Magazine article UN Chronicle

Draft Platform for Action: 12 Critical Areas of Concern

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Draft Platform for Action: 12 Critical Areas of Concern

Article excerpt

To provide a basis for preparatory discussions and final negotiations at the Beijing Conference, the UN Commission on the Status of Women has issued a draft Platform for Action, focusing on 12 "critical areas of concern" that have been identified as obstacles to the advancement of women. Related to these concerns, the draft proposes to:

1. Poverty

* Create social security systems wherever they do not exist.

* Develop gender-sensitive national and international policies, including those related to structural adjustment.

* Provide poor women with economic opportunities and equal access to affordable housing, land, natural resources, credit and other services.

* Devise statistical means to recognize and make visible the work--including unpaid and domestic--of women and their contribution to national economies.

2. Education

* Closing the gender gap in primary and secondary school education by the year 2005.

* Eradicate illiteracy of women worldwide by 2000 or another target date to be agreed at the Conference.

* Improve women's access to and provide funding for vocational training, science and technology.

* Develop curricula, textbooks, and teaching aids free of gender stereotypes.

3. Health

* Strengthen and reorient health services in order to reduce maternal mortality by at least 50 per cent of the 1990 levels by the year 2000.

* Strengthen preventive programmes that address threats to women's health.

* Make efforts to combat HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, and recognize the impact of those diseases on women.

* Promote research on and increase funding for women's health issues and services.

4. Violence

* Take integrated legal and social measures to prevent violence and protect women.

* Adopt measures to eliminate trafficking in women and eradicate violence against women who are vulnerable, such as those with disabilities and migrant workers.

* Study the causes of violence against women and effective measures of prevention.

5. Armed conflicts

* Increase and strengthen women's participation in conflict resolution.

* Promote women's contribution to fostering a culture of peace.

* Reduce the incidence of human rights abuses in conflict situations protect refugee and displaced women, and provide assistance to women of the colonies. …

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