United Nations


Commission on the Status of Women


Fortieth Session
11-22 March 1996
Item 3 (b) of the provisional agenda

Follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women

Proposed System-wide Medium-term Plan for the Advancement of Women 1996-2001
(Part 2)

F.   Women and the economy

     Critical area concern: Inequality in economic structures and policies,
in all forms of productive activities and in access to resources

1.   Strategic orientation/focus of UN system action:  

124. The United Nations system has gained considerable experience in this
critical area of concern by mobilizing all its means of action, in terms of
norms and standards (international labour standards and conventions), research
(impact of economic reforms and structural adjustment programmes), advisory
services, technical cooperation and information collection and dissemination. 
During the planning period, the UN system will be in a position to promote a
comprehensive strategy for enhancing equality for women in the workplace and
in employment opportunities and for facilitating the development of women
entrepreneurship in all sectors of the economy by enhancing women's access to
productive resources, training, technologies, markets and trade.  

125. Full use will be made of the collective capacity of the UN system to
provide gender analysis and policy advice on the impact of global economic
issues and sectoral policies and strategies on women as well as to offer a
platform for governments, private sector and NGOs for promoting linkages
between the policy, the institutional and the grass roots levels and for
exchanging experiences and developing networks and cooperation arrangements.  

126. Capacity building activities for relevant institutions and actors in the
world of work will contribute to the sustainability of national programmes. 
Special attention will be given to harmonization of work and family
responsibilities within the framework of the International Labour Convention
(No. 156) on workers with family responsibilities.  Rural women and the
economy will continue to be addressed taking into consideration the increasing
feminization and commercialization of agriculture and food security and the
need for sustainability. 

127.The importance of this critical area of concern was recognized as
essential in agreements reached at other recent United Nations Conferences and
Summits, including: UNCED Chapter 24 (24.3f,g), 29 (29.7), 30 (30.17, 30.24),
32 (32.14c); ICPD Chapter IV A(4.4d, g, 4.7, 4.8, 4.13); WSSD Chapter IIIB53
c, f, i, IIIC54 c, 55 f, 56, IIIE64 b, c, e).

2.   Actions to be taken 

     a)  Information collection and data base development

128. Collect, analyze and disseminate data on globalization and changing
international work patterns;  collect, analyze, maintain data base and
disseminate userfriendly information on the needs and realities of women with
regard to employment and enterprise development, on new technologies, on work
organization and work place environments, including the legal framework, women
in manufacturing; collect and analyze time-use data on sharing family
responsibilities between women, men and children; collect data on women in
economic decision-making, and develop indicators on women's effective
participation in the economy (UNIFEM, INTECH/UNU, INSTRAW, ILO, UNDP, UNIDO,
StatDiv, DAW, Regional Commissions, UN DDSMS, ECLAC). 

129.Incorporate gender-specific data into a statistical database on
international migration (PopDiv/DESIPA)

130.Prepare a trial classification of activities of time use statistics that
is sensitive to the differences between women and men in remunerated and
unremunerated work (UN StatDiv, ILO)

     b)  Research and analysis

131.Conduct research on the effects of the internationalization and
globalization of economies on men's and women's employment, including on
changing international work patterns, and publish the findings for use in
policy formulation and advocacy;  continue research on occupational
segregation and on unequal pay for men and women; assess the gender dimension
of structural adjustment through country studies; document the impact of
policy reforms on women based on household surveys; conduct case studies on
the role and contribution of female entrepreneurs in least developed
countries; conduct research on women and agriculture and their participation
in each sub-sector of the agricultural production to identify needs of women
in each country (ILO, World Bank/WTO/OECD, UNIFEM, UNDP, UNU, ECE, UNCTAD,

132.Conduct research on the status and economic prospects of female migrants,
focusing on international migration, with particular emphasis on the linkages
between migration and development, and on gender issues and the family; 
initiate research on, conduct case studies and publish relevant policy
implications of, gender and export processing and special economic zones (EPZs
and SEZs); develop methods and techniques of valuing unpaid contribution of
women and men to society using a combination of time-use and output data

133.Prepare the World Survey on the Role of Women in Development (DAW/DPCSD in
collaboration with other entities).

     c)  Operational activities (Technical assistance, advisory services and

134.Conduct projects to enhance national institutional capacity for the
formulation of policies and job creation programmes to improve working
conditions, social protection and access to productive resources, with special
emphasis on the needs of disadvantaged groups of women workers (ILO).

135.Assist governments in the formulation of policies highlighting the link
between good working conditions, welfare facilities and support for male and
female workers with family responsibilities and enhanced organizational
effectiveness and business efficiency, including adherence to ILO standards
and conventions promoting equality of opportunity for women workers, maternity
protection and protection of the rights of all workers with family
responsibilities, and in reference to the informal sector (UNFPA, ILO,

136.Provide assistance to governments in support of poverty-alleviation
efforts designed to improve the economic status of women, in the framework of
national policy and legislation, and focussing on productive employment
generation and poverty alleviation, working conditions and social protection,
skill training schemes, especially managerial, supervisory and high-level
positions and income-generating activities; introduce reproductive health and
other population components into existing income generation activities (ILO,

137.Assist governments in mobilizing projects to promote functional
literacy/numeracy, diversification of skills, savings schemes and
institutions, acquisition of land, credit and production of higher valued and
marketable products (IFAD/WFP)

138.Continue skills-based literacy programmes for women to promote modern
agricultural techniques, access to employment, market and trades, women's
self-reliance and control over earnings, to eliminate employment
discrimination, to address gender differences in women's and men's
responsibilities in the work place and at home, and to improve the health
status of women (UNESCO, ILO, WHO).

139.Implement an integrated programme for the development and promotion of
women entrepreneurship in sub-sectors of industry, with emphasis on Africa and

140.Provide assistance to Small- and Medium-Scale Enterprises sector in
mainstremaing women's needs and concerns into extension and support services

141.Mobilize investment funds by promoting investment programmes for women
entrepreneurs, in particular in rural areas; provide assistance for
income-generating activities and access to credit through co-operative
micro-loans (UNIDO, UNDP, World Bank, IFAD, IFIs, UNESCO, UN DDSMS)

142.Provide technical assistance in order to improve the management and
technical skills of women managers and entrepreneurs in industry, and
disseminate information on technologies and investment opportunities for women
entrepreneurs, so as to prepare them for technical and structural changes in
the industrial labour market and to increase their competitiveness (UNIDO,

143.Train women in high-level management with a view to increasing the
proportion of women in managerial and decision-making positions in industry up
to 30% by the year 2010; strengthen regional and national capacities to
deliver training in use of new technologies;  (UNIDO, UNIFEM, ILO, UN DDSMS).

