Beijing+5: 23rd special session of the General Assembly

Questionnaire to Governments on Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action

October 1998                                                         | français | español |


This questionnaire has been designed to obtain information from Governments and to facilitate national reporting on implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action. The information supplied will be analysed and compiled for the comprehensive review and assessment which will be submitted by the Secretary-General to the Commission on the Status of Women at its forty-fourth session in the year 2000, and to the special session of the General Assembly to be held at the United Nations, New York in June 2000.

For the special session, several reports will be prepared. The comprehensive review will contain a factual assessment of the status of implementation of the Platform for Action since its adoption. It will show progress and shortfalls, and provide an indication of areas where further actions and initiatives within the framework of the Platform for Action might be most urgent. Another report will contain suggestions for further actions and initiatives that might be considered during the review for the outlook on gender equality and advancement of women beyond the year 2000.

In order to prepare these reports, the United Nations Secretariat will draw on a variety of sources of information and statistics available to it in addition to the responses to this questionnaire. Among the sources to be used will be the national reports by Governments prepared for the Beijing Conference, the national action plans designed to implement the Platform for Action, reports submitted since 1995 by States parties under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and information generated since 1995 during the review by the Commission on the Status of Women of the Platform's twelve critical areas of concern. Official statistics available from the United Nations Statistics Division, the Population Division and other statistical information available in the UN system (WHO, ILO, UNESCO etc.) will be used as well. We will also coordinate with other UN offices responsible for follow-up to other global conferences to exchange pertinent country information.

Responses to this questionnaire should be sent by no later than 30 April 1999 to:
UN Division for the Advancement of Women
Two UN Plaza, Room 1216
New York, NY 10017
Fax: (212) 963-3463

Please note that the information being sought through this questionnaire is more qualitative than quantitative in nature. However, respondents wishing to update quantitative information disaggregated by sex and age or to report on indicators used at the national level to monitor activities for gender equality and advancement of women may do so. The United Nations does not currently have an agreed list of indicators on gender equality and advancement of women. Annex II to this questionnaire contains a list of data sets/indicators for reference only used by the United Nations for planning and monitoring development activities, particularly at the country programming level.

The attached questionnaire consists of three parts. In Part One, respondents are invited to provide a brief (3 to 6 pages) analytical overview of trends and experiences in implementation in the reporting country. This overall picture should highlight major achievements and obstacles encountered since the Platform for Action was adopted.

Part Two focuses on overall implementation in relation to the national action plans and in particular, on resource allocations and institutional arrangements

Part Three of the questionnaire focuses specifically on implementation in the twelve critical areas of concern of the Platform for Action. In this Part, respondents are invited to describe policies, programmes and projects which have been undertaken to implement the Platform for Action including, for example, legislation, positive action measures, development of new or improved services and/or awareness creation. Where specific targets or strategies have been set, progress in achieving those targets and strategies should be reported. Respondents are also invited to indicate future actions or initiatives to be taken, nationally and or internationally, to ensure full implementation of the Platform for Action in each of the critical areas of concern. In this regard you are encouraged, in particular, to indicate any new commitments made to further implement the Platform for Action and a vision for women's advancement and gender equality in your country in the next millennium.


Part One

Overview of trends in achieving gender equality and women's advancement

1. Give a brief analytical overview (3 to 6 pages) of trends in your country in implementing the Platform for Action. This overview or broad picture should, for example, describe the country's policy with regard to achieving the goal of equality between women and men and should be linked to your national action plan or other plans or strategies. Your response could, for example, address questions such as:

What have been the major achievements and/or breakthroughs in concrete terms in implementing the national action plan and/or policies and programmes for gender equality and advancement of women?

Is the situation of women and girls in sectors not covered by the national action plan better or worse than in 1995? Why?

Are the goals of gender equality and advancement of women being pursued as a priority in relation to other public policy goals? Please explain.

What were the country's priorities in terms of the critical areas of concern of the Platform for Action? Explain.

Identify areas where mainstreaming a gender perspective has been most/least successful. In which sectors is a gender approach being applied? Please illustrate with examples of legislation, policies, best practice and lessons learned.

Has attention to gender equality and advancement of women changed since 1995 -- in Government policies, in public perception, in the media, in academic institutions? Please explain concretely the nature of the change.

How has the global situation, for example, structural adjustment, the global financial crisis and/or globalization of markets affected women and girls in your country?


Part Two

Financial and institutional measures

2. Discuss how equality and women's advancement are addressed in the national budget. This could include an indication of the percentage of the overall budget that is allocated for women-specific policies/programmes, and any increases/decreases since 1995. What percentage of this allocation comes from international or bilateral donors? Describe efforts to monitor budgetary allocations related to achieving gender equality and advancement of women.

