UN Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs,
with support from the UN Population Fund (UNFPA)
************************************************************************ This document has been prepared by the Secretariat of the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action. For further information please contact the United Nations Population Fund, Task Force on ICPD Implementation, 220 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017 USA or send E-mail to: email@example.com ************************************************************************ GUIDELINES ON WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT FOR THE UN RESIDENT COORDINATOR SYSTEM BACKGROUND 1. The 1990's have seen increasing recognition of the centrality of women's empowerment to the success of development programmes. The empowerment of women was essential to the declarations and platforms for action of the 1990 World Conference on Education for All, the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, the 1993 Human Rights Conference, the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, the 1995 World Summit for Social Development, and the Regional Preparatory Conferences for the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women. This increased appreciation for and understanding of women's pivotal role in the development process has also been reflected in the goals and priorities of organizations and agencies in the United Nations system. In this regard, the United Nations Resident Coordinators are being called upon to play a key role in facilitating inter-agency cooperation on gender equality and equity and the empowerment of women, with particular emphasis on operational activities at the country level. 2. The Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development stresses that the empowerment and autonomy of women and the improvement of their political, social, economic and health status is both a highly important end in itself and necessary for the achievement of sustainable human development. It states further that "Advancing gender equality and equity and the empowerment of women, and the elimination of all kinds of violence against women, and ensuring women's ability to control their own fertility ...are priority objectives of the international community" (Principle 4 of the ICPD Programme of Action). 3. The Programme of Action further recognizes that in all parts of the world, women are facing threats to their lives, health and well-being. They receive less education than men and are over- represented among the poor and powerless. Achieving change requires policy and programme actions that will improve women's access to the scarce and valued resources of their societies (particularly secure livelihoods and economic resources), alleviate their disproportionate household responsibilities, remove legal and social impediments to their participation in the public sphere, eliminate the spectre of domestic and sexual violence from their daily lives and raise social awareness through effective programmes of education and mass communication. WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT: A DEFINITION 4. Clearly, a common thread uniting each of the major international conferences of the 1990's is women's empowerment. Furthermore, the international community is now accountable to the world's women for fulfilling the significant commitments it has made to help make empowerment a reality of women's lives. What, then, is women's empowerment? Women's empowerment has five components: women's sense of self-worth; their right to have and to determine choices; their right to have access to opportunities and resources; their right to have the power to control their own lives, both within and outside the home; and their ability to influence the direction of social change to create a more just social and economic order, nationally and internationally. STRATEGY FOR COORDINATION 5. Recognizing that the successful implementation of the Programme of Action at the national level depends upon an inter- disciplinary approach, paragraph 10 of General Assembly Resolution 49/128, Report on the International Conference on Population and Development, "calls upon the organs of the United Nations system and the specialized agencies to undertake the actions required to give full and effective support to the implementation of the Programme of Action." In response to this resolution, the Inter- Agency Task Force on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action proposed that efforts to further the empowerment of women be pursued within the United Nations coordination system led by the Resident Coordinator. 6. The Resident Coordinator is expected to establish a modality for inter-agency cooperation that would serve as a catalyst for national initiatives designed to further the economic, social, political and legal empowerment of women. The Guidelines are not intended to hinder agencies from pursuing their respective mandates. Rather, they will enhance the complementarity of programmes; facilitate integrated planning within a national development framework; foster dialogue among agencies and between the United Nations system and governments, provide space for, and legitimize the participation of NGOs and other actors of civil society, and allow the United Nations system to contribute more effectively to the achievement of women's empowerment. The Statement on the Role and Functioning of the Resident Coordinator System provides the framework in which this coordination will take place. 7. Among suggested modalities for coordination and collaboration among United Nations agencies and between the United Nations system and its government and civil society partners are: o standing inter-agency working groups on gender equality and women's empowerment; o training sessions in gender analysis and gender-sensitive programming for national-level United Nations staff, as well as government, NGO partners and individuals likely to act as national consultants to the UN system; o multi-donor coordination mechanisms; o joint working sessions and planning meetings with national officials and representatives of NGOs and grassroots women's groups; o standing advisory groups made up of gender experts from government, NGOs, women's groups, and academia; and o the establishment of national-level goals for, and indicators of, gender equality and women's empowerment. 8. Heterogeneous groupings of representatives from different disciplines, the public and private sectors, and a range of civil society associations allow for the dynamic exchange of ideas, sharing of lessons learned, consolidation of objectives, rationalization of activities, coordination of funding and identification of priorities. The inclusion of a range of civil society actors will ensure that the voices and visions of women at the grassroots level are brought into the policy-making process. The inclusion of regional bodies in this expanded partnership is also a necessity. 9. Given the resistance that still exists in many quarters to the promotion of women's empowerment and the use of gender analysis in development programming, as well as the widespread lack of technical expertise in this area, inter-agency working groups, particularly those that include government and civil society representatives, will serve to consolidate a critical mass of support for gender-sensitive programming. Often gender concerns are handled by relatively junior staff, reflecting and reinforcing the historical marginality of women's concerns to the development process. When called by the Resident Coordinator, the highest ranking United Nations official at the national level, however, such meetings will highlight the seriousness with which the United Nations system now seeks to promote gender equality and empowerment of women. This high-level advocacy, which serves to legitimize gender issues in the eyes of United Nations staff and development partners alike, is among the most effective strategies available to the Resident Coordinator seeking to foster women's empowerment at the national level. SPECIFIC AREAS FOR ACTION Research, statistics and situational analysis 10. The creation of gender-sensitive development policies at the national level is impeded by the lack of accurate and accessible information about women at both the national and international levels. In this regard, it is vital that a common data base of gender and age-disaggregated statistics be available to all United Nations agencies, and also that common methodologies and statistical indicators be used in data-gathering. This disaggregation is vital to follow-up actions targeted at the well- being of girls, adolescents and women and to identify areas in the life-cycle of women during which gender disparities are greatest. The new volume of the World's Women, to be issued in August 1995, can serve as a model. In addition, there is also a great need to collate, analyse and make accessible statistics and data that already exist. The Resident Coordinator has a key role to play in coordinating multi-disciplinary national-level data-gathering; in discovering what information is already available at the national level (through United Nations and government studies, as well as academia and research institutions) and ensuring its dissemination; in pinpointing the information gaps; in establishing priority areas for research; and in identifying areas where gender disparities are greatest. 