorities are provided with the legal, technical and financial capacities to implement local gender-responsive policies.
She highlighted the actions that local authorities believe will be key to ensuring accountably in the gender equality and development agenda:
- Take into account good experiences we have with local gender observatories monitoring of compliance with gender policies
- Commitment for specific information session for women and girls, including budgetary sessions, for current MDG agenda and Post-2015 agenda
- Promoting multi-stakeholder and multi-level governance mechanisms
- Need to increase active participation of women and girls in local decision making in order to contribute to achievement of MDGs
- Develop mechanisms whereby women and girls needs are taken into account
- Ensuring that local elected officials develop a structural dialogue with women’s groups to assess the needs of the community
Special attention should be given to the new needs, and the new types of inequalities, that rapid urbanization is creating for women and girls. This issue was missing in the MDGs during drafting but is nevertheless important for the achievement of the MDGs and a key for the future post-2015 development agenda. Institutionalizing the experiences developed by women’s groups can be achieved by including them in local policy practices.