United Nations

EGM/WESR/1997/Report


Division for the Advancement of Women

 Distr. GENERAL


                                                   

United Nations
Division for the Advancement of Women

            Promoting women's enjoyment of their economic
                          and social rights

                         Expert Group Meeting

                         Abo/Turku, Finland
                         1-4 December 1997

                               Report



                       TABLE OF CONTENTS


                                                     Paragraphs
PREFACE

I.   ORGANIZATION OF WORK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1-12

II.  SUMMARY OF THE DEBATE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13-34

III. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS. . . . . . . . . . .35-114

     A.   FRAMEWORK FOR WOMEN'S ENJOYMENT OF ECONOMIC 
          AND SOCIAL RIGHTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36-48

     B.   RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL49-63

          1.   General recommendations. . . . . . . . . . 49-51
          2.   Specific recommendations . . . . . . . . . 52-63
               a.   Recommendations regarding constitutional
                    guarantees and legal framework. . . . . .53
               b.   Recommendations regarding national action 
                    plans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54-55
               c.   Recommendations regarding gender-sensitive 
                    policies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56
               d.   Recommendations regarding national human 
                    rights institutions . . . . . . . . . 57-58
               e.   Recommendations regarding public awareness 
                    campaigns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59-60
               f.   Recommendations regarding transnational 
                    corporations (TNCs) . . . . . . . . . 61-62
               g.   Recommendations regarding the role of civil
                    society . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63

     C.   RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION AT THE 
          INTERNATIONAL AND REGIONAL LEVEL. . . . . . . .64-114

          1.   General recommendations. . . . . . . . . . 64-68
          2.   Recommendations addressed to United Nations 
               human rights treaty bodies . . . . . . . . 69-70
          3.   Recommendations addressed to United Nations 
               Charter-based bodies . . . . . . . . . . . . .71
          4.   Recommendations addressed to regional
               organizations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72-86
               a.   Organization of African Unity (OAU) . 74-75
               b.   Organization of American States (OAS) 76-78
               c.   Council of Europe . . . . . . . . . . 79-82
               d.   European Union. . . . . . . . . . . . 83-86
          5.   Recommendations addressed to specialized
               agencies of the United Nations system . .  87-94
          6.   Recommendations addressed to non-governmental 
               organizations (NGOs) . . . . . . . . . . .95-102
          7.   Recommendations addressed to international and 
               regional financial and trade institutions103-114
               a.   World Trade Organization. . . . . . 104-105
               b.   International financial institutions106-111
               c.   Regional and sub-regional trade blocks. 112
               d.   Transnational corporations. . . . . 113-114


ANNEXES                                                   Pages

I.   List of participants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32-35

II.  List of documents. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36-37

III. Agenda and programme of work of the meeting. . . . . 38-40



                            PREFACE

     The expert group meeting on "Promoting women's enjoyment
of their economic and social rights" was convened to address
the parts of the Beijing Platform for Action dealing with the
human rights of women.  The Platform reaffirmed that "the full
and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental
freedoms by women and girls is a priority for Governments and
the United Nations and is essential for the advancement of
women" (para. 213).  It underlined that "Governments must not
only refrain from violating the human rights of women but must
work actively to promote and protect these rights" (para. 215). 
It emphasizes that "[E]very person should be entitled to
participate in, and contribute to and enjoy, cultural,
economic, political and social development.  In many cases
women and girls suffer discrimination in the allocation of
economic and social resources.  This directly violates their
economic, social and cultural rights" (para. 220). 

     As part of the preparation for the forty-second session of
the Commission on the Status of Women (2-13 March 1998), the
expert group meeting was organized by the United Nations
Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), jointly with the
Institute for Human Rights at the ¸bo Akademi University
(Finland).  

     Focussing on economic and social rights of women not only
allowed the expert group meeting to consider critical area of
concern I of the Platform for Action, but also emphasized the
interrelationship of this area of the Platform with other
critical areas of concern.  In particular, it drew attention to
the connections between critical area I and critical areas A
(women and poverty) and F (women and the economy).  These
interdependences highlight the rights-based approach that
underlies the Platform and the pivotal role these rights play
with regard to the overall goal of the Platform for Action: 
the achievement of gender equality.

     Attention to the enjoyment by women of their human rights
and to violations of such rights, both conceptually, as well as
with regard to practical actions, has increased since the
convening of the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights.  The
Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action emphasized that the
human rights of women should form an integral part of United
Nations human rights activities.  The Beijing Declaration and
Platform for Action reaffirmed the conclusions of the Vienna
Conference and took them further, calling for an active and
visible policy of mainstreaming a gender perspective in all
policies and programmes.  It underlined the importance of
gender analysis in addressing the systematic and systemic
nature of discrimination against women in order to achieve the
full realization of human rights for all.  Both conferences and
other recent United Nations conferences contributed to the
understanding that women's equality and non-discrimination
between women and men, as well as women's equal enjoyment of
human rights and fundamental freedoms do not occur
automatically as a result of the overall protection and
promotion of human rights.  These goals must be addressed
explicitly and systematically at all stages of the
implementation of human rights instruments and conference
results, including in the conceptualization of the protected
rights and freedoms.

     Human rights and fundamental freedoms are inherent in the
human person and belong to women and men alike.  Human rights
norms are presumed to be gender-neutral or to be unaffected by
gender.  However, structural imbalances of power between women
and men, the systemic nature of discrimination against women,
and the general absence of women in law creation and
implementation processes continue to reflect disproportionately
the experiences of men and exclude the experiences of women. 
These imbalances also influence the generally accepted
understanding of international human rights law whose structure
and substance may present or preserve obstacles to women's
equality.  Many of the substantive norms of international law
are defined in relation to men's experience, and stated in
terms of discrete violations of rights in the public realm.  In
addition, inattention to rights of particular interest to women
in the international human rights discourse has resulted in
neglect, and pervasive denial, of the rights of women in
particular in the private sphere.  These factors have
contributed to a lack of enjoyment of human rights by women
which has at its roots gender-specific explanations. 
     
     Women's equality cannot be achieved by treating women and
men identically, nor through protective measures for women. 
Identical treatment ignores women's and men's different social
realities and gendered roles.  Protective measures for women do
not challenge the source and nature of women's subordination
and tend to perpetuate gender stereotypes.  A focus on gender
recognizes that women's unequal status is based on, and is
perpetuated by, structures of systemic inequality and
discrimination against women.  In that regard, the standard of
measurement in the realization of women's equality is not the
current male standard of equality, which would simply be a
reaffirmation of the status quo.  Rather, a new standard of
equality should be envisaged based on a reconsideration of
current assumptions and a reconceptualization of the meaning of
equality from a gender perspective.  This standard would
reflect the visions, interests and needs of women, as well as
those of men. 

     The meeting recognized the importance of a gender-
sensitive interpretation of human rights contained in
international human rights instruments relating to economic,
social, civil and political rights and reflected in
international policy.  Focussing in particular on the
implications of integrating gender factors into the
interpretation of economic and social rights, the meeting
developed recommendations for action at the national, regional
and international level.  It stressed that the primary
responsibility for ensuring the enjoyment by women of human
rights lay with Governments, but also targeted recommendations
for action at other actors at the national and international
level.  



                    I. ORGANIZATION OF WORK


                         A. Attendance

1.   The expert group meeting on "Promoting women's enjoyment
of their economic and social rights" was held at the Institute
for Human Rights at ¸bo Akademi University, ¸bo/Turku, Finland,
from 1-4 December 1997.  It was jointly organized by the United
Nations Division for the Advancement of Women/Department of
Economic and Social Affairs (DAW/DESA) and the Institute for
Human Rights at ¸bo Akademi University.

2.   The meeting was attended by nine experts from all regions,
and by 25 observers:  five from Governments, two from inter-
governmental organizations, two from the United Nations system,
and 16 from non-governmental organizations and academic
institutions (see annex I for the full list of participants). 


                       B. Documentation

3.   The documentation for the meeting comprised of two
background papers (one prepared by DAW and one prepared by a
consultant for DAW); nine experts' papers; and five observers'
papers and statements.  Because of their relevance for the
topic under discussion, a number of United Nations documents
and other reference papers were made available (see annex II).


        C. Adoption of the agenda and programme of work

4.   At its opening session on 1 December 1997, the meeting
adopted its agenda and proposed programme of work as follows
(see annex III):

     - Opening of the meeting and opening statements
     - Election of officers 
     - Adoption of programme of work
     - Presentation of experts and observers
     - Presentation of 
          * background papers
          * experts' papers
          * observers' papers and statements 
     - General discussion
     - Working group discussions on
          * national level action
          * international/regional level action   
     - Reports from working group discussions
     - Drafting of recommendations and of the report
     - Adoption of the report of the expert group meeting
     - Closing of the meeting.


                    D. Election of officers

5.   At its opening session the meeting elected the following
officers:

     Chairperson         Ms. Shanti Dairiam (Malaysia)
     Vice-Chairperson    Prof. Cees Flinterman (Netherlands) 
     Rapporteur          Ms. Sandra Liebenberg (South Africa)


                     E. Opening statements

6.   The expert group meeting was opened by Ms. Jane Connors,
Chief, Women's Rights Unit, Division for the Advancement of
Women.  She welcomed the participants and expressed her deep
appreciation to the Institute for Human Rights at ¸bo Akademi
University for hosting the event, and for the support and
cooperation provided by its Director and Deputy Director and
the staff of the Institute during the preparations.  

7.   Ms. Connors placed the meeting in the framework of the
Beijing Platform for Action and outlined the opportunities the
meeting had to contribute to the work of the Commission on the
Status of Women in the area of the human rights of women, as
well as to influence the work of other bodies and organizations
with regard to women's enjoyment of their economic and social
rights.  Noting that economic and social rights remain less
well-understood than other human rights, she highlighted that
gender factors pose additional conceptual and practical
challenges to women's full enjoyment of these rights, both
nationally and with regard to international action.  The expert
group meeting had been convened to deepen the understanding of
the impact of gender on the conceptualization of rights, to
clarify obligations of Governments and other actors in creating
an enabling environment for women's full and equal enjoyment of
economic and social rights, and to develop recommendations for
measures to be taken by Governments and other actors in
ensuring the enjoyment by women of their economic and social
rights at the level of the law, policies and programmes, and
with regard to resources.  

8.   In her opening statement, Ms. Sia Spiliopoulou ¸kermark,
Acting Professor and Director of the Institute for Human
Rights, welcomed the participants and thanked the Ministry for
Foreign Affairs of Finland for its financial support to the
Institute for the expert group meeting.  She emphasized that it
was appropriate that the expert group meeting was held in
Finland, since economic and social rights had been included in
the Finnish Constitution of 1995.  Among the rights included in
the revised Constitution were the right to free basic education
and the right to basic subsistence.  These rights were not only
formally recognized but were rendered justiciable.  She
expressed her pleasure at hosting the meeting at the Institute
for Human Rights at ¸bo Akademi University and noted the
Institute's expertise in the area of economic and social
rights.  In so doing, she referred to several of the
Institute's publications which concern gender and economic and
social rights, including Social Rights as Human Rights: A
European Challenge (1995) and An Introduction to the
International Protection of Human Rights (1997).   
     
