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End Women's Economic Inequality
6 September - 15 October 1999

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Working Group Summaries
  • Sept. 6 - Sept. 10, 1999
  • | English | franšais | espa˝ol |
  • Sept. 14 - Sept. 21, 1999
  • | English | franšais | espa˝ol |
  • Sept. 21 - Sept. 24, 1999
  • | English | franšais | espa˝ol |
  • Sept. 27 - Oct. 1, 1999
  • | English | franšais | espa˝ol |
  • Oct. 4 - Oct. 8, 1999
  • | English | franšais | espa˝ol |
  • Oct. 11 - Oct. 15, 1999
  • | English | franšais | espa˝ol |

    About the Working Group

    In 1995, the Fourth World Conference on Women agreed on a Platform for Action, which called upon governments, the international community and civil society -- including non-governmental organizations and the private sector -- to take action to address a number of critical areas of concern, including "inequality in economic structures and policies, in all forms of productive activities and in access to resources."

    The Platform discussed this concern and the situation of women in the economy, and identified six strategic objectives:

    1. Promote women's economic rights and independence, including access to employment, appropriate working conditions and control over economic resources
    2. Facilitate women's equal access to resources, employment, markets and trade
    3. Provide business services, training and access to markets, information and technology, particularly to low-income women
    4. Strengthen women's economic capacity and commercial networks
    5. Eliminate occupational segregation and all forms of employment discrimination
    6. Promote harmonization of work and family responsibilities for women and men

    The objectives of the End Women's Economic Inequality Working Group are to discuss whether these objectives of the Platform for Action have been realized:

    • Has there been progress in ending women's economic inequality and strengthening women's economic rights?
    • What are the obstacles?
    • What must be done in the future?

    The discussion will be facilitated by Diane Elson, well known for her analysis of economic issues from the perspective of women, and currently Special Advisor to the Executive Director of UNIFEM. She will be assisted by Nazneen Damji, currently a consultant to UNIFEM, who has special interests in information technology and microfinance. Themes for the working group have been prepared in consultation with Semia Guermas de Tapia, Social Affairs Officer at the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women.

    The On-Line Working Group will meet 6 September 1999 - 15 October 1999. We propose that the discussion be organized around three key themes:

    1. End women's economic inequality and strengthen women's economic rights.
      • How far has there been progress in ending economic inequality between women and men (e.g. in earnings, job security, business ownership, land ownership, pension rights, time spent in unpaid caring work, etc.), and strengthening women's rights in these areas.
      • Has progress been undermined by financial crisis, or natural disasters, or a backlash against women's rights? How do we make progress in the future? What are future challenges?

    2. Harmonize paid work and family and community responsibilities.
      • Has there been any progress since 1995 in the harmonization of work and family responsibilities for women and men?
      • Are changing ideas about the role of women helping to bring about greater equality between women and men in undertaking unpaid family and community responsibilities?
      • Is global competition undermining the ability of employees to combine paid work and family and community responsibilities as companies perceive allowance for this as 'too costly'?
      • How do we make progress in the future? What are future challenges?

    3. Economic policy and women's economic equality.
      • Has there been any progress in the importance that economic policy-makers in governments and international financial institutions attach to women's economic equality?
      • Have economic policy-makers changed the ways they view the economy, so as to take account of unpaid work in families and communities, as well as paid work in the market economy?
      • How far has economic policy-making at the local, national, regional, and international level been designed to promote women's economic equality? Or is economic policy widening the economic gap between women and men?
      • How do we make progress in the future? What are future challenges?

    We would like to include particularly innovative examples in UNIFEM's publication, "Progress of the World's Women", a new biennial report examining women's progress towards empowerment and gender equality. Join the exchange and provide your input!

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