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WOMEN'S LINKAGE CAUCUS

Recommendations on Bracketed Text
in the WCW Draft Platform for Action

(A/CONF.177/L.1)
August 30, 1995

IV. STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES AND ACTIONS

47. In each critical area of concern the problem is diagnosed and strategic objectives proposed with concrete actions to be taken by various actors in order to achieve these objectives. The strategic objectives are derived from the critical areas of concern, and specific actions to be taken to achieve them cut across the boundaries of equality, development and peace-the goals of the Nairobi Forwardlooking Strategies for the Advancement of Women-and reflect their interdependence. The objectives and actions are interlinked, of high priority and mutually reinforcing. [delete: The programme is intended to improve the condition of all women, irrespective of age, and while recognizing the differences among women, it seeks to pay special attention to groups of women at highest risk, to rural, indigenous, disabled and displaced women.]

48. [retain: The actions are directed towards improving the status and situation of all women and therefore recognize that many women face particular barriers because of such factors as their race, age, language, ethnicity, culture, religion, [retain: sexual orientation,] or disability or because they are indigenous people. Many women face barriers related to their family status, particularly as single parents to their socio-economic status, including their living conditions in rural or isolated areas and in impoverished areas in rural and urban environments; and as immigrants. Particular barriers also exist for refugee, migrant and displaced women, and those who are affected by environmental disasters, serious and infectious diseases, addiction, and various forms of violence against women.]

A. The persistent and increasing burden of poverty on women

50. In the past decade the number of women living in poverty has increased disproportionately to the number of men, particularly in the developing countries. The feminization of poverty has also recently become a significant problem in the countries with economies in transition as a short-term consequence of the process of political, economic and social transformations. In addition to economic factors the rigidity of socially ascribed gender roles and women's limited access to power, education, training and productive resources [delete: as well as emerging cultural and social factors that lead to instability and the deterioration of families] are also responsible. The failure to adequately mainstream a gender perspective in all economic analysis and planning and to address the structural causes of poverty is also a contributing factor.

[delete: Enable women to overcome poverty]

Strategic objective A.1. Review, adopt and maintain macroeconomic policies and development strategies that address the needs and efforts of women to overcome poverty within the framework of sustainable development

Actions to be taken

60. By Governments:

(e) Restructure and target the allocation of public expenditures to promote women's economic opportunities and equal [retain: and more equitable] access to productive resources and to address the basic social, educational and health needs of women, particularly those living in poverty;

(l) [amend & retain: Introduce measures for the empowerment of women migrants and internally displaced women through the easing of stringent and restrictive migration policies, inter alia, fair and equal treatment, including full respect of their human rights, appropriate access to economic opportunities and social services; protection against racism, ethnocentrism and xenophobia; and protection against violence and exploitation, recognition of qualifications and skills of documented immigrants and their full integration into the labour force, and the undertaking other measures necessary for the full realization of the human rights of internally displaced persons];

(m) [retain: Introduce measures to integrate or reintegrate women living in poverty and socially marginalized women into productive employment and the economic mainstream, ensure that internally displaced women have full access to economic opportunities, and that the qualifications and skills of immigrant and refugee women are recognised;]

(o) [In the event a modification to paragraph 48 above or if an earlier section indicating groups of special concern is approved, the sub paragraph o will be deleted: Develop special programmes that reflect the specific needs of children, particularly girls, young women, older women and women with disabilities who are least able to gain access to social services and productive resources, as applicable;]

61. By multilateral financial and development institutions, including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and regional development institutions and through bilateral development cooperation:

(a) [[delete: Increase resources allocated] [delete: Allocate resources as appropriate] to the elimination of [delete: absolute] poverty, and target women [delete: and families] in poverty.] [retain: Support the developing countries through the allocation of new and additional resources for the eradication of poverty and target women living in poverty]];

(c) [delete: Cancel or substantially reduce the debt burden, or convert the debt service of developing countries, in particular the highly indebted low-income countries, in order to help them to finance programmes and projects targeted at development, including the advancement of women, and to achieve sustained economic growth and sustainable development without falling into a new debt crisis;]

(New first alternative)

amend & retain: Find effective development-oriented and durable solutions to external debt problems in order to help them to finance programmes and projects targeted at development, including the advancement of women, through the immediate implementation of the terms of bilateral debt forgiveness agreed upon in the Paris Club in December 1994, which encompassed debt reduction, including cancellation or other debt relief measures and develop techniques of debt conversion applied to social development programmes and projects in conformity with Platform priorities; and through the Bretton Woods institutions developingg a comprehensive approach by the flexible implementation of existing instruments and new mechanisms where necessary and by better use of all existing World Bank and IMF resources and adoption of appropriate measure in the multilateral development banks.

(New second alternative)

delete: Continue efforts to alleviate the debt service burden or convert the debt service of developing countries, in particular the highly indebted, low-income countries, in order to help them to finance programmes and projects targeted at development, including the advancement of women and to achieve sustained economic growth and sustainable development.

[62. amend & retain: By governments, international financial and development institutions, national and international non-governmental organizations and women's groups:

(a) All parties involved in the development process, including academic institutions, non-governmental organizations and grass-roots and women's groups should mobilize to improve the effectiveness of anti-poverty programmes directed towards the poorest and most disadvantaged groups of women, such as rural and indigenous women, female(delete: -heads of) -maintained households, young women and older women, refugees and migrant women and women with disabilities. However, Governments should not abrogate their responsibility for providing for social well-being by shifting social responsibility to non-governmental-organizations and women;

(b) retain: non-governmental organizations and women's organizations should organize pressure groups and establish monitoring mechanisms and other relevant activities to ensure implementation of the recommendations on poverty outlined in the Platform for Action. These activities should aim at ensuring accountability and transparency from the State and private sector;

(c) retain: Women's organizations should include in their activities women with diverse needs by age, ethnicity and culture. They should recognize that youth organizations are increasingly becoming effective partners in development programmes;

(d) retain: Women's organizations and other non-governmental organizations in cooperation with the Government and private sectors should develop a comprehensive national strategy for improving health, education and social services so that girls and women of all ages living in poverty have full access to such services. Funding should be sought to secure access to services with a gender perspective and to extend those services in order to reach the rural and remote areas that are not covered by government institutions;

(e) retain: Women's organizations and non-governmental organizations, in cooperation with Governments, employers, other social partners and relevant parties, should develop education and training and retraining policies to ensure that women can acquire a wide range of skills to meet new demands. Policies are needed to ensure the provision of basic education, to provide vocational and technical training for girls and women of all ages and to increase access to education in science and technology, mathematics, engineering, information technology and high technology, as well as management training;

(f) amend & retain: Governments must guarantee women's human right to equal access to and control of land, property and credit (delete: must be upheld,) regardless of customary laws, traditions and practices related to inheritance and marriage. non-governmental organizations and women's organizations should mobilize to protect the traditional land and property rights of all women, including pastoralists, fishery workers and nomadic groups, indigenous peoples, refugees and migrant workers.]

Strategic objective A.3. Provide women with access to savings mechanisms and institutions and to credit

68. By international organizations:

[retain: Increase] [delete: Provide adequate] funding for programmes and projects designed to promote sustainable and productive entrepreneurial activities for income generation among disadvantaged women and women living in poverty.