9.   Ms. Pa"ivi Pietarinen, Legislative Counsellor, made an
opening statement on behalf of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs
of Finland.  She expressed her appreciation to the organizers
for convening the meeting in Finland, and welcomed the experts
and observers.  Discussing her Government's human rights
policy, she noted that respect for human rights was gaining
importance in Finnish foreign policy.  Priority areas were the
rights of women, children, indigenous peoples and minorities. 
Economic, social and cultural rights also received special
attention, and gender equality in the enjoyment of economic,
social and cultural rights was an important theme.  She
stressed that women's rights needed to be an integral part of
international human rights monitoring, and emphasized her
Government's support for the elaboration of an optional
protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women.


                       F. Working groups

10.  The presentation of background, experts' and observers'
papers was followed by a general discussion on the themes that
emerged from these presentations.  The meeting also held a
discussion on the framework for a gender-sensitive
interpretation of human rights, particularly economic and
social rights.  The components for such a gender-sensitive
framework were exemplified in the right to work, and in the
right to an adequate standard of living.  

11.  Following this discussion, two working groups were
established to elaborate recommendations for action at the
national level, and at the regional and international level.  

12.  Working group I on national level action was chaired by
Prof. Akua Kuenyehia (Ghana).  Ms. Susana Lastarria-Cornhiel
(Peru) served as Rapporteur.  Working group II was chaired by
Mr. Paul Hunt (New Zealand), and Ms. Sandra Liebenberg served
as Rapporteur.  


                   II. SUMMARY OF THE DEBATE

13.  Since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, economic and social rights and the right to non-
discrimination on the basis of sex have constituted an integral
part of the body of international human rights law.  These
rights are protected in a range of international, regional and
specialized conventions.  Of particular relevance are the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women.  The former protects a range of
economic and social rights at the international level, with
States Parties undertaking "to ensure the equal right of men
and women to the enjoyment of the rights set forth in the
Covenant" 1/.  The Convention guarantees non-discrimination in
women's access to, and enjoyment of many economic and social
rights. 

14.  The international community has affirmed its commitment to
the interdependence and indivisibility of all human rights on
many occasions. Governments have committed themselves to "treat
human rights globally, in a fair and equal manner, on the same
footing, and with the same emphasis" in both the Vienna
Declaration and Programme of Action 2/ and the Beijing
Platform for Action 3/.  The Platform for Action highlights
women's economic and social rights in many different contexts,
and outlines actions to be taken by Governments and other
actors to promote and protect women's enjoyment of these
rights.  

15.  The meeting recognized the important work of the Committee
on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 4/ in elaborating the
scope and core elements of the economic and social rights
recognized in the Covenant 5/.  The Committee on the
Elimination of Discrimination against Women has also made
significant progress in elaborating on the duty of non-
discrimination against women in the enjoyment of certain
economic and social rights 6/.

16.  Despite these commitments and the work of human rights
treaty bodies, the meeting noted that economic and social
rights have not received the same level of attention from the
international community as civil and political rights.  As a
consequence, the core elements of many economic and social
rights have not been well-elaborated, and the mechanisms for
their protection are generally weaker than in the case of civil
and political rights.  This constitutes a barrier to the
enforcement and monitoring of States' obligations in relation
to the rights.

17.  A similar observation regarding the unequal protection of
economic and social rights applies within national legal
orders.  The entrenchment of economic and social rights as
justiciable rights in certain national Constitutions presents a
valuable opportunity for the interpretation of their content
and scope, and the development of effective remedies when they
are violated.

18.  The recognition of economic and social rights as human
rights and their practical realization has a particular
significance for women.  Women are disproportionately affected
by poverty and social marginalization.  Women's enjoyment of
economic and social rights can be assessed in terms of
quantitative and qualitative aspects 7/.  As the Beijing
Platform for Action notes, women suffer from systemic and
systematic discrimination 8/ which results in deep patterns of
inequality and disadvantage.  Many women experience multiple
barriers in gaining access to economic and social rights such
as employment, housing, land, food and social security.  These
barriers include: the disproportionate burden of reproductive
and care giving work performed by women; the sexual division of
labour, and segregated employment practices; discriminatory
traditional and cultural laws and practices; unequal
representation by women in political and other decision-making
structures at all levels; the widespread violence perpetrated
against women.

19.  As the United Nations Sub-Commission on Prevention of
Discrimination and Protection of Minorities has noted, these
constraints are particularly acute for women who also face
discrimination on one or more other grounds, including race,
ethnicity, creed, disability, age, socio-economic status and
marital status 9/.  The Platform for Action noted that many
women face additional barriers to the enjoyment of their human
rights because of such factors as their race, language,
ethnicity, culture, religion, disability or socio-economic
class or because they are indigenous people, migrants,
including women migrant workers, displaced women or refugees
10/. 

20.  Women are especially vulnerable to suffering deprivation
and disadvantage in times of economic restructuring (e.g.
structural adjustment programmes) involving the reduction of
social expediture, the privatization of social services and
resources, and the transition to market economies.

21.  Even when women do have access to socio-economic rights,
they frequently experience discrimination in the enjoyment of
these rights.  This discrimination is manifested, for example,
in unequal pay for work of equal value, inferior benefits under
social assistance programmes (as compared to the more
favourable benefits under social insurance schemes) and
insecure tenure to land and housing.

22.  The full and equal realization of socio-economic rights is
thus essential to the achievement of real and effective
equality for women: substantive equality.

23.  The failure to develop concrete standards and remedies for
the enforcement of economic and social rights makes it
difficult to hold States accountable for these violations of
women's economic and social rights.  The international
community and non-governmental organizations have also been
slow to demand accountability from States for violations of
socio-economic rights generally, and women's socio-economic
rights in particular.  The meeting observed that although many
academic institutions and non-governmental organizations are
engaged in important research and mobilization on issues of
economic justice and developmental needs, these issues are
often not perceived and portrayed as violations of women's
economic and social rights.  Economic and social rights - like
all other human rights - demand priority consideration from the
State, and the availability of effective channels of protection
and redress.

24.  The meeting recognized that States have primary
responsibility for guaranteeing economic and social rights. 
States also have an obligation to regulate the actions of non-
state actors to ensure the enjoyment of these rights.  There
exists an urgent need to consider effective forms of holding
non-state actors accountable for violations of economic and
social rights, including the rights of women.  At national
level, many private institutions and actors such as
corporations, banks, landowners, landlords and other private
persons have a significant impact on women's access to socio-
economic rights.  It is imperative that national Governments
adopt effective legislation preventing and prohibiting gender
discrimination and other practices undermining women's full and
equal enjoyment of economic and social rights.

25.  At an international and regional level, the activities of
international financial institutions such as the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, inter-governmental
organizations such as the World Trade Organization, as well as
multi-national corporations also have a significant impact on
the enjoyment of economic and social rights.  The Vienna
Declaration and Programme of Action and the Committee on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights have called on these
institutions to assess the impact of their policies and
programmes on the enjoyment of human rights 11/.  The
Platform for Action calls on international financial
institutions to review and revise policies to ensure that
investments and programmes benefit women 12/.  The Inspection
Panel created by the World Bank could also provide a forum for
the consideration of complaints concerning the impact of the
World Bank's activities on the enjoyment of economic and social
rights.  The meeting also identified the need for urgent steps
to ensure the binding effect of international obligations
relating to economic and social rights on the World Bank.  The
responsibilities of transnational corporations in adhering in
their business practices to international human rights norms
and standards was also emphasized.  

26.  Like civil and political rights, economic and social
rights are fundamental to the protection of human dignity. 
They demand immediate action to eliminate conditions of human
degradation and deprivation.  The meeting also observed the
close links between the guarantee of all human rights,
democracy and sustainable development.  It noted that national
judicial and other organs must ensure that any
pronouncements/decisions they may make do not result in the
official sanctioning of a violation of an international
obligation relating to economic and social rights by the State
concerned 13/. 

27.  The debate addressed the nature of the obligations imposed
by economic and social rights, and the extent to which these
rights necessarily require enforcement mechanisms that are
different from civil and political rights.  It was observed
that both sets of rights impose a combination of negative and
positive duties on States, and require resources for their
effective realization.  States often take for granted the
positive obligations and resource implications of civil and
political rights as they are regarded as sufficiently important
to warrant priority consideration.  Conversely, there is a lack
of general awareness of the negative obligations imposed by
economic and social rights which require States to refrain from
certain conduct (for example, embarking on arbitrary forced
evictions in violation of the right to adequate housing). 
Violations of both sets of rights can therefore occur through
acts of both commission and omission, on the part of States. 

28.  The meeting stressed that the concept of the
justiciability of rights is dynamic.  In systems where there is
the possibility of individual complaints for violations of
human rights, supervisory bodies have the opportunity to
develop the relevant standards of compliance and appropriate
remedies in the context of concrete cases.  The importance, in
this context, of the process of developing optional protocols
to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women was noted.  In addition, the
meeting welcomed the entrenchment of economic and social rights
as justiciable rights in certain national Constitutions. 

29.  The obligations imposed by economic and social rights can
be usefully understood in terms of three primary duties: to
respect, to protect, and to promote and fulfill the rights. 
The duty to respect requires States to refrain from depriving
people of their economic and social rights, or from undermining
their enjoyment of these rights in other ways.  The duty to
protect requires States to act positively to ensure that
powerful private actors do not undermine the human rights of
others.  This may be achieved in a number of ways, including
through the adoption of appropriate regulatory legislation. 
Finally the duty to promote and fulfill the rights, requires
positive action to ensure that everyone has access to economic
and social rights.  The obligations imposed in this regard can
be of an immediate nature, requiring States to achieve a
certain result, for example, free and compulsory primary
education.  Alternatively, they require States to adopt certain
specified measures directed at the progressive realization of
the rights.  States are required, as expeditiously as possible,
to adopt effective and well-targeted legislative and other
measures to advance and improve access to socio-economic
rights 14/.  
 
30.  Experts referred to the minimum core obligation of States
to ensure, at the very least, essential levels of each of the
economic and social rights (or minimum subsistence rights). 
The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has
interpreted the International Covenant on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights to impose this minimum core obligation on
States parties when it stated that "[I]n order for a State
party to be able to attribute its failure to meet at least it
minimum core obligations to a lack of available resources, it
must demonstrate that every effort has been made to use all
resources that are at its disposition in an effort to satisfy,
as a matter of priority, those minimum obligations" 15/.  

31.  Both the Limburg Principles on the Implementation of the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
and the Maastricht Guidelines on Violations of Economic, Social
and Cultural Rights list as among the violations of omission on
the part of the State "the failure to implement without delay a
right which it is required by the Covenant to provide
immediately;" and "the failure to meet a generally accepted
international minimum standard of achievement, which is within
its powers to meet" 16/. 

32.  The need for developing gender-sensitive definitions of
economic and social rights was identified as a key priority by
the meeting.  Gender factors should be fully integrated at all
three levels of States duties in relation to socio-economic
rights - the duty to respect, to protect, and to promote and
fulfill.  

