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Reproductive Health Matters. 2011 Nov; 19(38):197-207.In March 2009, UN member states met at the 53rd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) to discuss the priority theme of "the equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men, including caregiving in the context of HIV/AIDS". This meeting focused the international community's attention on care issues and generated Agreed Conclusions that aimed to lay out a roadmap for care policy. I examine how the frame of "care" - a contested concept that has long divided feminist researchers and activists - operated in this site. Research involved a review of documentation related to the meeting and interviews with 18 participants. Using this research I argue that the frame of care united a range of groups, including conservative faith-based actors who have mobilized within the UN to roll back sexual and reproductive rights. This policy alliance led to important advances in the Agreed Conclusions, including strong arguments about the global significance of care, especially in relation to HIV; the need for a strong state role; and the value of caregivers' participation in policy debates. However, the care frame also constrained debate at the CSW, particularly about disability rights and variations in family formation. Those seeking to reassert sexual and reproductive rights are grappling with such limitations in a range of ways, and attention to their efforts and concerns can help us better understand the potentials and dangers for feminist intervention within global policy spaces. Copyright (c) 2010 UNRISD. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Integration of human rights of women and the gender perspective: Violence against women. Letter dated 16 May 2003 from the Permanent Representative of Bhutan to the United Nations Office at Geneva addressed to the Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights.
[New York, New York], Economic and Social Council, 2003 Jun 12. 3 p. (E/CN.4/2004/G/3)I wish to refer to Addendum 1 to your report to the 59th session of the Commission on Human Rights containing an analysis of developments in the area of violence against women at the international, regional and national level, and to provide the following additional information regarding the entry on Bhutan, with a request that these be reflected in the final report. Most national studies on gender show that Bhutan is relatively "gender-balanced" and that there is no overt gender discrimination. Bhutanese women enjoy freedom and equality in most spheres of life. In view of the general overall equality of women and men, no legislation explicitly prohibits discrimination against women. (excerpt)
[New York, New York], United Nations, Economic and Social Council, 2003 Jan 6. 24 p. (E/CN.4/2003/75)Since the creation of the mandate on violence against women, its causes and consequences, in 1994 the world has achieved greater awareness and understanding of gender-based violence, and more effective measures are being developed to confront the problem. The international community has made great strides in setting standards and elaborating a legal framework for the promotion and protection of women from violence. While at the normative level the needs of women are generally adequately addressed, the challenge lies in ensuring respect for and effective implementation of existing law and standards. Much more remains to be done to create and sustain an environment where women can truly live free from gender-based violence. The report documents key developments at the international, regional and national levels. The Special Rapporteur welcomes the many efforts at standard-setting and norm creation at the international level and the array of activities and initiatives taken by States aimed at the elimination of violence against women, including the adoption of amendments to relevant laws, and educational, social and other measures, including national information and awareness-raising campaigns. In addition to the existence of laws, mechanisms for enforcing rights and redressing violations are also of crucial importance. Recent developments at the national, regional and international levels, in the prosecution of those responsible for violence against women are very important steps in the fight against impunity, not only because the perpetrators are brought to justice, but also because of the general deterrent effect such developments will hopefully have. (excerpt)
New York, New York, United Nations, 2006.  p. (ST/ESA/STAT/SER.K/17)The World's Women 2005: Progress in Statistics focuses on the state of statistics for addressing gender concerns. It reviews the current availability of national data and assesses progress in data reporting from 1975 to 2003, based on the information that national statistical authorities report to the international statistical system. The statistics reviewed include those related to population, health, education and work. Also reviewed in the report is the current state of statistics in some of the relatively newer areas, namely violence against women; poverty; power and decision-making; and human rights. The focus on official national statistics, as differentiated from internationally prepared estimates, reveals the extent to which Governments are able to produce statistics to address various gender concerns. By so doing, the report provides Governments with the means to assess progress, identify gaps and design strategies to improve the national collection and dissemination of gender statistics needed for policy formulation and programme planning and evaluation. (excerpt)
Beijing betrayed. Women worldwide report that governments have failed to turn the Platform into Action.
New York, New York, Women's Environment and Development Organization [WEDO], 2005. 207 p.Beijing Betrayed is the fifth global monitoring report published by the Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) assessing governments' progress in implementing the commitments they made to the world's women at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, 1995. Beijing Betrayed brings together the diverse voices of women in some 150 countries in subregions across Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and North America, Latin America and the Caribbean and West Asia to influence the United Nations 10 Year Review of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. This report presents women's realities - their concerns, experiences, perspectives and analyses - in the implementation process and contrasts sharply with the more formal and often abstract reports governments have presented. The reports presented here are a testimony to women as agents of change and give us cause for celebration. They show that women advocates everywhere have stepped up their activities since Beijing using the Platform for Action and other key global policy instruments to push governments into taking action. In every region of the world, women have taken the lead in crafting legislation and conducting public awareness activities to promote women's human rights, peace, and sustainable development. (excerpt)
Washington, D.C., World Bank, Gender and Development Group, 2004 Nov.  p.This Operational Guide provides specific guidance to national HIV/AIDS program management teams, public-sector ministries, private sector entities, and non-governmental and community-based organizations (NGOs/CBOs) implementing World Bank-financed HIV/AIDS programs and projects, as well as the World Bank's operational staff who design these programs and projects. It provides concrete examples of the integration of gender concerns into all stages of project preparation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation (M&E). The immediate objective is to provide the tools needed to identify and analyze gender-specific issues and concerns in HIV/AIDS programs and make appropriate provisions in HIV/AIDS operations to address these concerns. The ultimate goal of this Operational Guide is to enhance the effectiveness of HIV/AIDS interventions by ensuring that the gender inequalities that underlie the epidemic are addressed. (excerpt)
The gender dimensions of HIV / AIDS: challenges for South Africa. Extracts from a regional scan and South Asian Regional Consultation.
