News & Events - 1996


Fact Sheet on Women in Government. The UN Division for the Advancement of Women has issued a statistical database on women in the executive branch of governments containing data for 187 countries extracted from information published in the 1996 Edition of the Worldwide Government Directory.

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women concluded its 16th session on 31 January 1997.

Both increased investment and reform in education and training programmes for women and girls are needed to close the gender gap in the employment sector, according to a group of experts who met from 2 to 6 December in Turin, Italy. The meeting was organized by DAW in cooperation with ILO, UNESCO, and UNIDO. Click here for the REPORT of the meeting.

Check the new section on Women and Information Technology

Participation of NGOs at the 41st Session (1997) of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). On 14 November 1996 ECOSOC decided to invite as an interim measure those NGOs which were accredited to the Fourth World Conference on Women and which, no later than one month prior to the respective session, will have started the process of applying for consultative status to ECOSOC, to attend only the 41st session of the CSW.

An expert group meeting, "Women, Population and Sustainable Development: the Road from Rio, Cairo and Beijing", was organized jointly by the Division for the Advancement of Women, the Division for Sustainable Development and the United Nations Population Fund, in cooperation with INSTRAW, on 18-22 November 1996 at INSTRAW headquarters in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The meeting focussed on the crucial links between population and sustainable development from a gender perspective.

At the Fourth World Conference on Women one of the most striking features was the use of the information superhighway to spread the word about the Conference and the NGO Forum well beyond the boundaries of previous global conferences. A new issue of DAW's newsletter "Women2000": "Women and the Information Revolution" examines the growth in computer networking and the experience of women in using these new technologies.

An Expert Group Meeting on "Women and Economic Decision-Making in International Financial Institutions and Transnational Corporations" was held in Boston, Massachusetts from 11 - 15 November 1996. The Conference was organized jointly by DAW and the Simmons College, Graduate School of Management. Click here for the report of the meeting.


The Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly has on its 1996 agenda two items on women's issues: Item 103 on the advancement of women , with reports on trafficking in women, violence against women migrant workers" , the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, CEDAW , and on the status of women in the UN Secretariat (A/51/304); and Item 104, on the implementation of the outcome of the Fourth World Conference on Women, with a report of the Secretary General (A/51/322). The Committee will also have before it a report on the activities of UNIFEM. The debate takes place from 24 to 30 of October 1996.

The United Nations Secretary-General restates UN policy on gender equality in response to concerns about the status of women and girls in Afghanistan. The Chairperson of CEDAW is among those who have expressed alarm at reports that women were being denied access to basic human rights such as education and employment in Afghanistan.

Gender in Trade Development. The International Trade Center UNCTAD/WTO has launched a "Plan of Action for the Integration of Women in Trade Promotion and Export Development", as a contribution to the follow-up of the Beijing Platform for Action. For more information contact Ingrid I. Vanore-Speer, Fax num. (41-22) 733 44 39


A Subregional Conference of Senior Government Experts in Central and Eastern Europe on "Implementation of the Platform for Action adopted by the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing", was held in Bucharest, Romania from 12-14 September 1996. The Conference was organized jointly by DAW and the UNDP/Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth States, in association with the Economic Commission for Europe. Among other important outcomes the meeting adopted a model national action plan for the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action. Click here for a summary and the report of the meeting.

Monday 9 September 1996, first anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women; a special event ( "One Year After Beijing") was held at the UN Headquarters in New York. In the opening statement, the UN Secretary General called for support to make equality of opportunity a UN reality,


The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at its session in 1996 (24 June-26 July) considered the report of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on its fifteenth session, the report of the Commission on the Status of Women on the work of its fortieth session and a report on INSTRAW. It also had before it the system-wide medium-term plan for the advancement of women, 1996-2001; a report on violence against women migrant workers; and the report of the SG on ways to support the follow-up to the FWCW. Click here for a brief summary on UN intergovernmental follow-up to the FWCW.

On 26-28 June, 1996 an Expert Workshop on "Global Information through Computer Networking Technology in the Follow-up to the FWCW" was held at the UN in New York. The workshop was jointly sponsored by DAW, UNIFEM and INSTRAW. Among the topics discussed was the proposal for a joint project by the Division, UNIFEM and INSTRAW called WomenWatch. The project aims to bring together on the Internet global information and data on women and gender in the follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women. The report of the meeting is available here


The Commission on Sustainable Development at its 4th session stressed the role of women in achieving sustainable development. The CSD monitors implementation of "Agenda 21", the blueprint for sustainable development adopted by the United Nations Conference on Enviroment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, 1992)

Violence against women migrant workers has been of growing concern to the international community (see Secretary General Report to the General Assembly, 1994). The DAW organized an Expert Group Meeting on Violence Against Women Migrant Workers in Manila (27-31 May). International experts, observers from governments and NGOs participated in the meeting. Click here for a press release/round-up on the meeting

A special tribute was paid to Mrs. Justice Annie Ruth Jiagge, an advocate for women's rights, from the UN Secretary General.


Angela E.V.King
was appointed on February 1996 Director of the Division for the Advancement of Women, of the Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development