144.Provide effective service delivery systems to small farm households and
strengthen communications systems between communities through the
reorientation of the curricula of agricultural and home economic training
institutions;  emphasize development and provision of technologies for rural
women, food security issues, and the expansion of rural employment
opportunities for women, including agro-industries and rural services in the
formal and informal sectors; (FAO, IFAD). 

145.Provide advice to women's organizations on how to bargain for their rights
in the work place, to strengthen women's participation in trade unions and the
capacity of the trade unions and employers' organizations on women workers and
gender equality issues (UNIFEM, INTECH/UNU, ILO, INSTRAW).

146.Based on existing research and analysis, advise governments and the
private sector on integration of gender issues in industrial development
policies and in manufacturing (UNIDO, Regional Commissions).

147.Develop skills and leadership training, and disseminate practical training
and briefing materials, covering areas such as the agriculture and plantation
sector, the protection of migrant domestic workers, trade unions and their
membership and activities, on conditions of work in various sectors, on
innovative work policies and programmes, business efficiency and workers'
welfare, workers' dignity and equality, sexual harassment, working time, the
promotion of dialogue between women workers and relevant government bodies and
employers so as to influence level and quality of employment (ILO, UNIFEM,

148.Implement an integrated interregional programme of trade-related technical
assistance to women entrepreneurs, and implement projects on trade-related
entrepreneurship assistance and development for women in selected countries

149.Convene expert meetings, training seminars and high-level meetings on
women entrepreneurs' access to markets, on economic participation of women in
selected countries, and to assess policy requirements and review progress made
in adoption and implementation of gender sensitive industrial policies (UNIDO,
UNCTAD, Regional Commissions).

150.Prepare a handbook on women entrepreneurship and the foreign trade sector;
on enhancing women's employment (ILO, ITC). 

     d)  Public information and outreach

151.Distribute resource materials on small enterprise development, such as
training manuals and courses in marketing, production methods, and
bookkeeping;  promote international labour standards and enforcement
mechanisms to EPZs (UNIFEM, INSTRAW). 

152.Promote women's associations and networking through the exchange of
information and TCDC, and the promotion of rural women's equality and
empowerment by strengthening their organizational capacity through planning,
educational and training inputs (FAO, UN DDSMS)

153.Give Women and Industry Recognition Awards to Governments and
industrialists, once every two years (UNIDO).

G.   Women in power and decision-making
     Critical area of concern:  Inequality between men and women in the
sharing of power and decision-making at all levels

1.   Strategic orientation/focus of UN system action

154.The UN system's strategy in this critical area of concern is based on its
ability to collect, analyse and disseminate comprehensive global data and
information on women's participation in power and decision-making, to conduct
policy research and to identify emerging trends and issues that require policy
interventions, in the framework of international instruments, especially the
Covention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. 
The system, through training, publications, advocacy and technical cooperation
projects, can be decisive in supporting positive measures taken by governments
and institutions of civil society to increase the number of women in decision-
making positions in all areas, and to encourage women and their organizations
to assume such roles.  

155.Within its own organizations and operations, the system can assume a
leadership role in achieving gender parity in employment, especially in
management and decision-making positions. 

156.Women's role in power and decision-making is recognized as essential in
agreements reached at other United Nations Conferences.  Reference to women in
power and leadership is made in: UNCED Chapter 7 and 24, WCHR Section II(B.3,
43), ICPD Chapter IVA.

2.   Actions to be taken:

     a)  Information collection and data base development

157.Maintain and continuously update global data base on women in government,
women parliamentarians, and expand it to include data on women at the sub-
national governmental level and in international institutions, in
collaboration with NGOs and IGOs, and develop network to share and disseminate
information; (UNESCO, DAW, ECLAC, in collaboration with NGOs and IGOs)

     b)  Research and analysis

158.Analyse data and information and prepare policy studies, case studies and
surveys to identify new trends, issues and policy implications on women's
participation in decision-making;  document successful approaches to, and
examples of, achieving increases in gender parity in power and decision-
making, with special emphasis on analysing possible causal links between
qualitative and quantitative statistical changes and policy changes; identify
barriers limiting women's participation (DAW, ECLAC, INSTRAW, UN DDSMS) 

159.Based on assessments of women's current representation in specific fields,
such as science and technology, develop methodologies and guidelines to
increase scientific and technological literacy of women for use in educational
and science institutions, and by governments; (UNESCO

160.Within established procedures, monitor, appraise and document the
situation of women in the Secretariat on the basis of the goals set in the
Strategic Plan of Action for the Improvement of the Status of Women in the
Secretariat (1995-2000) as adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution
49/167 of 23 December 1994 which aims at achieving gender parity by the year
2000:  plan, develop and operationalize human resources data base, network
with national and international institutions on databases on women, upgrade
internal and external rosters of women, improve recruitment strategies,
mobility, in-service training, career development, and enforce the goal of
gender balance in the new management culture based on managerial
accountability and responsibility through performance appraisal of all staff
but particularly of managers; (OHRM)

     c)  Operational activities (Advisory services, technical assistance,

161.Provide technical assistance to governments in the design and
implementation of special temporary measures, including affirmative action
programmes, to achieve greater participation of women in decision-making
(UNIFEM, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNDP, Regional Commissions, IFAD)

162.Based on existing experience and on new research, develop and widely
disseminate training materials and information aimed at remedying women's
unequal participation in political decision-making as well as in management in
the world of work for use by governments, employers' and workers'
organizations, management development and training institutions, and for
promotional purposes;  expand cooperation with networks of training and
management institutions in support of management training for women through
advisory services, dissemination of training materials, and information
exchange;  expand pilot projects providing training of trainers;  in
collaboration with NGOs, conduct training activities and provide advisory
services in order to enhance the participation of women in democracies,
including in the management of cities; (ILO, UNESCO, INSTRAW, UN DDSMS)

163.Provide support, including funding, information, training and networking
facilities, to women and their organizations who work in support of women's
entry into political, power and leadership positions, including in population
and development programmes; establish leadership fund to promote networking
and training world wide of women in decision-making positions (UNFPA, UNIFEM,
UNICEF, UNDP, World Bank) 

164.Establish procedures for assessing and monitoring women's equal
participation as decision makers at all levels in UN system-supported
programmes and projects; establish procedures and guidelines that specify how
women will be given a substantial voice in local decision making committees on
administration of aid and assets management and incorporate them in all
funding proposals for development and relief operations (UNICEF, UNFPA, UNDP,

165.Provide technical assistance for the assembly and dissemination of
information on policies and regulations dealing with women's economic and
political rights at the national level, taking into consideration
international norms and standards; (UNFPA, UNDP)

166.Conduct gender training for UN staff as well as partners in Governments
and NGOs to accelerate capacity-building based on the women's equality and

