THE DRAFT PLATFORM FOR ACTION
The draft Platform for Action consists of six parts: the mission statement; the global
framework; critical areas of concern; strategic objectives and actions; institutional
arrangements; and financial arrangements.
MISSION STATEMENT: This section notes that the Platform for Action
stresses partnership between men and women as the basis for achieving equality,
development and peace, and aims for women"s full participation in all spheres of life.
It also notes that the Platform"s success requires commitment to and adequate
resources for implementation of the agreements made.
GLOBAL FRAMEWORK: This section notes that much has happened in
the world since the Nairobi Conference. Development has suffered setbacks and new
strategies promoting peace and equality are needed. Conflicts around the world have
left women predominant among refugees. Governments are called on to reformulate
legal, political, economic, and social structures to include women in decision-making
at all levels.
This section also identifies the problems and required actions related to: poverty;
population growth; equitable sharing of family responsibilities; the communications
explosion; environmental degradation; and rural to urban migration.
CRITICAL AREAS OF CONCERN: The Platform for Action identifies
the following areas of critical concern: women in poverty; unequal access to and
inadequate education and health care; violence against women; effects of conflict on
women; power-sharing and decision-making; mechanisms to promote the advancement
of women; women"s human rights; mass media; and women"s management of natural
resources and the environment.
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES & RECOMMENDATIONS: This section
describes the critical areas of concern in greater detail, and lists recommendations for
government action on:
- Poverty: adopt policies that address the needs of women; revise laws and practices that limit women"s access to economic resources; provide access to credit and savings; and conduct research enabling women to overcome poverty.
- Education: ensure equal access to education, vocational training, science, technology and continuing education; eradicate illiteracy among women; develop non-discriminatory education and training; and allocate sufficient resources for educational reforms.
- Health: achieve universal access to health care; strengthen preventative programs; address the HIV pandemic; promote research and information dissemination on women"s health; and increase resources for women"s health.
- Violence: take measures to eradicate violence against women and study its causes; adopt measures to eliminate trafficking in women; and assist female victims of violence.
- Effects of conflict on women: increase women"s participation in decision-making and conflict resolution; reduce the availability of instruments of violence; promote non-violent conflict resolution; foster a culture of peace; and provide assistance and training to refugee and displaced women.
- Participation in definition of economic policy: secure economic rights for women; facilitate women"s access to resources, employment, markets, information, technology and trade; provide business services to low-income women; strengthen women"s commercial networks; eliminate occupational segregation and wage inequality; and create a flexible work environment.
- Inequality in decision-making and power-sharing: ensure equal access to and full participation in power structures, decision-making, and leadership.
- Mechanisms to promote the advancement of women: integrate women"s concerns in all public policies; and generate and disseminate gender disaggregated data and information.
- Women"s human rights: implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and other human rights instruments; ensure equality under the law; and achieve literacy.
- Mass media: increase and enhance women"s access to expression and decision-making in and through the mass media; and promote a positive portrayal of women in the mass media.
INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS: This section notes that links at all
levels between governments, NGOs and other groups, including those in the private
sector, are crucial for implementation. Effective implementation will also require
changes in values, behavior, procedures, the dynamics of power, and the organizational
culture. The text notes that institutions must have the authority and resources
necessary for successful implementation, and identifies national, regional and
international level actions to be taken.
- Management of natural resources and environment: involve women in environmental decision-making; integrate women"s concerns in policies for environmental and sustainable development; and assess the impact of these policies on women.
FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS: This section states that nations and
institutions must make a serious commitment to allocating sufficient human and
financial resources to implement the Platform. Specific actions at national, regional
and international levels are outlined.
[Return to start of article]