33.  The meeting extensively discussed the importance of
mainstreaming a gender perspective in legislation, policies and
programmes designed to realize economic and social rights. 
Mainstreaming requires that Governments assess the impact of
the delivery of rights through mainstream institutions and
processes for women and men.  Note was taken of the Agreed
Conclusions on gender mainstreaming adopted by the Economic and
Social Council 17/.  Policies and programmes should take
account of gender inequalities and disparities of power at all
levels, including the household, the community, and at all
levels of Government.  These factors were recognized as
obstacles to women's full and equal access to socio-economic
rights.  Unless gender inequalities and power disparities are
accounted for as an integral dimension of the design,
implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and
programmes, women and men will not benefit equally from the
benefits being conferred.  The failure to address explicitly
gender differences in mainstream programmes will undermine
steps towards substantive equality or equality of outcomes. 
The meeting stressed the fundamental importance of Government
policies and programmes that encourage the outcome of a more
equal sharing of reproductive and caring responsibilities
between men and women, and society as a whole.  This is
emphasized both in the preamble of the Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women 18/
and in the Platform for Action 19/.  It was cautioned that
mainstreaming of a gender perspective should not imply
acceptance of the status quo or the dominant male standard
applicable to mainstream institutions and processes.  In many
cases the full integration of a gender perspective and of
gender factors will require a fundamental restructuring -  a
transformation - of institutions and systems such as the labour
market, social security systems and the operation of property
markets.

34.  The meeting observed that women themselves are critical
actors in claiming their rights, including socio-economic
rights.  However, the general lack of access to effective
remedies for violations of economic and social rights was
compounded by absence of legal services and legal literacy,
particularly for rural women, women refugees and migrant
workers and other women in disadvantaged and vulnerable
circumstances.  In addition, effective access to legal recourse
mechanisms was obstructed by unduly formalistic court
procedures and rules of standing in many jurisdictions.  The
meeting reiterated the Platform for Action where it identified
the gap between the existence of rights and their effective
enjoyment.  The meeting attributed this gap to the failure of
Government to promote and protect rights properly, a lack of
appropriate recourse mechanisms, and the failure by Governments
to inform women and men alike of their rights 20/.  The
commitment of Governments in the Platform for Action to the
achievement of legal literacy and the building of women's
capacity to claim their rights 21/ was highlighted by the
meeting in this context. 


             III. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

35.  The expert group meeting considered the framework within
which women's enjoyment of their economic and social rights
takes place and emphasizing the indivisibility and
interdependence of all human rights, developed a context for a
gendered interpretation of rights.  It then elaborated specific
recommendations for action to be taken at the national level,
and at the regional and international level, to promote women's
enjoyment of their economic and social rights.

     A.   FRAMEWORK FOR WOMEN'S ENJOYMENT OF ECONOMIC AND
          SOCIAL RIGHTS
     
36.  The indivisibility and interdependence of all human rights
has been rightly affirmed time and again by the international
community.  It has also been emphasized that all human rights
must be treated in a fair and equal manner, on the same
footing, and with the same emphasis.  It is unfortunate but
undeniable however, that economic and social rights are still
regarded and treated by States in a different way than civil
and political human rights.  Economic and social rights are
largely marginalized.  There is no justification for such
differential treatment: both civil and political and economic
and social rights entail positive and negative obligations,
obligations of conduct and of result, and obligations to
respect, to protect, and to promote and fulfill.  The dignity
and worth of women and men is dependent upon the full
implementation of these obligations by States and other
relevant actors.

37.  The principles of equality and non-discrimination on such
grounds as sex form the cornerstone of the normative human
rights framework.  They presume not only de jure equality for
men and women, but also de facto equality and require the
elimination of all forms of discrimination against women,
including gender discrimination arising out of social, cultural
and other structural disadvantages.  De facto equality of women
and men in the field of human rights, in particular economic
and social rights, is still a distant objective.

38.  The recognition of economic and social rights as human
rights and their practical realization have a particular
significance for women.  Women are disproportionately affected
by the lack of recognition of these rights.  The recognition of
economic and social rights as fundamental human rights
alongside civil and political rights and other human rights
requires that States accord priority consideration to their
fulfillment 22/.  Rights are not simply a matter of policy
choices for Governments, but impose legally sanctioned duties
to respect and ensure the rights in question.  Moreover, the
full recognition of rights requires the creation of effective
channels of redress to hold States accountable for violations
of these rights.  Women's empowerment is advanced by
establishing concrete standards and mechanisms of
accountability for violations of economic and social rights. 
Thus, the rights approach is being increasingly pursued by
women, women's organizations and other entities seeking to
promote gender equality and women's empowerment.  

39.  The indivisibility of all human rights also implies that
States are as responsible for violations of economic and social
rights as they are for violations of civil and political
rights.  Violations of economic and social rights can either
occur through acts of commission or through acts of omission by
States.  Women, and certain other groups, suffer
disproportionate harm from violations of economic and social
rights by States or other entities which are insufficiently
regulated by States.

40.  The expert group meeting acknowledged that gender equality
and women's full enjoyment of economic and social rights are
intimately connected.  It recognized that the full realization
of economic and social rights is of importance to both women
and men and that violations of these rights affect both women
and men.

41.  The expert group meeting emphasized that women face
constraints and vulnerabilities which differ from those which
affect men and that these constraints and vulnerabilities are
of significant relevance in the enjoyment of these rights.  In
addition, it noted that these variables mean that women may be
affected by violations of economic and social rights in ways
that are different from men.

42.  The expert group meeting recognized that pro-active
policies are required to ensure that women enjoy economic and
social rights.  It noted, however, that the explicit and
implicit inequalities that affect women's enjoyment of these
rights can be exacerbated by policies introduced to ensure that
women fully enjoy economic and social rights in those cases
where policy makers fail to take account of the reality of the
lives of women, as well as men.  The expert group meeting
emphasized that, in most societies, women and men do not occupy
the same position.  For example, while it acknowledged that
poverty affects both women and men, women experience poverty
differently from men.  Measures which are introduced to address
poverty which fail to take account of the differential impact
of poverty resulting from gender may serve to exacerbate and
entrench this violation of economic rights where women are
concerned.  By failing to address gender, they may also fail to
support and strengthen women's capacity to break the cycle of
poverty.  

43.  The expert group meeting recognized that the rights of
women to enjoy civil, political, economic and social rights are
often subsumed in a wider societal struggle for the realization
of rights.  For example, women's rights to enjoy economic and
social resources are frequently postponed until all members of
society are able to take full advantage of these rights.  The
expert group meeting emphasized that, far from diluting the
wider societal struggle for the realization of economic and
social rights, the identification of women's independent
entitlement to these rights can strengthen the general quest
for realization of human rights.  In addition, the expert group
meeting stressed that postponing women's entitlement to full
enjoyment of human rights in this way entrenches and
legitimizes existing inequalities based on gender.  The expert
group meeting made clear that specific constraints affecting
women in the enjoyment of economic and social rights should be
identified in the societal struggle for rights so that
inequalities within societies can be addressed at an early
stage and a measure of gender equality ultimately achieved.

44.  Recognizing the many ways in which the situation of women
differs from that of men, the expert group meeting underlined
the importance of adopting a gender-sensitive methodology in
ascertaining the extent to which women enjoy economic and
social rights and in determining violations of these rights. 
The meeting noted that it was important for those involved in
the implementation of economic and social rights to seek data
disaggregated by sex and gender-specific information and ensure
that the different experiences of women in the enjoyment of
these rights, as well as their violation, are rendered visible. 
In fact, violations of women's economic and social rights were
seldom perceived as such.  

45.  The meeting also noted that it was important to interpret
existing human rights norms creatively so that they could be
applied to those experiences of women which are different from
those of men.  Noting that there are an infinite variety of
ways in which women's work can be rendered invisible and their
contribution to society can remain unaccounted for, the
responsibility of Governments to make visible these activities
was underlined.  The meeting also emphasized that United
Nations human rights treaty bodies and other monitoring
mechanisms were provided with many opportunities for creative
interpretation and needed to be perceptive and sensitive to the
activities of women in different societies which meet an
innovative and gender-sensitive definition of work.  At the
same time, the meeting recognized that the definition of some
economic and social rights in existing instruments which were
not based explicity on the experiences or realities of women's
lives, might need to be supplemented by newly-formulated rights
which took account of the life patterns of women.

46.  Using the right to work 23/ and the right to an adequate
standard of living 24/ defined in the International Covenant
on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as illustrative
examples, the expert group meeting noted the gender-specific
language of these rights and the male-based model of employment
that underlay human rights guarantees relating to employment. 
The expert group meeting noted that the conceptual framework of
the right to work failed to reflect the many forms of
remunerated and unremunerated work that women perform.  It
stressed that a truly gender-sensitive guarantee would
encompass within its scope women's patterns of paid work,
within the formal and informal sectors, and the unremunerated
work that women perform.

47.  The expert group meeting also noted that a gender-
sensitive interpretation of the right to work would incorporate
reference to the need to ensure removal of obstacles to women's
full enjoyment of that right.  Such obstacles included, but
were not limited to, sexual harassment and other forms of
violence against women, and absence or lack of access to child
care.  Gender-discriminatory cultural norms and practices also
constitute obstacles.  Removal of these and other obstacles
should be understood as part of the obligation to ensure just,
favourable and safe conditions of work.  The expert group
meeting also emphasized the importance of identifying the
background of inequality against which women participated as
workers in various capacities.

48.  The expert group meeting also highlighted the importance
of a gendered interpretation of the right to social security
and social assistance.  Full enjoyment of these rights by women
could only be achieved if specific areas of women's interests
were identified and made visible.  Specific factors to be taken
into account included the greater vulnerability of women to
loss of employment and interrupted employment, health issues of
women and of other family members, loss of family members, and
particularly male family members through death, abduction or
detention, insecurity of shelter, and the particular
disadvantages experienced by women arising from their
disproportionate share of reproductive, child-rearing and
caring work.  The development of innovative and creative safety
nets for women living in poverty was identified as a matter
deserving particular attention 25/.   

     B.   RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL 

     1.   General recommendations 

49.  The meeting noted that the participation of women in
decision-making at all levels, from the family to the
international level, was essential to their enjoyment of
economic and social rights.  The meeting emphasized that
societal as well as Governmental commitment to peace was
conducive to the enjoyment of economic and social rights, and
conducive to the creation of an enabling environment for the
realization of these rights.  It also noted that the absence of
peace contributed to the violation of economic and social
rights.

50.  The Platform for Action assigns primary responsiblity for
implementation of the Platform to Governments 26/.  The
meeting emphasized that, while many actors have a role at the
national level in promoting women's enjoyment of their economic
and social rights, primary responsibility for ensuring
enjoyment of these rights rests with Governments, extending to
the national, sub-national and local levels.  The meeting
identified a variety of actors, including the Government;
employers' organizations; workers' organizations; the private
sector including industry, banks and other financial
institutions; civil society, including non-governmental
organizations, women's organizations, universities, research
institutions, political parties, and religious institutions;
donor agencies and donor Governments through development
cooperation; and the media.  

51.  The expert group meeting made the following
recommendations: 

     *    The obligations and roles of various actors in
     respecting, protecting, and promoting and fulfilling
     women's economic and social rights should be clearly
     established.  With the roles of various actors shifting,
     Governments should pay increased attention to the
     promotion and protection of economic and social rights,
     including through the exercise of its regulatory role. 

     *    Governments should clearly establish the
     responsibility of all ministries, including ministries of
     finance and defence, and of other governmental bodies such
     as planning commissions, for women's enjoyment of economic
     and social rights. 

     *    National machinery for the advancement of women has a
     crucial role as catalyst and facilitator and in monitoring
     results, and should be provided with adequate capacity to
     fulfill this role with regard to women's enjoyment of
     economic and social rights, including through cooperation
     and coordination with national human rights institutions. 
     

