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        Economic and Social Council
22 November 2005

Original: English

Commission on the Status of Women
Fiftieth session
27 February-10 March 2006
Item 3 (a) of the provisional agenda*
Follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women and to
the special session of the General Assembly entitled “Women
2000: gender equality, development and peace for the
twenty-first century”: review of gender mainstreaming in
organizations of the United Nations system

Measures taken and progress achieved in the follow-up
to and implementation of the Fourth World Conference
on Women and to the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly: review of progress made in mainstreaming a gender perspective in the development, implementation and evaluation of national policies
and programmes

Report of the Secretary-General


The present report, submitted in response to Commission on the Status of Women resolution 49/4 and General Assembly resolution 60/140, assesses progress made on gender mainstreaming at the national level by Governments. It also provides information on actions taken by entities of the United Nations system to support the efforts of Governments. Particular focus is given to the two thematic issues before the Commission on the Status of Women at its fiftieth session. The report does not attempt to provide a comprehensive account of activities at the national level but rather provides illustrative examples.

* E/CN.6/2006/1.


I. Introduction

1. The General Assembly, in its resolution 60/140, requested the Secretary-General to continue to report annually to the Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Commission on the Status of Women on the follow-up to and progress made in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the Assembly, with an assessment of progress on gender mainstreaming, including information on key achievements, lessons learned and good practices, and to recommend further measures to enhance implementation.


4. The analysis of activities carried out by Member States is complemented by examples of how the entities of the United Nations system have supported gender mainstreaming at the national level. 4 The report concludes with recommendations for further action by Member States and the United Nations system for the consideration of the Commission on the Status of Women at its fiftieth session.

II. Gender mainstreaming at the national level


D. Institutional mechanisms


4. Human and financial resources

38. Many countries acknowledged that specialist technical resources, or staff with recognized gender expertise, were needed both within the national machinery and within sectoral ministries and institutions. A number of countries reported a shortage of qualified staff. Belize noted that the lack of human resources impeded its national machinery’s ability to train focal points in other ministries and to provide follow-up.


43. In a number of responses, including those from Ecuador, Kenya and the Palestinian Authority, it was noted that line ministries had no dedicated budgets for gender mainstreaming.


III. Activities of entities of the United Nations system
to support national level implementation of
gender mainstreaming

57. Entities of the United Nations system supported national implementation of gender mainstreaming through projects, programmes and other activities. Several United Nations entities, including the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), provided assistance to Governments in their efforts to mainstream gender perspectives into national development frameworks, such as poverty reduction strategies, sector reforms and sector-wide approach initiatives. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) carried out a pilot project in the Syrian Arab Republic on gender mapping. The International Labour Office (ILO) conducted gender audits for its constituents for the first time in 2004.


63. UNFPA supported institutional capacity-building for gender mainstreaming in a number of countries in the Arab States region, such as Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Morocco, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Oman, Qatar, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Sudan and Yemen. Activities included the development of gender strategies, gender audit and budget methodologies, mainstreaming gender in planning processes and reviewing legislation. ...


IV. Conclusions and recommendations

66. An increasing number of Member States utilize gender mainstreaming and specific interventions to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women. Policy frameworks for gender mainstreaming have improved at national level. Action plans, in some instances including time-bound goals and targets, are also in place in an increasing number of countries. Many countries, in further refining their policies on gender mainstreaming, have provided specific guidance on implementation. In addition to establishing general policies on gender mainstreaming, a number of countries have developed specific policies and action plans on mainstreaming gender perspectives into different sector areas. There has also been considerable development of methodologies, including for capacity-building, and tools, such as manuals and guidelines, to support implementation of these policies and action plans.




4 Inputs were received from the Population and Statistics Divisions of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, FAO, ILO, IMO, OCHA, OSSA, UNAIDS, UNEP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNRISD, UNRWA, WFP and WIPO.


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