Concept note: 'MAKE TAXES WORK FOR WOMEN!'

Published on 
02/05/2020

The 'Make Taxes Work for Women' Global Days of Action campaign is an initiative of the Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ), its regional networks Tax And Fiscal Justice Asia, Tax Justice Network Africa, Tax Justice-Europe, Red de Justicia Fiscal de América latina y el Caribe, FACT Coalition & Canadians for Tax Fairness, and the GATJ Tax & Gender working group members and partners including Public Services International (PSI), Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID), Centre for Economic and Social Rights (CESR), ActionAid, Christian Aid, Oxfam, Tax Justice Network (TJN) and Womankind Worldwide.
 
Introduction
The Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ) in collaboration with its regional networks and other partners will hold the 4th annual Global Days of Action for Tax Justice for Women’s Rights Campaign from 8 to 20 March 2020 under the theme: “Make taxes work for women.” The campaign theme provides a unified direction to guide and galvanize continuous collective action throughout the days of action. The campaign will be an ongoing initiative to have a gender lens in everything that we do to keep the campaign alive for the whole year.
 
The campaign will be launched on the International Women’s day (8th March) and will coincide with the 64th Session of the UNCSW64 (9-20 March) marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Beijing Declaration. The UNCSW meeting will provide a critical opportunity to advance our advocacy messaging on the global commitment by governments to maximise available resources through fair and progressive taxation to fund gender responsive public services and social protection systems. The campaign will provide an opportunity for the tax justice movement and the women´s rights movement to highlight the gendered impacts of taxation; and to ensure that tax justice becomes an integral part of struggle for women’s rights and gender equality; and to build a vibrant movement that promotes gender just tax systems.
 

Context and Rationale
Every year, hundreds of billions of dollars of public revenues is lost through illicit financial flows and capital flight through tax evasion and tax avoidance by multinational corporations. This deprives governments of the much-needed resources to fund public services, social protection and infrastructure to address inequalities. Marginalized women and those living in poverty are impacted the most. Secondly, regressive and discriminatory tax policies used to raise government revenue continues to have negative impacts on poor people, especially women. In addition, unpaid care work mostly carried out by women remains invisible in the economy. Governments therefore need to act for tax justice by need to recognise, reduce and redistribute unpaid care work; collect tax revenues in a progressive and gender-just manner, as a sustainable way to finance the commitments to end poverty and reduce inequality. Tax revenue justice needs to be a lived reality for women and girls everywhere.
     
Global Days of Action
It is against this background that the Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ) and partners will hold the Global days of action. GATJ will therefore act as a uniting and campaigning front for the global tax justice movement and women´s rights movement – bringing together civil society groups in coalitions at the national, regional and international levels. This will be done through collectively designed actions and promotion of alternate solutions to help individual efforts achieve greater visibility and impact.
 
The proposed Global Days of Action will serve as an opportunity to highlight the tax issues affecting women; encourage tax justice to be an integral part of struggles for women’s rights; and make tax justice more relevant to ordinary people and their families, reflecting the voices of real people. It will also provide an opportunity to strengthen and diversify the tax justice movement, by bringing the women’s rights and tax justice movements closer together to link tax justice to the realization of gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.
 
Objectives:

  1. Public audiences and political targets increasingly see tax justice as integral part of struggle for women’s rights and gender equality.
  2. Show national leaders that their citizens will not accept rising inequality, and that there is a constituency of ordinary people who will oppose the unfair status quo
  3. Build the power of activists around the world to campaign against inequality and hold elite and corporate power to account more effectively in the coming decade
  4. Tax justice and women’s rights organisations and their constituencies take action for tax justice to finance women’s rights.
  5. Influence tax policy change and practice to promote gender equality and women’s rights 

Messages and Demands:
1. Stop illicit financial flows and harmful tax practices that facilitate tax avoidance and tax evasion and are biased towards wealthy countries, multinational corporations, and the wealthy. Including through the establishment of an inclusive intergovernmental UN Global Tax body, where all countries have a seat at the table and equal say in determining international tax rules.
2. Reduce unfair tax burdens on women and adopt progressive and gender just taxation – including new forms of taxation of capital and wealth - combined with less reliance on consumption taxes which harm the poor, a majority of who are women.
3. Remove gender bias and discrimination in tax policies to realise the macroeconomic commitments from the Beijing Declaration which called on nations to “review and modify macroeconomic policies especially tax policies to address the structural causes of poverty and reduce gender inequality” including through practice gender budgeting to ensure that tax revenues are raised and spent in ways that promote gender equality;
4. Ensure tax and fiscal policies recognise and serve to represent, reduce and redistribute unpaid care work
5. Increase allocation of tax revenues for gender responsive social services

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