Draft Platform for Action

43. The advancement of women and the achievement of [respect for their innate dignity and the fundamental] equality between women and men are [a matter of human rights and a condition for] [not simply an issue of] social justice and should not be seen in isolation as a women's issue. They are the only way to build a sustainable, just and developed society. Empowerment of women and equality [and equity] between women and men are prerequisites for achieving political, social, economic, cultural and environmental security among all peoples.

44. Most of the goals set out in the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women have not been achieved. Barriers to women's empowerment remain, despite the efforts of Governments, as well as non-governmental organizations and women and men everywhere. [Vast political, economic and ecological crises, systemic or de facto discrimination, armed conflict [colonial and other forms of alien domination or foreign occupation] [failure to protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms of all women, including the right to development] and ingrained prejudicial attitudes towards women and girls are but a few of the impediments encountered since the World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace, in 1985].

45. A review of progress since the Nairobi Conference highlights special concerns - areas of particular urgency that stand out as priorities for action. All actors should focus action and resources on the strategic objectives relating to the critical areas of concern which are, necessarily, interrelated, interdependent and of high priority. There is a need for these actors to develop and implement mechanisms of accountability for all the areas of concern.

46. To this end, Governments, the international community and civil society, including non-governmental organizations and the private sector, are called upon to take strategic action in the following critical areas of concern [with full respect for religious and ethical values, cultural backgrounds and philosophical convictions and in conformity with all human rights and fundamental freedoms]:

[~ The persistent and increasing burden of poverty on women

Unequal access to or inadequate educational and training opportunities of good quality at all levels

Inequalities in health care and related services

All forms of violence against women [and the girl child]

Effects of persecution and armed or other kinds of conflict on women [in particular those living under foreign occupation or alien domination]

Inequality in women's access to and participation in the definition of economic structures and policies and the productive process itself

Inequality between men and women in the sharing of power and decision-making at all levels

Insufficient mechanisms at all levels to promote the advancement of women

Promotion and protection of all [universal] human rights of women

Women and the media

Women and the environment

[Persistent discrimination against and violation of the rights of] [Survival, protection and development of] the girl child

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