The Canadian National Committee of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM Canada)

The Canadian National Committee of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM Canada)
World Bank

World Bank

October 12, 2010 22:38 ET

UNIFEM Canada (Part of UN Women) President Almas Jiwani Addresses at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Civil Society Policy Forum, Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 12, 2010) - Almas Jiwani, President of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM Canada, part of UN Women), International Civil Society advocates, world leaders, government officials, academics, representatives from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) convened at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Civil Society Policy Forum in Washington to exchange views on a variety of topics: macroeconomic policy in low-income countries, public financial management, tax policy, and economic surveillance, the global economic crisis, climate change, and governance reform. A Townhall Meeting with Bank President Robert B. Zoellick and Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn was also included.

Almas Jiwani was invited to address the forum on issues of gender dimensions and the social accountability of institutions to citizens in fragile states. In her key address to the panel, she highlighted the importance of gender-sensitive approaches to conflict resolution while emphasizing innovative and unique procedures and supplements to the traditional conflict resolution procedures, such as Truth and Reconciliation Mechanisms and the Demobilization, Disarmament and Deregulation processes in war-affected countries.

Ms Jiwani stressed on the importance of building women's economic capacity and stated that women represent the majority of victims of war and are often left to bear the burden of a system of patriarchy in war-torn countries. Using her broad expertise on the issue of women's equality, she shared the strategies for the economic empowerment of women and their education facing post-conflict challenges, highlighting the United Nations Development Fund's gender-inclusive approach towards women residing in areas of conflict.

Ms. Jiwani also encouraged the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to adopt and promote a more comprehensive approach to women's empowerment. She stressed the importance of providing girls and women with an equitable role in reconstruction processes and the funding of projects in post-conflict countries where the World Bank and the IMF currently operate.

"I am confident that the dialogue we had in our meetings touched the very root of the issue of violence against women, economic recovery efforts and the implementation of gender equitable policies in the international community as well as institutions gathered at the conference," stated Ms. Jiwani.

The creation of a new United Nations Gender Entity for the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the appointment of Ms. Michele Bachelet as the Under-Secretary General for UN Women will significantly encourage and further the platform to advance gender equality and women's empowerment, globally.

John Garrison, Senior Civil Society Specialist from the World Bank stated: "It is important to have knowledgeable international development specialists such as Ms. Jiwani and others to attend the Annual Meetings. The panels she and other gender specialists participated in during the Civil Society Policy Forum on addressing violence against women, generated thoughtful analysis and useful recommendations for the Bank's work in this area.Mr. Garrison further explained that "the World Bank is always working towards the promotion of human development via effective and open transparent communications and through a dialogue policy with our civil society partners. These panel discussions that we organized are part of our yearly activities where we take into account the issues and perspectives of civil society."

The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM Canada; part of UN Women) is one of the first National Committees to have the honor of participating and to provide their expert opinion on the issues raised at the forum.

About UNIFEM and the Canadian National Committee (http://www.unifemcanada.org)

UNIFEM is now a part of the United Nations Gender Entity for the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) following a United Nations General Assembly resolution adopted on July 2, 2010. UN Women will become operational in January 2011. UNIFEM is the women's fund at the United Nations, dedicated to advancing women's rights and achieving gender equality. It provides financial and technical assistance to innovative programs and strategies that foster women's empowerment. UNIFEM operates on the premise that it is the fundamental right of every woman to live a life free from discrimination and violence, and that gender equality is essential to achieving development and to building just societies.

About World Bank (www.worldbank.org)

The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. Its mission is to fight poverty with passion and professionalism for lasting results and to help people help themselves and their environment by providing resources, sharing knowledge, building capacity and forging partnerships in the public and private sectors. It is not a bank in the common sense; and is made up of two unique development institutions owned by 187 member countries: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA).

About the International Monetary Fund (IMF) (www.imf.org)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.

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