167.Complete manual on Collective Bargaining and the Promotion of Equality for
use in seminars, workshops and other promotional activities, and widely
disseminate it to training and employment institutions; (ILO)

168.Throughout the UN system, maintain and expand cooperation, advise, and
information exchange between human resources managers, programme managers and
Member States to increase the number of women in managerial and decision-
making posts, and to achieve targets of gender parity;  expand opportunities
for women employed within the common system bodies or agencies to apply as
internal candidates for any vacancies throughout those bodies; (OHRM)

169.Expand existing, and develop new mechanisms in human resources management
to facilitate women's employment and mobility, including flexi-time, flexi-
work place and other workplace solutions to respond to the realities of
women's and men's responsibilities at work and at home; continue to give
priority attention to gender issues at the level of the Administrative
Committee on Coordination (ACC). (OHRM) 

     d)  Public information and outreach

170.Prepare and disseminate information to raise awareness of the public-at-
large regarding the importance of increasing women's participation in

H.   Institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women

     Critical area of concern: Insufficient mechanisms at all levels to
promote the advancement of women 

1.   Strategic orientation/focus of UN system action:

171.The UN system is uniquely placed to improve, disseminate and analyse
gender-disaggregated statistics and information and to develop the socio-
economic indicators to monitor the inter-related mandates of the recent gobal
UN Conferences.  The international statistical system gives high priority to
the development and expansion of a common data system to provide uniform,
reliable, international statistics and statistical standards in the economic
and social fields.  The UN biennial population estimates and projections by
age and sex are used throughout the world and provide the basis for many of
the gender statistics produced throughout the UN system in specific fields. 

172.This work in 1996-2001 will continue to be carried out within the
conceptual and organizational frameworks for statistics established by the UN
system.  It will focus on improving concepts and methods, on establishing more
effective systems of collecting data on women and men in all fields, on
widening the dissemination and use of the substantial data already available
in various user oriented outputs and training.  The system will also promote
dialogue between users and producers of data on needs, priorities and
applications with the goal of strengthening policy making, planning and
monitoring at national, regional and international levels based on reliable
and comprehensive statistical information.

173.Through support to national machinery for the advancement of women and
statistical offices, such as the provision of information, networking
opportunities, and training, the UN system can play a unique role in
strengthening the ability and catalytic role of such machinery in the
integration of a gender perspective in all types of government action at
national level. 

174.The importance of mechanisms for the advancement of women is recognized as
essential in agreements reached at other international Conferences, including:
UNCED Chapter 5B, 8, and 24; WCHR Section II(3); and ICPD Chapter XIIA, B.

2.   Actions to be taken 

     a)  Information collection and data base development

175.Review existing systems of data collection on women and men, identify
gaps, and establish more effective systems of collecting data on women and men
in all fields;  focus on improving statistics, for women and men, on income
and poverty, employment, wages, industry and, in the area of health, on
morbidity; develop integrated statistics on rural income, production and
access to resources and services, access to and control of land/property and
human settlements development, disaggregated by sex, based on household and
agricultural surveys; develop methods for measuring and valuing unrenumerated
work that is outside national accounts for reflection in satellite accounts; 
continue to monitor trends in fertility and contraceptive use, of gender
differences in mortality, and in development, population, employment, health
and education;  (Statistical Division, Population Div, DAW, ECE, ESCAP, ECLAC,
WPF, UNCHS-Habitat, WHO)

176.Conduct censuses, demographic health surveys and data collection
activities and ensure that data are disaggregated by gender; (UNFPA, UN
StatDiv, ECE, UNDP, UNICEF, World Bank, WHO) 

177.Maintain and expand, and regularly disseminate to governments, NGOs and
other interested entities, directories of national machinery on the
advancement of women, expand networking structures among national machinery,
NGOs and the UN system, and prepare and disseminate newsletters on current
work of the UN system on the advancement of women to such machinery and to the
NGO community (DAW, in cooperation with UN system). 

     b)  Research and analysis

\ADODevelop indicators and measurements that can be used at regional and
national levels to monitor changes in the status of women and for the
assessment of women's participation, especially in the labour force, and on
women's empowerment; (StatDiv, DAW, UNFPA, ECE, ECLAC)

179.Develop new in-depth qualitative and quantitative methodologies for
collecting data on the socialization of boys and girls by supporting socio-
cultural research on gender roles in family planning decision-making and child
rearing; (UNFPA, UNICEF)

180.Study national machineries for the advancement of women and facilitate
networking and cooperation among them DAW and publish up to date information
on national machinery (ECLAC)

     c)  Operational activities (Advisory services, technical assistance,
181.Provide technical assistance, including training, on the collection, use
and dissemination of data on men and women, including time-use data, to
governments, especially national machinery and national statistical services
with an emphasis on ensuring that all data are collected and analyzed
disaggregated by sex; and on improving cooperation between such institutions,
and between national machineries on women and other government entities; 
provide training to planners, parliamentarians and community leaders on the
use of gender-disaggregated statistics;  (UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF, ECE, ECLAC,
StatDiv, Centre for Human Rights, INSTRAW, UNCHS, FAO, WHO)

182.Widen the dissemination and use of the substantial data already available
in an international user-oriented database and other outputs based on it
through the establishment and strengthening of networks of producers and users
of statistical data on men and women, including national machinery, NGOs,
women's groups, educational and research institutions;  expand the electronic
dissemination of statistical data via the Internet, and by other means; expand
the distribution of population information through the Internet-based POPIN
programme; (StatDiv, PopDiv/DESIPA, in cooperation with other entities) 

183.Provide support, including funding and technical assistance, at all levels
(national, regional, global) for building and updating databases on women; 
provide technical assistance, including training, to governments in order to
ensure that censuses and surveys are designed in a fashion to produce data
necessary for gender sensitive policy making and planning, including regarding
female heads of households, female participation in the labour force, women's
changing domestic and occupational roles and its impact on maternity, women's
participation in agriculture and related fields, women's paid and unpaid work,
and on measuring gender inequalities in the labour market such as wage
differentials and job segregation; (ILO, FAO, UNFPA, WHO, ECLAC)

I.   Human rights of women

     Critical area of concern:  Lack of respect for and inadequate promotion
and protection of the human rights of women

1.   Strategic orientation/focus for UN system action

184.The UN system's strategy in this critical area of concern is determined by
its ability to promote and to advocate women's full and equal enjoyment of all
human rights and fundamental freedoms, based on the Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and other
international human rights instruments.  The system will highlight gender-
based differences in women's enjoyment of their human rights, and will
advocate a rights-based approach to the advancement of women, including in
such areas as employment, education, violence against women, and health
including reproduction.  It will draw from experience resulting from policy
research, information collection, and support of the work of intergovernmental
bodies, expert bodies, special rapporteurs and other mechanisms entrusted with
the promotion and protection of human rights.  

