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New York, New York, UN Women, 2017 Sep. 22 p.This background paper highlights the key barriers that contribute towards creating and sustaining the gender gap in innovation and technology, including the limited market awarenss and investment in innovations that meet the needs of women; the gender-blind approach to innovation; the under-representation of women as innovators and entrepreneurs; and the perceived high risk, low reward profile of investing in innovations for women and girls. The paper also outlines the concrete action that UN Women and its partners are taking to address them.
Washington, D.C., World Bank, 2011.  p.The lives of girls and women have changed dramatically over the past quarter century. The pace of change has been astonishing in some areas, but in others, progress toward gender equality has been limited -- even in developed countries. This year's World Development Report: Gender Equality and Development argues that gender equality is a core development objective in its own right. It is also smart economics. Greater gender equality can enhance productivity, improve development outcomes for the next generation, and make institutions more representative. The Report also focuses on four priority areas for policy going forward: (i) reducing excess female mortality and closing education gaps where they remain, (ii) improving access to economic opportunities for women, (iii) increasing women's voice and agency in the household and in society, and (iv) limiting the reproduction of gender inequality across generations.
New York, New York, UNFPA, Technical Division, Gender, Human Rights and Culture Branch, 2008. 32 p.This publication identifies priority areas for intensified action on gender-based violence: policy frameworks, data collection and analysis, focus on sexual and reproductive health, humanitarian responses, adolescents and youth, men and boys, faith-based networks, and vulnerable and marginalized populations. It is intended to provide a common platform and technical guidance for UNFPA at country, regional and global levels and effectively guide capacity-development initiatives, resources and partnerships.The strategy also outlines UNFPA's comparative advantages, experience and leadership potential within the context of United Nations reform, and suggests opportunities for improving the efficacy of its programme implementation and technical support.
New York, New York, UNFPA, Technical Division, Gender, Human Rights and Culture Branch, 2008. 27 p.This booklet provides a snapshot of UNFPA's programming efforts to advance gender equality and empower women. It reports on activities undertaken in various priority areas like empowerment, reproductive health, youth and adolescent, conflict and emergency situations, etc. The report is based on contributions from the global, regional and country levels over the course of two years (2007-2008).
New York, New York, United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA], 2006 Dec.  p.A human rights-based approach to programming is a conceptual framework and methodological tool for ensuring that human rights principles are reflected in policies and national development frameworks. Human rights are the minimum standards that people require to live in freedom and dignity. They are based on the principles of universality, indivisibility, interdependence, equality and non-discrimination. Through the systematic use of human rights-based programming, UNFPA seeks to empower people to exercise their rights, especially their reproductive rights, and to live free from gender-based violence. It does this by supporting programmes aimed at giving women, men and young people ('rights holders') the information, life skills and education they need to claim their rights. It also contributes to capacity-building among public officials, teachers, health-care workers and others who have a responsibility to fulfill these rights ('duty bearers'). In addition, UNFPA strengthens civil society organizations, which often serve as intermediaries between governments and individuals, and promotes mechanisms by which duty bearers can be held accountable. (excerpt)
New York, New York, UNDP, Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, 2002 Oct. 28 p.This manual was compiled during a seminar entitled "Approccio di genere in situazioni di emergenza, conflitto e post-conflitto" (Gender approach in emergency, conflict, and postconflict situations), which was held in Rome on 2-6 April 2001. The seminar was organized by the UNDP Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery in Rome and the Emergency division of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and included participants from various Italian non governmental organizations (NGOs) and UN agencies directly involved in emergency, crisis response and recovery operations. During the seminar, a needs assessment session was held and participants expressed their interest in having a "how to" manual that could help them better integrate a gender approach during humanitarian, recovery and development activities. The first chapter contains information on the approaches to women and gender issues over the last 20 years. It provides the basic concepts necessary to understand how to address gender issues and improve the impact of humanitarian assistance. In the second chapter, the relevant international instruments protecting the rights of people affected by war and other emergency situations are presented. Relevant passages are quoted and explained. The full text of these instruments can be found in the annexed CD-ROM. The third chapter contains information that can be used as reference in programming and organizing humanitarian interventions with a gender perspective. (excerpt)
Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Cambodia, . 13 p.UN commitment to the advancement of women began with its founding Charter in 1945 when the equal rights of men and women were included in the preamble. The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights refers to non-discrimination on the grounds of sex and the right to equal pay for equal work. Since then the UN has adopted conventions on the Political Rights of Women (1952), the Nationality of Married Women (1957), Recovery Abroad of Maintenance (1956), Consent to Marriage (1962) and on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women in 1979. The UN also declared 1975 as International Women's Year and held the first world conference on women in Mexico City. There were such conferences in Copenhagen (1980), Nairobi (1985) and in Beijing in 1995 that adopted platforms for action across all parts of society. In 2000, gender equity was included as one of the eight Millennium Development Goals. Gender equity and the empowerment of women was reinforced as central to the UN program at the 2005Millennium Summit. In Cambodia, the UN System is committed to addressing gender concerns as a priority in its implementation of the United Nation's Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2006-2010. The UN puts great emphasis on addressing gender at this critical juncture of political, rural and economic development in Cambodia, and the UNDAF outlines a common vision on how gender equity can be attained. This framework takes stock of current gender programs and priorities, and suggests ways in which they can go forward within the UN System in Cambodia and with development partners. (excerpt)
Gender mainstreaming since Beijing: a review of success and limitations in international institutions.
