Fighting for Survival, Justice, the End of Inequality and Tyranny, and, for a Safe Planet

A Tapestry of Women’s Voices Fighting the Multiple Crises

A CSW65 NGO Virtual Parallel Event, 17 March 2021
11:30 am-1:30 pm LONDON / 1:30 -3:30 pm NAIROBI / 4:30 pm-6:30 pm DHAKA / 5:30 pm-7:30 pm JAKARTA/ 6:30 pm-8:30 pm MANILA
Organized by the Asian People’s Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), EURODAD, AKSI!, and, Solidaritas Perempuan (SP)

This event aims to weave a ‘tapestry’ of inter-generational women’s voices, knowledge, wisdom and creative expressions, bringing together grassroots women activists, young women leaders, women parliamentarians and other policy makers, gender equality champions in the international community for reflection, conversation, exchange of insights and analyses, and renewal of commitments to action.

In the era of COVID, we are faced with a multiple crises characterized by near-collapse of health systems, unprecedented economic recession, and an intensifying climate crisis. Women and girls, especially from marginalized communities, face multiple barriers to their full participation in public life, and to the enjoyment of their rights and the benefits of development. The situation recalls the moment 26 years ago when the Beijing Declaration decried the “unspeakable poverty of women,” calling attention to the macro-economic policies that resulted in widespread recession and to the need for action to address the structural root causes of women’s poverty and discrimination.

Bolder action by the international community is imperative today. Women who are engaged in courageous initiatives to advance a transformative agenda for economic and gender justice, climate justice, and, energy transformation could lead the way.


This event draws attention to the context of crises, with a strong focus on debt, illicit financial flows (IFFs) and tax and fiscal systems and policies. It integrates a ‘climate justice’ lens by highlighting intersecting issues faced by women who bear the brunt of the harsh impacts of climate change and environmental destruction.

  • Debt, Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) and Tax and Fiscal Policies. The issue of debt looms even bigger under the pandemic. The burden of debt service contribute massively to the loss of public revenues, especially for developing economies. Making matters worse, corporate tax abuses and illicit financial flows (IFFs) continue to drain economies of precious resources that should have been used to finance the expansion of critical and essential public services to make them accessible to women and girls. Regressive tax policies and gender biases in tax and fiscal policies contribute to women’s economic disempowerment. There is urgent need to change tax laws and other measures that sustain the male breadwinner bias and deny the recognition of women as autonomous economic agents. Reforms must be undertaken toward decisive solutions to the debt issue and the adoption of progressive and gender-just tax and fiscal systems.

  • The State of Climate Emergency and Pursuit of ‘Dirty Energy.’ Whenever climate disasters strike – droughts, floods, rising sea level, and other disasters – women’s exposure to exploitation and various forms of violence and increase. But, despite the climate emergency, the private sector and many governments continue the reckless and profit-drive pursuit, production, and consumption of fossil fuels and other forms of “dirty energy.” Women confront a disproportionate share of the risks, hazards, and adverse impacts. Depletion of natural resources and environmental damage contribute to women’s landlessness and dispossession, increased multiple burden, exposure to hazards that can be damaging to women’s reproductive health, and loss of access to and control over resources vital to women’s survival – food, water, clean air, and affordable and clean sources of energy. Women are also challenge destructive ‘greenwashing’ in the energy sector that trigger land and resource grabbing, loss of livelihood, and pollution.

  • Fighting the Multiple Crises: Women In the Frontlines of Collective Action Women have strengthened collective action and solidarity, standing in the frontlines of civil society actions and movements despite constricting civil space in many countries. Women’s transformative agenda advocate for bold and ambitious action that include, among others, changes in policies, systems, and structures, and in norms, attitudes and practices that serve as barriers to women’s full empowerment. Women’s courage and leadership to expand civil spaces and claim their rights should be recognized and celebrated.


PART ONE: Setting the Context

  • Welcome and Introductions
  • Keynote Remarks: The Current Conjuncture of Multiple Crises
  • Voices from the Ground : Women’s Fights for Survival, Justice, and the end of Tyranny and Inequality, and for a Safe Planet (Testimony and Video Feature)

PART TWO: Debt, Tax, and IFFs, and Women’s Struggles for Economic Justice

  • Why Debt Justice Matters to Women – Inputs and Discussion
  • Stopping Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) and Making Taxes Work for Women – Conversations with Women Leaders and Tax Justice Activists
  • A Call to Action through Music

PART THREE: Women Fighting for Climate Justice and Energy Transformation

  • Why Women are Fighting for Climate Justice, Energy Transformation and System Change – Inputs and Discussion
  • Testimonies and Voices from the Ground: Video feature

Part Four: Realizing Women’s Meaningful Participation in Public Life and Transformative Agenda for System Change

  • Conversations with Women in the Frontlines of the Struggle for System Change
  • Renewing Our Commitment to a Vision – Unveiling of Gallery: Digital Photo Art
  • Closing Remarks