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BE BOLD FOR CHANGE

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TIMOR-LESTE WOMEN’S MOVEMENT

PUBLIC STATEMENT – CELEBRATING INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

“BE BOLD FOR CHANGE” 08 MARCH 2017

 

On 8 March 2017, we came together as a collective of Timorese organisations to put forward our call for positive change; to bring about equality, justice and freedom for all women. We, along with many women across the world, struggle against patriarchal systems that promote the use of violence, struggle against inequality and the exploitation of us and the environment. We make this plea for change to everyone, and ask the Democratic Republic Government of Timor-Leste to recognise that the reality for East-Timorese women is that they continue to experience discrimination in all aspects of political, economic, social and cultural life.

From the political perspective discrimination begins with not having equal access to information and women’s lack of participation in decision making. Despite guaranteesfor their participation within current legal frameworks, when it comes to implementationthis guarantee is not realised. Until now women’s participation in decision makingat the local levelhas shifted from 2% to only 5% at the Suco level.Administrative posts and Municipal President Positions are today held only by men.

Women do not have an equal opportunity to participate in the economy, to access economic markets, microfinance and the labour market. Women don’t have equal access to own land,homes and basic infrastructure. This has a significant impact on the ability of women to improve their economic circumstance, locking them and their families in extreme poverty.

From a social perspective too many women experience gender based violence, most prevalent in the form of domestic violence.In 2016FOKUPERS alone registered 189 cases.  Because of their gender, women are at significant risk of becoming a victim of violence in their lifetime. This results from the unequal balance of power and control between men and women in the current patriarchal society and itssystems.

The Law Against Domestic Violence applies now but doesn’t have a significant positive impact. Barriers for women to access formal justice continue because of a lack of understanding by the relevant authorities, the limited number of courts; traditional justice systems and practices are still strong in society andthere isn’t a high priority put on social support and assistance for survivors. Although Government has shown initiative in the development of the National Action Plan against Gender Based Violence (NAP-GBV)and adopted Resolution 1325 of the UN Peace and Security Counciloutlining responsibility for bringing positive social change through improved integrated service delivery, the implementation of these commitments is weak.

These deficiencies, outlined above,and the State General Budget demonstrate the poor political willof Government to commit to the implementation of change. Compared to 2015, investment in social servicesrelated to gender based violence, 2016’sState General Budget has reduced significantly, by 15.2%.This currentbudget allocationis small when compared to the percentage allocated to infrastructure development; 3.9% for Health; 7.9% for Education; 10.19% for the Ministry of Social Solidarity, and 1% for other.

As the nation is about to celebrate International Women’s Day, the Timor-Leste Women’s Movement proposes the following actions for Governmentto ensure women’s equal participation in its development and the achievement of their human rights:

  1. Implement election law that will increase women’s participation in decision-making at the National level, including that women share equally the opportunity for placements in the list of candidates for the Parliamentary election, in administrative posts and in the municipalities.
  1. All political leaders, during the election campaign must listen equally to women and to men, promote messages of national unity and guaranteed stabilityand ensure they do not give any message that would incite any form of violence.
  1. Continue to enforce educational programs and services that bring about the elimination of gender-based violence against womenin all forms, as they occurred in the past and now; including taking action to prevent dialogue that would incite violence and discrimination against women.

  2. Provide the appropriate resources to implement the National Action Plan on Gender Based Violence, and demonstrate the political will required to implement CEDAW recommendations, the Convention for the Rights of the Child and the Resolution 1325 of the UN Peace and Security Council.

  3. Enforce the implementation of the Law to Combat Human Trafficking and it’s National Action Plan.

  4. Prioritise the appropriate allocation of resources in the State General Budget for service providers implementing prevention and social support services.

  5. Place a priority on resourcing and implementing programs that equally strengthen the economic and psychosocial circumstances of women.

  6. Increase efforts to raise awareness about gender-based violenceand create an environment where women do not experience any form of violence or discrimination in the future.

  7. Ensure that all people in their homes, at school and in health care services are able to access clean water so that they can live a healthy life, as is their basic human right.

 

No

Name

Organisation

1

Marilia da Silva Alves

FOKUPERS

2

Yasinta Lujina

MOFFE-TL

3

Dinorah Granadeiro

Rede Feto Timor-Leste

4

Manuela Leong Pereira

ACbit

5

DomingosXimenes

GFFTL

6

Edith Neto

FFKSH

7

Paula corte-Real

CAUCUS

8

Merita de Jesus Marques

FEEO

9

Martinha da Silva

FFHF

10

Isabel M.M Sequeira

APSC-TL

11

Maria Evelina Iman

Fundasaun Alola

12

Maria Domingas Fernandes Alves

FOKUPERS

13

Marlita J. dos Reis

MOFFE-TL

14

Denise Teresa

MOFFE-TL

15

Sidalia M.F. Belo

MOFFE-TL

16

Rosita Vital

Rede Feto Timor-Leste

17

Elizinha Soares

FFHF

18

Laura Soares Abrantes

APSC-TL

19

Luizinha G. Araujo

FOKUPERS

20

Maria Jose Guterres

FOKUPERS

21

Francisca AlvesTaolin

FOKUPERS

22

Agostinha Fraga

Fundasaun Alola

23

Ivete de Oliveira

FOKUPERS

24

Zelia Fernandes

OPMT

25

Judite Dias Ximenes

RedeFeto – TL

26

Alzira Reis

FundasaunAlola

27

MeritaCorreia

AlFeLa

28

Dadi Magno Alves

CNJTL