11. Areas for which sound statistical information is known to be scarce are the effects of environmental degradation on women; causes and effects of migration; adolescent pregnancy and reproductive health; male roles and responsibilities in promoting women's empowerment and reproductive health; and the socio-economic implications of changing gender roles. There is also a great need to promote research; gather facts and compile statistics concerning domestic violence; encourage research about the causes, nature, gravity and consequence of violence against women; and test and analyse the effectiveness of measures to thwart gender-based violence and document its recovery process. 12. Creating a roster of gender experts -- national consultants with expertise in different fields, such as agriculture, appropriate technology and health, including reproductive health from a gender perspective -- for use by the United Nations system, government ministries and NGOs, as well as compiling a directory of studies and data bases available at the national level, are useful first steps. Training in Gender Analysis and Gender-Sensitive Development Planning 13. A key area of concentration for Resident Coordinators should be gender training. This training should be required of all United Nations field staff, including the Resident Coordinator himself or herself. In addition, the Resident Coordinator should work with UN agencies and national-level ministries (not just ministries for women, welfare or social services, but also finance, planning, agricultural, energy and other "hard" sectoral ministries) to train staff to help ensure that gender is more fully understood and gender issues are incorporated within the scope of country- and region-wide development initiatives. It will also ensure that there are systematic plans at national levels to avoid duplication and overlapping of the training efforts of various UN agencies. The importance of ensuring high-quality gender training cannot be overstated; those already sceptical of the value of gender training find their worse fears confirmed and can become entrenched in their opposition after a poorly designed or poorly run training session. The relevance and practical applications of gender analysis to the audience's day-to-day work must be stressed. Resident Coordinators should take advantage of the methodologies that are being developed collaboratively by several agencies (including FAO, ILO, UNDP, UNIDO and UNIFEM). Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights 14. The Resident Coordinator has a key role to play in promoting the reproductive and sexual health and well-being and reproductive rights of women, adolescents and girls at the national level. Included under the rubric of reproductive health are the traditional concerns of family planning, as well as issues coming to the forefront of international attention more recently, such as AIDS and other STDs, unsafe abortion, adolescent pregnancy, practices that are harmful to the health of women and children (such as female genital mutilation), discriminatory nutritional and other practices based on male child preference, and early marriage. Also included in the concept of reproductive health is women and adolescents' control over their sexuality. Reproductive and sexual health are affected by the economic, social, cultural and educational environment in which girls are born, grow to womanhood, marry and repeat the process in starting their own families. The Resident Coordinator's interventions in this area should be imbedded in a human rights framework and informed by several key principles: o Women have the right to autonomy and reproductive choice. o Women have the right and social responsibility to decide whether, how and when to have children and how many to have; no woman can be compelled to bear a child or prevented from doing so against her will. o Men also have a personal and social responsibility for their own sexual behaviour and fertility and for the effects of that behaviour on the health and well-being of their partners and children. o Reproductive health issues should be addressed in the way women and men experience them; not as isolated, biomedical phenomena or matters of public policy, but as an integrated part of everyday life. o The fundamental sexual and reproductive rights of women cannot be subordinated against a woman's will to the interests of partners, family members, policy-makers, or any other actors. o Women must be respected to make their own reproductive decisions; they must have both the information and the authority to make decisions about reproduction and the services that will enable them to satisfy their reproductive health needs. 15. The goals of reproductive health programmes should be to increase women and adolescents' control over their bodies, their sexuality and ultimately their lives; to improve women's health, including their reproductive and sexual health; and to change socio-economic structures and norms that impede women's free exercise of their human rights, including their reproductive rights (such as women's legal status, access to education, decision-making powers, poverty level, choice regarding marriage partners and rights within marriage). 16. In practice, these goals and principles require that the Resident Coordinator support reproductive health programming rather than "target-oriented" population programmes by focusing on meeting the needs of individual women and men; expanding standard services to include prevention and treatment of AIDs, sexually transmitted diseases, and violence against women; responding to women and girls at all stages of the life-cycle; and emphasizing safe, effective and affordable contraceptive methods that women themselves control and that are of high quality. Women's Human Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) 17. Since the International Conference on Human Rights, held in June 1993 in Vienna, and the subsequent General Assembly ratification in December 1993 of the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, political will and mobilization around the issue of women's human rights has increased tremendously. The debate has led to an expanded conception of human rights that explicitly recognizes that women's rights are human rights. In response to this expanded definition of human rights, in March 1994, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights agreed to appoint a Special Rapporteur on violence against women and to integrate the rights of women into the human rights mechanisms of the United Nations. These advances have shown the potential of the human rights framework for improving the status of women and the condition of their lives. 18. Despite these substantial legal and procedural changes at the international level, however, the majority of the world's girls and women remain outside this enlarged vision of human rights due to the pervasive, structural and systemic denial of their liberty at the national and community levels worldwide. The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, approved in 1979, provides concrete ways to bring these international principles to bear at the national level. Unlike other human rights treaties, CEDAW specifically obliges states that ratify the Convention to take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women by any person, organization or enterprise. In addition, it provides a legal framework for women's empowerment and participation in the development process. It not only guarantees basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, it also lays out policy measures and targets areas of particular concern to women (such as sex roles and stereotyping, affirmative action, trafficking in women, access to health care, education and benefits, and the special needs of rural women). 