"We are one people; we are one nation; we have one destiny," sang a group of musicians at the opening of the Civil Society Forum on Aid Effectiveness taking in place in Accra, Ghana from August 31 through September 1st.
This meeting precedes the High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness that starts the following day.
Yet as delegates prepare for the forum, the bottom line issues are anything but high level as the decisions made here have a huge impact on very basic services essential to development – such as funding for education and health services, particularly for women.
Just before the start of the official Forum, the Accra Women’s forum was held to strategize. A series of discussions with hundreds of representatives from around the world provided recommendations to make aid work better for women, and help make gender equality a reality.
1.4 billion people – most of them women – living below the poverty line are.And through the myriad ways in which their concerns are shared, what they would like to see is donors recognizing that we are one nation with one destiny, one that demonstrates global gender justice and economic justice.
One participant, Bouare Samake head of the Mali chapter of the Women in Law and Development in Africa program, who works with grassroots women’s development organizations, is particularly concerned that the needs of rural women and families will certainly not be met following this meeting. “The process to obtain funding is too complex and far reaching. Yes, donors pledge money, but the process is often long and not earmarked for women’s issues. Women want to be more involved in the process to assure that our issues are considered at all levels.”
Now, many of our colleagues here are waiting to see how these talks will impact on the