Women’s Rights and Tax Justice: Conference in Bogotá, Colombia

Panaromic view of Bogota

On June 13th, 14th, and 15th, 2017 the Tax Justice Network will be taking part in an important conference of people coming together in Bogotá to discuss the little-understood and under-reported impacts of political decisions on taxation and financial secrecy on women and girls around the world.

Tax justice and gender is a key and developing research and campaigning area for the Tax Justice Network. Our head of tax, human rights and gender Liz Nelson will report back on this fascinating line-up (detailed below) with her take on the event and future steps to protect the futures of half of the world’s population from the damage done to them in environments that are delivering poorly on tax justice.

You can find the details of the conference in Spanish here and it will be livestreamed via this link here.

The conference hashtags are: #TaxJustice4Women17 and #JusticiaFiscalParaMujeres17

Women’s Rights and Tax Justice Conference, Bogotá, Colombia

There’s a language of secrecy, and an industry and culture around taxation that is deliberately exclusive.

Excluded from this ‘web’ of interests are the structures that secure the rights of women. A feminist analysis can provide a much-needed underpinning within the tax and financial secrecy debate in order to expose the impact of international financial architecture, of international tax treaties and practices, and national taxation policies on the human rights of women. The absence of such analysis is problematic because the shrinking role of progressive tax laws and the growth of the secretive global financial services industry perpetuates structural failures that undercut state obligations to realise all of women’s human rights.

From South to North the women’s rights and tax justice communities, the labour union movement and civil society at large are increasingly aligned in this view; and so on June 13, 14, 15th 2017 in Bogotá, Colombia with Freidrich Ebert Stiftung, the Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ) and Public Services International (PSI), we will host a global meeting of leading organisations and thinkers in this space. The aim will be to establish and to confirm powerful, common positions that will underpin concerted action over the following years: to put down a marker for change, starting with a clear narrative shift.

Some sessions will be livestreamed. We’ll provide the link here as soon as we have it. The main language used will be English which will be simultaneously interpreted into Spanish.

The programme is as follows:

DAY ONE

7:00 registration opens + breakfast

Welcome Session

Time: 0800 – 0815

Welcoming delegates to the Global Convening and doing a quick overview of the 3 days to follow

Session 1

Time: 0820 – 0945

Format: Conversation [45 minutes]  + Facilitated Q&A session [30 minutes]

Rosa Pavanelli (General Secretary, Public Services International)  in conversation with Jose Antonio Ocampo Chairman of the Board of Banco del República (Central Bank of Colombia) and Maria Nieves Rico (Director of Gender Affairs, CEPAL)

  • Why are we doing this now?
  • The trajectory of the movement from both their perspectives (past/present)
  • Relationship /tension between public and private (public services and corporation
  • Engaging with grassroots / citizens
  • Call to action/challenge to the movement to take up

Moderated by: Veronica Grondona

COFFEE BREAK – 0945 – 1000 – 15 MINUTES

Session 2

Time: 1000 – 1130

Format: Plenary + Facilitated Discussion

Case studies for this session circulated in advance

Discriminatory tax regimes and their gendered impacts – domestic and international

[40 minutes] International (PLENARY DISCUSSION)

Impact of global financial architecture such as secrecy jurisdictions, use of trusts, beneficial ownership, use of trusts, beneficial ownership.

[40 minutes] Domestic (PLENARY DISCUSSION)

A feminist gender analysis will explore a range of features within regressive tax systems which discriminate against women e.g.  VAT, tax competitive policies to attract MNCs

Discussions guided by questions:

  • What do discriminatory policies look like?
  • What are the gendered impacts?
  • What are alternative policies/responses

Speakers:

Kathleen Lahey

Corina Rodriguez

Everline Aketch

Ngo Thi Thu Ha

Moderator: Liz Nelson

LUNCH BREAK – 1130 – 1300 – 90 MINUTES

ICEBREAKER ACTIVITY – 1300 – 1330 – 30 MINUTES

Session 3

Time: 1330 – 1430

Format: Plenary + Facilitated Discussion

Public service provision through domestic resource mobilisation

  • Health, education, water, housing, transportation et cetera
  • Care work: Socio-cultural norms reinforce existing gender inequalities in care work and shape women’s engagement and opportunities in paid and unpaid care work; in formal and informal care work.
    • Explore the ideological underpinnings (it is a key element of capitalist and patriarchal systems and structures)
    • Demonstrate that addressing this issue goes beyond better budgets

Speakers:

Jennifer Besong

Wangari Kinoti

Mary Collins

Moderator: Veronica Montufar

COFFEE BREAK – 1430 – 1445- 15 MINUTES

Session 4

Time: 1445 – 1545

Format: Plenary

Extractive industries: how they are allowed to operate [tax incentives, etc] and the impact on women in specific countries

Presentation of Country Case Studies

  • Philippines – Mae Buenaventura
  • Uganda – Nelly Busingye
  • Ecuador – Veronica Montufar