Gender and Development. 2005 Jul; 13(2):11-22.The Beijing Platform for Action prioritised gender mainstreaming as the mechanism to achieve gender equality. A decade later, policy makers and practitioners are debating whether this has succeeded or failed. This article aims to contribute to this debate by reviewing progress made to date, through a review of gender mainstreaming policies in international development institutions. Categorising progress into three stages - adoption of terminology, putting a policy into place, and implementation - the article argues that while most institutions have put gender mainstreaming policies in place, implementation remains inconsistent. Most important of all, the outcomes and impact of the implementation of gender mainstreaming in terms of gender equality remain largely unknown, with implications for the next decade?s strategies. (author's)
Linking women's human rights and the MDGs: an agenda for 2005 from the UK Gender and Development Network.
Gender and Development. 2005 Mar; 13(1):79-93.The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are a potentially powerful tool for progress on development and human rights. Women?s human rights activists should recognise and build on the political will mobilised around the MDGs. However, the MDGs reflect problems in the dominant development approach. They seek to use women in their existing social roles to ?deliver? other aims, and do not address the need to eradicate gender inequality, resulting in lack of commitment to address key issues for women, including gender-based violence. There are further problems with the MDGs? indicators, analytical approach, and accountability mechanisms. The MDGs should be reframed as human rights obligations. To this end, links should be fostered between the 2005 reviews of implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and progress on the Millennium Declaration and the MDGs. (author's)
Gender and Development. 2005 Mar; 13(1):94-104.This article explores ways in which the MDGs can be made to work to promote women?s equality and empowerment. Drawn from the author?s extensive experience of feminist activism in the Caribbean region, it discusses strategies to improve the MDGs. Overall, as a feminist I think of the MDGs as a Major Distraction Gimmick - a distraction from the much more important Platforms for Action from the UN conferences of the 1990s, in Rio 1992 (Environment), Vienna 1993 (Human Rights), Cairo 1994 (Population), Copenhagen (Social Development) and Beijing 1995 (Women), Istanbul 1996 (Habitats), and Rome 1997 (Food), on which the MDGs are based. But despite believing this, I think it worthwhile to join other activists within women?s movements who are currently developing strategies to try to ensure that the MDGs can be made to work to promote women?s equality and empowerment. (excerpt)
Gender and Development. 2005 Mar; 13(1):67-78.This article examines the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) from a women?s human rights perspective. It outlines some of the practical ways in which human rights principles, and the provisions set out in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in particular, can be used to ensure that the MDGs are met in a way that respects and promotes gender equality and women?s human rights. (author's)
Lancet. 2006 Nov 4; 368(9547):1595-1607.Despite the call for universal access to reproductive health at the 4th International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994, sexual and reproductive health was omitted from the Millennium Development Goals and remains neglected. Unsafe sex is the second most important risk factor for disability and death in the world's poorest communities and the ninth most important in developed countries. Cheap effective interventions are available to prevent unintended pregnancy, provide safe abortions, help women safely through pregnancy and child birth, and prevent and treat sexually transmitted infections. Yet every year, more than 120 million couples have an unmet need for contraception, 80 million women have unintended pregnancies (45 million of which end in abortion), more than half a million women die from complications associated with pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period, and 340 million people acquire new gonorrhoea, syphilis, chlamydia, or trichomonas infections. Sexual and reproductive ill-health mostly affects women and adolescents. Women are disempowered in much of the developing world and adolescents, arguably, are disempowered everywhere. Sexual and reproductive health services are absent or of poor quality and underused in many countries because discussion of issues such as sexual intercourse and sexuality make people feel uncomfortable. The increasing influence of conservative political, religious, and cultural forces around the world threatens to undermine progress made since 1994, and arguably provides the best example of the detrimental intrusion of politics into public health. (author's)
