Updated: Sep 26, 2020
CARE International, a humanitarian organisation fighting global poverty and providing lifesaving assistance in emergencies, has been selected by the Generation Equality Forum core group as a global leader of the Action Coalition on Economic Justice and Rights. This is one of six coalitions bringing together a diverse group of public, private and civil society organizations tasked with working together over the next five years to accelerate progress for women and girls through actions that will tackle systemic barriers to gender inequality. Sofia Sprechmann Sineiro, secretary general of CARE International, says as we struggle to defeat COVID-19 and see years of hard-won progress on women’s rights at risk of reversal, now is the time to come together to develop a global game plan that will deliver a quantum leap forward for women’s economic empowerment and human rights. She says this was part of the promise in the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, yet much needs to be done and this action coalition could not be coming at a more critical time. “Women have long been seen as critical agents of post-crisis recovery and investing in gender equality has the potential to stimulate the economy and reverse losses to global wealth by up to $160 trillion. CARE International has a long history of working on economic justice for women based on a deep-rooted understanding that when women earn, everyone benefits,” says Sprechmann Sineiro. As an example the humanitarian organization pioneered the first Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) in Niger, West Africa in 1991. Today VSLAs operate across over 54 countries with over 8.4 million members generating an average of $2.34 billion financial transactions each year.
According to the secretary general, as part of the Action Coalition on Economic Justice and Rights, CARE will be led by grassroots women’s rights organizations, local women-led organizations, women’s movements and the women and girls they already partner within over 100 countries around the world. She says they are committed to ensuring they offer women and girls meaningful opportunities to participate as part of this action coalition and are accountable to them in return. “We will build on expertise and lessons we learned in local communities over the last 75 years to empower women and girls to drive breakthroughs on women and girls’ economic justice and rights. We will join forces with co-leaders including the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the UN Capital Development Fund, governments of Mexico, Spain, South Africa, Sweden and Germany and civil society organizations,” says Sprechmann Sineiro.