Moderator: Kathleen Lahey

COFFEE BREAK – 1545 – 1600 – 15 MINUTES

Session 5

Time: 1600 – 1700

Format: Plenary

Realisation of sustainable development progress/goals

  • National and international level barriers and opportunities (implementation; financing)
  • SDGs/Agenda 2030 – which goals are salient to this discussion? Opportunities to use the goals as a platform for bringing this perspective to the policy debate and also to highlight how more progressive equitable fiscal policy is key to realising the SDGs.
  • Perspectives to be included
    • environmental perspective, climate financing
    • A focus on economic inequality and how it interacts with gender inequality and poverty

Speakers:

Kate Donald

Carmen Benitez

Mariama Williams

Janet Veitch

Moderator: Liz Nelson

Wrap up Session

Time: 1700 – 1715

Overview of the day and the day ahead

1900 – RECONVENE FOR DINNER IN LOBBY

DAY TWO

What are the advocacy needs to “equip and support” a well informed movement and in order  to  bridge the gaps in knowledge, resources, and coordination?

8:00 BREAKFAST

Session 6

Time: 0900 – 1015

Format: Presentations [45 minutes]  + Facilitated discussion [30 minutes]

Baseline 2017 – Mapping  where the field is in terms of collaboration between tax justice, development, human rights and women’s right movements.

  • Baselines
    • GATJ campaign overview
    • Regional – initial focus on Latin America, Africa, Asia
    • Trade union perspectives
    • Human rights

Speakers:

Teresa Marshall

Crystal Simeoni

Farah Al Shammi

Isolde Kunkel-Weber

Nikki Reisch

Moderator: Mae Buenaventura

COFFEE BREAK – 1015 – 1030 – 15 MINUTES

Session 7

Time: 1030-1200

Format: Roundtable discussions [60 minutes]  + summary plenary of roundtable group discussions [30 minutes]

Mapping key influence points + challenge/risk points 

  • Research
  • Fora for strategic planning, advocacy, activism..
  • Institutions, policy makers
  • Organisations

Guest Facilitator: Fariya Mohiuddin

LUNCH BREAK – 1200 – 1300 – 60 MINUTES

Session 8

Time: 1300 – 1410

Format: Presentations [40 minutes]  + Facilitated discussion [30 minutes]

Resource needs for action + Discussion of potential solutions (national/international) and accompanying advocacy strategies/tactics

Case studies to be presented:

  • GATJ’s recent campaign – #TaxJusticeforWomensRights
  • How to mobilise Public Sector Workers
  • Whistleblowing

Speakers:

Caroline Othim

Ana María Lizárraga

Nicole Bidegain Ponte

Maria Isabel Beron

Moderator: Maria Fernanda Valdes

Session 9

Time: 1410 – 1430

Format: 2 short presentations

Journalism as advocacy: How to work with media in general to illuminate a narrative which aims to support policy change in the government and public space. Nurture and inform journalists working in the gender/human rights the potency and relevance of tax justice issues.

Speakers:

Marta Núñez

Teresa Marshall

COFFEE BREAK – 1430 – 1450 – 20 MINUTES

Session 10

Time: 1450 – 1620

Format: Roundtable discussions [60 minutes]  + summary plenary of roundtable group discussions [30 minutes]

Where do we go from here? 

  • What is the structure to continue the conversation?
    • List of strategic goals
    • Mapping spaces for networks
    • Keep connecting people, networks, resources
  • Reflection as a group
    • How does a women’s rights framing strengthen TJ work, and vice versa. What do we do differently armed with this new framing, discourse, network and tools?

Guest Facilitator: Crystal Simeoni

BREAK – 1620 – 1630 – 10 MINUTES

Closing Session

Time: 1630 – 1700

Wrap up, thank yous, see you tomorrow, and other housekeeping

1900 – RECONVENE FOR DINNER IN LOBBY

 

DAY THREE – LOCAL ACTION IN COLOMBIA

PARTICIPANTS:

  • International representatives
  • Representatives of International organisations associated to the PSI and FES in Colombia, trade unions and the tax justice network-Colombia.
  • Representatives of feminist national organizations and women’s organisations.

PRELIMINARY AGENDA:

08:00   Registration

08:15   Welcome by organisers

08:45

Panel # 1: International and Colombian tax structure and their impacts on women human rights

Format: Academic panel.

Panelists: : Javier Ávila, Natalia Moreno, Corina Rodriguez, Rosa Pavanelli, Cecilia Lopez Montaño , Patricia Muñoz

Moderator: FES

9:50    

Panel # 2 A political and legal perspective.

Panelists: Angela María Robledo (tbc), Isabel Cristina Muñoz, Kathleen Lahey, Liz Nelson,  Stella Jeannette Carvajal Basto

Moderator: Red Justicia Tributaria

11:15   Coffee break

11:30

Panel # 3: Experiences  and Mobilisation:

Panelists: Laura Rangel, Verónica Paz, Tulia Martinez, Jennifer Kakah Besong

Moderator: PSI

13:00   Conclusions

Press Conference (details to be confirmed)

 

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