London, England, Earthscan, 2005.  p.How can the global community achieve the goal of gender equality and the empowerment of women? This question is the focus of Goal 3 of the Millennium Development Goals endorsed by world leaders at the UN Millennium Summit in 2000 and of this report, prepared by the UN Millennium Project Task Force on Education and Gender Equality. The report argues that there are many practical steps that can reduce inequalities based on gender, inequalities that constrain the potential to reduce poverty and achieve high levels of well-being in societies around the world. There are also many positive actions that can be taken to empower women. Without leadership and political will, however, the world will fall short of taking these practical steps--and meeting the goal. Because gender inequality is deeply rooted in entrenched attitudes, societal institutions, and market forces, political commitment at the highest international and national levels is essential to institute the policies that can trigger social change and to allocate the resources necessary to achieve gender equality and women's empowerment. Many decades of organizing and advocacy by women's organizations and networks across the world have resulted in global recognition of the contributions that women make to economic development and of the costs to societies of persistent inequalities between women and men. The success of those efforts is evident in the promises countries have made over the past two decades through international forums. The inclusion of gender equality and women's empowerment as the third Millennium Development Goal is a reminder that many of those promises have not been kept, while simultaneously offering yet another international policy opportunity to implement them. (excerpt)
Ensuring women's access to safe abortion: essential strategies for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Ipas, 2005.  pApproved by world leaders in September 2000, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) articulate a series of time-bound, quantitative targets for ending poverty, improving health and promoting gender equality. The MDGs lack, however, any mention of human rights or reproductive and sexual health. In particular, the MDG framework does not include the critical issue of abortion, despite the fact that unsafe abortion leads to the unnecessary and completely preventable deaths of women and is a persistent problem rooted in poverty, gender inequity and the failure to implement human rights. Over the past decade, the international community has committed itself in a series of political and legal agreements to promoting and fulfilling women’s and men’s sexual and reproductive rights. Governments at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in 1994 agreed to a definition of reproductive health that includes abortion in circumstances where it is legal under national legislation. The MDGs echo elements of the ICPD consensus, but none specifically address its core commitment to ensure universal reproductive-health services. At the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995, sexual rights were acknowledged as integral to human rights and women’s empowerment, and countries were encouraged to review restrictive abortion laws. (excerpt)
New York, New York, United Nations, 2005.  p.Global poverty rates are falling, led by Asia. But millions more people have sunk deep into poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, where the poor are getting poorer. Progress has been made against hunger, but slow growth of agricultural output and expanding populations have led to setbacks in some regions. Since 1990, millions more people are chronically hungry in sub-Saharan Africa and in Southern Asia, where half the children under age 5 are malnourished. Five developing regions are approaching universal enrolment. But in sub-Saharan Africa, fewer than two thirds of children are enrolled in primary school. Other regions, including Southern Asia and Oceania, also have a long way to go. In these regions and elsewhere, increased enrolment must be accompanied by efforts to ensure that all children remain in school and receive a high-quality education. The gender gap is closing — albeit slowly — in primary school enrolment in the developing world. This is a first step towards easing long-standing inequalities between women and men. In almost all developing regions, women represent a smaller share of wage earners than men and are often relegated to insecure and poorly paid jobs. Though progress is being made, women still lack equal representation at the highest levels of government, holding only 16 per cent of parliamentary seats worldwide. (excerpt)
Women: a UN priority; world conference may be held in 1995 - includes related information on women's role in development.
