What's at stake for african women, young people and girls within the post2015 Development agenda and 3rd financing for Development?

LET’S TALK MONEY; Whats at Stake in the Financing for Development Discussions?

The International third financing for development discussions are taking place parallel to the post 2015 development agenda discussions. These discussions are set to build upon the 1st and 2nd financing for development frameworks discussed in Monterrey and Doha respectively. The discussions have also been characterized under the means of implementation stream of the post2015 development agenda under which the data revolution, technology transfer and capacity building are being discussed. The need to set aside the Financing for development discussions parallel to the post2015 development agenda discussions cannot be emphasized enough.

In the wake of trade discussions, discussions on increasing foreign direct investments in developing countries and increased domestic resource mobilization;  We must understand that the way we have been accessing factors of production such as land is rapidly changing and we are having an expanded list of the factors of production themselves. The way individuals have been contributing to national and global economies have and continue to change, the way private sector and other sector players have been engaging with governments has changed rapidly. If our foreign policies continue to be instrumental we might find ourselves soon disenfranchised in our own countries, talk about our governments trading our birth right, if they haven’t done so already.

What’s at stake for gender equality and youth development?

The world economy has been transformed in many ways, the way we do business has changed and economic development players have been determined. This comes at a cost, a cost that is too much to bear for those living in poverty and countries that are yet to develop. We have redefined inequalities along geographical, economic, age and gender lines. The next discussion that this phenomenon raises is that of redistribution, allocation and utilization of financial resources to meet development needs. A global, stable economic and financial system rests on its redistribution to address inequalities which have over time been accelerated by our own iniquities and the perpetuation of social injustices.

As we pursue the much spoken about yet very elusive sustainable development, we must find it in ourselves the imperative to prioritize people over profits  and anchor this in our public policies  that have continued to instrumentalize human beings  and are majorly spearheaded by smart economics. This particularly means that the world and states across the world should pursue development that embodies the spirit set in the 1990s conferences outcome that conscientized the world, in particular those conferences such as the International Conference on Population & Development, Beijing Platform for Action and Vienna which did seek to ensure the world pursues people centered  development that promotes human rights, ensures women and young people’s full and effective participation in efforts towards attainment of sustainable development and finally governments prioritize investments in young people’s health, education and well being. One of the urgent things on the Financing for development to do list is for Governments, private sector and other non-state actors to  transform investment into concrete action in order to close the resource gaps that hinder gender equality and continue to marginalize young people.

  Why is Financing for Development important for adolescents, youth and women?

They normally say put your money where you mouth is, currently the world in parts such as Africa and Asia have more than half their populations as young people. Women also constitute half of the world’s population; we have sung and given enough lip service to the tune of leave no one behind. In this spirit of this very noble,  well-meaning slogan and for all its worth, a paradigm shift is the least the world can do to curtail the escalation of inequalities and especially leave no one behind

Gender and young people sensitive targets within the Sustainable Development Goals must be put into consideration when discussing financing for development. This will only be done with prioritized, dedicated youth & gender mainstreaming of resource allocation and investment as an urgent imperative within the Financing for Development.

We are now 20 years and beyond towards the implementation of the forward looking and ambitious Beijing Platform for Action and the ICPD Program of Action. Unless there is commitment to significantly scale up in scope and quality, the investment in gender equality and matters young people, our ambitions set by world leaders, women and other stakeholders will not be achieved. The international 3rd Financing for Development discussions present an opportunity to prioritize and dedicate significant and sustainable resources to achieve gender equality and youth development outcomes.

What must happen?

Women and youth organizations must continue to demand accountability of all stakeholders for the full implementation of international norms and standards on gender equality, women’s and youth empowerment.  Domestic, international, public and private sources of financing must be mobilized and effectively used to achieve the full and accelerated implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and ICPD Program of Action in order to meet commitments on the proposed gender and youth sensitive targets in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The voice, participation and contribution of civil society organizations within the crucial Financing for Development process must increase at all levels. The post 2015 development agenda has been lauded for being all inclusive, this must extend to the Financing for Development process.

An under-regulated global economic & financial system has widened income, gender, & geographic inequalities & produced systemic crises such as the Food, fuel and financial crises which disproportionately affected  livelihoods & wellbeing  millions of young people, women &  girls. This man made crises must be taken into considerations when discussing redistribution and must be addressed to  alleviate poverty and eliminate inequalities within our generation

I will end by quoting Thomas Sankara; Women’s and now I will add young people  emancipation should not be discussed as an act of charity but as an essential and core pillar towards attainment of sustainable development.

As the world meets from 13-16th July in Addis Ababa, these words by Thomas Sankara should guide our engagements.



Catherine is a Mandela Fellow 2016, Women Deliver Young Leader and member of Youth RISE International working group. Catherine is a passionate young African feminist activist with over 7 years of experience in advancing gender equality, youth development and sexual and reproductive health and rights in the context of sustainable development through movement building, digital and social media, policy advocacy and capacity building for young women and adolescents girls. Catherine is currently Deputy Director at Dandelion Kenya, and sits on the SDGs Kenya Forum coordination committee. Catherine has engaged with various global and regional policy processes such as ICPD Beyond 2014 review, Beijing +20 and the post 2015 development agenda. She co-authored the article ‘Leave No One Behind; Will African Women be left behind in the post 2015 development agenda ,an article published on the East African Business Monthly in February 2015. Catherine launched the #SRHRDialogues, an online advocacy and awareness raising platform on SRHR and #YAFDialogues, an online platform anticipated to be a permanent mobilizing platforms borne out of an African feminist dialogue 2015 in Accra. Follow her on Twitter: @catherinenyamb1

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