185.The system is uniquely placed to collect and disseminate information, and
to conduct policy studies and analysis, on gender-specific aspects of the
enjoyment by women of their human rights.  It can identify and document areas
of progress, and highlight areas in need of further conceptual development and
practical improvement.  It is uniquely placed to raise awareness about the
human rights of women through policy dialogue with, and technical advise to,
member states, and through practical support to NGOs active in this area. 
Given the crucial importance of women's human rights to the development
process, the system is called upon to incorporate such considerations in its
development activities.  

186.The importance of this critical area of concern has been recognized by
other international Conferences, including the following: UNCED Chapter 24,
WCHR Section I (18) and II (B.3), ICPD Chapter IV A, and WSSD Chapter IVB.
2.   Actions to be taken

     a)  Information collection and data base development

187.Based on reports submitted to international human rights treaty bodies and
on other government reports, information gathered by special rapporteurs and
other human rights mechanisms, by NGOs, by UN field operations, etc, maintain
and expand networks of databases on the human rights of women, and disseminate
and make available such information to interested users (DAW, ILO, UNESCO,
Centre for Human Rights, CPCJD, WHO)

     b)  Research and analysis

188.Based on existing international norms and standards, conduct policy
research and prepare analysis on the enjoyment by women of their human rights,
i.e. their political, civil, economic, social and cultural rights and the
right to development for use by inter-governmental and expert mechanisms; 
develop indicators and methodologies for evaluating women's enjoyment of all
their human rights, as well as of violations of the human rights of women, to
ensure that full, equal and sustained attention is being paid to the human
rights of women by all human rights mechanisms and in all UN system-supported
development activities and country programming and conduct evaluations of such
activities;  review and assess women's use of international procedures for the
protection of human rights, and identify ways and means to improve women's
access to and use of existing and new procedures;  (DAW, ILO, UNESCO, UNDP,

     c)  Operational activities (Advisory services, technical assistance,

189.Provide training and exchange information on training activities, and
arrange for exchange of expertise, to increase awareness about, and improve
capacity of policy makers, researchers and advocates for women's rights to
monitor the implementation at the national level of international human rights
instruments, particularly CEDAW and ILO Conventions, and to advocate for the
universal ratification of the Women's Convention and the adoption of an
Optional Protocol thereto; (DAW, UNESCO, UNIFEM, UNFPA, UNITAR, ILO, Centre
for Human Rights, DHA, CPCJD, WHO)

190.Provide training and advisory services for government officials and policy
makers, to employers' and workers' organizations, the judiciary, on the CEDAW,
ILO and other international instruments of particular relevance for women, the
incorporation of their principles into national legislation and policy, their
reporting procedures, international complaints procedures, and specific
relevance for the protection of women's human rights; (DAW, Centre for Human

191.Provide technical cooperation to governments in building up or
strengthening the capacity of national human rights mechanisms to protect and
promote the human rights of women and the elaboration of national policies, in
cooperation with national machinery for the advancement of women (Centre for
Human Rights, DAW, CPCJD)

192.Provide information and training to representatives of NGOs and of women's
groups on women's legal literacy, including international norms and standards,
complaints procedures, national law and regulations, and to raise awareness
regarding the human rights of women, (Centre for Human Rights, UNV, UNIFEM,

     d)  Public information and outreach

193.Establish new and expand existing cooperation within the UN system through
regular information exchange, funding of projects, and joint programming, in
support of the work of international human rights treaty bodies, especially
CEDAW;  extend such cooperation to include NGOs active in this field; (DAW,

194.Prepare information material to sensitize judges, social partners, health
workers and others to ways of dealing with equality issues such as equal
remuneration for work of equal value, sexual harassment at the work place,
violence against women, equal rights to land/property, etc (ILO, WHO, CPCJD,

195.Prepare and disseminate information to increase women's legal literacy
covering international legal instruments, international refugee law, local
laws, policies and regulations that deal with their rights and
responsibilities, including in family life and reproductive health; (UNHCR,

196.Widely distribute training packages and multi-media information kits on
women workers' rights, on harmful practices such as FGM, on violence against

197.Develop and disseminate popular versions of the Convention on the Rights
of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination Against Women, as well as information materials on selected
topics, to show the relationship and mutual support of these human rights
treaties, and convene meetings between the Committees of both Conventions to
share experiences and develop mechanisms for cooperation (DAW, UNDPI, UNICEF) 

198.Provide information and training to NGOs active in promoting women's human
rights, and establish networking procedures between NGOs and human rights
treaty bodies, such as CEDAW and CRC; establish networks at the country level
between UN agencies and NGOs working for women's and children's rights (DAW,
UNICEF,Centre for Human Rights, UNDP, UNIFEM, UNESCO) 

199.In the framework of the UN Decade on Human Rights Education, prepare and
disseminate information on gender aspects of the Decade and its goals (Centre
for Human Rights, UNESCO)

J.   Women and the media

     Critical area concern:  Stereotyping of women and inequality of access
to and participation in all communication systems especially the media

1.   Strategic orientation/focus of UN system action:

200.The United Nations system's primary contribution in this area will be
advocacy and training. Efforts will be made to create awareness of
stereotyping of women and inequality in access to and participation by women
in all communication systems. The UN will further develop collaborative
efforts for effective use of electronic networks to link women, NGOs and the
UN around the world through information dissemination and interactive
communication, including development of guides to women and the Internet.
Technical cooperation and advisory services will be employed to build up
national capacity to undertake information and media activities and to
maximize the use of radio by women. Training programmes for journalists, as
well as seminars, expert group meetings and other activities for media
practicioners will give special attention to equal participation of women.
Renewed efforts will be made by all entities to expand their contacts with the
media and to ensure that issues of women's human rights, gender in development
and other information pertinent to women's issues are widely disseminated and
better understood by the public at large.

201. The UN system will continue to develop fruitful collaboration with the
media and help to build up national capacity to undertake information and
media activities.  Information programmes, for instance on population issues,
have heightened awareness of population issues in specific countries,
especially as they relate to gender equity, equality and empowerment, through
the global news media at the international level.

202.The importance of women and the media is recognized as essential in
agreements reached at other recent United Nations Conferences and Summits,
including the following: UNCED Chapter 24 (24.3i), 36 (36.10k), ICPD Chapter
XIB (11.16). 

2.   Actions to be taken

     a)  Research and analysis

203.Conduct research on how to use new information and communication
technologies as tools to promote and change the portrayal of women in society;
prepare publication on women and the information revolution (DAW,INSTRAW) 

     b)  Operational activities (Technical assistance, advisory services and

204.Within regular training programmes for journalists, as well as seminars,
roundtables and other activities organized for media practitioners, give
special attention to ensuring the equal participation of women (UN DPI).

