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UNITED
NATIONS
E

        Economic and Social Council
Distr.
GENERAL
E/CN.6/2000/PC/2
19 January 2000

Original: English

Commission on the Status of Women acting as the
preparatory committee for the special session of
the General Assembly entitled “Women 2000:
gender equality, development and peace for
the twenty-first century”
Third session
3-17 March 2000
Item 2 of the provisional agenda*
Preparations for the special session of the General Assembly
entitled “Women 2000: gender equality, development and
peace for the twenty-first century”

Review and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action

Report of the Secretary-General

/...


* E/CN.6/2000/PC/1.


Introduction

“We hereby adopt and commit ourselves as Governments to implement the following Platform for Action, ensuring that a gender perspective is reflected in all our policies and programmes. We urge the United Nations system, regional and international financial institutions, other relevant regional and international institutions and all women and men, as well as non-governmental organizations, with full respect for their autonomy, and all sectors of civil society, in cooperation with Governments, to fully commit themselves and contribute to the implementation of this Platform for Action.”


Beijing Declaration (1995), para. 38

The present report is a review and appraisal of the progress made towards the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action adopted by Governments at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. It consists of three parts. Part one provides the background to the Beijing Conference, its context, the intergovernmental process since Beijing and an overview of the major trends in implementation of the Platform for Action. Part two consists of an analysis of implementation in each critical area of concern and the institutional and financial arrangements as called for in the Platform for Action. Part three picks up on some of the trends of political, economic, social and cultural changes identified in the Platform for Action that have become particularly pronounced since the Beijing Conference and that pose new challenges for the full implementation of the Platform for Action.


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Part two

I. Critical areas of concern of the Platform for Action

A. Women and poverty

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3. Achievements in the implementation of strategic objectives

130. For many countries in all regions of the world, the issue of poverty eradication has been one of the main priorities in development policies. However, the poverty eradication strategies, policies and programmes were predominately considered to be gender-neutral and did not spell out the differences between men and women in respect of their experiencing poverty and undergoing the process of becoming impoverished. Hence, the important achievement after the Beijing Conference has been the recognition by many Governments of a gender dimension of poverty and their efforts to refocus the poverty eradication policies and programmes so as to address the needs and concerns of women in poverty. The overwhelming majority of countries that responded to the questionnaire on the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action have reported on their concrete activities and initiatives in that area.

131. The national policy shift in many reporting countries was reflected either in the efforts to mainstream a gender perspective into the national programmes for poverty eradication or in an increase in the number of projects and programmes aimed directly at poverty eradication among women. In Uganda, there is an understanding that the goal of the National Poverty Eradication Action Plan to eradicate mass poverty by the year 2017 may be achieved only if a gender perspective is mainstreamed in all planned activities. In view of that, the plan for 1999/2000-2003/2004 is focusing on addressing women’s needs and concerns. To mainstream a gender perspective into sectoral development planning, the Government of Senegal has conducted gender training for senior decision makers. Since 1996, the Government of Madagascar has undertaken a regular review of the ongoing projects from a gender perspective. The Niger has reported on the mainstreaming of a gender perspective into national poverty reduction programme.

132. In Palestine, for example, in 1998, the Ministry of Social Affairs increased its capacity to create special projects for the development of entrepreneurial skills among women. ...

/...

146. Many countries have reported that, after the Beijing Conference, credit, especially microcredit, has become a very popular and successful type of poverty eradication programme which is contributing to women's economic empowerment (Belize, Botswana, Canada, El Salvador, Ghana, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Palestine, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States, Vanuatu, Yemen, Zambia and others).

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B. Education and training of women

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2. Achievements in the implementation of strategic objectives

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(g) Eliminating gender discrimination from education

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208. The number of universities and colleges offering women’s and gender studies has increased considerably all over the world. In particular since the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995, the number of teachers involved, and of books and articles published has been impressive. Palestine, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Italy, for example, created women studies programmes at university level. ...

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E. Armed conflict

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2. Achievements in the implementation of the strategic objectives

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(d) Participation of women in decision-making, and in the armed forces

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349. ... The Netherlands has introduced a development action programme entitled “Engendering the Peace Process” which, inter alia, supports activities to encourage Israel and Palestine to appoint more women to negotiating teams and to political decision-making posts in respect of the ongoing peace process.

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L. The girl child

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(c) Temporary measures

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660. Other capacity-building measures with a targeted audience other than girl children include training of teachers in countries such as Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Greece, Indonesia, Oman, Trinidad and Tobago and Zambia, training of reproductive health workers in Finland, training of promoters of the defence of the rights of children in Mexico and training of media personnel in Oman. Gender-sensitization activities have been implemented for those involved in education including policymakers in Oman and Swaziland, as well as for those involved in private and public services dealing with violence against women and girls in Portugal and Sweden. The Islamic Republic of Iran supported activities of non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations to change negative attitudes and practices towards girl children. Information materials on the issues of the girl child have been produced to sensitize policymakers in the Philippines. Public leaders in Indonesia have been encouraged to advocate for youth, and in Palestine awareness-raising programmes for men about women’s and children’s rights have been implemented. In Cuba, a nationwide programme to enable parents to develop a non-sexist perspective has been organized.

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661. Various public advocacy campaigns targeting a wider audience have been organized. For example, China, India and Indonesia have organized campaigns to promote development of the girl child, while countries such as India, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Italy, Nepal and Nigeria organized campaigns to promote girls’ rights. Campaigns to promote children’s rights were organized in China, and campaigns were organized in India, Mexico and Peru to promote the importance of girls’ education. Viet Nam organized campaigns to address the protection of children, especially girl children, and Dominica, Jamaica and Mexico advocated in their campaigns for the elimination of violence against women and children, while Japan advocated against child abuse. Uganda organized campaigns to advocate for a change in customs and practices that violate the dignity and rights of girls and women.

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