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Dialogues at the Economic and Social Council

Achieving Gender Equality, Women's Empowerment and Strengthening Development Cooperation

image of Dialogues at the Economic and Social Council
This publication presents key debates that took place during the 2010 High-level Segment of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), during which was organized the second biennial Development Cooperation Forum. The discussions also focused on the theme of the 2010 Annual Ministerial Review, Implementing the internationally agreed goals and commitments in regard to gender equality and the impowerment of women. It contains keynote speeches, issue papers, roundtable summaries, National Voluntary Presentations, transcriptions of other dialogues and discussions, including a video of the United Nations television debate “Face-to-Face”.

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The role of women in countries in special situations – economic reconstruction

When discussing countries in “special situations”, there is a need to draw a distinction between conflict- and poverty-affected countries. Countries emerging from conflict have distinctive characteristics and needs that cannot be ignored, especially when examining the conditions of women. Postconflict countries, regardless the peculiarities of each particular case, confront a complex, multi-pronged transition, as civil war or other internal chaos end. Political crime and violence must give way to security for the inhabitants through the creation of civilian police forces under civilian control; lawlessness and political exclusion must give way to the rule of law, respect for human and property rights and participatory government; ethnic, religious or class confrontation must yield to national reconciliation, so that people can return where they came from and live in peace; war-ravaged economies must reconstruct and become functioning economies that enable ordinary people - both men and women - to make a licit and decent living. The fact that the transition from conflict to peace requires these multiple tasks makes economic reconstruction fundamentally different from “development as usual”. Reconstruction is a development “plus” challenge. In addition to the development challenges facing most developing countries, post-conflict countries also need to establish a process to manage the trauma of war and pave the way for national reconciliation. If war destruction was widespread, they also need to reestablish basic services and infrastructure, so as to ensure that education, health and other services address the needs of the population, including women. These factors pose significant fiscal pressure on post-conflict countries that do not exist in other developing countries.

English

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