205.Provide training to women's organizations on the use of electronic
communications;  prepare a training manual and conduct training seminars,
using new information and communication technologies as tools to promote and
change the portrayal of women in society through expanding their possibilities
for networking, and strengthen national capacity in information sharing and
advocacy; prepare training packages for broadcasters aimed at changing the
portrayal of, and at promoting the roles of girl child and women in society
and recognize their work (DAW, UNDP, UNESCO, INSTRAW)

206.Provide technical assistance to and strengthen cooperation between
Governments and NGOs as well as between governments for capacity building and
sensibilization to achieve women's equality as citizens in a framework of
plurality and diversity (ECLAC)

207.Provide assistance in setting up rural community radio stations designed
for women and run by women in selected least-developed countries, publish and
widely disseminate a case study on experienced gained (UNESCO).

     c)  Public Information and outreach

208.Formulate and implement a multi-media communications strategy targeting
media in all regions of the world to promote a positive, balanced and non-
stereotype portrayal of women; publicize the work of the United Nations for
the advancement of women;  and the critical areas of concern and proposed
actions for implementing the Platform for Action adopted by the Beijing
Conference (UN DPI, DAW).

209.Use advocacy, public information and media contacts to ensure that gender-
in-development issues in general and the key areas of concern in the PFA in
particular are better understood by the public-at-large (UNIFEM, UN DPI, DAW,

210.Develop Womenwatch, a world wide web home page to link the UN and its
activities for women with NGOs, academics and other users of the Internet;
develop a navigational guide to information on global activities for women on

211.Publisize action strategies on women's access to expression and
decision-making in the media; support regional initiatives to achieve the
twofold objective of promoting equal access to expression and decision-making
in and through the media, and a more diversified portrayal of women (UNESCO,

212.Provide news releases and hold media seminars on women's empowerment, and
assist news organizations to prepare and provide coverage of gender issues in
the context of population and development, on women and rural development in
news stories, features for radio and television, etc. (UNFPA, UN DPI, DAW,

K.   Women and the environment

     Critical area concern: Gender inequalities in the management of natural
resources and in the safeguarding of the environment

1.   Strategic orientation/focus of UN system action:

213. The UN system is strategically placed to provide information, and data,
methodologies, technical and legal expertise to ensure that women participate
in environmental protection and that gender concerns are reflected in policy
formulation and environmental decision-making.  Through its operations at
regional and country level, the UN system provides financial assistance,
technology transfer, capacity building and education and training in the field
of environmental management and protection from a gender perspective, based on
a holistic, inter-disciplinary and cross-sectoral approach to many sectoral
environmental issues.  It will continue to stress the link between women in
the various aspects of environmental degradation and sustainability while
promoting macro policy in support of women's actions at different levels.

214. Women's role, skills and responsibility as users, managers and
protectors of the natural resources base, especially in the fields of energy,
water supply, sanitation, waste management, small scale mining, habitat, and
farming, will be highlighted through research and data collection, and
operational activities will aim to strengthen these skills.  Attention will be
paid to the importance of the active involvement of women in economic and
political decision-making.

215. The system will undertake training, research - for example on the
relationship between population growth and distribution and on environmental
degradation and poverty, supply new information, development and transfer
technology, advocate for women's increased role in environmental programmes in
urban and rural areas and address early warning to reduce the cost of
environmental disasters across national boundaries.

216.The importance of this critical area of concern has been recognized in
other recent United Nations Conferenecs and Summits, including: UNCED Chapter
5B, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 28, 31, 32, 33, 34.

2.   Actions to be taken 

     a)  Research and analysis

217.Undertake policy-relevant research on the interaction between the capacity
and sustainability of agricultural lands from a gender perspective; on the
relationship between population growth and distribution, environmental
degradation and poverty; on poverty, household food security and gender in
relation to women's role in natural resource management; on women's role in
environmental programmes, biodiversity, and increase the use of women's
indigenous knowledge; on energy with particular reference to gender issues
associated with energy production and consumption; and on strengthening
women's participation in environmental decision-making (UNFPA, IFAD, FAO,

218.Analyze the impact of environmental problems and of urban-rural migration
and linkages on women's livelihoods and the well-being of their families,
including the relationships between population policies and practices and
environmental sustainability with attention to rural women's potential and
actual management roles in biodiversity and sustainable resource use (FAO,

219.Document good practices, innovative models and success stories which
assist women in improving their living and working environment, in the
adoption of sound environmental technologies, and on women's role in
maintaining sustainable urban environments under conditions of globalization
and rapid urbanization and propose ways of assisting them in this role
(UNIFEM, UNEP/Habitat, World Bank, UNDP,  UNESCO, DPCSD)

     b)  Operational activities(Technical assistance, advisory services and

220.Continue work on renewable energy sources, notably solar energy, geared
towards women, especially poor women, as users; facilitate women's access to
water resources through the development and extension of appropriate
techniques; introduce gender perspective in the transdisciplinary project
Environment, Population and Development (UNESCO, UN DDSMS, ECLAC, UNICEF).
221.Develop women specific programmes and activities in terms of transfer and
development of cleaner and energy-saving technologies;  provide technical
information and advice in the implementation of a programme launched to
support national cleaner production centres (NCPC), and train industry and
government professionals; integrate a gender-based approach in the outreach
and supply of information to women as managers of enterprises and as
consumers; monitor the use of environmentally sound and sustainable
technologies for women entrepreneurs and female operators in industries

222.Provide technical assistance to increase mutual sharing and exchange of
expertise among governments, international organizations, UN agencies and NGOs
involved in gender and environment in order to incorporate a gender
perspective and to increase women's participation in environmental decision-
making, planning, and in programmes; provide support to women's organizations
and networks that work on environmental issues; develop global and regional
networks on gender and environment (ECLAC, UNIFEM, UNEP, FAO, INSTRAW, UN

223.Develop and implement gender impact assessment criteria and initiate a
process of gender-sensitization through gender training, regional
consultations and the development of manuals; organize training courses and
workshops for environmental extension trainers and administrators; increase
women's opportunities to benefit from the design, development and
implementation of training programmes on natural resource management and
environmental negotiations (UNEP, FAO, UNITAR, UN DDSMS)

224.Produce and disseminate technical guidelines and training materials for
expanding women's role and enhancing their capacity in the conservation and
regeneration of the environment, including urban environment; produce,
disseminate, and promote the use of, materials for research, training and
information on women, health and environment issues; promote applied and
participatory research, focusing on preventive methods and mitigating
strategies, and develop methods and indicators to address issues of women,
health and environment (UNIFEM, UNEP, FAO UNEP, UNCHS-Habitat, UNV, UN DDSMS,

225.Update and widely disseminate training packages, on " Women, Environmental
Management and Sustainable Development", "Women, Water Supply and Waste
Management", and on "Women, New and Renewable Sources of Energy" to policy
makers and environmental advocates, and organize training courses thereon
(ILO-Turin Centre, INSTRAW, UN DDSMS) 

     c.  Public information and outreach

226.Develop gender-sensitized environmental management actions at local,
national, regional and international levels by publicizing the good practices
gathered from women's success stories; provide outreach and support to women
groups for activities in the area of gender and environment (UNEP, DAW).

