To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the 40th anniversary of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEAFDW), Enfants du Monde organised, under the auspices of the 30 Years of Children's Rights Association and in collaboration with the University of Geneva's Centre for Children's Rights, a conference about the essential linkages between the rights of children and the rights of women in the practices of development aid organisations in the Global South.
16 organisations, NGOs, universities, and state agencies met up this past June 26th at the University of Geneva to build together programmes designed for the different actors in development cooperation that better take into account the rights of women when working on the rights of children, and vice versa. Following a morning of theoretic and practical reflections, with the notable intervention of Professor Philip Jaffé, member of the UN's Committee on the Rights of the Child, participants drew from their experiences to issue general recommendations described further down.
Additionally, a document outlining the conclusions and guidelines resulting from the conference will be elaborated and widely distributed to development cooperation organisations across Switzerland. It will be discussed and reassessed once again on November 18th, at the 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child Commemorative Conference at the United Nations Palais des Nations in Geneva.
Recommendations for better addressing the rights of women while carrying out work on the rights on children, and vice versa:
1. In the context of interventions:
- To prioritize a systematic approach that puts neither the rights of the child nor those of women at the centre, but rather looks for sustainable and long-term development based on human rights as a whole.
- To rely on local agents of change, i.e. children, youth, and women, – without ever forgetting to get men involved!
- To contribute to valuing (socially and financially) the care and household work provided by women, while trying to get men more involved.
- To contribute to changing stereotypes of femininity and masculinity, mainly through educational programmes and contents.
- To build partnerships with other NGOs and actors in the academic world to enable the acquisition of the necessary skills to take a systemic and quality approach.
2. Within our own organisations, to ensure a consistency with our promoted values:
- To encourage diversity and gender-neutral language, as well as gender equality.
- To train our collaborators on gender perspective, oftentimes misunderstood and badly applied.