Progress of the World’s Women 2008/2009. Full Report. Published by United Nations Development Fund for Women.


Progress of the World’s Women 2008/2009: Who Answers to Women? Gender and Accountability shows that realising women’s rights and achieving the Millennium Development Goals depends on strengthening accountability for commitments to women and gender equal-ity. The examples highlighted throughout the Report suggest that for women’s rights to translate into substantive improvements in their lives, and for gender equality to be realized in practice, women must be able to fully participate in public decision-making at all levels and hold those responsible to account when their rights are infringed or their needs ignored. Published at the halfway point to the 2015 dead-line for achieving the MDGs, Progress presents clear evidence that women’s empowerment and gender equality are drivers for reducing poverty, building food security, reducing maternal mortality, and enhancing the effectiveness of aid.

The chapters in this volume examine how women’s efforts to ex-pose gender-based injustice and demand redress have changed the ways in which we think about accountability. Acknowledging that different groups of women encounter distinct challenges in gaining access to their rights, Progress 2008/2009 highlights a wide range of examples, including those that show how the most excluded women are identifying accountability gaps and calling for redress.

Improving accountability to women begins with increasing the numbers of women in decision-making, but it cannot stop there. It requires stronger mandates, clearer performance indicators, better incentives and sustained advocacy efforts – in short, good governance. Progress 2008/2009 shows that good governance needs women and women need good governance if commitments to gender equality are to be met nationally and globally

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