227.Create awareness among policy-makers of women's role in the conservation
and regeneration of natural resources, including access to required legal,
scientific and technological means, and their participation in environmental
research by documenting and promoting women's indigenous knowledge base;
advocate the increase of women participation and their perspectives in
environment, science and technology research, policy and programmes, and more
ethical science and technology (UNIFEM, DAW, UNEP, NCSTD, ECE, UNICEF)

L.   The girl child

     Critical area concern: Persistent discrimination against and violation
of the rights of the girl child

1.   Strategic orientation/focus of UN system action:

228. Since the late 1980s, the UN system has stimulated policy actions in
favour of girls and encouraged action programmes in health, nutrition and
education specifically targeted at the elimination of gender-based
disparities.  Often the first step was the systematic collection and analysis
of gender-disaggregated data on demographic and social indicators of health,
education and nutrition at national, regional and subnational levels have
helped to identify problem areas, such as adverse health and nutritional
status of the girl child and factors inhibiting the enrolment and retention of
girls in school.

229. The United Nations system action in this area will take into account
both the Convention on the Rights of the child and the Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. It will give
priority to girls' education, adolescent girls' and women's health, and
children's rights and women's rights. It will integrate responsiveness to
girls into technical assistance and advisory services using a life-cycle 
approach and a gender equality and empowerment framework which includes
accountability mechanisms. It will develop indicators and methods for
disaggregating information by gender and age. Active support will be given to
partnership and outreach to NGOs, women's groups and youth groups to ensure
that the voices of girls and young women are heard. Notably there is overlap
in the actions to be taken with actions proposed under  other sections of the
Platform for Action, particularly, education, health and human rights.

230. The elimination of child labour has constituted a major focus of the UN
system. This has been covered in terms of relevant international labour
standards, technical assistance projects, studies, technical advisory
services, seminars, publications, and provision of training materials,
guidelines and information disemmination.

231.The importance of this critical area of concern has been recognized in
other recent United Nations Conferences and Summits, including: World Summit
on Children, WCHR Part IIB 45-53, ICPD Chapter IVB

2.   Actions to be taken

     a)  Information collection and data base development

232.Collect data from national institutions, UN agencies, NGOs and those
resulting from consideration of States parties reports, and supply and
exchange information relating to human rights situations of the girl child in
the framework of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Centre for Human

     b)  Research and analysis
233.Undertake policy-oriented research and analysis, including on the impact
of girl child labour for women's development prospectives, using demographic
and social development data disaggregated by sex and age as well as gender-
sensitive monitoring of programmes; update information on the health impact of
sex discrimination in childhood and identify strategies to address this

234.Analyze gender differences in child mortality, with special attention to
excess female mortality; on adolescents' reproductive health, nuptiality and
entry into reproductive life; review and revise technical aspects of
population estimates and projections in order to take better account of recent
changes in the sex ratio at birth, which has been documented in several
countries in relation to prenatal sex selection; (Population Division/DESIPA).

235.In the World Population Monitoring Reports, include a focus in 1996 on
adolescents' reproductive health and entry into reproductive life; in 1998 on
gender differences in child health and mortality; and in 1999 on gender
differences in education in relation to population and development
(PopDivision/DESIPA with collaboration of UNFPA, WHO, UNICEF and UNESCO).

     c)  Operational activities (Technical assistance, advisory services and

236.Assist governments in the design of programmes to promote the education of
girls and the achievement of female education goals, with particular attention
to primary and secondary education of girls, and girls' access to, and the
quality of, such education, by focusing on quality education, female teachers,
flexible schedules, incentive programmes for girls' education and female
extension workers, skills training, extra-curricular activities, and of
employment, career development, and equal remuneration opportunities for yong
women;  focus on education of parents as part of population and family life
education programmes;  provide advice on the revision of school curricula and
teaching materials as part of education reform and the provision of population
and family life education in schools; prepare gender-sensitivity training
materials for educators (UNESCO, UNICEF, UNFPA, ILO, ECLAC, CPCJD).

237.Implement actions relating to health and nutrition of girls promoting
better nutrition for the infant and the girl child in view of the effects of
nutritional deficiencies on physical development, including during the
reproductive years (UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO, UNESCO).

238.Provide training and other support to governments in preventing violence
against girls, in the enforcement of legislation, in ending traditional
practices that are harmful to the health of women and girls, such as female
genital mutilation, discriminatory nutrition practices based on sex, pre-natal
sex selection and child marriage, and in the development of counselling and
age-appropriate education programmes for girls, both before and after they are
affected as victims of violence; work with NGOs, community-based organizations
and religious institutions to eliminate such practices (UNICEF, Centre for

239.Provide guidance to countries to integrate girl-specific components in
their policies and programmes regarding child labour, and the mainstreaming of
child labour issues into social and economic development policies, plans and
budgets; focus on protection of children from forced work or work in hazardous
working conditions; cooperation and social alliances between the different
social groups; enforcement of relevant legislation, awareness-raising,
education and training; and institutional capacity-building;  develop trade
union capacity and action to deal with child labour; continue a major global
initiative of assistance to eradicate child labour (International Programme on
the Elimination of Child Labour/IPEC) (UNICEF, ILO).

240.Based on existing and new research and data, develop practical guidelines
for a redefinition in the sharing of responsibilities between women, men, boys
and girls in the family and in society, for use by NGOs and community-based
organizations and in leadership training; (UNICEF, UNDP, UNIFEM, UNFPA, IFAD)

     d)  Public information and outreach

241.Disseminate information about the CRC, CEDAW, and the ILO standards for
the protection of working children and provision of health, education and
continuous training in order to promote the ratification and implementation of
CRC and CEDAW, with specific reference to discrimination against girls from 0-
18 years;  and disseminate recommendations of intergovernmental and treaty
bodies and special rapporteurs (UNICEF, the Centre for Human Rights, ILO, DAW,

242.Disseminate information to create a positive environment for the
development of girls and the elimination of cultural attitudes and practices
harmful to girls, including relating to self-esteem of girls, awareness-
raising among girls, extensive social mobilization, communication and
education for change in attitudes, values and behaviour in the family,
community, society; undertake activities to create awareness and underscore
the "value" of the girl child and the need to eliminate all discriminatory
practices (e.g., differential access to the resources of the household, etc.)
(UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO, UNESCO, UN DPI, Centre for Human Rights, DAW).

