Women and Sustainable Development

New Delhi, India, 7-8 November 1997


On the 90th anniversary of Socialist International Women – the largest alliance of women in the world – delegates from leading political parties in 36 countries met on 7-8 November 1997 in New Delhi, India. The key-note address of Dr. A. K. Mehta, Reader in Economics at the Indian Institute of Public Administration, provided a thoughtful and detailed background for participants' discussions in a global context.

After two days of discussions the meeting concluded that sustainable development should not only refer to economic growth but to people-centred development. The effects of unregulated globalisation, privatisation and fundamentalism of all religions are felt by women the world-over. To date women have borne the major risks associated with these phenomena, such as the feminisation of poverty and denial of women's rights. The meeting set strategies for how women can be genuine participants in decision-making processes at the community, state, national and international levels.

There can be no sustainable development without sustainable peace. Socialist International Women calls for women to have equal representation in both formal and informal peace processes at all levels.

Participants agreed that they would hold governments accountable for commitments made at the Rio, Cairo, Copenhagen and Beijing Conferences. Delegates are committed to ensuring that the United Nations continues women's conferences as a process towards political mobilisation and empowerment.

Women must be in the mainstream of development as an active participant in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development processes.

Delegates agreed that they would hold governments and Socialist International member parties accountable for all resolutions which commit them to equal representation.

Socialist International Women extends support to the women of the Janata Dal in their campaign for a reservation of seats in Parliament. SIW would also like to express its heartfelt thanks to the Women's Wing of Janata Dal for hosting the two day meeting and giving this opportunity to Socialist International Women to exchange experiences and formulate strategies.



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