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Statement of the WOMEN’S WORKING GROUP ON FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT * for the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, September 2009

The current G20 meeting in Pittsburgh takes place a year after the outbreak of the worst financial crisis in recent history. That moment left us astonished as we watched powerful governments and the International Financial Institutions scramble to plug a hemorrhaging financial bubble burst in the system of the global market but the crisis quickly spread as a global contagion and soon entire economies were placed at risk. Everywhere the crisis led to destabilizing impacts on the real economy threatening the livelihoods of men and women.

WE believe that G20 leaders’ declarations have committed three essential mistakes: First, the declarations fail to diagnose the crisis as a symptom of something deeper: the unsustainability of an economic and financial system based on profit; the over concentration of capital, overproduction, rampant speculation; and the reckless consumerism that is guided by free market principles. The decoupling of the real economy and financial markets was accompanied by yet another fundamental artificial separation: the productive economy and the sphere of social reproduction.

From a gender perspective, it is also necessary to consider that the aggregate contribution of female labor in the productive economy is concentrated differently than that of male labor. This implies that the impacts of the crisis on women will vary according to sectors of the economy and work conditions. In general, female labor is more vulnerable than male labor with a highest concentration in the informal sector. Therefore, the trend is that women also suffer the most in the productive economy during a crisis. However, the G20 has not approached or attempted to provide answers to any of these elements and analysis of the gendered aspects of the crisis.

Second, the G20 statements presented some of the same elements that caused the crisis as a solution to it.

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Guest post from Michael Boampong, Executive Director, Young People We Care

A few weeks ago I was reading a newspaper item in the March 21st 2009 edition of the Daily Graphic. In the course of reading the article, I realized a big and yet timely challenge has been thrown out by the Secretary General of the West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF), Mr. Oumar N’dongo. Mr. N’dongo has called on governments of member states of the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) to ensure the full implementation of the regional protocols on the freedom of movement people and goods, which was adopted some decades ago.

Prior to reading this, I had participated in TakingITGlobal’s ‘Live Chat on Youth Migration’, which was held in commemoration of the 2008 International Migrants Day celebration. The chat was sponsored by Young People We Care (YPWC), a youth-led organization founded by myself and based in Ghana. The chat brought young people from around the world together to hear from experts and young professionals who are working on migration and youth development issues. This gave them the opportunity to share their thoughts on irregular migration and migrant rights within the context of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (ICRMW).

International migration has arguably become one of the most topical issues of today’s global order. Migration has been facilitated in the 21st century by ‘globalization’ and the global development disparities of economic development and human development. In recent times, climate change and conflict have also resulted in an increase in migration.

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