243.Advocate the enforcement of existing laws, such as those relating to the
minimum age at marriage for girls, and provision of reproductive health
information and services for girls; encourage governments to enact and enforce
legislation prohibiting female genital mutilation (UNFPA, WHO, Centre for
Human Rights, UNICEF, DAW). 

II.  Institutional and Financial Arrangements for Implementing the Beijing
Declaration and Platform for Action

244. In Sections V and VI of the Platform for Action, recommendations are
made on institutional and financial arrangements for implementing the
Platform. The present section of the System Wide Plan identifies some of the
steps being taken by the UN system to increase its capacity to implement the
Platform for Action and related mandates, including related mandates from
other major global conferences. It is in the area of institutional capacity
building  and innovative resource mobilization for gender-responsive
programming that some of the most notable advances are expected to take place
in the coming years.

245. During the UN Decade for Women and in the post Nairobi Conference era,
the UN system examined the dimensions of its work related to women's
advancement and began to develop policies and programmes to better integrate
women's issues into work programmes.  The result was increased commitment to
women in development approaches in terms of activities targeted towards women.
The major weakness of such efforts in the past was that those efforts remained
fairly marginal and resources were extremely limited. Moreover, not all
entities had focal points on women or explicit policies and programmes to
address women's issues.

246. More recently, changes have occurred to broaden the application of a
gender perspective in policy, programming, budgeting and staff training. As a
result of recent UN Conferences and Summits, in particular the Fourth World
Conference on Women, and the conceptual shift towards a gender perspective,
the UN system has been expected to integrate a gender perspective into its
strategies and activities. In fact, the Platform for Action contains a so-
called "mainstreaming paragraph" in each critical area of concern. This calls
upon Governments and other actors to promote an active and visible policy of
mainstreaming of a gender perspective in all policies and programmes so that
before decisions are taken, an analysis is made of the effects on women and
men, respectively. (See paras. 57, 79, 105, 123, 141, 164, 189,202, 229, 238,
252, 273 of the Platform for Action). This includes efforts to ensure the
enjoyment of women of their human rights and the implementation of
international norms and standards on women's equality and empowerment.

247. The present system-wide plan is intended to help move a gender
perspective from the intergovernmental agenda of the United Nations into the
mainstream of the work of the UN system.

248. Prior to the Beijing Conference coordination of UN system-wide
activities centered around the Ad Hoc Interagency Meeting on Women under the
auspices of the ACC and was also undertaken by the JCGP. These efforts helped
to sustain a degree of consistency and commitment at the working level and
offered a forum for developing joint activities. As a result of the Ad Hoc
meetings,  inputs were made into the work of the Commission on the Status of
Women on a regular basis and annually to the Organizational Committee of ACC,
highlighting areas of cooperation and linking operational programmes,
research, public information, advocacy, overall policy formulation and
development of international norms and standards.

249. As regards the capacity of Organizations to integrate women's issues
into their work programmes, some entities supported women's focal points and
advisers, but overall, staff advocating for women's equality and advancement
were few in number. While gender training for staff was initiated in some
entities, a large number of UN system staff were not exposed to information
and techniques which would enable them to integrate gender into their daily
work, Moreover, impact analysis was sorely lacking and little concrete
evidence was collected on the cost of gender-responsive programming.

250. This past experience now forms the basis for future institutional
development and financing of gender sensitive programmes and is the starting
point for preparation of the present plan.

A.  Institutional arrangements

251. In preparing for the Beijing Conference, a number of agencies undertook
evaluations of their policies on women and gender issues, developing in some
cases improved gender-sensitive guidelines and indicators for monitoring and
evaluating and in some cases revising their broader strategies to include
specific attention to women as important actors in the development process.
This growing interest in the gender dimension of development was partly a
result of the intensive lobbying by women's NGOs at global UN conferences.
Particularly since 1990, gender issues have become part of international
policies on environment, human rights, population and social development as
agreed at those meetings.

252. Policy research and reports to intergovernmental bodies are increasingly
required to include a gender perspective, based on data and statistics that
are disaggregated by sex, and reflect a gender analysis of issues. To support
this work, the capacity of the UN to support research and policy analysis will
be strengthened.  Specialized agencies, funds and programmes will also
undertake greater integration of gender in research and analysis.

253. In response to the adoption of the Platform for Action, several more
agencies are revising their earlier policies and work plans on women. Others
will seek to obtain new legislative mandates, or the refocussing of existing
mandates, to reflect the outcome of the Fourth World Conference on Women.

254. UN system wide coordination arrangements will be enhanced for follow-up
to the Beijing Conference. The Secretary General, pursuant to the Platform for
Action, has designated a senior official in his office to serve as an Adviser
on Gender to monitor progress and to serve as a catalyst for change.

255. In a letter to members of the ACC, the Secretary General has also
proposed the establishment of an inter-agency committee reporting to ACC which
would address in a comprehensive way all aspects of the implementation of the
Platform for Action coming within the purview of the system, and would
interact closely with the new Task Forces and the consultative committees of
ACC. The Committee would be chaired by the SG's Special Adviser on Gender
Issues. The work of the JCGP in this area will continue. Coordination of
gender statistics will be ensured by the ACC Sub-committee on Statistical
Activities and by the UN Statistics Division. The Joint UN Information
Committee will also continue to promote women's advancement through its

256. A particular role falls to the regional commissions in facilitating
cooperation for the monitoring and implementation of the Platform for Action
at the regional level in conjunction with the implementation of the regional
plans and platforms for action adopted at the five regional preparatory
meetings for the Beijing Conference. This is being done, inter alia, through
interagency consultations among regional entities of the UN System and other
regional and subregional organizations involved in women's and gender issues.
It is also expected that regional follow-up will be discussed during the
consultative meetings of the regional representatives of ACC members,
following the initiative of the Secretary General, who has requested the
Executive Secretaries of the regional commissions to convene such meetings in
order to facilitate a dialogue on the requirements and conditions for improved
coordination at the regional level.

257. The role of the Resident Coordinators in supporting integrated follow up
to all UN Conferences and Summits will also be strengthened. A number of
agencies have concluded, or are planning to conclude, memoranda of
understanding to emphasize unique collaborative relationships and/or to define
joint and individual responsibilities in specific issue areas.

258. At the programme level, UN entities are developing special measures and
tools to increase women's participation in programmes and benefits from
programme results. Development of strategic frameworks to integrate gender
into operational practices and policies is being stepped up in key agencies.
In a few organizations, country offices and headquarters divisions have been
asked to develop measurable indicators for monitoring progress in carrying out
gender based policies.

