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|Informal Consultations of the 44th Session of the Commission on
the Status of Women (Beijing +5 PrepCom)
New York, May 2000
ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN ACTING AS THE PREPARATORY COMMITTEE FOR BEIJING +5
Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), acting as the Preparatory
Committee (PrepCom) for the special session of the General Assembly
entitled Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the 21st
century, also known as Beijing +5, reconvened on Monday, May 8 to resume
consideration of further actions and initiatives to implement the Beijing
Declaration and Platform for Action (POA). The current document is a
streamlined version of the proposed outcome document for the special
session (E/CN.6/2000/PC/L.1/Rev.2) and was prepared by the open-ended
extended Bureau group following earlier negotiations from 28 February to
17 March 2000. Working Group II discussed Section IV from 3pm to 6pm. Working
Group I discussed Section II from 7pm to 10pm. The following summary
covers only text negotiated in the current sessions.
Chair Christine Kapalata (Tanzania) opened a brief Plenary by urging
governments to persevere in advancing the cause of the world's women
beyond the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women (FWCW). JUSCANZ, the EU
and the G-77/CHINA all expressed appreciation for the new document, and
noted their commitment to moving forward.
GROUP II: SECTION IV: FURTHER ACTIONS AND INITIATIVES
the leadership of Chair Asit Bhattacharjee (India), delegates agreed on a
combined version of paragraphs 100 (a), (b), (c), (d) and (g), on
promoting progress toward women's full participation in all levels of
public life. JUSCANZ could not agree on a reference to time-bound targets,
and it remains bracketed.
references to disadvantaged women in paragraphs 100 (e) and (f), JUSCANZ
proposed streamlining text on indigenous people and noted similar language
later in the document. The text remains bracketed. JUSCANZ noted that
paragraph 100 (g) emphasizes aspects of research and suggested inclusion
of this reference in a paragraph to be decided later. Delegates agreed to
delete 100 (h), on increasing women's participation in decision-making.
In paragraph 101 (c), on promoting diversity in a supportive learning
environment, Chair Bhattacharjee suggested that a working group consider
proposals from the G-77/CHINA on development and cultural and religious
diversity, and from the EU and JUSCANZ on all forms of diversity.
102 (a), on designing policies for women's human rights, delegates
agreed to an EU insertion of fundamental freedoms. In 102 (b), on
repealing all discriminatory legislation by 2005, the G-77/CHINA objected
to assigning a date. The EU and JUSCANZ could not agree to deletion, and
the reference remains bracketed. Delegates agreed to EU-proposed text for
102 (g), on signing the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). In 102
(h), on laws, practices and procedures to prohibit and eliminate
discrimination on the basis of, inter alia, sex, race and sexual
orientation, the G-77/CHINA, supported by the Holy See, objected to the
reference to practices and procedures, and urged ending the text at the
word discrimination. The EU and JUSCANZ opposed, and the two references
102 (i), the HOLY SEE specified taking measures to ensure that maternity
not provide a basis for discrimination. JUSCANZ proposed new language on
eliminating discriminatory practices that restrict the full participation
of women in society. The EU suggested deleting repetitious references to
motherhood and the role of women in procreation. Delegates agreed to
consider these proposals with paragraph 119 (a). In 102 (j), and the EU
opposed merging the text with 102 (h), noting that 102 (j) specifically
addresses homosexuality. The G-77/CHINA proposed deletion, and the text
102 (k), on reform processes for equal rights to economic resources, the
G-77/CHINA proposed language highlighting access by rural women and women
living in poverty to land, inheritance, and credit. The EU added reference
to the right to control over economic resources, and the paragraph was
agreed. In 102 (l), on mainstreaming a gender perspective into national
immigration and asylum policies, regulations and practices, JUSCANZ
accepted a G-77/CHINA proposal to add reference to promoting and
protecting the rights of all women, as appropriate.
paragraph 103 (c), on domestic violence, delegates accepted a JUSCANZ
reference to strengthening appropriate mechanisms. TURKEY proposed, and
the G-77/CHINA opposed, including reference to marital rape and sexual
abuse. The reference remains bracketed. In 103 (d), the G-77/CHINA
proposed, while the EU and TURKEY opposed, deletion of reference to female
genital mutilation, forced marriages and honor crimes. It remains
GROUP I: SECTION II: ACHIEVEMENTS AND OBSTACLES
Kirsten Mlacak (Canada) moderated negotiations on the women and poverty
sub-section. In paragraph 4, on achievements, delegates agreed to
G-77/CHINA references to: gender equality being one of the factors of
specific importance for eradicating poverty; efforts by governments, in
cooperation with NGOs, to integrate gender perspectives into poverty
eradication; and multilateral, international and regional financial
institutions giving increased attention to incorporating gender
perspectives in their policies. Text on policies to strengthen the family
remains bracketed, with the G-77/CHINA supporting placement in the economy
sub-section, and the EU, JUSCANZ and the HOLY SEE agreeing it should fall
in the sub-section on challenges to the POA. Delegates agreed on a
reference to microcredit widening economic opportunities for some women
living in poverty in particular in rural areas, and to tools being
developed to enhance the different impacts of poverty on women and men.
paragraph 5, on obstacles, the G-77/CHINA proposed, and all agreed, to
delete a list of vulnerable and marginalized groups. Delegates also agreed
to a G-77/CHINA proposal to move language on remuneration of reproductive
and social work to the economy sub-section. Delegates agreed to consider
proposals on the negative consequences of globalization in Part III. The
RUSSIAN FEDERATION proposed reinstating language on fundamental economic
restructuring for countries with economies in transition (EITs). The
reference remains bracketed.
AND TRAINING OF WOMEN
paragraph 6, on achievements, delegates agreed on a G-77/CHINA proposal
noting increased awareness that education is one of the most valuable
means to achieve gender equality.
paragraph 7, on obstacles, the EU, TURKEY and JUSCANZ objected to a
G-77/CHINA deletion of reference to political will. The phrase remains
bracketed. Delegates agreed on text highlighting the problem of inadequate
salaries and benefits in some remote communities, and to a G-77/CHINA
formulation affirming that in a number of countries, economic, social and
infrastructural barriers, as well as traditional discriminatory practices,
contributed to lower enrolment and retention rates for girls. A reference
to the impact of structural adjustment programmes remains bracketed, with
the G-77/CHINA opposing movement to 30 bis, on globalization and
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