Draft Platform for Action
C. Inequalities in access to health and related services
Strategic objective C.2. Strengthen preventive programmes that address threats to women's health

Actions to be taken

108. By Governments, in cooperation with non-governmental organizations, the mass media, the private sector and relevant international organizations, including United Nations bodies, as appropriate:

(a) [Give priority to both formal and informal educational programmes that support and enable women to develop self-esteem, acquire knowledge, make decisions on and take responsibility for their own health, [achieve mutual respect in matters concerning] sexuality and fertility and educate men regarding the importance of women's health and well-being, placing special focus on programmes for both men and women that emphasize the elimination of harmful attitudes and practices, including female genital mutilation, son preference (which results in female infanticide and prenatal sex selection), early marriage, violence against women, [prostitution], sexual abuse, which at times is conducive to infection with HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, drug abuse, discrimination against girls and women in food allocation and other harmful attitudes and practices related to the life, health and well-being of women, and recognizing that some of these practices can be violations of human rights and ethical medical principles;]

(b) Pursue social, human development, education and employment policies to eliminate poverty among women in order to reduce their susceptibility to ill health and to improve their health;

(c) Encourage men to share equally in child care and household work and to provide their share of [adequate] financial support for their families, even if they do not live with them;

(d) [Reinforce laws, reform institutions and promote norms and practices that eliminate discrimination against women and encourage both women and men to take responsibility for their sexual and reproductive behaviour; [ensure full respect for the physical integrity of the human body]; [and take action to ensure the conditions necessary for women to exercise their reproductive rights] [and eliminate, where possible, coercive laws and practices];]

(e) [Prepare and disseminate accessible information, through public health campaigns, the media, reliable counselling and the education system, designed to ensure that women and men, particularly young people, can acquire knowledge about their health, especially information on sexuality and reproduction, [taking into account 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] [as agreed in the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development] and [as contained in the report of the International Conference on Population and Development];]

(f) Create and support programmes in the educational system, in the workplace and in the community to make opportunities to participate in sport, physical activity and recreation available to girls and women of all ages on the same basis as they are made available to men and boys;

(g) [Recognize the specific needs of adolescents, [boys and girls] and implement specific appropriate programmes, such as information [on sexual and reproductive health issues and] on sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS, and recognize their right to privacy, confidentiality, respect and informed consent; [taking into account 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]];

(h) Develop policies that reduce the disproportionate and increasing burden on [mothers] women [who have multiple roles within the family and the community] by providing women with adequate support and programmes from health and social services;

(i) Adopt regulations to ensure that the working conditions, including remuneration and promotion of women at all levels of the health system, are non-discriminatory and meet fair and professional standards to enable them to work effectively;

(j) Ensure that health and nutritional information and training form an integral part of all adult literacy programmes and school curricula from the primary level;

(k) Develop and undertake media campaigns and information and educational programmes that inform women and girls of the health and related risks of substance abuse and addiction and pursue strategies and programmes that discourage substance abuse and addiction and promote rehabilitation and recovery;

(l) Devise and implement comprehensive and coherent programmes for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis, a condition that predominantly affects women;

(m) Establish and/or strengthen programmes and services, including media campaigns, that address the prevention, early detection and [treatment of breast, cervical and other cancers of the reproductive system];

(n) Reduce environmental hazards that pose a growing threat to health, especially in poor regions and communities; apply a precautionary approach, as agreed to in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, adopted by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, 17/ and include reporting on women's health risks related to the environment in monitoring the implementation of Agenda 21;

(o) Create awareness among women, health professionals, policy makers and the general public about the serious but preventable health hazards stemming from tobacco consumption and the need for regulatory and education measures to reduce smoking as important health promotion and disease prevention activities;

(p) [Ensure that medical school curricula and other health care training include comprehensive and mandatory courses on women's health as defined in paragraph 91 above];

(q) Adopt specific preventive measures to protect women, youth and [children] from any abuse - sexual abuse, exploitation, trafficking and violence, for example - including the formulation and enforcement of laws and provide legal protection and medical and other assistance.

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