3. a. Discuss structures and mechanisms that have been put in place to institutionalize follow-up to, and implementation of, the Platform for Action. Describe whether similar mechanisms have been established for follow-up to other conferences, such as the World Summit for Social Development or the Vienna World Conference on Human Rights.

b. Describe the arrangements that have been made to coordinate the various follow-up efforts to global conferences.

c. Describe the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in planning and shaping the follow-up activities. Do members of NGOs participate formally in the mechanisms established to follow up the Beijing Conference?

Part Three

Implementation of the critical areas of concern of the Beijing Platform for Action

A. Innovative policies, programmes, projects and good practices

4. In relation to each of the twelve critical areas of concern, describe best practices and innovative actions taken by the Government or other actors (NGOs, civil society, the private sector) to achieve the objectives in each critical area of concern in the Platform for Action. Your response should refer to the country's national action plan, and could include examples of legal measures, reforms, media campaigns, and pilot programmes or projects. Please cite, in particular, any targets which were set in the Government's national action plan or other relevant plans, and indicate how far these were met. (For example, a target may have been to appoint more women to the cabinet. To what extent was it achieved?)

B. Obstacles encountered

5. What obstacles were encountered and what lessons were learned in implementing policies and other measures in each critical area of concern? (For example, despite new legislation to limit traditional practices harmful to the health of women and girls, these practices continued, showing that an education campaign was also needed to bring change in behaviour, or customary law was adapted to fit modern legislation when it was learned that women were more discriminated by customary laws than men).

C. Commitments to further action and initiatives

6. Many Governments made commitments to action at the Beijing Conference. Describe steps taken by your Government to fulfill any specific commitments it made at Beijing.

7. List any new commitments in each of the twelve critical areas of concern which your Government has made since Beijing and how these are being implemented, including any new targets which have been set and the time frame for meeting them. (For example, to increase resource allocations to primary education and to local governments to conduct an awareness campaign among parents on the importance of sending girls to school; to review the regulations governing land rights for women and men; to increase by 50 per cent the number of police officers trained to handle domestic violence cases and cases of rape.)

8. List any further actions and initiatives which your Government believes should or could be taken to fully implement the Platform for Action beyond the year 2000. Among these, identify which ones your own Government intends to take and when.

9. Briefly describe your vision for women's advancement and equality for women in the new millennium.



Critical Areas of Concern

Examples of successful policies, programmes and projects to implement the critical areas of concern of the Beijing Platform for Action (Indicate any targets and strategies set and related achievements

Examples of obstacles encountered/lessons learned

Commitment to further action/new initiatives



I. Women and poverty














II. Education and training of women













III. Women and health














IV. Violence against women













V. Women and armed conflict













VI. Women and the economy













VII. Women in power and decision-making














VIII Institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women












IX. Human rights of women














X. Women and the media














XI. Women and the environment













XII. The girl child













Common Data Sets/Indicators for Measuring Development Progress

The following is a consolidated list of data sets/indicators which have been identified by the United Nations for use in planning and monitoring development achievements. It is supplied here for reference only. Much of this information is already available to the United Nations. To be useful, all data should be disaggregated by sex and age in order to show any gaps between men and women. Should any recent censuses or surveys in these areas have been conducted, you are requested to supply this information.

        Population and fertility

Population size
Population aged 0-4; 0-14; 15-49; 60+
Population by urban/rural distribution
Population growth rate
Total fertility rate
Fertility rate for women aged 15-19


Life expectancy at birth
Infant mortality rate
Under-five mortality rate
Maternal mortality rate


Population with access to health services

Reproductive health

Contraceptive prevalence rate
% of births attended by trained health personnel
HIV adult prevalence rate
HIV prevalence in 15-24 year old pregnant women

Gender equality in education

Ratio of boys in primary and secondary education combined
Ratio of literate females to males at ages 15-24

Economic activity

Unemployment ratio
Employment-population ratio
% of labour force engaged in agriculture, industry, and services
% of labour force by employment status
% of children aged 10-14 who are working


GNP per capita
GDP per capita

Income and poverty

Household income per capita
% of population below poverty-line
Proportion of children under age 5 underweight


Adult literacy rate
Literacy rate of 15-24 year-olds
Net primary enrolment ratio
% reaching grade 5/completion of grade 4
Net secondary enrolment ratio
Average no. of years of schooling completed

Human security and social justice

No. of victims of violence per 1000 people
No. of persons in prison per 100,000 people

Housing and environment

Floor area per person
No. of persons per room excluding kitchen and bathroom
% population with access to adequate sanitation
% population with access to safe drinking water
% population with access to electricity
% population relying on traditional fuels for energy use
Arable land per capita