     2.   Specific recommendations

52.  The expert group recommended that Governments and other
actors undertake specific steps to ensure to women the
enjoyment of their economic and social rights in the following
areas: constitutional guarantees and legal framework; national
action plans; gender-sensitive policies;  national human rights
institutions; public awareness campaigns; transnational
corporations; role of civil society.   

     a.   Recommendations regarding constitutional guarantees
          and legal framework

53.  The expert group meeting made the following
recommendations:
 
     *    Governments should guarantee economic and social
     rights in national Constitutions.  They should put in
     place the necessary legislative and regulatory framework
     guaranteeing a gendered interpretation of these rights. 
     Human rights values and principles must be integrated into
     all legislation and policies, reflecting international
     human rights standards and norms. 

     *    Governments should adopt the necessary legislation to
     ensure to women the enjoyment of their economic and social
     rights, including the removal of obstacles to women's full
     and equal enjoyment of these rights.  They should reform
     and repeal legislation which is inconsistent with this
     obligation.  They should regulate the activities of
     individuals or groups so as to prevent them from violating
     women's economic and social rights, and they should
     enforce such regulations.  Governments must create and
     maintain infrastructure that provides remedies for
     violations through acts of omission or acts of commission
     of economic and social rights.   

     *    Domestic enforcement mechanisms for socio-economic
     rights should be strengthened.  The development of a
     coherent jurisprudence with regard to economic and social
     rights, based on international human rights law, needs to
     be encouraged and facilitated.  To this end, judicial and
     legal education should be strengthened and particularly
     emphasize human rights, including the human rights of
     women in the economic and social fields.  

     b.   Recommendations regarding national action plans

54.  The meeting noted that an essential element in promoting
and protecting women's human rights is the existence of a
national action plan.  In that regard the meeting recalled that
according to the Platform for Action, Governments "should
develop implementation strategies for the Platform" 27/. 
Consequently, the meeting noted that Governments are
responsible for designing, with the full participation of civil
society, and implementing national action plans aimed at
women's enjoyment of their economic and social rights, either
as part of comprehensive national action plans for the
implementation of the Platform as a whole, or as self-standing
plans on human rights of women 28/.    

55.  In order to achieve progress in women's enjoyment of
economic and social rights, the meeting recommended that
national action plans on human rights of women address the
following critical dimensions.

     *    Implementation strategies: specific implementation
     strategies for international human rights commitments at
     the national level should be designed as part of national
     action plans.  Such strategies should also include
     measures to implement human rights treaty obligations and
     responsibilities from other instruments containing human
     rights commitments into national law and policy.  
 
     *    Methodologies: National action plans should contain
     methodologies that identify different types of women's
     experiences and needs in the area of economic and social
     rights, and that capture the different ways in which women
     experience rights and violations thereof; 

     *    Data collection: the collection of data disaggregated
     by sex at national and international level must be
     improved in order to identify factors and aspects that
     cause unequal outcomes for women in the enjoyment of
     rights.  National statistical profiles and international
     compilation of data such as The World's Women 29/,
     should be kept and regularly updated, in accordance with
     the Platform for Action 30/.  

     *    Development of qualitative indicators: the collection
     and use of quantitative data is insufficient to make
     explicit gender-related experiences that women face in the
     enjoyment of economic and social rights.  Thus, new
     methodologies and statistical tools should be designed to
     capture qualitative dimensions of women's enjoyment of
     rights, and in order 
          (1) to identify and make visible the full range of
          women's activities including their contributions in
          the unremunerated sector 31/; 
          (2) to reveal the nature of gender-based violations
          of rights; and 
          (3) identify appropriate forms of redress for rights
          violations. 

     *    Identification of outcomes: national action plans on
     human rights of women should establish time-bound,
     targeted outcomes, and include specific steps to achieve
     these outcomes.  With regard to measuring progress,
     emphasis should be placed on measuring outcomes rather
     than inputs.  Plans should also include mechanisms for
     monitoring implementation of economic and social rights in
     accordance with minimum core obligations established by
     United Nations human rights treaty bodies.  

     *    Resources: Governments should allocate and reallocate
     resources to implement national action plans.  In this
     regard, Governments might need to reorder priorities, for
     example, through the reduction of military expenditures
     and the allocation of additional funds for social and
     economic development 32/.  The reduction of military
     expenditure would facilitate the implementation of the
     Platform for Action as a whole 33/.  Governments should
     prioritize their resources to ensure that everyone has
     access to, at the minimum, essential levels of economic
     and social rights 34/.

     *    Reflection of gender policies in national budgets:
     Governments should reflect in national budgets key gender
     policy objectives and priorities established in national
     policies.  Governments should seek international
     cooperation to accelerate achievement of targeted outcomes
     as foreseen in the Platform for Action 35/.

     *    Institutions: Governments should create and/or
     maintain an institutional framework to enable women to
     enjoy, enforce, and protect their rights.  This should
     include: 
          (1) the existence of an independent and
          gender-sensitive judiciary.  The national judiciary,
          in its decision-making on economic and social rights,
          should ensure that no decision taken in this area is
          incompatible with international law on economic and
          social rights and on gender equality;  
          (2) the availability and accessibility of legal aid
          to women in the pursuit of their economic and social
          rights;
          (3) the existence of structures and mechanisms to
          ensure the implementation of national action plans
          and the monitoring of their effectiveness; and 
          (4) the establishment of mechanisms to increase
          women's legal literacy, as foreseen in the Platform
          for Action 36/, and of women's economic literacy. 
          All institutions should have a clear and visible
          commitment to international norms and standards of
          equality between women and men as a basis for all
          action 37/.

     *    Reporting: Visible and transparent mechanisms for
     reporting on progress in the implementation of national
     action plans, in particular with regard to women's
     enjoyment of their economic and social rights, should be
     established.  Such mechanisms should include regular
     reporting by Governments on progress in achieving the
     targets established in the national action plan to
     Parliament and other public fora, and to international
     bodies, in accordance with established obligations. 

     c.   Recommendations regarding gender-sensitive policies

56.  The expert group meeting made the following
recommendations:

     *    The existence of gender-sensitive policies is a
     criticial element in promoting women's enjoyment of
     economic and social rights.  Governments should establish
     national gender equality objectives, based on the
     appropriate constitutional mandate and the legal
     framework.  They should review and formulate development
     policies in all areas (such as in the areas of
     agriculture, health, education, work, employment) in a way
     that targets explicitly the enjoyment by women of their
     economic and social rights.  Policies should not
     perpetuate directly or indirectly the exclusion of women
     from socio-economic rights and benefits.  

     *    All governmental policies should aim at the
     realization of women's economic and social rights, and
     comply with standards set by international law, United
     Nations human rights treaty bodies, and domestic law. 
     These standards should include access to the basic means
     of subsistence so as to ensure to everyone a standard of
     living consonant with human dignity 38/.  Policies
     should aim at ensuring women's equal access to economic
     resources and secure land tenure as called for, inter
     alia, in the Agenda for Development 39/.

     *    Monitoring systems should be established to allow
     Governments to monitor regularly the impact of policies
     with regard to particular violations that women encounter
     with a view to reviewing and revising these policies.  

     *    Donor Governments and development cooperation
     agencies should respect constitutional principles and
     national policies aimed at promoting and protecting
     women's enjoyment of socio-economic rights.  

     *    When privatizing public services, Governments should
     ensure access by women to effective legislative and other
     remedies against discriminatory and other practices by
     non-state actors which undermine women's equal access to,
     and enjoyment of economic and social rights.

     d.   Recommendations regarding national human rights
institutions

57.  The expert group meeting emphasized the role of national
human rights institutions, such as national human rights
commissions, ombudspersons or similar independent bodies, in
ensuring women's enjoyment of their human rights.  

58.  The expert group meeting made the following
recommendations: 

     *    National human rights institutions should be mandated
     to monitor explicitly the situation with regard to
     socio-economic rights and with regard to women's enjoyment
     of these rights.  They should have the power to request
     relevant information from State organs on measures taken
     toward the full realization of economic and social rights
     of women and should have the power to recommend
     legislative and policy changes.  They should also have the
     mandate to conduct public inquiries to investigate human
     rights issues, identify structural problems, recommend
     solutions, and educate the general public on human rights
     matters, particularly women's human rights issues.

     *    National human rights institutions should collaborate
     closely with national machinery for the advancement of
     women.

     e.   Recommendations regarding public awareness campaigns

59.  The media has a critical role to play in publicizing
women's human rights issues, and in raising awareness of the
links between the enjoyment of all human rights, democracy and
sustainable development 40/.  

60.  The Government also has a role in promoting widespread
awareness with regard to women's human rights issues.  The
expert group meeting recommended that Governments, with the
participation of civil society, conduct a comprehensive
campaign to raise awareness of economic and social rights of
women and violations of these rights 41/.  This campaign
should be targeted at both women and men.  Public awareness
raising should also target public officials, including the
judiciary and law enforcement agencies, to sensitize them to
women's economic and social rights, and the different forms in
which such rights may be violated. 

     f.   Recommendations regarding transnational corporations
(TNCs)

61.  Activities of TNCs have an impact on the enjoyment by
women of their human rights at the national level.  Therefore,
Governments have an obligation to regulate their activities and
to ensure full compliance with human rights obligations as well
as all national laws 42/. 

62.  The expert group meeting made the following
recommendations:

     *    Governments should enact and enforce laws to prevent
     and prohibit violations of economic and social rights by
     TNCs, including discrimination against women in this
     sphere.  
 
     *    Governments should create incentives to encourage
     TNCs to actively promote women's enjoyment of economic and
     social rights.

     *    Civil society organizations should publicize
     particular violations of economic and social rights
     resulting from activities of TNCs, in particular in
     developing countries.  Civil society organizations should
     also make public practices by TNCs that are conducive to
     the enjoyment of economic and social rights by women. 
     Civil society organizations should lobby and advocate
     their Governments to monitor violations of economic and
     social rights by TNCs.

     g.   Recommendations regarding the role of civil society

63.  The expert group meeting made the following
recommendations: 

     *    Civil society should be involved through
     participatory processes in the development of plans to
     promote and protect women's enjoyment of socio-economic
     rights.  They should also be involved in setting realistic
     targets, monitor progress and contribute to the
     implementation of such plans.  

     *    Civil society should be empowered to demand
     accountability from Governments on progress in the area of
     women's enjoyment of their socio-economic rights even
     where Governments have not ratified international human
     rights treaties.

     *    Non-governmental organizations and other
     organizations and actors of civil society should base
     their activities on human rights principles.  Standards of
     international human rights instruments should be used by
     such organizations as a yardstick in all their work.
  

     C.   RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION AT THE INTERNATIONAL AND
          REGIONAL LEVEL 

          1.   General recommendations 

64.  The expert group meeting emphasized the importance of the
full integration of gender factors in all policies and
programmes of all the international organizations referred to
in these recommendations.  Relevant resolutions on gender
mainstreaming should be implemented and effectively integrated
in all activities of these bodies3 43/.

65.  The meeting recommended greater collaboration between
international and regional bodies with a view to strengthening
the protection of women's full and equal enjoyment of economic
and social rights, through, for example, meetings between the
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
and regional human rights supervisory bodies dealing with
gender equality and socio-economic rights. 

66.  Human rights bodies within the United Nations system
should encourage and facilitate greater involvement by non-
governmental organizations in their work, including the
adoption of innovative procedures to enhance NGO participation.

