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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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L. [retain: Persistent discrimination against and violation of the rights of] [delete: Survival, protection and development of] the girl child

259. The Convention on the Rights of the Child recognizes that "States Parties shall respect and ensure the rights set forth in the present Convention to each child within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child's or his or her parent's or legal guardian's race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or status." (article 2, para 1).10/ However, in many countries available indicators show that the girl child is discriminated against from [delete: conception/ retain: infancy,] through her childhood, and into adulthood. [amend and retain: (delete:In some areas of the world, men outnumber women by 5 in every 100. The reasons for the discrepancy, for the millions of missing women, include,) This discrimination includes among other things, harmful attitudes and practices, such as female genital mutilation, son preference which results in female infanticide [delete: and foeticide/ retain: prenatal sex selection], early marriage, violence against women, prostitution, sexual abuse, discrimination against girls in food allocation and other practices related to health and well-being. As a result, fewer girls than boys survive into adulthood.]

262. Girls and adolescents may receive a variety of conflicting and confusing messages on their gender roles from their parents, teachers, peers and the media. Women and men need to work together with children and youth to break down persistent gender stereotypes. [delete: recognizing the rights, duties and responsibilities of parents and other persons legally responsible for children, and consistent with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.]

263. Although the number of educated children has grown in the past 20 years in some countries, boys have proportionately fared much better than girls. In 1990, 130 million children had no access to primary school; of these 81 million were girls. [retain: This can be attributed to such factors as customary attitudes, child labor, early marriages, lack of funds and lack of adequate schooling facilities, and teenage pregnancies.] [retain: In some countries shortage of women teachers can inhibit the enrolment of girls.] In many cases, girls start to undertake heavy domestic chores at a very early age and are expected to manage both educational and domestic responsibilities, often resulting in poor scholastic performance and early drop-out from schooling.

267. [retain: The International Conference on Population and Development recognized, in paragraph 7.3 of the Programme of Action,13/ that "full attention should be given to the promotion of mutually respectful and equitable gender relations and particularly to meeting the educational and service needs of adolescents to enable them to deal in a positive and responsible way with their sexuality".] [delete: Recognizing the rights, duties and responsibilities of parents and other persons legally responsible for children, and consistent with the Convention on the Rights of the Child] [retain: Responsible sexual behavior, sensitivity and equality in gender relations, particularly when instilled during the formative years, enhance and promote respectful and harmonious partnerships between women and men. Support should be given to integrate sexual education and services for young people with parental support and guidance, in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, that stresses the responsibility of males for their own sexuality and fertility and that help them exercise their responsibilities.]

269. Sexual violence and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, have a devastating effect on children's health, and girls are more vulnerable than boys to the consequences of [retain: unprotected sexual relations/ delete: premature and irresponsible sexual behavior]. Girls often face pressures to engage in sexual activity. Due to factors such as their youth, social pressures, lack of protective laws, or failure to enforce laws, girls are more vulnerable to all kinds of violence, particularly sexual violence, including rape, sexual abuse, prostitution, trafficking [retain: including trafficking in human organs and tissue], and forced labor.

270. [retain: Besides living with all the problems peculiar to girls, the disabled girl child has to cope additionally with discrimination for being disabled.]

272. All barriers must therefore be eliminated to enable girls [retain: in all their diversity] to develop their full potential and skills through equal access to education and training, nutrition, physical and mental health-care and related information.

273. [retain: In addressing issues concerning children and youth, Governments should promote an active and visible policy of mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and programmes [delete: so that before decisions are taken, an analysis is made of the effects on girls and boys respectively].]

Strategic objective L.1: Eliminate all forms of discrimination against the girl child

Actions to be taken

274. By Governments:

(b) Consistent with Article 7 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, take measures to ensure that a child is registered immediately after birth and has the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and, [delete: as far as possible], the right to know and be cared for by her/his parents;10/

(d) [amend and retain: Enact, (delete: as appropriate,) and enforce legislation that would guarantee equal succession and inheritance rights of children regardless of sex.] [delete: As appropriate, enact legislation that would guarantee the succession and inheritance rights of the girl child.]

(f) Develop and implement comprehensive policies, plans of action and programmes for the survival, protection, development and advancement of the girl child to promote and protect the full enjoyment of her [amend and retain: (delete: universal) human] rights and to ensure equal opportunities for girls; These plans should form an integral part of the total development process;

Strategic objective L.2: Eliminate negative cultural attitudes and practices against girls

Actions to be taken:

276. By Governments:

(d) [delete: Take steps so that the traditional and religious attire [delete: and practices] of girls is [delete: are] not a basis of discrimination in educational institutions.]