259. Staff, including national programme officers, have participated in
gender training to create gender awareness, in particular, staff are being
encouraged to make the strategic and analytical shift from a narrow women in
development approach to a broader gender focus. Greater emphasis will be given
to empowerment of women to increase women's control over their lives and to
increase the ability of women to influence the direction of society.

260. A number of agencies are developing gender training materials, flexible
guidelines and trainer's guides for use in-country training and regional
application. Institutional capacity to provide`gender training is also being
developed. One aim is to take women's issues into full account throughout the
entire cycle of development cooperation and throughout the design,
implementation and monitoring and evaluation phases of technical cooperation.
While these efforts to offer gender training are agency specific, several
entities are considering ways to offer gender training services on a cost-
effective basis. 
261. Perhaps the area most in need of development is that of accountability. 
Methodologies for greater accountability will  be evolved as part of
monitoring, including tools for greater financial accountability, development
of common approaches, impact analysis and extension of monitoring and
accountability mechanisms to the field level. Accountability systems that
facilitate country level initiatives to eliminate gender discrimination are
being developed, particularly by funding agencies.

262. With the aim of providing high-quality technical support services to
countries, some agencies have identified focal points on gender in their
country teams and geographical divisions to monitor the mainstreaming of
gender issues at national and regional levels as well as at the global level.
Technical cooperation specialists on gender issues will be provided by
specialized funds, and programmes to provide technical backstopping to other
entities in the system and to the network of Resident Coordinators that
provides technical assistance to developing countries and countries in

263. Efforts are being made to field more women in projects and other field
level UN activities including for conflict resolution, peace-making and peace-

264. System-wide outreach to non-governmental organizations and the private
sector to facilitate increased participation by women and advocates for
women's equality is expected to increase during the coming period as an
effective means to improve the impact of activities and ensure sustainability.
The new emphasis on partnership with NGOs and with international, regional and
national networks to increase the involvement of women as contributors to, and
beneficiaries of, economic, social and political development will be
continued. New partnerships will be forged with emerging groups such as youth
NGOs and with mainstream human rights organizations. Linkages with grass-roots
groups will be encouraged to strengthen their role in the development process.
The role of the private sector will be explored and links with the donor
community strengthened. A few agencies have even budgeted for such
coordination activities.

265. Joint information activities on women's issues will be coordinated under
the auspices of the Joint UN Information Committee. Publication programmes
will document and disseminate the results of research and the experience and
expertize of the UN system to policy-makers, development practitioners,
women's organizations and academicians.  A proposal for a joint World Wide Web
site to promote the use of new information technologies by women and to
improve the global outreach of information on women's empowerment and
advancement is being developed with a view to increasing the capacity of core
entities dealing with women's issues to use the electronic networks more cost-
effectively. In a second phase, consideration will be given to expanding the
site to others in the UN system.

266. A strong commitment to integrated follow-up to the cycle of major UN
conferences promises to result in streamlining of work programmes. Efforts to
reduce reporting burdens on countries and to rationalize procedures will be
explored. Guidelines to facilitate field level coordination will be further
developed, tested and finalized. The UN system will aim to ensure that gender
issues are reflected in the inputs to  Habitat II and the World Conference on
Commercial Exploitation of Children, taking into consideration past experience
with global conferences as a means to mobilize public opinion and outline
strategies for action.

267. Accountability for gender parity is increasingly becoming part of career
management systems in the Secretariat and the more proactive agencies.
Managers in some agencies are assessed on their progress in assisting to
achieve the organization's gender commitments, and recruitment and promotion
systems are being required to give greater attention to qualified women
candidates. A number of entities have policies on the use of non-sexist
language and mechanisms for dealing with sexual harrassment in the workplace. 

B.  Financial Arrangements

268. In implementing the previous System-wide Plan for the period 1990-1995,
it was estimated that about $1.3 billion in 1990/91 was developed by the UN
system to activities related to recommendations in the Plan (E/1993/51, Table
2). Few further attempts have been made to estimate overall expenditure 
because of the problems inherent in doing so. According to a UN study on
"Technical Assistance and Women: from mainstreaming towards institutional
accountability" (E/CN.6/1995/6), the estimation of expenditures on specific
target groups is complicated and requires further efforts to develop
methodology and a commitment to monitor resource allocation for activities
that address gender - both targetted and mainstream activities.

269. Individual agencies, funds and programmes are taking steps to increase
resources to facilitate implementation of the Platform for Action. For
example, UNICEF will seek to double its budget for education by the year 2000
with special emphasis on girls' education. UNESCO's Programme Budget for 1996-
97 on women and gender has increased by 22% over the previous biennium and ten
new special projects have been designed in addition to the mainstreaming of
gender, with budgets amounting to $10 million. The Fifth Committee of the
General Assembly agreed to the creation of three new professional posts for
the Division for the Advancement of Women to carry out its mandated activities
on women's human rights and to strengthen its coordination, monitoring and
outreach activities in support of the work of CSW and CEDAW.  The World Bank
has taken steps to increase its lending programmes for women's health and
education in developing countries. It is committed to devoting close to $5
billion per year to projects that have specific actions to improve women's
lives and to promote gender equality. UNIFEM's funds, which will be devoted to
economic and political empowerment of women, have grown from US $2 million in
1975 to US $16.7 million in 1995. UNIDO has initiated the mobilization of
funds for the implementation of the integrated programme for the promotion and
development of women entrepreneurship in Africa and the Least Developed
Countries.  UNDP has established a Poverty Fund of US$13 Million with a target
of US$20 Million for 1996 for the formulation of national strategies of
poverty eradication in which the elimination of the feminization of poverty is
a central goal.  The WFP commitments for women set specific quotas and
earmarked resources for specific activities that reduce gender gaps in
countries where women face serious socio-economic disadvantages.

270. Other entities are in the process of reviewing their resources for
gender-responsive programming and a number are seeking extrabudgetary
resources to support activities. This includes efforts to mobilize resources
from a variety of partners in keeping with the agreements reached in Beijing.
At the Conference, consensus was reached that "to implement the Platform for
Action, funding will need to be identified and mobilized from all sources and
across all sectors. The reformulation of policies and reallocation of
resources may be needed within and among programmes, but some policy changes
may not necessarily have financial implications. Mobilization of additional
resources, both public and private, including resources from innovative
sources of funding, will be necessary."  The Platform for Action calls upon
Member States to support efforts to redirect and generate resources to support
effective follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women. Notably, UNIFEM
has a resource mobilization strategy designed to bring in new sources of
income from the private sector, governments that have not contributed in the
past, foundations and individuals, while enhancing its relationship with its
traditional donors (donor governments and private groups). UNIFEM will also
continue to rely on support from sixteen national committees. 



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Date last updated: 06 December 1999 by DESA/DAW
Copyright 1999 United Nations