67.  Member States of the United Nations as well as United
Nations structures within the field of monitoring the enjoyment
of women's economic and social rights should recognize the
overall importance of accessibility in the process of
equalization of opportunities for women and girls with
disabilities.  Accessibility in this context includes both
access to the physical environment and access to information
and communication.  Principles such as the Standard Rules on
the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities
should be used effectively to advance the equal access by women
and girls to the societal institutions and to promote enjoyment
of economic and social rights. 

68.  The meeting recommended that in the drafting of new human
rights instruments, language should be gender sensitive.  In
this regard, it commended the approach exemplified by the
language of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.   

     2.   Recommendations addressed to United Nations human
          rights treaty bodies 

69.  The meeting noted that there had been significant progress
in recent years in recognizing that an understanding of the
gender dimensions of the enjoyment of human rights was
important in ensuring the full enjoyment of those rights by
women and men.  The adoption of the Platform for Action and of
subsequent intergovernmental legislation had greatly
contributed to this recognition.  However, the meeting noted
that there was still much to be done to move beyond recognition
to gender-sensitive interpretations of economic and social
rights and the development of strategies for ensuring their
implementation.

70.  The expert group meeting made the following
recommendations: 

     *    States parties to international human rights
     instruments should renew their efforts to achieve a more
     appropriate gender balance in the membership of male-
     dominated human rights treaty bodies.  In selecting
     candidates, States should recognize that an awareness of,
     and sensitivity to, gender issues in the field of human
     rights was an essential aspect of the expertise expected
     of an independent expert who is to serve as a member of a
     human rights treaty body.

     *    The work on the drafting and adoption of optional
     protocols establishing communications procedures under the
     Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
     Discrimination against Women and the International
     Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights should be
     completed as soon as possible, especially since it is in
     the framework of such individual communications procedures
     that the gendered content and meaning of such rights can
     be clarified and given form and substance.  

     *    The principles of interpretation of women's enjoyment
     of economic and social rights developed by the Committee
     on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women should
     be fully integrated by other human rights treaty bodies in
     their work.

     *    The meeting noted the important contribution that the
     Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has made
     to the elaboration of the nature, scope and content of
     economic and social rights, especially in its general
     comments and review of States parties' reports.  The
     meeting encouraged the Committee on Economic, Social and
     Cultural and Rights to continue and, so far as possible,
     accelerate its normative elaboration of economic and
     social rights.  In so doing, it is recommended that the
     Committee continue and expand its efforts to integrate
     fully gender factors in the conceptualization,
     interpretation and strategies for the implementation of
     these rights.  The Committee should give further
     consideration to defining a gender-sensitive `minimum core
     content' in relation to each right protected by the
     Covenant.  In this regard, the Committee should draw on
     the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
     Discrimination against Women and the work of the Committee
     on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in its
     formulation of these standards.  

     *    All human rights treaty bodies are encouraged to keep
     under review their reporting guidelines to ensure that
     gender issues are fully considered in their work.

     *    Human rights treaty bodies should review the
     guidelines for the integration of a gender perspective
     into human rights activities and programmes 44/ as they
     pertain to their work with a view to assessing their
     usefulness and of improving them through the development
     of practical strategies for their implementation.

     *    Future editions of the United Nations Manual on Human
     Rights Reporting under Major International Human Rights
     Instruments 45/ must ensure that gender issues are fully
     reflected in the discussions relating to all human rights
     treaties covered by the Manual. 

     *    Human rights treaty bodies, in their elaboration of
     general comments and recommendations, are urged to
     interpret guarantees of economic and social rights in a
     way that will enhance women's enjoyment of these rights. 
     The preparation of general comments on article 3 of the
     International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
     Rights and of the International Covenant on Civil and
     Political Rights should be fully utilized to elaborate a
     gendered interpretation of the rights protected by the
     respective Covenants.

     *    The Human Rights Committee, the Committee on
     Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Committee on
     the Elimination of Discrimination against Women should
     consider issuing a joint general comment on the
     indivisibility of civil and political rights and economic,
     social and cultural rights and the centrality of gender
     awareness to the enjoyment of those rights as part of
     their celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Universal
     Declaration of Human Rights. 

     *    Recognizing the effective contribution of the meeting
     of representatives of all the treaty bodies at Glen Cove
     in 1996 to discuss reproductive rights 46/, the meeting
     encouraged the treaty bodies or individual members of
     treaty bodies to meet with each other to explore thematic
     issues relating to women's enjoyment of economic and
     social rights. 

     *    Recognizing that the interpretation and normative
     elaboration of economic and social rights can benefit
     greatly from the experience and expertise of many
     specialized agencies, human rights treaty bodies should
     consider the practice of appointing individual members to
     liaise with specialized agencies or other
     intergovernmental bodies of most relevance to their
     respective mandate 47/. 

     *    In the provision of expert assistance to the
     Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights pursuant
     to the Plan of Action to Strengthen the Implementation of
     the International Covenant on Economic, Social and
     Cultural Rights 48/, the High Commissioner for Human
     Rights should ensure that this expert assistance includes
     expertise in gender issues.

     *    Human rights treaty bodies should invite
     representatives of international financial institutions
     and other international and multilateral development
     institutions to present to the Committees an analysis of
     the impact of their activities on women's enjoyment of
     economic and social rights in the light of international
     standards in general, and in relation to particular
     States.

     3.   Recommendations addressed to United Nations Charter-
          based bodies 

71.  The expert group meeting made the following
recommendations:

     *    All Charter-based bodies should pay greater attention
     and devote more time to economic and social rights, and
     the gender dimensions of these rights.

     *    The Commission on the Status of Women should give
     further consideration to enhancing the communications
     procedure of the Commission to make it an effective
     instrument for remedying violations of women's human
     rights, including women's economic and social rights, in
     particular by increasing the transparency of the procedure
     and ensuring the independence of the body reviewing
     communications.

     *    Following consideration by the Commission on the
     Status of Women and the Commission on Human Rights of the
     joint report to be prepared by the Division for the
     Advancement of Women and the Office of the High
     Commissioner for Human Rights on obstacles and progress in
     the field of women's rights relating to economic
     resources 49/, this matter should be kept under review
     in order to ensure progress in realizing women's economic
     and social rights.  To that end, the Commission on the
     Status of Women should consider the appointment of a
     thematic Special Rapporteur in the field of women's
     economic and social rights whose mandate could be general
     or focussed on specific aspects of economic and social
     rights, such as extreme poverty. The Commission on Human
     Rights is also encouraged to appoint a similar Special
     Rapporteur 50/.

     *    The Commission on Human Rights should continue to
     review the attention which Special Rapporteurs and other
     non-conventional mechanisms pay to gender issues.  The
     Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in
     cooperation with the Division for the Advancement of
     Women, should provide training and briefings to the
     Special Rapporteurs and other non-conventional mechanisms
     on the gender dimensions of their mandates, and the
     potential impact of their work on women's enjoyment of
     their economic and social rights. 

     4.   Recommendations addressed to regional organizations 

72.  The meeting noted the important role played by regional
human rights treaties and organizations in the promotion and
protection of human rights at the regional level.  It noted
with regret the absence of a regional human rights treaty and
organization in the Asia-Pacific Region, and expressed its
support for initiatives aimed at the establishment of a treaty
and an organization aimed at the protection of all human
rights, including gender equality and economic and social
rights.

73.  The following recommendations are directed at the various
regional bodies so as to reinforce the integration of women's
full and equal enjoyment of their economic and social rights
within the respective mandates of these bodies.

          a.   Organization of African Unity (OAU)

74.  The expert group meeting commended the OAU on the holistic
approach adopted in the African Charter on Human and Peoples'
Rights (1981) through the incorporation of civil, political,
economic, social and cultural rights as well as developmental
and environmental rights.  It also noted with approval that all
the rights are subject to the same communications procedure
through the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights and
are thus treated on an equal footing and as indivisible and
interdependent.

75.  The meeting expressed its support and encouragement for
the establishment of an African Court on Human Rights as well
as the adoption of an additional protocol to the African
Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights concerning women's rights. 
Such a protocol has the potential to promote the full
integration of gender factors both in the interpretation and
supervision of the rights protected by the Charter.

          b.   Organization of American States (OAS)

76.  The meeting encouraged the speedy ratification and entry
into force of the Additional Protocol to the American
Convention on Human Rights in the area of Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights - Protocol of San Salvador (1988).  It noted
that only two of the rights in the Protocol concerning trade
union rights (article 8) and the right to education (article
13) are subject to the individual petition procedures in the
American Convention on Human Rights.  While the extension of
the application of petition procedures to economic and social
rights is to be welcomed, it is recommended that the OAS
explore extending these procedures to the other economic and
social rights recognized in the Protocol of San Salvador.

77.  As a Charter-based body, the Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights has jurisdiction in respect of the economic and
social rights recognized in the American Declaration on the
Rights and Duties of Man (1948).  It is recommended that the
Commission make full use of its Charter-based functions in
relation to these economic and social rights. 

78.  The meeting recommended strengthened collaboration between
the Inter-American Commission on Women and the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights.

          c.   Council of Europe 

79.  The expert group meeting recommended that the Council of
Europe encourage Member States to ratify the revised European
Social Charter (1996) as well as its Additional Protocol
providing for a system of collective complaints (1995).  In
addition, it should treat the European Convention for the
Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the
European Social Charter on an equal basis by requiring
ratification of both conventions as a condition for membership
in the Council of Europe.

80.  The meeting noted with regret the absence of a procedure
for the submission of individual complaints under the European
Social Charter, and expressed the hope that the Additional
Protocol to the European Social Charter providing for a system
of collective complaints, expected to enter into force in 1998,
would evolve towards a de facto procedure for dealing with
individual complaints.

81.  The meeting encouraged the Council of Europe to restart
its negotiations relating to the elaboration and adoption of an
additional protocol to the European Convention for the
Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms recognizing
a fundamental right to equality between women and men as an
independent, substantive right. 

82.  In view of the equal status and justiciability of all
human rights, the meeting recommended that the Council of
Europe aim to ensure that individual and collective complaints
concerning violations of the economic and social rights in the
European Social Charter are ultimately subject to adjudication
by the European Court of Human Rights.

          d.   European Union

83.  The meeting urged the European Union to raise and consider
the protection of economic and social rights, including gender
equality in the enjoyment of these rights, within the normative
framework of Community Law and in negotiations with States
seeking membership in the Union.  In so doing, the meeting
noted that article 119 of the Treaty of Rome, guaranteeing
equal remuneration for men and women, has served as an
important example of a provision on gender equality having
direct effect, also in relation to private employers.

84.  The European Union should initiate a practice of preparing
a report on the protection of economic and social rights in
countries that are States parties to relevant international
human rights treaties and as regards the legal framework of
European Union law, based on the provisions of the European
Social Charter, the International Covenant on Economic, Social
and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of
All Forms of Discrimination against Women.  This report should
be submitted to the relevant human rights treaty bodies, either
by the European Union itself or annexed to reports by States
parties to the treaties in question.

85.  It is recommended that Council Resolution 12847/95 (Presse
374) on `Integrating Gender Issues in Development Cooperation'
also be made applicable to all institutions of the European
Union. 

86.  In the longer term, it is recommended that the European
Union give serious consideration to either adopting its own
Bill of Rights incorporating all human rights including
economic and social rights and the right to equality between
women and men, or securing the applicability of international
human rights treaties as part of Community Law.  In either case
these human rights provisions should be subject to judicial
control. 