277. By Governments, international and non-governmental organizations [delete: as appropriate]:

(c) [retain: Eliminate all forms of discrimination against the girl child and the root causes of son preference, which result in harmful and unethical practices such as female infanticide and prenatal sex selection; this is often compounded by the increasing use of technologies to determine foetal sex, resulting in abortion of female foetuses.]Strategic objective L.3: [retain: Increase public awareness of the value, needs and rights of the girl child,] [retain: including the girl-child with special needs and in difficult circumstances, and the need to strengthen her self-image, self-esteem and status]

Strategic objective L.5: Eliminate discrimination against girls in health and nutrition

Actions to be taken:

281. By Governments, international and non-governmental organizations:

(b) Sensitize the girl child, parents, teachers and society concerning good general health and nutrition, and raise awareness about health dangers and other problems connected with early pregnancies. [delete: recognizing the rights, duties and responsibilities of parents and other persons legally responsible for children, and consistent with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.];

(c) Strengthen and reorient health education and health services, particularly primary health-care programmes [retain: including sexual and reproductive health] and design quality health programmes to meet the physical and mental needs of girls [delete: recognizing the rights, duties and responsibilities of parents and other persons legally responsible for children, and consistent with the Convention on the Rights of the Child,] and to give attention to young, expectant and nursing mothers;

(d) Establish peer education and outreach programmes with a view to strengthening individual and collective action to reduce the vulnerability of girls, to HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases; [retain: as agreed in the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development]. [delete: recognizing the rights, duties and responsibilities of parents and other persons legally responsible for children, and consistent with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.];

(e) Ensure education and dissemination of information to girls, especially among adolescents regarding the physiology of reproduction, [retain: reproductive and sexual health as agreed in the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development] [retain: and the knowledge of all safe methods of family planning, and control and prevention of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases] [delete: recognizing the rights, duties and responsibilities of parents and other persons legally responsible for children, and consistent with the Convention on the Rights of the Child];

[(g) retain: Emphasize the role and responsibility of adolescents in sexual and reproductive health and behavior through the provision of appropriate services and counselling [delete: as contained in the report of the International Conference on Population and Development] [retain: as agreed in the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development.] [delete: Taking into account the reservations and declarations on that document and recognizing the rights, duties and responsibilities of parents and other persons legally responsible for children, and consistent with the Convention on the Rights of the Child];

Strategic objective L.6: [retain: Eliminate the economic exploitation of child labor and protect young girls at work]

Actions to be taken:

282. By Governments:

(b) Define a minimum age for child [retain: employment] including girls under national legislation in all sectors of activities;

(c) Protect young girls at work, inter alia, through:

(i) A minimum age or ages for admission to [retain: employment;]

Strategic objective L.7: Eradicate violence against [retain: girls] [delete: the girl child]

Actions to be taken:

283. By Governments, international and non-governmental organizations:

(a) [retain: Take effective actions and measures to enact and enforce legislation] to protect the safety and security of girls from all forms of violence at work, including training programmes, support programmes; and take measures to eliminate incidents of sexual harassment towards girls in educational and other institutions;

(c) [retain: Undertake gender sensitization training] for those involved in healing and rehabilitation and other assistance programmes for girls who are victims of violence and promote programmes of information, support and training for such girls;

(d) [retain: Enact and enforce legislation] protecting girls from all forms of violence including infanticide, [delete: female foeticide/ retain: prenatal sex selection], genital mutilation, incest, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, child prostitution, and child pornography and develop age appropriate [retain: safe and confidential] programmes and [retain: medical and psychological] support services [delete: recognizing the rights, duties and responsibilities of parents and other persons legally responsible for children, and consistent with the Convention on the Rights of the Child] to assist girls who are subjected to violence;

[Strategic objective L.9: [retain: Strengthen [amend & retain: the role of the family, in its various forms,] [delete: family responsibility] in advancing the status of the girl-child.]
Actions to be taken:

285. By Governments, in cooperation with non-governmental organizations:

(a) Formulate policies and programmes to help [delete: the family] [retain: families] in [delete: its] [retain: their] supporting, educating and nurturing roles, with particular emphasis on the elimination of intra-family discrimination against the girl child;

(b) Provide an environment conducive [retain: to] the strengthening of [delete: the family] [retain: families], with a view to providing supportive and preventive measures [retain: for the protection of the girl child.] [retain: which protect and respect the girl child];

(c) [delete: Promote education and campaign for] [retain: educate and encourage] parents and care-givers to [delete: enhance equal treatment for girls and boys] [retain: treat girls and boys equally] and to ensure shared responsibilities between girls and boys in the family.]


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