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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

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G. [retain: Inequality between men and women in the sharing of power, [retain: family responsibilities] and decision-making at all levels. [delete: Shared power: women in decision-making].

183. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has the right to take part in the government of his/her country. The empowerment and autonomy of women and the improvement of women's social, economic and political status is essential for the achievement of both transparent and accountable government and administration and sustainable development in all areas of life. The power-relations that impede women's attainment of fulfilling lives operate at many levels of society, from the most personal to the highly public. Achieving the goal of equal participation of women and men in decision-making will provide a balance that more accurately reflects the composition of society [delete: and is a prerequisite for the proper functioning of democracy.] [retain: and promotes the proper functioning of democracy.] Equality in political decision-making performs a leverage function, without which it is highly unlikely that a real integration of the equality dimension in government policy-making is feasible. In this respect, women's equal participation in political life plays a pivotal role in the general process of the advancement of women. 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 the incorporation of women's perspective at all levels of decision-making, the goals of equality, development and peace cannot be achieved.

187. Inequality in the public arena can often start [retain: within the family when power relations between men and women are unbalanced] [retain: with discriminatory attitudes and practices within the family.] Unequal division of labour and responsibilities within the household based on unequal power relations also limit women's potential to find the time and to develop the skills required for participation in decision-making in the wider public forums. A more equal sharing of these responsibilities between women and men not only provides a better quality of life for women and their daughters but also enhances their opportunities to shape and design public policy, practice and expenditure, so that their interests may be recognized and addressed. [retain: Non-formal networks and patterns of decision-making at the local community level that reflect a dominant male ethos restrict women's ability to participate equally in political, economic and social life.]

189. The equitable distribution of power and decision-making at all levels is dependent on governments and other actors undertaking statistical gender analysis and mainstreaming a gender perspective in policy development and the implementation of programmes. [amend & retain: Affirmative action in some countries with 33.3 per cent representation in national and local government has empowered women in the decision-making process and makes policy-making more responsive to women's concerns.]

[[retain: Strengthen factors that promote the full and equal participation of women in power structures and decision-making at all levels and in all areas]

Strategic objective G.1. Take special measures to ensure women's equal access to and full participation in power structures and decisionmaking

Actions to be taken

192. By Governments:

(a) Commit themselves to establishing the goal of gender balance in governmental bodies and committees, as well as in public administrative entities, and in the judiciary, including [retain: setting specific targets and] implementing measures to substantially increase the number of women [retain: with a view to achieving equal representation of women and men] in all governmental and public administration positions.

(b) [amend & retain: (delete: Consider) Reform and promote measures in electoral systems that encourage governments and political parties to integrate women in elective and non elective public positions in the same proportion and levels as men;]

(d) [amend & retain: Review the differential impact of electoral systems on the political representation of women in elected bodies and (delete: consider) enact, where appropriate, adjustment or reform of those systems;]

(h) [retain: [delete: Encourage] [retain: Ensure] that government-funded organizations adopt non-discriminatory policies and practices [retain: in order to increase the number and raise the position of women in their organizations;]

(i) [amend & retain: Recognize that shared work and parental responsibilities between women and men promote women's increased participation in public life, and take appropriate measures to achieve this, including measures and support systems to reconcile family and professional life;]

193. By political parties:

(c) Consider incorporating gender issues in their political agenda [amend & retain: and ensuring the equal participation of women in the leadership of political parties so as to accomplish parity and the integration of (delete: both genders) gender perspectives in policy-making.]

194. By Governments, national bodies, the private sector, political parties, trade unions, employers' organizations, research and academic institutions, sub-regional and regional bodies, and non-governmental and international organizations:

(a) Take positive action to build a critical mass of women leaders, executives and managers [delete: with the requisite qualifications] in strategic decisionmaking positions;

(d) Encourage efforts by NGO's, trade unions and the private sector to achieve equality [retain: and equity] between women and men in their ranks, including equal participation in their decision-making bodies and in negotiations in all areas and at all levels.

(e) Develop communications strategies to promote public debate on the new roles of men and women in society [amend & retain: and in the family, in its various forms.]

195. By the United Nations

(a) Implement existing and adopt new employment policies and measures in order to achieve overall gender [retain: parity], particularly at the professional level by the year 2000, with due regard to the importance of recruiting staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible, in conformity with Article 101, paragraph 3 of the charter of the United Nations.

(c) Continue to collect and disseminate quantitative and qualitative data on women and men in decision making [retain: and analyze their differential impact on decision-making and monitor progress towards achieving the Secretary-General's target of having women hold 50 percent, but at least 40 per cent, of managerial and decision-making positions by the year 2000.]

196. By women's organizations, non-governmental organizations, trade unions, social partners, producers, and industrial and professional organizations:

(c) [amend & retain: Establish databases on women and their qualifications for use in appointing women to senior decision-making and advisory positions, for dissemination to Governments, political parties, regional and international organizations and private enterprise and establish mechanisms to monitor and evaluate the inclusion of women in such positions.]


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