16 November 2000 

Press Release


NEW YORK, 16 November (Division for the Advancement of Women) -- The Division for the Advancement of Women, in collaboration with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), will convene an expert group meeting in Zagreb, Croatia, on the theme of "Gender and racial discrimination". The meeting will be hosted by the Government of Croatia, and will take place from 21 to 24 November.

The expert group meeting will consider: the identification of specific forms of racial discrimination directed towards women and girls; the determination of the disadvantages, obstacles and difficulties women face in the enjoyment of economic, social, cultural, political and civil rights as a result of the intersection of racial and sex discrimination both in public and private domain; measures to eradicate racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and their specific effects on women and girls at the regional and national levels in areas such as education, economy, health and decision-making; the provision of remedies and redress, including compensation for women as the result of racism; and access to justice, including the complaint mechanisms.

The recommendations of the expert group meeting will be directed to governments, the United Nations system, intergovernmental and regional bodies and civil society. They will aim to refine and expand the "actions to be taken" at both international and national levels outlined in the Beijing Platform for Action, as well as the further actions identified by the "Beijing + 5" special session of the General Assembly.

The results of the meeting will be made available to the Commission on the Status of Women at its forty-fifth session, which meets from 6 to 16 March 2001, where it will take up, inter alia, the thematic issue of gender and all forms of discrimination, in particular racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. The recommendations of the expert group meeting will also be integrated into the preparations for the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, as well as the World Conference itself, which will be convened in Durban, South Africa from 31 August to 7 September 2001. In particular, one of the recommendations of the expert group meeting will be designed to ensure that a gender perspective is integrated into the work and decisions of the World Conference.

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Experts at the meeting will include Sunila Abeyesekera, Sri Lanka; Nozipho Bardill, South Africa; Nicoletta Bitu, Hungary; Vera Mlangazua Chirwa, Malawi; Myrna Kay Cunningham, Nicaragua; Marsha J. Tyson Darling, United States; Krishanti Dhamaraj, Sri Lanka/United States; Pinar Ilkkaracan, Turkey; Vesna Kesic, Croatia; Marina Malysheva, Russian Federation; Ruth Manorama, India; Pragna Patel, United Kingdom; Celina Romany, United States/Puerto Rico; and Babel Uhl, Germany. Kimberly Crenshaw, United States, who has prepared a background paper for the meeting, will also participate. Participants will also include practitioners and non-governmental organizations concerned with issues surrounding racial discrimination. In addition, observers from United Nations entities, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, academia and interested governments will attend.

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