19. Resident Coordinators can become involved with CEDAW at the national level in several ways. They can play an advocacy role in supporting the lobbying and public education efforts of NGOs in countries that have not yet ratified CEDAW, working to generate awareness and support, to build partnerships and to assist others in their lobbying efforts. 20. In countries that have ratified CEDAW, the Resident Coordinator can assist NGOs and parliamentarians in lobbying for greater support to the CEDAW Committee, aid the Committee in disseminating its important findings to a larger audience, work with appropriate partners to produce materials that make the Convention accessible and usable at the grassroots level, and establish task forces of legal experts to design innovative uses of the Convention and advise women and other groups on its application. The Resident Coordinator can also support efforts to revise the legal code to protect and promote the rights of women, using CEDAW as a basis. Since women worldwide would be well served by a strengthening of the Convention's mandate and power, Resident Coordinators should also support the efforts of those seeking to "give teeth" to the Convention. Culture and tradition 21. It is important to make note of one of the concerns most frequently raised regarding efforts to further gender equality and the empowerment of women, i.e., that such efforts constitute undue interference in the culture, religion, or traditional practices of a country. Resident Coordinators have a special responsibility to address these concerns and to draw distinctions among traditional practices that harm women and girls and deprive them of their universally recognized human rights, such as gender-based violence, forced early marriage, and female genital mutilation, and those that are socially valuable and benefit women. 22. Several points are key in addressing this issue of culture in relation to efforts to foster gender equality and women's empowerment. First, all development efforts, including those that seek "merely" to introduce new technologies or promote economic growth, imply social change, for, as the nature, modes, goals and social relations of production are altered, structures of work and family life are transformed. Second, women's empowerment was first articulated and championed as an approach to development by Southern women seeking to improve their lives and those of their families. Third, culture is not a static, fixed entity, but a confluence of beliefs and values continuously undergoing processes of change and redefinition in response to external and internal economic, political and social forces. 23. Fourth, cultures and societies are not monolithic; they are made up of groups of people who often hold conflicting and competing ideologies, beliefs and practices. What is called "culture" can sometimes be more accurately understood as the ideas and practices valued by the dominant group, often men. Social movements that pose a particular threat to women (and which are, in turn, particularly threatened by women's empowerment) often appeal to this concept of cultural or religious tradition as a basis for their attempt to extend their social control. Finally, the argument that gender discrimination is a country or cultural matter (which mirrors the claim that domestic violence is a private act rather than a public crime) falls apart when one substitutes "race" for "gender"; South Africa's past policies of apartheid demanded and received an international response, as should policies and practices of gender discrimination. Education 24. The role of equality in education in bringing about equality in all walks of life is well known and discussed in detail in the Basic Education Guidelines. Girls' education is fundamental to gender equality and women's empowerment. Key areas for the Resident Coordinator's attention include life-long education and training, including pre-school provision, the elimination of stereotyped teaching and education materials, diversification of the educational and training opportunities available to women and girls, and the promotion of self-esteem and leadership in girls. Providing employment and job training, as well as literacy training, for women past traditional school age should be an area of special focus, as should enabling pregnant adolescents to continue their schooling. The Resident Coordinator could work to raise awareness about the ancillary advantages of educating girls and women, such as a reduction in fertility rates and a more skilled labour force, as well as advocating for the right of women and girls to equality and quality in education. Violence Against Women 25. Violence against women is not the issue of any particular region or group; it is an ugly universal, crossing the frontiers of ideology, social class and ethnic identity. At the individual level, violence disrupts the lives of women, limits their options, undermines their confidence and self-esteem, and impairs their health psychologically as well as psychically. It denies them their human rights and hinders their full participation in society. Violence against women deprives society of the full participation of women in all aspects of development, not just in terms of hours of labour missed due to violence, but also in terms of the cost of services to the victims. It also has serious consequences for the mental and bodily health of dependent children. 26. Despite its prevalence, some of the manifestations of gender- based violence respond to, and are determined and patterned by, the specific characteristics of different national and community contexts. Therefore, the Resident Coordinator should ensure that the design and execution of programmes are specifically attuned to respond appropriately at the local, national and regional levels. The Resident Coordinator has a key role to play in countering violence against women by supporting advocacy, social mobilization, institution-building and network strengthening. He or she can also play a key role in coordinating multi-disciplinary approaches to the problem, as well as multi-agency responses. Women's NGOs and Networks 27. Among the best ways to aid the poor of the developing world and to reach women at the grassroots level is to provide technical and financial assistance to the organizations that they themselves create and control. In this regard, the importance of local institution-building to the process of development cannot be overstated; no matter what problem a project seeks to address, its ultimate success or failure often hinges upon the strength of the implementing agency. Although strong organizations occasionally fail, institutionally weak organizations seldom succeed. 28. The Resident Coordinator can play an important role in strengthening the capacity of NGOs, particularly those at the grassroots level, by providing them information regarding the nature, norms and requirements of the international development cooperation system. The United Nations Resident Coordinator can also support networking of like-minded or complementary organizations by calling meetings, conferences and seminars. By advocating for the inclusion of NGO representatives in government policy-setting dialogue and facilitating NGO participation in the meetings he or she convenes, the Resident Coordinator can help build partnerships, strengthen alliances between NGOs and governments, and serve to legitimize the participation of civil society. The Resident Coordinator should support NGOs in the areas in which they have a comparative advantage, particularly reaching women at the grassroots level, bringing women's concerns to the attention of policy-makers and fostering the political participation and leadership of women. Finally, the Resident Coordinator's efforts to ensure that women and their concerns are incorporated into NGOs that do not focus specifically on women are also key. Refugee, Displaced and Returnee Women 29. Refugee, returnee and displaced women and girls have two sets of special needs: the first, because they have been displaced; the second, because they are female. Refugee, returnee and displaced women are particularly disadvantaged, as they are almost entirely dependent on external sources of assistance. Programmes for them must be targeted to ensure that women are not unintentionally marginalized or further disempowered. When a gender perspective is not employed in the design and implementation of projects and efforts are not made to compensate for the power, status and income differentials between men and women, these gender disparities can actually be sharpened or further entrenched. Initiating gender- sensitive programming in the first stages of an emergency is particularly important and yet can too easily be given lower priority in the very difficult first stages of large population movements requiring immediate life-sustaining support. Given that at least 80 per cent of the total current number of the refugee population worldwide are women and their dependent children and that a high proportion of refugee women are heads-of-household, any negative impacts of development and reconstruction policies and projects on women pose a serious threat to the overall success of such policies. 