UN Chronicle. 1990 Mar; 27(1): p..The first UN world conference on women was held in Mexico City in 1975, the second in Copenhagen in 1980, and the third in Nairobi in 1985. Adopted in Kenya at the end of the UN Decade for Women (1976-1985), the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women set goals to the year 2000 in such areas as literacy, health, population, and environment. Economic policies would be more effective and sensitive to human needs", Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar told the Assembly, if women were involved. The advancement of women is not "an impossible dream" dreamt by women, stated Margaret Anstee, Director- General of the United Nations Office at Vienna, "but a component in the enhancement of life for all". She introduced on 18 October issues related to women to the Assembly's Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural). (excerpt)
UN Chronicle. 1994 Dec; 31(4): p..The 16-Chapter Cairo Programme of Action reaffirms the connection among population growth, poverty, patterns of production and consumption and the environment. it states: "Progress in any component can catalyse improvement in others." The Programme emphasizes the need for harmonizing population trends and patterns of development in order to increase the standard of living of current populations, while at the same time not jeopardizing the needs of future generations. It also emphasizes the imperatives of empowering women and guaranteeing choice in regard to family planning, and stresses that advancing gender equality and ensuring women's ability to control their own fertility are "cornerstones" of population and development programmes. The principle of "sovereignty", which guarantees that each country would decide for itself which programme recommendations are relevant to its conditions and needs, is also enshrined in the Programme. (excerpt)
Reproductive health of women in Thailand: progress and challenges towards attainment of international development goals.
Bangkok, Thailand, UNFPA, Country Technical Services Team for East and South-East Asia, 2005 Jul.  p.The report examines Thailand's progress in the area of women's reproductive health in the context of major international declarations and conventions including CEDAW (1979), ICPD in Cairo (1994), Beijing Declaration (1995), and MDGs (2001). The report is divided into four chapters. Chapter 1 provides an overview of Thai women's status in the economic and political arenas. Chapter 2 deals with reproductive health concerns including maternal mortality STI/HIV/AIDS, adolescent reproductive health, reproductive malignancies, and older person's reproductive health. Primarily the discussion reveals a persistent gender gap in these concerns. Chapter 3 examines how larger issues concerning women's reproductive and sexual rights in the country are addressed. In addition, gender-based violence as a reproductive health and human rights issue is examined owing to the rise in the number of women who are victims of violence. The chapter 3 also details the reproductive health status of women from vulnerable groups such as the ethnic minorities and poor and rural women who engage in low-paid work, which increases their vulnerability to various health risks. The report concludes with chapter 4 that outlines a number of 'quick wins' for ensuring greater equality for women in their access to reproductive health care services in the future. (excerpt)
New York, New York, UNFPA, 2005.  p.Promoting development and eradicating extreme poverty is an urgent global priority that demands bold action. This ambitious agenda, embodied in the Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), requires governments, civil society, and international agencies to address population issues, in particular to secure people's right to sexual and reproductive health, as agreed by 179 countries at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, and its 5-year review. However, reproductive health and rights remain elusive for the vast majority of the world's people. Complications during pregnancy and childbirth are among the leading causes of death and illness for women in developing countries, and the HIV/AIDS pandemic takes approximately 3 million lives each year. This undermines development by diminishing the quality of people's lives, exacerbating poverty, and placing heavy burdens on individuals, families, communities, and nations. (excerpt)
Habitat Debate. 2005 Mar; 11(1): p..Cities, towns and villages have not been a priority for women’s action in the last decade. Is this because the Beijing Platform for Action was weak in addressing problems that women face daily where they live and work in human settlements? In the next 10 years, women activists and decision-makers should focus more on the living environment as it affects urban poor women, especially the homeless and slum dwellers. Promoting gender equality, the advancement of women and improving the living environment has never been easy. Moreover, there is some misunderstanding of what the terms human settlements and gender mainstreaming are all about. But this has been addressed in the Habitat Agenda, Beijing Platform for Action, the Declaration of Cities in the New Millennium and other UN documents respectively. Nevertheless, Ms. Jan Peterson, Chair of Huairou Commission, a leading umbrella organisation for grassroots women’s organizations working at community level to improve homes and communities, has on a number of occasions stated that gender mainstreaming as a strategy has in fact hidden women and their concerns and that we should go back to emphasize women. (excerpt)
The difficult years. The Programme of Action hits adolescence, along with the generation that needs it the most.
Countdown 2015: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for All. 2004; (Spec No):70-77.This year, the ICPD Programme of Action turns ten years old, and enters a critical juncture: adolescence. The 1.2 billion adolescents living in the world now are making important choices that will affect their health, futures and personal development—choices about sex, school, family and work. The decisions of their governments about whether or not to implement the ICPD framework will influence just how healthy those choices might be. For young people, the ICPD Programme of Action is a document of hope. It affirms that respecting and promoting their human rights and protecting their reproductive and sexual health is essential for ensuring the health and development of communities and nations, and it lays out comprehensive guidelines to achieve this. Governments have come a long way since 1994 in implementing the ICPD Programme of Action, but more effort is needed to improve young people’s sexual and reproductive health and protect young people’s sexual and reproductive rights. (excerpt)
Protecting choice means making choices. Legislators worldwide must choose to preserve the Cairo consensus.