     5.   Recommendations addressed to specialized agencies of
          the United Nations system 

87.  An examination of the provisions of the International
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights reveals that
the specialized agencies of the United Nations system are
assigned a major role in the Covenant's implementation
procedures.  The large reserves of information, experience and
expertise available in specialized agencies, including with
regard to women's economic and social realities, could greatly
assist the Committee in the fulfilment of its mandate. 
However, the expert group meeting noted that, with some notable
exceptions, the specialized agencies have been slow to engage
with the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in a
manner consistent with the Covenant's articles.  In these
circumstances, specialized agencies are urged to take active
measures to enhance their engagement with the Committee in
order to strengthen the Committee's attention to women's
enjoyment of their economic and social rights.

88.  To facilitate greater participation by specialized
agencies, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
should be encouraged to liaise closely with the agencies and
identify specifically how the agencies can most usefully
contribute to the Committee's work.  In their turn, the
specialized agencies should understand that their engagement
with the Committee should be sustained and systematic, and not
occasional and intermittent.  For example, agencies might
regularly provide detailed information about specific issues
raised in periodic reports of States parties.

89.  Specialized agencies, in particular the ILO, should
conduct research to identify areas of women's work that are
insufficiently covered by international norms and standards,
and to contribute to the gender-sensitive interpretation of
existing standards and norms.  Particular attention should be
paid to provide adequate standards of protection and promotion
of women workers' rights in the informal sector.  ILO
constituents should devote increased attention to sexual
harassment in the workplace as a violation of women's human
rights, and as an obstacle to women's active participation in
the world of work.  ILO and other specialized agencies should
further disseminate international standards and norms relating
to women's economic and social rights, and encourage States to
ratify or acceed to such instruments. 

90.  The expert group meeting noted with approval recent
indications that specialized agencies are becoming more aware
of, and committed to, the rights dimension of their mandates.
In particular, the meeting welcomed the Rome Declaration on
World Food Security and Plan of Action, agreed at the World
Food Summit organized by FAO in 1996, which includes
significant provisions on the right to food.  All actors in the
human rights community should seek to consolidate, utilize and
develop further these encouraging initiatives.

91.  Steps should be taken to integrate, where appropriate, a
rights approach to the policies and programmes of specialized
agencies.  As in the case of UNICEF and the Convention on the
Rights of the Child, this may include the elaboration of
standards, whether by way of treaty or declaration, statements
of principles, recommendations or other normative measures.

92.  Despite the relevance of international human rights law to
their work, many of the staff in specialized agencies have had
limited exposure to international human rights norms,
procedures and institutions, including standards and norms
relating to gender equality.  Thus, specialized agencies should
be encouraged to sensitize staff to the human rights dimension
of their work. 

93.  Specialized agencies, making full use of the expertise and
support of gender units or focal points - such as the United
Nations Division of the Advancement of Women - should
institutionalize the mainstreaming of a gender perspective at
all levels and in all areas.  In the furtherance of this goal,
specialized agencies should take steps such as the formulation
of specific mainstreaming strategies for sectoral areas, the
use of institutional directives rather than discretionary
guidelines for gender mainstreaming, the use of gender analysis
in all policy research and operational activities, and the
establishment of instruments and mechanisms for monitoring and
evaluation, such as gender-impact analysis methodologies.

94.  Wherever possible, strategies to mainstream a gender
perspective in specialized agencies should be closely linked to
those measures which are designed to integrate a human rights
dimension into the work of the agencies.

     6.   Recommendations addressed to non-governmental
          organizations (NGOs) 

95.  International NGOs have had a decisive impact on the
evolution of human rights law.  They play a crucial role in
monitoring the implementation of these international norms. 
Historically, however, the international NGO community has
neglected both economic and social rights, and gender issues. 
It is of the first importance that international NGOs both
reflect gender equality objectives in their policies and
programmes, and fully integrate economic and social rights into
their activities.

96.  Noting that one of the roles of international NGOs is to
channel information from national NGOs to international human
rights bodies, and that another is to pass information from the
international level to national NGOs, the meeting recommended
that whenever possible, international NGOs should facilitate
the attendance of national NGOs at meetings of international
human rights bodies.

97.  The expert group meeting encouraged NGOs to submit to
human rights treaty bodies `shadow' reports on economic and
social rights.  Such `shadow' reports should include a gender
analysis.  Further, when submitting information to United
Nations special procedures and mechanisms on human rights,
gender-specific information should be included.

98.  National NGOs, especially NGOs not in consultative status
with the Economic and Social Council, should be encouraged to
contribute in innovative ways to the work of United Nations
human rights treaty bodies, and particularly to their
consideration of States parties reports. 

99.  Neither international NGOs nor their national partners
should confine their activities to the traditional
international human rights institutions, such as UN treaty-
based and Charter-based bodies.  They should also target other
international bodies and processes with a significant economic
and social rights and gender dimension, such as the ILO, WHO,
FAO, UNESCO, World Bank (including its Inspection Panel), and
the World Trade Organisation.

100. The expert group meeting, noting that women's groups have
raised the profile of women's rights in the United Nations,
recommended that economic and social rights occupy an integral
and prominent place in their activities.

101. International and national NGOs should use the standards
set in international human rights instruments in the
measurement of Government performance even where Governments
have not subscribed to these standards.  

102. Development agencies and other funding bodies should
consider providing resources to strengthen NGO work in the
realm of gender and economic and social rights issues. 

     7.   Recommendations addressed to international and
          regional financial and trade institutions

103. The meeting urged international and regional trade and
financial institutions to ensure that their policies,
directives and other outputs enhance women's enjoyment of
economic and social rights.  This would require as a first step
the identification of key gender equality objectives as
integral part of the overall policy goals of these
institutions. 

          a.   World Trade Organization

104. The expert group meeting recognized that trade and
development policies have a significant impact on women's
enjoyment of economic and social rights.  The meeting was also
conscious that the World Trade Organization (WTO) collaborates
with other bodies, such as UNDP, UNCTAD, the World Bank and
IMF, in the provision of technical assistance to less developed
countries.  The meeting recognized the impact of such
initiatives on women's access to credit and other resources. 
Moreover, the WTO has the primary role of monitoring
implementation of the Uruguay Round.

105. The expert group meeting urged the WTO to take measures to
promote women's enjoyment of their economic and social rights
and to facilitate the successful implementation of the Beijing
Platform of Action, with particular reference to paras. 165(p),
258(a) and b(iii) and (iv), 288, 306 and 343. These measures
should include:
     (1) incorporating gender awareness in technical assistance
     programmes;
     (2) undertaking gender impact analysis to determine the
     differential impact of trade liberalization on the
     enjoyment of economic and social rights by men and women;
     (3) integrating gender analysis (including data
     disaggregated by sex) in WTO's review and assessment of
     national trade policies;
     (4) ensuring that trade policies promote equal pay for
     equal work and work of equal value and non-discrimination
     for women workers;
     (5) facilitating NGO involvement in the work of the WTO,
     for example by enhancing transparency within the
     Organization;
     (6) in relation to Missions' trade policy reviews,
     encouraging more consultation with civil society,
     especially women's NGOs.

          b.   International financial institutions

106. The expert group meeting noted the negative effect of
certain policies of international financial institutions on
women's enjoyment of economic and social rights and considered
how international human rights law impinges upon the policies
and programmes of these institutions, making recommendations in
that regard.

107. The meeting was of the view that the human rights
obligations of States may extend to their collective
participation in international organizations.  Thus, States
parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women and the International Covenant on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights are obliged to ensure that
the policies and programmes of financial institutions to which
they belong do not violate the rights they have bound
themselves to respect as States parties to those treaties.  In
addition, they should encourage the financial institutions to
adopt policies which enhance and improve women's full and equal
access to economic and social rights.  Human rights treaty
bodies, in the course of the periodic reporting procedure,
should be encouraged to monitor the adequacy of the steps taken
by Member States of international financial institutions to
ensure that their policies and programmes are consistent with
the rights in question where those Member States are States
parties to human rights treaties.

108. The meeting noted the importance of further research in
this context, and in particular regarding the degree to which
international human rights obligations are binding directly,
and not only derivatively through States, upon international
financial institutions.  It recommended that the United Nations
human rights system prepare an authoritative study on the
relationship between global financial institutions and
international human rights norms. It suggested that the
Commission on the Status of Women or the Commission on Human
Rights could request that such a study be prepared by the
Division for the Advancement of Women, in conjunction with the
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
Rights.

109. The meeting recommended that human rights treaty bodies,
particularly the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination
against Women and the Committee on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights, consider inviting the World Bank to submit a
report to them which would examine the impact of World Bank
policies and programmes on women's enjoyment of economic and
social rights.

110. The meeting urged all interested parties to utilize the
opportunities provided by the establishment of the World Bank
Inspection Panel to promote and protect women's enjoyment of
economic and social rights.

111. The meeting recommended that the World Bank and other
international financial institutions integrate human rights
impact assessments and gender impact analysis into the
programme formulation procedures of the Organization. 

          c.   Regional and sub-regional trade blocks

112. The meeting recognized the influence of regional and sub-
regional trade blocks in all parts of the world on the
formulation of economic and trade policies that have a direct
as well as indirect impact on women's enjoyment of economic and
social rights.  The meeting recommended that particular
attention should be be paid to these rights by such trade
blocks with regard to the respect for, protection, promotion
and fulfillment of women's economic and social rights reflected
in international and regional human rights instruments and in
global and regional policy instruments 51/.

          d.   Transnational corporations (TNCs)

113. The meeting underlined that the activities of
transnational corporations are such that they require action at
the national and international level to encourage and enforce
conduct conducive to women's enjoyment of economic and social
rights 52/.

114. The expert group meeting recommended that the United
Nations human rights system prepare an authoritative study on
the relationship between transnational corporations and
international human rights norms, including the utility of
codes of conduct promulgated by transnational corporations and
other bodies.  The Commission on the Status of Women or the
Commission on Human Rights could request that such a study be
prepared by the Division for the Advancement of Women in
conjunction with the Office of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights.