30. Although they have been removed from their usual social support systems and economic resource bases, and are often emotionally devastated by fear and grief, refugee women are still required to care for the sick, old, injured and young. Because the health of migrant populations, including that of care-taking women themselves, is generally poor, this burden is worsened. Physical security is a particular problem for refugee women and girls. They often face sexual violence (including the increasing deliberate use of systematic rape to terrorize civilian populations), sexual exploitation by guards and so-called peacekeepers, and increased domestic violence triggered by escalating stress and uncertainty. 31. Resident Coordinators must ensure that policies designed to aid refugee, displaced and returnee women and girls are informed by the reality of their lives. They must ensure that policy-makers recognize that most refugee families are headed by women and so do not limit distribution of resources to male heads-of-household, that women are protected from sexual violence and exploitation, and that the basic needs of women (physical safety, reproductive health information and services) are provided within the context of emergency operations. While refugee life might sometimes reinforce cultural restrictions on women's empowerment, it may also provide opportunities for development that might not have otherwise occurred. Refugee workers are encouraged to be aware of these opportunities and support whenever possible the efforts of refugee women and girls to pursue these new opportunities. Resident Coordinators should be familiar with the policies, guidelines and training programmes developed to assist and protect refugee women and use them when possible and appropriate. Mainstreaming 32. The points set out above are examples of how a concern for gender can be fully incorporated, or "mainstreamed," into tasks and responsibilities at a senior management level. Resident Coordinators should seek to ensure that the tasks of all staff reflect gender mainstreaming in an appropriate form, and foster similar efforts among senior United Nations system colleagues. Instruments to ensure that gender mainstreaming occurs include: the performance appraisal process; the programme review process; gender training for staff; on-going consultation and dialogue with representatives of civil society; and inter-agency workshops on the mainstreaming of key concerns such as gender, the environment, poverty, governance and the like. ================================================================== SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Women, Ink., a project of the IWTC, markets women and development resource materials. Supported by its own sales and a grant from UNIFEM, it is a source of both scholarly studies and practical guidelines, training manuals and resource materials for policy and programme design and implementation. Women, Ink. catalogue is available through the IWTC at 777 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017: telephone: (212) 687-8633; fax: (212) 661-2704. 1. After Cairo: A Handbook on Advocacy for Women Leaders (CEDPA). Organized as a simple, clear guide to help advocates shape effective campaigns after ICPD, this Handbook presents advocacy strategies in four sections: planning for advocacy; taking your message to the public; forging alliances; and advocating for resources. Renamed "Cairo, Beijing and Beyond: A Handbook on Advocacy for Women Leaders", for the Fourth World Conference on Women, the English version has been reprinted; language versions in Chinese, French and Spanish are being issued. 2. JCGP-WID: Building National Capacity to Develop Gender Statistics (UN/DESIPA). A gender statistics publication, incorporating methods of computing and interpreting statistics and formats of presentation. (UN/DESIPA). Work in Progress: Publication date: In time for FWCW. 3. Incorporating Women into Population and Development: Knowing Why and Knowing How (UNFPA). A practical guide to enable those associated with UNFPA programming to amplify the participation of women in the design and management of population and development initiatives. 4. Gender Analysis for Project Design, prepared for UNFPA by J.E. Austin Associates and The Collaborative for Development Action Inc. A training manual designed as an educational and practical tool, which can be used either as part of training workshops on gender analysis or as a vehicle for self-education and reference by individuals. The material is both conceptual and applied and organized to maximize learning opportunities for the readers. 1989. 5. Gender Analysis in Development Planning by Aruna Rao, Catherine Overhold and Mary B. Anderson. 1991. 102 pages (book); 25 pages (teaching notes). Available from: Kumarian Press, 630 Oakwood Avenue, Suite 119, West Hartford, CT 06110-1529, USA. Price: Gender analysis book - US$18.25; Teaching notes - US$10.95. Useful on an individual basis, as well as in workshops, this book describes a framework for gender analysis, followed by case studies designed specifically for gender training. The Teaching Notes provide guidelines for using the cases and questions for discussion. 6. Gender Planning and Development: Theory, Practice and Training by Caroline O. Moser. 1993. 285 pages. Available from Women, Ink. Price US$17.95 This book focuses on the inter- relationship between gender and development, the formulation of gender policy and the implementation of gender planning practices. 7. Population Policies Reconsidered: Health, Empowerment, and Rights, by Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies and IWCH. Gita Sen, Adrienne Germain and Lincoln C. Chen, Editors. Published under an arrangement with the Swedish International Development Authority and with 30 contributors, the book's 17 chapters address the cutting edge of current debates on population policies. Throughout the volume, three major themes recur that challenge the fundamental premises of current population policies - - ethics, human rights and human development; women's empowerment; and reproductive and sexual health. These themes together present a new approach to population, based on a solid ethical foundation and aimed at sustainable human development. Distributed by Harvard University Press, 1994. Price: US$14.95. 8. The World's Women: Trends and Statistics - A joint effort of UNICEF/UNFPA/UNIFEM/CSDHA, executed by the Statistical Division, DESIPA. This publication presents comprehensive data on women's conditions and contributions worldwide, providing data on economic life, population and health, family life, education, public life, and human settlements. First edition published by United Nations Publications, 1991. Cost: US$19.95. Second edition to include information on women and men and families; housing, human settlements and environment; education, science, media and culture; as well as issues related to women's reproductive health, discrimination against the girl child, violation of women's civil and political rights, hunger, malnutrition and poverty will also be covered. Publication date: July/August 1995, in five official languages. 