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New York, New York, United Nations, Dept. of Public Information, 1996. , 845 p. (United Nations Blue Book Series, Vol. 6)The first section of this book traces the history of the UN's efforts to improve the status of women. An overview is presented in the first part, and part 2 chronicles the UN's efforts to secure the legal foundations of women's rights during the period 1945-62. Part 3 traces the stage of the UN's work (1963-75) that began with recognition of the indispensable role of women in development and of the gulf between the existence of women's legal rights and women's ability to exercise these rights. Part 4 follows developments through the UN Decade for Women (1976-85), and part 5 describes actions taken from 1986-96 to respond to the failure of the Decade for Women to achieve improvements in the priority areas of employment, health, and education. Part 6 concludes this section by remarking on the strategies and issues that will dominate the UN's next 50 years of work in improving women's status and eliminating gender-based discrimination and by noting that the Platform for Action from the 1996 Fourth World Conference on Women serves as a tool in the empowerment of women but that the formal recognition of women's rights has yet to lead to a practical improvement in their status. The remainder of the book contains 1) a chronology of events, 2) a chronology of UN conferences and seminars, and 3) a selection of documents on women published by the UN that form a comprehensive record of UN involvement in the campaign to promote women's rights, including the complete texts of the major conventions, treaties, and declarations.