                             ANNEX I

                     List of participants
EXPERTS

Ms. Feride ACAR 
Professor
Department of Political Science 
 and Public Administration 
Middle East Technical University
Ankara, 06531, Turkey
Fax: (90-312) 210-1107
email: acar@rorqual.cc.metu.edu.tr
Member, Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

Ms. Shanti DAIRIAM 
Director
IWRAW - Asia Pacific 
2nd Floor, Block F, Anjung FELDA
Jalan Maktab
54000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Fax: (603) 292 9958
email: iwraw@po.jaring.my

Mr. Cees FLINTERMAN 
Professor of International Law 
Maastricht University
International and European Law Department
6200 MD Maastricht 
The Netherlands
Fax: (31-43) 325 7818
email:  c.flinterman@ir.unimaas.nl

Mr. Paul HUNT
Senior Lecturer in Law
School of Law
University of Waikato
PB 3105 
Hamilton, New Zealand
Fax: (64-7) 838-4417
email: paulhunt@waikato.ac.nz

Ms. Erzsebet KARDOS-KAPONYI 
Professor of Law
Budapest University of Economic Sciences
Department for International Relations
H-1092 Budapest, Kinizsi u. 1-7, Hungary
Fax: (36-1) 217-96-88
email:  eu_tempus@pegasus.bke.hu          


Ms. Akua KUENYEHIA 
Associate Professor and Dean 
Faculty of Law
University of Ghana 
Legon, Ghana
Fax: (233) 21 223-024
email:  akua-k@ug.gn.apc.org

Ms. Susana LASTARRIA-CORNHIEL 
Programme Coordinator
Land Tenure Centre 
University of Wisconsin 
1357 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53715, USA
Fax: (608) 262-2141
email: susana@macc.wisc.edu
          slastarr@facstaff.wisc.edu         

Ms. Sandra LIEBENBERG
Senior Researcher 
University of Western Cape
Community Law Centre
Belville, Cape Town 7535, South Africa
Fax: (21) 959 2411
email:  slieb@iafrica.com (home)
           slieben@law1.uwc.ac.za (office)

Ms. WU Ganmei
Secretary General
China Women's Association for Science and Technology
44 Kexueyuan Nanlu, Haidian
Beijing 100086
People's Republic of China
Fax: (86-10) 6257 5690, 6257 5691
email:  ciefs@public3.bta.net.cn,  
   or: hejian1@public.bta.net.cn


MEETING ORGANIZERS

United Nations Division for the 
Advancement of Women

Ms. Jane CONNORS
Chief, Women's Rights Unit
United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women
DC 2 - 1226
New York, NY 10017, USA
Fax: (212) 963-3463

Ms. Christine A. BRAUTIGAM
Social Affairs Officer
UN Division for the Advancement of Women
DC 2 - 1206
New York, NY 10017, USA
Fax: (212) 963-3463


CONSULTANT
Mr. Martin SCHEININ
Professor of Law
University of Helsinki
Visiting Professor at University 
  of Toronto Law Faculty
PO Box 4
FIN-00014 Finland
Fax: (358-9) 191 23076
email: martin.scheinin@helsinki.fi

Institute for Human Rights
¸bo Akademi University

Ms. Sia Spiliopoulou ¸KERMARK
Director
Institute for Human Rights
¸bo Akademi University
Gezeliusgatan 2
FIN-20500 Turku/¸bo, Finland
Fax: (358 2) 265-4699

Ms. Catarina KRAUSE
Deputy Director
Institute for Human Rights
¸bo Akademi University
Gezeliusgatan 2
FIN-20500 Turku/¸bo, Finland
Fax: (358 2) 265-4699

Staff of the Institute for Human Rights
¸bo Akademi University
Gezeliusgatan 2
FIN-20500 Turku/¸bo
Fax: (358 2) 265-4699

Ms. Lisa GRANS
Departmental Secretary

Ms. Kristiina VAINIO
Meeting Assistant 

Ms. Annika LINDROOS
Meeting Assistant

Ms. Heli NIEMI
Meeting Assistant 

Mr. Mikael PAANANEN
Conscientious Objector


OBSERVERS FROM THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM

Ms. Simonetta CAVAZZA
Women in Development Programme
International Training Centre of the ILO
Corso Unit… d'Italia 125 
10127 Turin, Italy
Fax: (39 11) 6936 350
email: WID@itcilo.it

Ms. Myriam TEBOURBI
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner 
  for Human Rights
CH-1211 Geneva, Switzerland
Fax: (41 22) 917 02 12
email: mtebourbi.hchr@unog.ch


OBSERVERS FROM GOVERNMENTS 

Ms. P„ivi PIETARINEN 
Legislative Counsellor 
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Legal Department/Human Rights Unit
PO Box 176
00161 Helsinki, Finland
Fax: (358-9) 1341 5707
     
Ms. Pirjo SUOMELA-CHOWDHURY 
Attach‚
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Political Department/POL-41
PO Box 176
00161 Helsinki, Finland
Fax: (358-9) 1341 6055

Ms. Kirsten MLACAK 
Coordinator, International Women's Equality 
Human Rights Division
Department of Foreign Affairs 
  and International Trade
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada KIA OG2 
Fax: (613) 943-0606
email:  kirsten.mlacak@extott23.x400.gc.ca

Ms. Auli NUKARINEN
Representative of the Holy See
Finnish Catholic Church
Rehnbinderintie 21
FIN-00150 Helsinki, Finland


Ms. Anne Mette Maria LEBECH  
Representative of the Holy See
c/o Permanent Observer Mission of the 
  Holy See to the United Nations 
25 East 39th Street 
New York, NY 10016-0903


OBSERVERS FROM OTHER ORGANIZATIONS, NGOs AND CIVIL SOCIETY

Ms. Susanne BILLUM 
Ms. St‚phanie MARSAL 
Council of Europe
Directorate of Human Rights
Strasbourg, France
Fax: (33-388) 41 37 00

Mr. Andrew BYRNES 
Director, Centre for Comparative and Public Law
University of Hong Kong
Department of Law
Hong Kong
Fax: (852) 2559 3543
email: abyrnes@hkusua.hku.hk

Mr. Richard STRICKLAND 
PROWID Project Director 
International Center for Research on Women
1717 Massachussetts Avenue, NW, Suite 302
Washington, DC 20036, USA
Fax: (202) 797-0020
Richard@icrw.org

Ms. Anneli JONEKEN 
Disabled Peoples' International
Kistav„gen 7
S-192 67 Sollentuna, Sweden
Fax: (46 8) 626 8567
email: anneli@joneken.se

Ms. Leena KANKAINEN 
Zonta International 
Haukkamaenkatu 4A6
FIN-33560 Tampere, Finland
Fax: (358-3) 212-2189



Ms. Leena KIRJAVAINEN
WIDAGRI Consultants Ltd.
Runeberginkatu 19 B 22
FIN-00100 Helsinki, Finland
Fax: (358 9) 121 394

Ms. Sonja W™LTE
Women's International League for 
  Peace and Freedom
International Secretariat
1, rue de Varemb‚, CP 28
1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland
Fax: (41 22) 740 10 63
email:  womensleague@gn.apc.org

Ms. Hilkka PIETILˇ 
Women in Development Europe (WIDE)
Finnish Women in Development (FINWID)
Jussaaren Kuja, 5N 134
00840 Helsinki, Finland
Fax: (358 9) 698-1288

Dr. Mariama WILLIAMS 
Programme Officer, Economics and Trade
Women in Development Europe (WIDE)
Rue du Commerce 70 
B-1040 Brussels, Belgium
Fax: (32 2) 512 73 42

Ms. Kirsi PIMIˇ 
International Council of Women
Association of Women Lawyers 
FIN-00102 Eduskunta, Finland 
Fax: (358 9) 432 2722 

Ms. Maija SAKSLIN 
KATTI 
PO Box 4 
00014 University of Helsinki, Finland 
Fax: (358-9) 191 233 90 

Ms. Eeva YRJˇNˇINEN 
Soroptimist International 
Rykmentintie 43 as 26 
FIN-20880 Turku, Finland 

        Ms. Tuula TERVASHONKA 
Amanuensis, Research Assistant 
Nordic Institute for Environmental 
  and Minority Law
PO Box 122
96101 Rovaniemi, Finland 
Fax: (358 16) 324 590

Ms. Hanna VUOKKO
Assistant Professor
Department of Law
¸bo Akademi University
Gezeliusgatan 2 
FIN-20500 Turku/¸bo, Finland

Ms. Kati FROSTELL
Senior Researcher
Institute for Human Rights
¸bo Akademi University
Gezeliusgatan 2
FIN-20500 Turku/¸bo, Finland

Mrs. Harriet NYBACK-ALANEN
Information Specialist
Institute for Human Rights
¸bo Akademi University
Gezeliusgatan 2
FIN-20500 Turku/¸bo, Finland

Ms. Sanna HYTTINEN
Law Student
Kupittaankatu 29 A 10
FIN-20700 Turku/¸bo, Finland


                           ANNEX II

                       List of documents


Information papers

EGM/WESR/1997/INF.1 Information note for experts/observers
  
EGM/WESR/1997/INF.2
  /Rev.2            Programme of work

EGM/WESR/1997/INF.3 List of participants

EGM/WESR/1997/INF.4 List of documents


Background papers

EGM/WESR/1997/BP.1  Women's enjoyment of their economic and
                    social rights: conceptual framework for the
                    discussion  
                    Prepared by Prof. Martin Scheinin,
                    University of Helsinki/¸bo/Toronto,
                    Consultant to the Division for the
                    Advancement of Women

EGM/WESR/1997/BP.2  Promoting women's enjoyment of their
                    economic and social rights in the framework
                    of the Platform for Action  
                    Prepared by the United Nations Division for
                    the Advancement of Women

Experts' papers

EGM/WESR/1997/EP.1  Gender equality in the enjoyment of socio-
                    economic rights: a case study of the South
                    African Constitution  
                    Prepared by Sandra Liebenberg, Community
                    Law Centre, University of the Western Cape

EGM/WESR/1997/EP.2  Gender, land rights and privatization:
                    experiences in Africa and Eastern Europe  
                    Prepared by Susana Lastarria-Cornhiel, Land
                    Tenure Centre, University of Wisconsin

EGM/WESR/1997/EP.3  Social rights are women's rights  
                    Prepared by Paul Hunt, University of
                    Waikato

EGM/WESR/1997/EP.4  Measuring the enjoyment of economic and
                    social rights by women and the question of
                    justiciability
                    Prepared by Cees Flinterman, University of
                    Maastricht

EGM/WESR/1997/EP.5  Possibilities offered by the Convention on
                    the Elimination of All Forms of
                    Discrimination against Women for the
                    promotion and protection of women's
                    economic and social rights
                    Prepared by Feride Acar, Middle East
                    Technical University, Ankara, CEDAW expert

EGM/WESR/1997/EP.6  Realizing women's enjoyment of their
                    economic and social rights: experiences
                    from working with grassroots organizations 
                    Prepared by Shanti Dairiam, IWRAW Asia
Pacific

EGM/WESR/1997/EP.7  The enjoyment by women in Africa of
                    economic and social rights, and
                    interlinkages with development:  a regional
                    case study
                    Prepared by Akua Kuenyehia, University of
                    Ghana

EGM/WESR/1997/EP.8/
  Rev.1             The enjoyment of economic and social rights
                    by women of Eastern and Central Europe:  a
                    regional case study  
                    Prepared by Erzsebet Kardos-Kaponyi,
                    Budapest University of Economic Sciences

EGM/WESR/1997/EP.9  Women's enjoyment of economic and social
                    rights in China:  a case study
                    Prepared by Wu Ganmei, China Women's
                    Association for Science and Technology


Observers' papers

EGM/WESR/1997/OP.1  Promoting enjoyment by women with
                    disabilities of their economic, social and
                    cultural rights.  Paper presented by
                    Disabled Peoples' International

EGM/WESR/1997/OP.1
  Add.1             Women with disabilities and the United
                    Nations conventions. Paper presented by
                    Anneli Joneken, Disabled Peoples
                    International

EGM/WESR/1997/OP.2  Promoting women workers' rights: actions
                    and experiences of the ILO and its
                    International Training Centre.  Paper
                    prepared by Simonetta Cavazza, Women in
                    Development Programme International
                    Training Centre of the ILO, Turin

EGM/WESR/1997/OP.3  Legal guarantees for the enforcement of
                    women's economic and social rights offered
                    by the European Social Charter.  Statement
                    by Ms. Susanne Billum, Chief Legal Officer,
                    Ministry of Social Affairs, Sweden, Former
                    Vice-President of the Committee of
                    Independent Experts of the European Social
                    Charter