9. Changing Perception: Writings on Gender and Development by Tina Wallace and Candida March (eds). Oxford, Oxfam Press, 1991. Blending theory and practice, the articles examine the effect of global issues on women's lives and explores the conceptual basis of gender-awareness planning and implementation of development projects. It also includes a number of case studies. 10. Gender Bias: Roadblock to Sustainable Development by Jodi Jacobson. Washington, D.C., Worldwatch Institute, 1992. This booklet explores the dimensions, causes and results of gender bias in development interventions worldwide. 11. Male Bias in the Development Process by Diane Elson (ed). Manchester and New York, Manchester University Press, 1990. Examples of ways in which male bias operates in rural and urban settings, agriculture, industry and services, self-employment and wage labour are provided throughout this collection of articles. The authors focus on the structures that perpetuate male bias and the processes that change, intensify or diminish its impact. 12. Another Point of View: A Manual on Gender Analysis Training for Grassroots Workers by Rani Parker. Published by UNIFEM. 1993. Available from: Women, Ink. Price: US$15.95 Using a planning tool, the Gender Analysis Matrix, this manual offers a step-by-step guide for conducting a four-day workshop with community members. It includes a pre-workshop questionnaire, case studies, handouts and a workshop evaluation questionnaire. 13. A Commitment to the World's Women: Perspectives on Development for Beijing and Beyond by Noeleen Heyzer, Sushma Kapoor and Joanne Sandler (eds.) 1995. Published by UNIFEM. Available from: Women, Ink. Price: $14.95. This anthology includes articles by more than thirty thinkers, organizers and leaders. In this book, they re-visit critical issues and processes that have affected women and their families and societies, and offer their recommendations and insights. ================================================================== AGENCY PROFILES Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) The Plan of Action for the Integration of Women in Development embodies FAO's policies and programmes to improve the lives of rural women. It is based on the Organization's commitment to the Nairobi Forward Looking Strategies, which is a pledge by the UN Member Governments to take concrete steps by the year 2000 to eliminate all political, economic, social and cultural forms of sex-based discrimination. Focusing specifically on agriculture, food and rural development, including fisheries and forestry, the Plan of Action outlines three principal areas of activity: o Gathering statistical data and research studies on all issues related to women in agricultural development, ensuring FAO's ability to monitor the status of these issues in the field; o Advising policy makers on women in agricultural development at both the international national levels; o Assisting in implementing women in agricultural development projects and programmes, and in mobilizing the necessary resources. The Plan recognizes the women already make a crucial contribution to agricultural production. It is dedicated to enhancing their participation through projects and programmes that systematically bring women into the mainstream of development activities and national life. Within this framework, future activities will give greater recognition to women's special needs for income-producing activities and control of income, educational and training opportunities, and technologies and other means to ease the burden and increase the productivity of women's work. FAO takes a two-pronged approach to women in development that is reiterated in the Plan of Action: first, the implementation of projects and programmes oriented exclusively to women (women- specific projects and programmes); and second, the promotion of the integration of women's issues and of women as participants in all of FAO's projects and activities (mainstream programmes and projects). FAO recognizes the necessity of women-specific projects under certain circumstances; where "women-only" projects can serve as demonstrations to encourage national governments to include women in their mainstream project; where cultural factors prevent women from working alongside men; or where rural women have been generally neglected. However, the success of "women-only" projects is often constrained by small budgets, low government priority, a lack of skilled project staff and concentration on marginal enterprises. Therefore, while the Plan incorporates both approaches, every effort will be given to including both men and women as full participants in mainstream projects. In adopting the Plan, FAO's Council requested that Member Governments make all possible efforts to contribute to its implementation. It is evident that without the interest and commitment of governments, the actions envisaged in the Plan cannot succeed. Comprehensive policy designs, programme and project planning, implementation and evaluation, as well as legislation related to women's issues, are requisites at the national level for the Plan's success. In line with its mandate, FAO stands ready and eager to assist Member Governments in the realization of greater participation and greater equality for rural women. The Plan revolves around four spheres: civil status, economic, social, and decision-making. They are selected on the basis of FAO's long experience in working with women in developing countries and with Member Governments. Each sphere contains its own strategy for increasing women's status at all levels of society-household, community, national and international. Within each sphere, numerous actions are presented that FAO envisages as essential to the Plan's implementation. International Labour Organisation (ILO) Within the context of ILO's mandate for the promotion of social justice, the promotion of equality between men and women in employment and the protection of the rights of women workers have been issues of long-standing concern to the Organization. The overall strategy of the ILO is to ensure that gender issues and equality concerns are integrated across the board within its programme and project objectives and activities, and are reflected in the various means of action (e.g. standard setting, research, information dissemination and technical cooperation). This strategy is based on the recognition that women's equal and full participation in all aspects of life is essential to the achievement of all major development objects -- democracy and human rights, sustainable development, poverty eradication, etc. In this respect, a gender training programme for ILO staff and constituents is currently being implemented, jointly funded by the ILO and the Netherlands Government. The purpose of the programme under the Office for Women Workers Questions, which is overseeing the effective follow-up and use of the outputs of the Interdepartmental Project on Equality of Opportunity for Women in Employment, is to strengthen the capacity of the ILO and its member States to deal effectively with equality for women at work. The programme is focused on training ILO staff in management, technical and programming positions, as well as representatives of ILO constituents, with the object of creating a common understanding and a basis for fruitful dialogue on gender issues between staff and constituents; and to enlarge the pool of expertise in counterpart institutions to develop ILO programmes with a gender-sensitive approach. The priority target groups of this training programme are the members of ILO's Multidisciplinary Teams (MDTs) and staff of ILO Area Offices in the field. These institutional arrangements have given added impetus to the gender dimension of ILO's Labour and Population Programme, especially in light of the concerns emphasized in the ICPD Programme of Action. ILO's Labour and Population Programme has a component on issues of Gender, Population and Development. The essential elements of this component include an inter-regional strategy: o to enhance the gender sensitivity of population and development policy-making and programme formulation. This includes designing frameworks and guidelines to facilitate and promote participatory gender population and development analysis at the country level; o to promote legal reforms, training and application of International Labour Standards that advance the position and protection of women workers (including protection of maternity and promotion of Safe Working Mother strategies); o to improve the knowledge base in critical areas where synthesis of evidence or creation of new information is required through design and promotion of studies and state-of-the-art papers; o to collect, synthesize and disseminate information about successful initiatives that have empowered women and enhanced their productive and reproductive choices; o to enhance the training of trainers opportunities available to regional and national experts through the development of special materials, methods and programmes in close collaboration with specialized technical UN agencies and the Turin Training Center; and o to provide technical advice and support to potentially replicable pilot projects that seek to empower women workers through expansion of available productive and reproductive choices, resources and opportunities. United Nations, Department for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis/ The Population Division The Population Division of the Department for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis (DESIPA) provides gender- disaggregated statistics, conducts a variety of analytic studies that have a gender dimension, monitors population policies and organizes expert meetings that deal with gender issues. Every two years the Population Division/DESIPA produces population estimates and projections, by age and sex, for all countries and areas of the world. Apart from their direct interest, these statistics serve as "denominators" for gender-disaggregated estimates and projections in areas such as school enrolment and employment that are produced within and outside the United Nations system. The Division also regularly monitors fertility, contraceptive practice and mortality levels, by sex, as well as Government policies related to population concerns. Since 1990, special studies and expert meetings have dealt with female migration, education and fertility, abortion policy, gender differences in age at marriage and living arrangements of women and children, including women-headed households. The Division also produces a manual on techniques of population estimation and analysis, which provide the basis for production of gender-disaggregated population indicators. These manuals and reports are widely used in developing-country training programmes in the areas of population and development. In addition, the Division serves as global headquarters for the Population Information Network (POPIN). With both global and regional support from UNFPA, POPIN is a decentralized information and communication network for regional, national and non-governmental population information activities, including gender-and-population issues. POPIN facilitates Internet access to population information through the POPIN Gopher (Internet address:gopher.undp.org). The Population Division serves as the substantive secretariat for the Commission on Population and Development, which has been assigned primary responsibility for monitoring the follow-up to the International Conference on Population and Development (GA Resolution 49/128). United Nations Development Programme/Gender in Development Programme (UNDP/GIDP) In the ten years since UNDP's Governing Council mandated the mainstreaming of women-in-development concerns and the subsequent establishment of the Gender in Development Programme, UNDP has developed a twin strategy that aims to mainstream gender in all its programmes and to further the advancement of women as one of its four major focus areas. The following three principles guide UNDP's efforts to mainstream gender: gender equality and equity objectives are built into Country Cooperation Frameworks and other strategy and policy documents; the equal participation of men and women is sought in setting priorities in programme design, development, implementation, direction and monitoring; and efforts are made to ensure that programme outcomes benefit men and women equally (where major inequities exist, equal benefits are considered inadequate and affirmative action programmes are put in place). Gender equality and equity at all levels and in all respects within the organisation itself are also explicit objectives of UNDP's human resource management policies and staffing. GIDP works closely with Country Offices to ensure gender mainstreaming. The assistance that is offered includes: participation in programme reviews; participation in joint programming missions; project and programme evaluation; assisting with the preparation of gender situation analyses; development of gender strategies or action plans, including follow-up to world conferences; review of documentation; and gender training. By fully mainstreaming gender concerns, UNDP also seeks to assist Country Offices to empower women and contribute to an enabling environment for their advancement, especially by: achieving gender equity in decision-making; developing capacity; recognizing women's power as agents of change; improving women's access to economic resources and assets; arresting the feminisation of poverty; advancing women in crisis situations; and creating legal frameworks that facilitate gender equality and equity. For UNDP, gender mainstreaming and focusing on the advancement of women are complementary and mutually reinforcing strategies for achieving gender equality and equity. Pursuing the advancement of women requires a gender perspective, while even within a gender- sensitive framework, provision must be made for a special focus on the advancement of women to compensate for specific inequities. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) UNESCO has always endeavoured to promote equality between the sexes and to improve the status of women within its fields of competence through education, sciences, culture and communication. In addition to specific activities, efforts have been made to incorporate women's issues at all levels of programme design and implementation. This approach will be followed-up in the forthcoming Medium-Term Strategy (1996-2001), with particular emphasis on the participation of women. Taking its cue from the Platform for Action of the Fourth World Conference on Women, the Organization's Medium-Term Strategy for women will be three- pronged. First, efforts will be made for the main-streaming of a gender perspective in all policy-planning, programming, implementation and evaluation activities. This will entail the production of refined gender-desegregated data and analysis, as well as the revision of normative instruments to bring them into line with the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the development of gender-sensitive indicators to monitor all UNESCO projects. Second, UNESCO will encourage the broad and active participation of women at all levels and fields of activity and pay particular attention to women's priorities, perspectives and contribution to the rethinking of the goals and means of development across cultures and traditions. In this context, the Organization will ensure greater involvement of women in its programmes by supporting professional women's groups and disseminating information about relevant research on women and gender issues. Third, UNESCO will endeavour to develop specific programmes, projects and activities to benefit women, geared towards promoting equality, endogenous capacity-building, women's full citizenship and equal participation in policy-making. UNESCO will continue to support action to combat discrimination against women in order to make equal rights for men and women a de jure and de facto reality in its various spheres of competence. It will promote information on the human rights of women and legal literacy. Greater attention will be paid to the eradication of sexist stereotypes in education, particularly in textbooks, and practical measures will be taken, in cooperation with the relevant professional organizations, to promote a more diversified and non-stereotyped image of women in and through the media. As to specific action, the education of women and girls has always been a top priority with special emphasis on rural women, on projects that have a direct bearing on women's access to employment opportunities, and on lifelong education for women's empowerment. Particularly in regions where enrolment rates for women are still low, UNESCO will encourage a review of legislation, policies and programmes in