The Linkage Caucus was held yesterday at 5pm at Conference Room B at the UN Office. The Linkage Caucus is held daily for various regional and issue caucuses to share what they have accomplished for the day as well as to discuss NGO lobbying strategies.
The various caucuses have been meeting regularly to discuss and ammend the various sections of the coalition document. This is the final NGO report on the BPFA Review. It has not been made available in electronic format yet and is not currently not available on-line.
The highlights of today's Linkage Caucus are as follows:
The Women in Power and Decision-making Caucus will demand for numerical, timebound targets in women's representation in local and national governments. The caucus will ask that by 2003, women will have 30% representation and 50% representation must be achieved by 2005.
The VAW Caucus had strongly argued against the use of "forced prostitution" in the coalition document, stating that there should be no distinction between "forced" and "free" prostitution. The VAW Caucus representative also stressed that prostitution in and by itself is a violation of and violent towards women, and that by emphasising that only "forced" prostitution is considered a human right violation, prostituted women will have to bear the burden of proving that they had been violated. The VAW caucus also appealed to other caucuses to pay attention to the use of the term "forced" in other areas in the BPFA.
The Poverty Eradication Caucus presented their updated key lobbying points these are:
- eradication of the impoverishment of women by 2015, and progress reviews every five years on the attainment of this goal;
- integrated approach to economic, social and political empowerment of women, particularly women living im poverty;
- women living in poverty and CBOs must be included in the decision-making on poverty eradication;
- women's ownership and control over land, property, and financial resources, including the right to inherit property and earn a living-wage and enjoy decent working conditions, consistent with ILO labor standards;
- decentralisation of national decision-making to the local-level accompanied by resources to local entities and CBOs;
- redirect 30% of the military/arms budget to the eradication of poverty; and
- commitment of all industrialised countries to debt cancellation and linkage of debt cancellation resources to grassroots-led poverty eradication.