EGM/WESR/1997/OP.4  Promoting women's enjoyment of their social
                    and economic rights. Intervention by Anne
                    Mette Naria Lebech, representative of the
                    Holy See

EGM/WESR/1997/OP.5  Statement by Women's International League
                    for Peace and Freedom


                           ANNEX III

                 Agenda and programme of work


           Expert Group Meeting on Promoting Women's
         Enjoyment of their Economic and Social Rights
                  Institute for Human Rights
                    ¸bo Akademi University
                      ¸bo/Turku, Finland
                       1-4 December 1997


Monday, 1 December 1997
Plenary session

9:00 - 10:00   Registration 

10:00 - 11:00  Opening of the meeting and opening statements
               Presentation of experts
               Election of officers 
               Adoption of programme of work

11:30 - 12:00  Coffee break

12:00 - 1:00   Presentation of background papers
               1.   Consultant's paper
               2.   UN Secretariat paper

1:00 - 2:30    LUNCH BREAK

2:30 - 4:00    Presentation of experts' papers, followed
               by a general discussion 

               1.   Social rights and gender factors that
               impact on women's full enjoyment of such rights:
               Mr. Paul Hunt, University of Waikato, New
               Zealand

               2.   Measuring the enjoyment of economic and
               social rights by women, and the question of
               justiciability: Mr. Cees Flinterman, University
               of Maastricht, Netherlands

               3.   Gender equality and socio-economic rights,
               including the constitutional protection of such
               rights:  Ms. Sandra Liebenberg, University of
               Western Cape, South Africa

4:00 - 4:30    Coffee break 

4:30 - 6:30    Presentation of experts' papers, followed by
(4:30-5:30)    general discussion (continued)
 
               4.   Women's enjoyment of property/ownership
               rights, with particular emphasis on land rights
               and the implications of gender discrimination:
               Ms. Susana Lastarria-Cornhiel, University of
               Wisconsin, USA (Peru)

               5.   Possibilities offered by the CEDAW
               Convention for the promotion and protection of
               women's economic and social rights: Prof. Dr.
               Feride Acar, CEDAW expert, Turkey

(5:30-6:30)    6.   The role of economic and social rights
               in the achievement of gender equality for
               women in Africa, and interlinkages of such
               rights with development - a regional case
               study: Prof. Akua Kuenyehia, University of
               Ghana at Legon

               7.   The enjoyment of economic and social rights
               by women of Eastern and Central Europe - a
               regional case study: Prof. Erzsebet Kardos-
               Kaponyi, Budapest University of Economic
               Sciences, Hungary


Tuesday, 2 December 1997
Plenary session

9:00 - 10:30   Presentation of experts' papers, followed by
(9:00-10:00)   general discussion (continued)
 
               8.   Women's enjoyment of economic and social
               rights in China - a case study: Ms. Wu Ganmei,
               China Women's Association for Science and
               Technology, China

               9.   A practical approach to realizing women's
               enjoyment of economic and social rights:
               experiences from working with grass roots
               organizations: Ms. Shanti Dairiam, Director,
               IWRAW Asia Pacific, Malaysia

               Followed by:

               Presentation of observers' papers


10:30 - 11:00  Coffee break

11:00 - 12:30  Presentation of observers' papers (continued)

               General discussion

12:30 - 2:30   LUNCH BREAK

2:30 - 6:00    General discussion (continued)


Wednesday, 3 December 1997

9:00 - 10:30   General discussion (continued) 

10:30 - 11:00  Coffee break

11:00 - 12:30  Working groups 

12:30 - 2:30   LUNCH BREAK 

2:30 - 4:00    Working groups 

4:00 - 4:30    Coffee break 

4:30 - 6:00    Reports of working groups (plenary) 


Thursday, 4 December 1997

9:00 - 10:30   Drafting of recommendations and of the
Report 

10:30 - 11:00  Coffee break

Plenary session

11:00 - 12:30  Finalization of the Report    

12:30 - 2:30   LUNCH BREAK

2:30 - 4:00    Finalization of the Report

4:30 - 5:00    Adoption of the Report        
               Closing Ceremony and Reception 

                             Notes

1/    Article 3 of the Covenant reads: "The States parties to
the present Covenant undertake to ensure the equal right of men
and women to the enjoyment of all economic, social and cultural
rights set forth in the present Covenant". 

2/   10
 VDPA Part I, para. 5.

3/    PfA, paras. 212 and 213.

4/    The Committee was established in accordance with Economic
and Social Council resolution 1985/17 of 28 May 1985.

5/    For example, General Comment No. 4 (sixth session, 1991)
on the right to adequate housing.

6/    For example General Recommendation No. 21 on equality in
marriage and family relations, para. 30 on marital property.

7/    In its description of quantitative aspects, a background
paper on "Promoting women's enjoyment of economic and social
rights in the framework of the Platform for Action", prepared
for the meeting by the Division for the Advancement of Women,
EGM/WESR/1997/BP.2, draws primarily on the 1997 Human
Development Report of UNDP and its gender empowerment measure
and gender development indices, the 1994 World Survey on the
Role of Women in Development, and The World's Women 1995.  With
regard to qualitative aspects, the background paper draws on
aspects developed in academic literature to identify structural
and contextual aspects that impact on women's enjoyment of
socio-economic rights.  

8/    PfA, para. 222.

9/    Res 19/1997 on 'Women and the right to adequate housing
and to land and property'.

10/   PfA, para. 225.

11/   VDPA Part II, para. 2; General Comment No. 2 (fourth
session, 1990), para. 8(d) of the Committee on Economic, Social
and Cultural Rights.

12/   PfA, paras. 342 and 343.  

13/   This point is also emphasized in the Maastricht
Guidelines, point 24, see infra para. 31. 

14/   The requirement of taking specific measures to achieve
results are spelled out in General Comment No. 3 (fifth
session, 1990), paras. 2 and 9, of the Committee on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights.  

15/    General Comment No. 3 (fifth session, 1990), para. 10.

16/   Para. 72 (c) and (d) of the Limburg Principles, and para.
15(h) and (i) of the Maastricht Guidelines.  The Limburg
Principles are contained in UN Doc. E/CN.4/1987/17, Annex.  The
purpose of the Limburg Principles is to strengthen realization
of economic, social and cultural rights.  They were adopted by
a meeting of experts in international law, gathered to consider
the nature and scope of obligations of States parties to the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. 
It was convened in 1986 by the International Commission of
Jurists, the Maastricht Centre for Human Rights of the
University of Limburg (the Netherlands), and the Urban Morgan
Institute for Human Rights, College of Law, University of
Cincinnati (Ohio, USA).  Ten years after the adoption of the
Limburg Principles, the same organizers convened a workshop to
focus specifically on the relevance of a `violations approach'
in order to strengthen monitoring of the Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights.  The Maastricht Guidelines were
adopted by that meeting.  A publication on the Maastricht
Guidelines is forthcoming.  

17/   Agreed Conclusions 1997/1 of 18 July 1997.

18/   The preamble notes that "the role of women in procreation
should not be a basis for discrimination but that the
upbringing of children requires a sharing of responsibility
between men and women and society as a whole." 

19/   See, inter alia, paras. 156 and 158, and strategic
objective F.3 ("Promote harmonization of work and family
responsibilities for women and men").  

20/   PfA, para. 217.

21/   Strategic objective I.3 of the Platform for Action. 

22/   See, inter alia, VDPA paras. 1 and 4, and PfA, para. 213.


23/   Articles 6 and 7. 

24/   Article 11. 

25/   See also PfA, para. 58 (g), and paras. 38 (c) and (j) of
the Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social
Development.

26/   PfA, para. 293, states that "Governments have the primary
responsibility for implementing the Platform for Action". 

27/   PfA, para. 297. 

28/   According to para. 230 (d) of the PfA, Governments should
"[C]onsider drawing up national action plans identifying steps
to improve the promotion and protection of human rights,
including the human rights of women, as recommended by the
World Conference on Human Rights". 

29/   The World's Women 1995, Trends and Statistics.  United
Nations Publication 1995, ST/ESA/STAT/SER.K/12, Sales No.
E.95.XVII.2.

30/   PfA, Strategic objective H.3 ("Generate and disseminate
gender-disaggrgated data and information for planning and
evaluation"). 

31/   As called for in PfA, para 68, (b).

32/   PfA, para. 143(b) envisages, inter alia, the reduction of
excessive military expenditures so as to permit the possible
allocation of additional funds for social and economic
development, in particular for the advancement of women. 

33/   PfA, para. 349. 

34/   See General Comment No. 3, para. 10 (fifth session, 1990)
of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

35/   PfA, para. 297.

36/   PfA, Strategic objective I.3 ("Achieve legal literacy"). 

37/   PfA, para. 291.

38/   See General Comment No. 3 (fifth session, 1990), para.
10, of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. 

39/   Agenda for Development, paras. 101 and 126.

40/   See also PfA, paras. 245 (a) and (c). 

41/   The Platform for Action calls for the development of
human rights education programmes in para. 230 (f), and for the
achievement of legal literacy in strategic objective I.3.  

42/   PfA, para. 165 (l).  

43/   See, inter alia, Agreed Conclusions 1997/1 on
mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and
programmes in the United Nations system, adopted by the
Economic and Social Council on 18 July 1997; resolution 41/6 on
mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and
porgrammes in the United Nations system, adopted by the
Commission on the Status of Women on 21 March 1997; resolution
1997/43 on integrating the human rights of women throughout the
United Nations system, adopted by the Commission on Human
Rights on 11 April 1997. 

44/   Report of the expert group meeting on the development of
guidelines for the integration of a gender perspective into
human rights activities and programmes, UN doc.
E/CN.4/1996/105, annex. 

45/   HR/PUB/91/1/Rev.1.

46/   Meeting organized jointly by the United Nations Division
for the Advancement of Women, the United Nations Population
Fund (UNFPA), and the High Commissioner/Centre for Human
Rights, 9-11 December 1996, Glen Cove, New York.

47/   See also para. 88 below.

48/   Contained in UN doc. E/1997/L.62, Chapter III.  

49/   Resolution 1997/11 of 3 April 1997, adopted by the
Commission on Human Rights.  The resolution requests that a
report "on the obstacles encountered and progress achieved in
the field of women's rights relating to economic resources, the
elimination of poverty and economic development, in particular
for women living in extreme poverty" be submitted to the
Commission on Human Rights at its fifty-fourth session (1997). 
The report is also to be submitted to the Commission on the
Status of Women at its forty-second session (1997).  

50/   See also CHR res. 1997/17 where the Commission noted the
proposal of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights on such rapporteur, and requested the Secretary-General
to report on this matter to the Commission at its fifty-fourth
session. 

51/   In addition to international norms and standards and
global policy instruments such as the Platform for Action,
reference was made in particular to the five regional plans and
platforms of action adopted in preparation for the Beijing
Conference and which all include women's economic and social
rights as a source for guiding the policies of such trading
blocks.  These are:  Jakarta Declaration and Plan of Action for
the Advancement of Women in Asia and the Pacific; African
Platform for Action; Regional Programme of Action for the Women
of Latin America and the Caribbean; Arab Plan of Action for the
Advancement of Women to the Year 2000; and Regional Platform
for Action - Women in a Changing World - Call for Action from
an ECE perspective.  UN docs E/CN.6/1995/5, and Add.1 -5.

52/   See paras. 61 and 62 above. 

	

 


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