order to identify the obstacles restricting their access to education. Emphasis will be on diversifying opportunities for education and training to benefit women without schooling; on improving the access of girls and women to technical and vocational education; and to strengthening women's role in higher education through the establishment of UNESCO Chairs. The organization will also support the training and informatics with particular attention to ways of facilitating their access to posts of responsibility in the media. In view of the importance of the role and participation of women in the management of natural resources and in environmental concerns, special development projects designed to respond to certain issues such as water resources management; environment, population and development interactions; the improvement of communications, particularly in rural areas; access to new technologies; training and information, will be implemented. UNESCO will pursue cross-cultural studies on the formation and modification of attitudes, and on the consequences of changes in the perception of women's and men's roles in the family and in society, highlighting the role of women as agents of social change and the cultural changes in women's life cycles. Findings that lead to new concepts will be reflected in teaching and training programmes and materials. United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) In moving forward from Cairo, UNFPA will play an important role in monitoring the implementation of the Programme of Action at the country, regional and global levels. To this end, the Fund has formulated a mission statement to serve as a framework for its activities over the coming years; it reaffirms the importance of providing quality reproductive health and family planning services, implementing population policies as an integral part of sustainable development, and undertaking advocacy for population and development concerns, particularly for the empowerment of women. The ICPD recognized that there can be no sustainable development without the full and equal participation of women, gender equality and equity and the empowerment of women. Gender concerns will therefore be an integral component of UNFPA programming and will be factored into all activities undertaken in the three core areas (reproductive health, including family planning and sexual health; population and development strategies; and advocacy) as a "cross-cutting" dimension. Limited support will also be provided to specific areas such as institution strengthening, training and research. The empowerment of women is a fundamental prerequisite to sound reproductive health and requires that women have increased access to resources, education and employment, and that their human rights and fundamental freedoms are promoted and protected so that they can make choices free from coercion and discrimination. Family life education and public information for young people that encourages responsible sexuality, respect for women, and gender equity are also fundamental to improving the role and status of women in society. Women will, therefore, remain the focus of reproductive health issues, since the burden of ill health associated with reproduction affects women to a much larger extent than it does men. However, all programmes and services will also pay special attention to the role and responsibilities of men in reproductive health. Thus, within the context of primary health care, UNFPA will build upon its traditional support through the strengthening or addition of services that seek to improve reproductive health by reducing the need for abortion; preventing and treating reproductive tract infections, including STDs; preventing HIV/AIDS; preventing and treating infertility; providing routine screening for other reproductive health conditions; and discouraging harmful practices, such as female genital mutilation. The Fund will also support the development of data systems that generate information that is desegregated by gender as well as by geographic areas, and undertake research studies focusing on the acceptability of reproductive health and family planning practices in various social, economic and cultural settings, and the role and status of women and reproductive rights. With regard to advocacy, UNFPA activities will be of two types. First, UNFPA will address gender equality and equity; education of women; reproductive rights; protection of the girl child; and the role of men in matters of sexual and reproductive health and in the family. Second, the Fund will work as an advocate for human rights and development issues such as education, poverty, basic health services, empowerment of women and people's participation, all emanating from the Programme of Action and agreements reached at other United Nations fora. In recognizing that gender issues and concerns have been expanded beyond women-specific activities to include gender equality and equity, participation of both men and women in all aspects of population and development, and including the role of men in achieving women's empowerment, UNFPA has issued revised guidelines on Gender, Population and Development, and is organizing gender training workshop for all its field staff. The overall objectives of these workshops are to create gender awareness, in particular the strategic and analytical shift from a narrow women in development concept to a broader gender focus, and to ensure that gender issues are mainstreamed in all UNFPA programmes and projects at the country level. In addition, UNFPA is collaborating with the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) to organize regional pilot workshops in Egypt, Indonesia, and Zimbabwe, the objectives of which are to: develop the institutional capacity to provide GPD training as an integral part of the Fund's regular training programme and as part of the training and educational structures at local institutions in selected countries; to build staff capacity to integrate gender concerns in population and development among UNFPA field staff and relevant national, government, CST and executing agency staff; and to design flexible guidelines and a trainers' aid that could be adapted by UNFPA field offices for future in-country GPD training. UNFPA field staff will also be encouraged to collaborate closely with governments and other entities involved in population and development activities, particularly women's NGOs, to ensure that gender concerns are taken fully into account in all programming activities. Efforts will also be made to strengthen the institutional and technical capacities of women's NGOs at the local and grassroots levels to better their ability to undertake gender-specific activities. A revised set of guidelines for UNFPA collaboration with NGOs has been issued in this regard. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) UNHCR's follow-up activities to the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) have centred on addressing reproductive health (RH) issues in refugee situations. In addition, an inventory has been made of UNHCR-funded projects to identify the educational needs of refugee girls. The traditional approach to reproductive health needs in refugee situations has been mainly through mother and child healthcare programmes that focus on reducing infant and child mortality. While in the past refugee reproductive health needs were either not fully addressed for socio-cultural reasons or were overshadowed by competing demands in other life-saving sectors, in recent years increasing concern over the number of unwanted and/or unplanned pregnancies has brought to the fore the issue of family planning and other related activities. