Magazine article UN Chronicle

Obstacles to Women's Progress to Be Addressed in Beijing

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Obstacles to Women's Progress to Be Addressed in Beijing

Article excerpt

The sharing of power between men and women remains unacceptably low, while economic deprivation, abuse and discrimination still exist, asserted speakers during the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) consideration of the advancement of women.

"It is becoming increasingly clear that more needs to be done to address obstacles to the advancement of women in the areas of poverty, violence, access to resources, women's rights, education and health", stated Gertrude Mongella before the Committee on 1 December.

Thus, the Fourth World Conference on Women, to be held in Beijing from 4 to 15 September 1995, "is a conference which cannot fail", Ms. Mongella said. "As we go into the twenty-first century, the women of the world cannot afford to miss this opportunity."

Assembly discussions and action--which ranged from the prevention of trafficking in women and girls to advancing the status of women in the UN Secretariat--will form an integral part of the preparatory process of the Beijing Conference (see box).

A central theme of the Committee debate was the advancement of women as a cause and effect of development, as outlined in the 1994 World Survey on the Role of Women in Development. Prepared every five years, the Survey is one of the principal documents for the "Platform for Action" to be adopted at the Fourth World Conference.

According to the Survey (A/49/378), economic growth and development appear to be intricately related to the advancement of women. "Where women have advanced, economic growth has usually been steady; where women have not been allowed to be full participants, there has been stagnation", states the report.

The Assembly urged (resolution 49/162) the Commission on the Status of Women to ensure that older women's concerns and contributions to development are recognized and incorporated into strategies, programmes and policies of the Platform for Action. …

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