Report of main proceedings for 8 May 2000
Informal Consultations of the 44th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (Beijing+5 PrepCom)
The 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.
PrepCom 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.
WORKING GROUP II: SECTION IV: FURTHER ACTIONS AND INITIATIVES
Under 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.
On 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.
In 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 remain bracketed.
In 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 remains bracketed.
In 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.
In 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 bracketed.
WORKING GROUP I: SECTION II: ACHIEVEMENTS AND OBSTACLES
WOMEN AND POVERTY
Chair 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.
In 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.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING OF WOMEN
In 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.
In 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 economic crisis.