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV/AIDS, and widespread rape in armed conflict have added new dimensions to the reproductive health needs of refugees. The ICPD recognized the holistic nature of female reproductive health needs in its conclusions, which expanded the definition of RH to include the "..state of complete physical, mental and social well-being." The conference also addressed the need for inter-agency cooperation to fill the service and resource gap and to harmonize technical approaches in implementing RH programmes in refugee situations. This new consensus on reproductive health provided UNHCR with a fresh and expanded opportunity to combine expertise and coordinate activities with other United Nations agencies and non- governmental organizations on RH services in refugee settings. A joint venture was launched initially with UNFPA (following their policy on RH service coverage in refugee settings) to undertake a preliminary survey of reproductive health needs and services among refugee populations. The survey revealed crucial unmet needs in the are of reproductive health of young adolescents and victims of violence and trauma. Health service providers in the field further signalled the need to develop technical guidelines of RH to help identify target populations and design appropriate measures for intervention. As a further follow-up to the recommendation of the ICPD, and as a result of the survey on RH needs, an inter-agency working group has been established to prepare the first-draft technical field guidance manual for standardizing a technical approach to RH needs. The draft manual will be reviewed at the June 1995 symposium on reproductive health. While efforts are still underway to develop systematic, multifaceted and integrated RH programmes in refugee settings, vertical programmes continue to address specific needs as and when identified. Specific projects such as the STD/HIV/AIDS pilot project in Ethiopia, psychiatric and social counselling of victims of violence in Croatia, and training of traditional birth attendants in the Sudan continue to meet the manifested needs of targeted populations. In addition to the ICPD-related activities mentioned above, UNHCR has over the past five years developed extensive training programmes and guidelines for its staff and implementing partners to assist them in developing programmes that reduce dependency, enhance the participation of refugee women and ensure their equal access to the benefits of such programmes. Legal training for women has been developed to raise their awareness of their human rights. Human rights training aimed at police, military personnel and government officials includes components on women's rights. Proactive efforts have been made to ensure women's participation in camp organization committees and their access to skills training and literacy programmes. All of these activities are aimed at empowering refugee women and enabling them to take an active role in the rebuilding of their societies after their exile has ended. United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) The objectives and programme thrusts of UNICEF's actions in gender and development are defined in its 1985/1987 policy on women in development and in its recent 1994 policy paper on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. UNICEF's policies are guided by a growing understanding of the gender-based discrimination that affects women and girls throughout the life- cycle, the complementarity of CRC and CEDAW, the needs of the girl child, and the needs of women in their multiple roles. The operational approaches to implement its policies and strategies are mainstreaming gender concerns both as a cross-sectoral dimension and as an integral aspect in the sectoral programmes; promoting gender-specific programme activities for girls and women; and giving special attention to the girl child. UNICEF actions for the girl child include programmes for the elimination of disparities in health, nutrition and education for girls, initiatives for the elimination of the harmful traditional practices of early marriage and female genital mutilation, and innovative ways to reach adolescent/young men and women with knowledge about and skills to delay parenthood and to protect themselves against sexually transmitted diseases, particularly AIDS. UNICEF actions are targeted to the elimination of gender disparities in the achievement of the mid-decade goals and those of the World Summit for Children, advocacy and specific initiatives for girls, and integration of gender issues through the application of the Women's Equality and Empowerment Framework. Programme activities will also include capacity-building for gender responsive programme development; involvement of males in sharing familial responsibilities, particularly parenting; and promoting gender equity in the family with focus on early socialization and youth. Other on-going activities for continued action are collection and analysis of gender and age-disaggregated data and development of indicators for gender-sensitive policies and programmes; building capacities through training; advocacy and women's social mobilization and organized participation at the community, local and national levels; and alliance building among government agencies, NGOs women leaders, social activist groups and others to create a positive environment for the effective participation of women in the emerging democratization and decentralization processes in many countries. United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) UNIFEM, the lead agency for the Inter-Agency Working Group on Women's Empowerment, which produced these guidelines, is mandated to use its resources for four priority areas: o to serve as a catalyst with the goal of ensuring the appropriate involvement of women in mainstream development activities; o to support innovative and experimental activities benefitting women in line with national and regional priorities; o to play an innovative and catalytic role in relation to the United Nations overall system of development co- operation; and o to implement the goals of the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace. Within the framework of its original mandate, UNIFEM is reshaping its directions and strategies to meet current challenges and the priorities of women in the 21st century by focusing on women's political and economic empowerment. To foster women's economic empowerment, UNIFEM works to put resources directly in the hands of women in developing countries to support their livelihoods and to build their capacity to take advantage of new economic opportunities. Another aspect of work is assisting in the formulation of gender-sensitive macro-economic policies and practices in key areas such as trade, structural adjustment and transitional economies. Of special importance is the examination of development models, best practices, principal constraints and lessons learned for widening choices and opportunities for women's economic participation at all levels. To foster the political empowerment of women, UNIFEM advocates for gender equity in decision-making structures from the household to the international level and the reform of legal and policy frameworks, codes and instruments that deal with issues such as property rights and inheritance laws. The Fund supports the efforts of those working to improve women's status, eliminate violence against women and promote women's human rights. It also seeks to strengthen women's organization and other civil society actors to better their capacity to participate in the decision- making process. UNIFEM's comparative advantage lies in its knowledge of and experience in gender and development, particularly in the following areas: identifying emerging gender issues, such as trade, population displacement and structural adjustment; developing innovative approaches and strategies to address critical issues affecting women; applying a gender perspective in development interventions; supporting innovative operational programmes and projects that benefit women directly; and acting as a catalyst within the UN system and at the regional and national levels to bring about women's empowerment. Another area of strength is UNIFEM's long history of partnership with NGOs; UNIFEM has extensive experience mobilizing and working with women's organizations at all levels - grassroots, national, regional, and global. UNIFEM also works to ensure that UN Conferences address the needs of women. UNIFEM works with others to create new political spaces where women's voices can be heard and consensus can be forged. It has also sought to empower women by training them to negotiate in the international arena. UNIFEM works to keep women's issues high on the agendas of mainstream UN organizations by playing a mediating role between the international women's movement and the UN system. UNIFEM also works to synthesize critical issues and to ensure that the key recommendations of the various UN Conferences, including the ICPD, are translated into catalytic and innovative programmes that will empower women in the developing world.