Countdown 2015: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for All. 2004; (Spec No):48-50.At the ten year mark of the ICPD Programme of Action, never HAS a woman’s right to decide freely the number and spacing of her children been so widely recognised and exercised—yet paradoxically challenged. These challenges are both old and new, and they call upon us as European parliamentarians to make a number of fundamental policy, diplomatic and budgetary choices. In 1994, the adoption of the ICPD Programme of Action by 179 countries marked a major shift towards placing the individual at the centre of development and abandoning demographic targets. The Millennium Development Goals further enshrined women’s right to make their own decisions as a global development objective. Despite this explicit political will and the great strides forward of the past decade, trends have emerged that force us to reassess our long-held strategies. The first is the HIV/AIDS pandemic. In 2004, the worst-case scenarios of the early 1990s are becoming reality. The developed world watches as entire generations suffer in less developed countries from a disease that is both preventable and treatable—one that has been controlled in donor countries. Yet rather than coming together to fight a common enemy, the HIV/AIDS community and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocates have seemed to drift apart. (excerpt)
Washington, D.C., International Center for Research on Women [ICRW], 1998. 16 p. (ICRW Working Paper No. 6)How is it that 556 million women and girls throughout the world are illiterate, and this is not viewed as a violation of their right to education? When 600,000 women die annually as a result of complications of pregnancy, and an additional 18 million women suffer from pregnancy-related morbidities that go untreated, how is this not seen as a failure of governments to meet their obligations to promote, protect, and fulfill women's rights to the most basic attainable standard of health? How can the feminization of poverty be viewed as anything less than a violation of women's rights to an adequate standard of living, equal access to employment, credit, property, and training? These alarming statistics constitute the foundation of the literature on women in development (WID), and are generally referred to as "the state of the world's women." The time has come to call these realities what they truly are: human rights violations. It is fitting that the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights--adopted unanimously by the UN General Assembly in 1948--comes at a time when a new discourse on human rights and development is emerging. This new thinking is especially important to the field of women in development, as it holds the potential of launching a revitalized effort toward ensuring gender equity and equality for the next century. This trend, however, has only recently begun to gain a sense of currency among WID researchers and practitioners. Until recently, the promotion and protection of human rights and the realization of sustainable development have been viewed as separate domains. Notably, development measures are rarely viewed as contributing to the realization of specific human rights--for example, the right to food--when that is precisely what such measures have done. (excerpt)
New York, New York, United Nations Development Programme [UNDP], 2003 May.  p.In September 2000, Heads of State and representatives of the Governments of 191 countries met at the United Nations and adopted the Millennium Declaration. The Declaration outlines the central concerns of the global community - peace, security, development, environmental sustainability, human rights and democracy - and articulates a set of inter-connected and mutually reinforcing goals for sustainable development. These, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), are based on the major goals and targets agreed upon at the UN Conferences of the 1990s, which have been synthesised into a global agenda for development. The Millennium Declaration commits the international community and member states of the UN to the achievement of eight major goals. 1. Eradication of extreme poverty and hunger 2. Achievement of universal primary education 3. Promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women 4. Reduction of child mortality 5. Improvement in maternal health 6. Combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases 7. Ensuring environmental sustainability 8. Developing a global partnership for development. (excerpt)
Population, reproductive health and the millennium development goals. How the ICPD Programme of Action promotes poverty alleviation and human rights.
New York, New York, UNFPA, 2003. 22 p.In the year 2000, representatives of 189 nations, including 147 heads of state and government, gathered at the United Nations for a historic Millennium Summit. They adopted an ambitious set of goals, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Achieving them by the target date of 2015 will transform the lives of the world’s people, including reducing by half the number of people living in extreme poverty. The Millennium Declaration concludes, “We therefore pledge our unstinting support for these common objectives and our determination to achieve them.” The next decade offers a historic opportunity for all stakeholders—including governments, civil society and international organizations—to unite behind the Millennium Development Goals. The goals are realistic, practical and necessary. They are the result of decades of experience in development work and discussion at all levels, including a series of international conferences held in the 1990s on the environment, human rights and social development. (excerpt)