Declaration of the European and North American Region NGOs
Françoise David, Fédération des femmes du Québec
WomenAction 2000 | Live @ the UNGASS!


Asia Pacific
Middle East
Latin America & Caribbean
Europe & North America
Women & Media
About Us

I am here to represent the women of North America and both Eastern and Western Europe. I speak in the name of the diverse women who live in our region : young and older women, of all faiths, ethnic origin and social conditions, white women and women of colour, native women, heterosexual and lesbian women, migrant women and disabled women. We are proud of our diversity but we are aware that it is also a source of discrimination and inequity between women. Therefore, we have decided that we will work together for change.

We demand that our governements and all the governements of the world commit wholeheartedly to adopting concrete mesures that will ensure women’s equality.

We demand parity, institutional mecanisms to guarantee women’s right to equality, adequate financial resources in governement budgets, specialised UN agencies and regional bodies for the organisations that defend women’s human rights and support women who need it.

We condem the increased poverty of women everywhere in our region, especially in Eastern Europe, where ecomonies are in the process of change and their liberalisation has caused a brutal downward spiral of people’s living conditions. We therefore want jobs for all, a social security net, salaries that allow a decent standard of living, State support of women’s entrepreneurship and protection of labour laws but we also want easy access to unionisation and the recognition of women’s unpaid work.

In the context of globalisation, when even life becomes an object and a commodity, women’s poverty simply increases the profits of the multinationals that have no scrupules. As an example, thousands of eastern european women are lured into underground networks with promises of jobs in the West. They are exploited, humiliated and detained without having any recours against their aggressors. Therefore, we demand that States adopt mesures that will put an end to the trafficking of women and girls.

In the East, the sound of guns has taken a heavy toll on our region. Women and their children were suddenly homeless. These women experienced entire weeks of terror. They were raped, beaten and killed. We, the women of Europe and America say: no more war, no more bombs. To the arms merchants who get rich while people starve and die, we also say no more.

States must remember that women have an ineliableStates must remember that women have an ineliable right to make choices about their lives and their sexual and their reproductive health. We demand that these rights be recognised.

We demand concrete mesures and governement action that is defined in cooperation with the non-governmental organisations so as to put an end to violence against women. We must say no, once and for all, to those who beat, harass, rape and kill women just because they are women and who feel that they have the right to make decisions for them, to own them as if women are just objects.

Now that the Special Session of the General Assembly is over and now that it is clear how difficult it is to make progress when it comes to women’s right to equality and freedom, we want to say loudly and clearly that our struggle will not end here.

We need more than empty promises and up-beat speechs. We demand concrete actions, indicators and deadlines. We demand another gathering, in 2005, a fifth world conference on women. We will demand explanations from all the leaders of the world.

We are determined and we are strongly committed to fighting until the rights of all women are ackowledged. Next fall, tens of thousands of women will be marching in cities and in villages to demand an end to poverty and to violence against women. The World March of Women in the Year 2000 will culminate here at the United Nations on October 17th. We hope to meet with you again in October and work together towards a world based on equality between the sexes, social justice and the redistribution of wealth.

Françoise David
Fédération des femmes du Québec


Home | Africa | Latin America & Caribbean | Europe & North America | Middle East | Live @ UNGASS | Search | Women & Media About Us