Working Group II convened in morning and afternoon sessions, chaired by Irene Freudenschuss (Austria), to consider Sections G (power-sharing) and A (poverty) of Chapter IV (Strategic Actions and Objectives).
SECTION G (Power-sharing): In paragraph 183 (women in decision making), the G77/China proposed combining the bracketed text to note that equal participation in decision making is a prerequisite for the promotion and functioning of democracy. The EU, supported by Canada, proposed replacing the bracketed text with a reference to women's participation strengthening democracy. The G77/China objected. In 187 (sources of inequality), the G77/China proposal was accepted to combine the bracketed text to include both discriminatory practices and unequal power relations. The EU proposed changing family to families. Iran objected, and it remains bracketed. The G77/China proposal to delete brackets from a reference to non-formal patterns of decision making was accepted. The EU proposed adding a reference to culturally based male domination. In 189 (distribution of power at all levels), the EU proposed deleting the reference to countries with 33.3% representation, but the G77/China objected. Canada proposed noting that, in some countries, quotas have been applied.
In 192(a) (goal of gender balance), the G77/China proposed removing brackets around the references to setting specific targets and achieving equal representation. The US preferred using a qualifier for targets, which are called for "inter alia." Delegates also included a reference to positive action. In 192(d) (electoral system impact), delegates removed the brackets surrounding the text. In 192(h) (government-funded organizations), delegates called for governments to encourage, and where appropriate ensure, non-discriminatory policies in those organizations, and retained the reference to increasing the number and raising the position of women. In 192(i) (shared responsibilities), the G77/China proposal to lift the brackets was accepted.
In 193(c) (gender issues in political agendas), the G77/China, supported by Jordan, proposed lifting the brackets. The EU, supported by Canada, proposed a reformulation. The G77/China opposed. In 194(a) (women leaders, executives and managers), the G77/China deleted the bracketed reference to qualifications. In 194(d) (equality in NGOs), delegates deleted the reference to equity. In 194(e) (new roles of men and women), the G77/China supported the reference to the family, but the EU preferred "families."
In 195(a) (UN employment), the G77/China preferred gender "parity," but the EU preferred "balance." In 195(c) (collect and disseminate data), the reference to "at least 40%" was deleted and the paragraph was accepted. In 196(c) (databases), the G77/China proposed lifting the brackets. The EU, supported by Russia, added a reference to data protection legislation, Mexico added political parties, and Peru added a reference to other NGOs, which was changed to other relevant bodies. All proposals were accepted.
SECTION A (Poverty): In 50 (feminization of poverty), the G77/China, supported by the Holy See, proposed lifting the brackets. EU proposed deleting the bracketed text. Canada proposed replacing instability with insecurity. Delegates accepted "other emerging factors which may lead to insecurity of families."
In 60(e) (access to resources), the G77/China deleted the bracketed text. In 60(l) (migrants), the G77/China deleted a reference to stringent migration policies and proposed a reference to women migrant workers. The EU and Japan proposed reformulations, but the G77/China preferred either retaining reference to non-documented migrant workers or making no distinction. Brackets were lifted from 60 (m) (integration of poor and displaced women).
In paragraph 61(c) (solutions to external debt), the first alternative paragraph in document L.3. was adopted, referencing, inter alia, the Paris Club (1994) terms of debt forgiveness. In paragraph 62(a) (anti-poverty programmes), a reference to the social responsibility of governments was introduced. In paragraph 62(c) (diverse needs), specific reference to "age, ethnicity, and culture" was deleted from needs to be addressed by women's organizations. In paragraph 62(d) (access to services), a G77/China reformulation called for the participation of women's organizations and NGOs in the "development and application" of national health, education and social services strategy. In 62(e) (education and retraining policies), the EU proposal to delete reference to women's organizations, NGOs and various types of training was accepted. In 62(f) (access to land, property and credit), the G77/China proposals to add a reference to ownership and delete reference to the mobilization of NGOs to protect traditional land and property rights was accepted. Papua New Guinea and others retained a reference to customary laws and traditions, while Sudan and others insisted on bracketing it.
[Return to start of article]