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Press Release
UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


GA/9722
8 June 2000

General Assembly Plenary
Twenty-third Special Session
7th Meeting (AM)

MOVEMENT TO RECOGNIZE WOMEN'S RIGHTS 'REVOLUTIONARY AND UPLIFTING'

UNITED STATES TELLS 'WOMEN 2000' GENERAL ASSEMBLY SPECIAL SESSION


Eighteen Additional Speakers Address Efforts to Implement
Platform for Action Adopted at 1995 Beijing Women's Conference


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Ministers of Hungary, Kazakhstan, Finland, Mongolia, Solomon Islands and Oman, and representatives of Turkmenistan, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Kyrgyzstan, Ecuador, Brunei Darussalam and New Zealand as well as a Minister from the Palestinian Authority addressed the Assembly.


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INTISAR AL-WAZIR, Minister for Social Affairs of the Palestinian Authority: The Palestinian woman has been deprived of developing her socio-economic potential because of continued occupation and oppressive policies, which include confiscation of land and buildings, as well as expansion of settlements. That has hampered the ability of Palestinian women to thoroughly implement the Beijing Platform for Action. In spite of those obstacles and difficulties in promoting a viable and comprehensive plan for sustainable development, the Palestinian people, particularly its women, have been able to establish the foundations for an educational, health and economic infrastructure, as well as for the various structures and networks necessary for development, while simultaneously bearing in mind the issue of gender. Moreover, legislation and regulations have been promulgated based on international standards for the promotion of democracy in Palestinian life and for securing the principles of justice and equality for men and women.

The recent legislative election witnessed the election of five women to the legislative council, which consists of 88 members. Although Palestinian women participate in all areas of society through their work in various departments and ministries, their numbers are limited because of customs and traditions that consider women secondary participants in development. To overcome those obstacles and to empower women, gender-specific units have been created in all ministries. Also, collaboration between non-governmental organizations and the government have resulted in a national strategy that includes methods to define priorities to minimize the gender gap and give priority to women in rural areas, refugee women and those living in poverty. A review of policies and legislation will also be undertaken to ensure that there is no gender discrimination. Gender-sensitive legislation will also be promoted and its implementation ensured.



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