Association ESE


   Association for Emancipation, Solidarity and Equality of Women.

The impact of economic reforms and austerity measures on women’s human rights

This policy brief is a summarized version of the thematic report of the UN Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, on the links and the impact of economic reforms and austerity measures on women’s human rights.

The 2007-2008 fnancial crisis has had a particularly devastating and lasting impact on women and girls. In most cases, government austerity measures implemented in the aftermath of the crisis made existing problems much worse, cutting desperately needed services, while increasing the need for unpaid or under-compensated labor, which mostly falls on them.

The current global economic system is sustained by gender inequality and discrimination against women, due in part to gender stereotypes and to gaps in laws and policies. In particular, mainstream economic thinking often does not recognize the economic value of unpaid domestic and care work, thereby privileging male-biased macroeconomic policies that are detrimental to women and exacerbate structural inequalities. In such scenarios, women are at increased risk of gender-based violence, which further undermines the realization of their human rights.


Too many babies are born too small

Around one in seven of all babies worldwide are born with a low birthweight

Geneva, 16 May 2019 

More than 20 million babies were born with a low birthweight (less than 2500g; 5.5 pounds) in 2015—around one in seven of all births worldwide according to the first-ever estimates documenting this major health challenge.

These findings and more are documented in a new research paper developed by experts from the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, published in The Lancet Global Health.

More than 80% of the world’s 2.5 million newborns who die every year are of low birthweight. Those low birthweight babies who survive have a greater risk of stunting, and developmental and physical ill health later in life, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.


Over 100 000 people sick with measles in 14 months: with measles cases at an alarming level in the European Region, WHO scales up response

Copenhagen, 9 May 2019

WHO is scaling up its response to the ongoing measles outbreaks in the European Region, including by creating an operational platform to accelerate its support to affected countries.

The decision followed an assessment of the measles situation in the Region. It was based on the growing number of children and adults affected by and dying from the disease, and the persistence of pockets of non-immunized or under-immunized individuals in many countries fuelling the continuing spread of measles.

Since 1 January 2018, 47 of the 53 countries in the Region have together reported over 100 000 measles cases and over 90 measles-related deaths. WHO has been supporting them over time to improve their immunization coverage and tackle disease spread. However, as measles continues to circulate across countries, more needs to be done.


Free Trade or Women's Rights?

PSI -  Public Services International is a global trade union federation representing 20 million working women and men who deliver vital public services in 163 countries.

After 30 years of neoliberal globalization, it has been increasingly acknowledged that austerity, privatization, deregulation of finance, markets and corporations, and trade and investment liberalization have had a devastating and discriminatory impact on women and have driven inequality. Recent large multilateral agreements, designed primarily to enable the unhindered flow of global capital, are significant barriers to the realization of the human rights of women.

By Kate Lappin*



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