Draft Platform for Action
A. The persistent and increasing burden of poverty on women
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:

(a) [Review and modify, with the full and equal participation of women, macroeconomic and social policies with a view to achieving the objectives of the Platform for Action;]

(b) [Analyse, from a gender perspective, policies and programmes - including those related to macroeconomic stability, structural adjustment, external debt problems, taxation, investments, employment, markets and all relevant sectors of the economy - with respect to their impact on poverty, on inequality and particularly on women; assess their impact on family well-being and conditions; and adjust them, as appropriate, to promote more equitable distribution of productive assets, wealth, opportunities, income and services;]

(c) [Pursue and implement sound and stable macroeconomic and sectoral policies, designed with the full and equal participation of women, that encourage broad-based sustained economic growth [in the context of people-centred sustainable development] [sustainable development centred on human beings], address the structural causes of poverty and are geared towards eradicating poverty and reducing gender-based inequality;]

(d) [Implement sound macroeconomic and sectoral policies, designed and monitored with the full participation of women, that encourage broad-based sustained economic growth in the context of [people- centred] sustainable development [centred on human beings], address the structural causes of poverty and are geared to eradicating poverty and reducing gender-based inequality;]

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

(f) Develop agricultural and fishing sectors, where and as necessary, in order to ensure, as appropriate, household and national food security and food self-sufficiency, by allocating the necessary financial, technical and human resources;

(g) Develop policies and programmes to promote equitable distribution of food within the household;

(h) Provide adequate safety nets and strengthen State-based [and community-based] support systems, as an integral part of social policy, in order to enable women living in poverty to withstand adverse economic environments and preserve their livelihood, assets and revenues in times of crisis;

(i) Generate economic policies that have a positive impact on the employment and income of women workers in both the formal and informal sectors and adopt specific measures to address women's unemployment, in particular their long-term unemployment;

(j) Formulate and implement, when necessary, specific economic, social, agricultural and related policies in support of female-headed households;

(k) Develop and implement anti-poverty programmes, including employment schemes, that improve the access to food for women living in poverty, including through the use of appropriate pricing and distribution mechanisms;

(l) [Introduce measures for the empowerment of women migrants and internally displaced women through the easing of stringent and restrictive migration policies, recognition of qualifications and skills of documented immigrants and their full integration into the labour force, and the undertaking of other measures necessary for the full realization of the human rights of internally displaced persons];

(m) [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 recognized;]

(n) Enable women to obtain affordable housing and access to land, by, among other things, removing all obstacles to access, with special emphasis on meeting the needs of women, especially those living in poverty and female heads of household;

(o) [In the event of a modification to paragraph 48 above or if an earlier section indicating groups of special concern is approved, subparagraph (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;]

(p) Formulate and implement policies and programmes that enhance the access of women agricultural and fisheries producers (including subsistence farmers and producers, especially in rural areas) to financial, technical, extension and marketing services; provide access to and control of land, appropriate infrastructure and technology in order to increase women's incomes and promote household food security, especially in rural areas and, where appropriate, encourage the development of producer-owned, market- based cooperatives;

(q) Create social security systems wherever they do not exist, or review them with a view to placing individual women and men on an equal footing, at every stage of their lives;

(r) Ensure access to free or low-cost legal services, including legal literacy, especially designed to reach women living in poverty;

(s) Take particular measures to promote and strengthen policies and programmes for indigenous women with their full participation and respect for their cultural diversity, so that they have opportunities and the possibility of choice in the development process in order to eradicate the poverty that affects them.

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

(b) Strengthen analytical capacity in order to more systematically strengthen gender perspectives and integrate them into the design and implementation of lending programmes, including structural adjustment and economic recovery programmes;

(c) [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;]

(d) Ensure that structural adjustment programmes are designed to minimize their negative effects on vulnerable and disadvantaged groups and communities and to assure their positive effects on such groups and communities by preventing their marginalization in economic and social activities and devising measures to ensure that they gain access to and control over economic resources and economic and social activities; actions should be taken to reduce inequality and economic disparity;

(e) Review the impact of structural adjustment programmes on social development by means of gender-sensitive social impact assessments and other relevant methods, in order to develop policies to reduce their negative effects and improve their positive impact, ensuring that women do not bear a disproportionate burden of transition costs; complement adjustment lending with enhanced, targeted social development lending;

(f) Create an enabling environment that allows women to build and maintain sustainable livelihoods.

62. [By 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 heads of 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) 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 sectors;

(c) 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) 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) 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) Women's human right to equal access to and control of land, property and credit 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.]


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