In early March 2020, the UN announced that the 64th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women would change its format due to the concerns regarding coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The Commission convened on 9 March for a procedural meeting to adopt the draft Political Declaration and action on any other draft resolutions. The session was then suspended until further notification. No general debate took place and all side and parallel events cancelled. This of course impacted on civil society engagement and ability to travel to NYC to attend the CSW as a key UN policy and decision-making spaces. This meant less voice for civil society, meaning we needed to make more ‘noise’ digitally and in the media. The Global Alliance for Tax Justice’s Tax and Gender working group members therefore made a decision to turn their planned parallel even into a webinar, which was held at the same time as the parallel event would have been held, on 13th March!
The webinar was titled “Reviving Beijing´s Neglected Macroeconomic Agenda: Tax Justice for Women’s Rights” and held as part of the Global Days of Action on #TaxJustice for Women’s Rights, under the theme ‘Make Taxes Work for Women’.
- Dr. Marianna Leite, Global Lead on Gender and Inequality for Christian Aid, started the discussion, outlining the UN legal framework about Women’s Human Rights… and much more!
- Veronica Montufar, based in Quito, Ecuador for Public Services International provided a link between tax and public service provision and how this redistributes unpaid care work – and the role of unions of course!
- Cynthia Umurungi, Communications and Outreach Officer for Tax Justice Network Africa explained the gendered impacts of Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs); she also presented the gaps in the Fair tax monitor reports from various African countries, as far as redistribution and responsive budgeting are concerned.
- Juliet Nakato, Director of Programmes at Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE) in Uganda gave a comprehensive presntation on FOWODE’s Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) experience
- Bilquis Tahira, with the Women’s Rights Organisation Shirakat in Pakistan, shared their research on development financing and gender equality in Pakistan, monitoring IMF conditionalities and its impact on women, as well as their work with CEDAW.
Both co-coordinators of the Global Alliance for Tax Justice’s working group on Tax and Gender moderated the discussion: Caroline Othim, Global Policy and Campaigns Coordinator in Africa for the Global Alliance for Tax Justice and Roosje Saalbrink, Policy and Advocacy Manager on Women’s Economic Rights at Womankind Worldwide.
You can also find the links to the excellent presentations on our website:
- “Impact of IMF Policies on Women’s Lives in Pakistan” by Bilquis Tahira from Shirakat – Partnership for Development, Pakistan
- “Gender Responsive Budgeting in Uganda“; FOWODE’s experience by Juliet Nakato
- “A Human Rights Lens to Economic Justice” by Dr. Marianna Leite of Christian Aid
- “Tax, Gender and Public Services” by Veronicar Montufar of Public Services International
- “Gendered Impacts of IFFs and Taxation” by Cynthia Umurungi of Tax Justice Network Africa
Here is the video recording of the webinar. Please circulate amongst your feminist partners and #TaxJustice activist friends!