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Promote Women in Power and Decision-Making
6 September - 15 October 1999

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Working Group Summaries
  • Sept. 6 - Sept. 10, 1999
  • | English | franšais | espa˝ol |
  • Sept. 13 - Sept. 17, 1999
  • | English | franšais | espa˝ol |
  • Sept. 20 - 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 upon a Platform for Action, which declared that "Women's equal participation in decision-making is not only a demand for simple justice or democracy but can also be seen as a necessary condition for women's interests to be taken into account. Without the active participation of women and incorporation of women's perspectives at all levels of decision-making, the goals of equality, development and peace cannot be achieved"

    The Beijing Platform for Action defined two strategic objectives on the issue of women's participation in power and decision-making:

    1. Ensure that women have equal access to and full participation in structures of power and decision-making.
    2. Increase women's capacity to participate in decision-making and leadership.

    The Beijing Conference has created a new momentum and emphasized the importance of addressing the issue of women's participation in power and decision-making bodies. After Beijing many countries included this area of concern in their immediate priorities and developed national policies and programmes.

    The Promote Women In Power and Decision-making Working Group will discuss whether these objectives of the Platform for Action have been realized. The Working Group will focus on the following questions:

    • What progress has there been since Beijing in involving women in decision-making?
    • What are the key social, economic, political and cultural obstacles to women's participation in decision making?
    • What actions should be taken by governments, civil society, including non-governmental organizations and the private sector, and women themselves, to improve their participation in decision-making structures and processes?
    • How does the participation of women in international, national, regional or local decision-making process make a difference?

    The Working Group will meet 6 September - 15 October 1999. We propose to organize the discussion around two key themes:

    1. Women's equal access to and full participation in structures of power and decision-making.
      • Has there been any progress in creating gender balance in governmental bodies and organizations?
      • Are there any success stories in implementing the affirmative action policy, introducing targets and quotas?
      • What measures are being taken to promote and protect women's political rights?
      • Is there is a recognition of the importance of shared work and parental responsibilities between men and women and its relevance to the promotion of women's increased participation in public life?
      • Are there any policies and initiatives that are helping women to reconcile family and professional responsibilities?

    2. Measures to increase women's capacity to participate in decision-making and leadership.
      • Has there been any progress in training women to be leaders and to increase their self-esteem?
      • Are there any outstanding examples of gender-awareness training to promote non-discriminatory working relations and respect for diversity in work and management styles?
      • Are there any mechanisms that facilitate women's participation in the electoral process, political activities and other leadership areas?
      • What are the future challenges?

    We look forward to discussing and sharing your experiences and ideas for promoting women in power and decision-making. We would also 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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