New Delhi, India, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS [UNAIDS], South Asia Inter-Country Team, 2004 Aug. 39 p. (UNAIDS/04.47E)The regional consultation brought together key Government representatives from seven countries of the region, across the HIV/AIDS sector, women's machinery, representative of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Secretariat, and UN agencies working at regional levels, bilateral agencies and UNIFEM's partner organizations working on a range of development issues - such as mental health, violence against women, anti-trafficking, home-based work and economic rights, gender and sexuality, media advocacy - and networks of women living with HIV/AIDS. It provided a platform for learning and cross-regional sharing and identification of gaps and opportunities, and enabled the development of a regional strategy to work cohesively towards tackling the gender dimensions of HIV/AIDS. The consultation also provided strategic direction for UNIFEM to advance its work in the region. (excerpt)
Facing the future together: Report of the Secretary General's Task Force on Women, Girls and HIV / AIDS in Southern Africa. Advocacy version.
Johannesburg, South Africa, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS [UNAIDS], 2004 Jul. 26 p. (UNAIDS/04.33E)Southern Africa is the epicenter of the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. After growing steadily for two decades, the prevalence rates appear at last to have stabilised - but at shockingly high levels of prevalence. By 2002, more than 20 percent of pregnant women tested were HIV-positive, with several countries in the sub-region reporting a rate of infection in antenatal care clinics of more than 25 percent. Sub-Saharan Africa is also the only region in the world in which HIV infection rates are higher among women than men. For every ten men with the HIV virus, thirteen women are infected. The impact on young women and girls aged 15-24 - those who have only recently become sexually active - is even more dramatic. They are two and a half times more likely to be infected than males in the same age group. The gap is larger still in Southern Africa, where in Zambia and Zimbabwe girls and young women make up close to a staggering eighty percent of all young people aged 15-24 who are living with HIV/AIDS. What are the reasons for this enormous disparity? Why are women and young girls bearing the brunt of the pandemic in Southern Africa? The answers lie in poverty, violence and gender inequality. (excerpt)
Third World Quarterly. 2007 Jun; 28(4):751-773.The achievement of women's equality is an elusive goal, especially in developing economies, where states have been unable or unwilling to protect and promote women's human rights and gender equality. Many argue that globalisation has heightened gender inequality. One response to this crisis is the United Nations corporate citizenship initiative: the Global Compact. This paper argues that the Global Compact has a strong gender equality mandate, which has not been fulfilled. The paper advances a number of reasons why this may be the case, including the lack of women's participation at many levels, the pervasive nature of women's inequality and the fact it may not be in the interests of Global Compact signatories to address this inequality. Despite the limitations of this voluntary initiative, it does have some potential to effect positive change. However, unless the pervasive and continued violation of women's human rights is addressed by the Global Compact, the claim that it is a viable new form ofglobal governance for addressing major social and economic problems is severely weakened. (author's)
Third World Quarterly. 2007 Jul; 28(5):871-886.In 2006 the Secretary General's High-Level Panel on UN Systemwide Coherence called for a dynamic new gender entity led by an Under-Secretary General. The follow-up to this recommendation is still ongoing, leaving the UN gender machinery in its current fragmented and weakened state. This enduring dilemma has its origins in bureaucratic incoherence, lack of senior management support for UN gender equality efforts, the failure of member states to support the Beijing Platform for Action, the impact of conservative regimes, and recent US dominance over the UN reform process. Is a new women's agency, with increased authority, new staffing and significantly increased resources possible, or should transnational feminists seek to establish an autonomous women's agency outside the UN system to provide better leadership for gender equality efforts world-wide? (author's)
WHO multi-country study on women's health and domestic violence against women. Initial results on prevalence, health outcomes and women's responses. Summary report.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 205.  p.The WHO Multi-country Study on Women's Health and Domestic Violence against Women is a landmark research project, both in its scope and in how it was carried out. For the results presented in this report, specially trained teams collected data from over 24 000 women from 15 sites in 10 countries representing diverse cultural settings: Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, Japan, Namibia, Peru, Samoa, Serbia and Montenegro, Thailand, and the United Republic of Tanzania. The use of a standardized and robust methodology has substantially reduced many of the difficulties that affected earlier work on violence against women, and produced results that permit comparison and analyses across settings. Other strengths of the study include the multinational participatory method used to develop the research protocol and questionnaire, the involvement of women's organizations in the research teams, the attention to addressing ethical and safety considerations, and the emphasis on careful selection and training of interviewers and on capacity building of all members of the research teams. Another important feature was the Study's link with policy processes, achieved through the cooperation of members of the research team with policy-making bodies on violence, and the involvement of consultative committees that included key stakeholders at the country level. (excerpt)
One Country. 2006 Jan-Mar; 17(4):6-8.Not far from the bright lights of Broadway, a little production with a big message played to a standing room only crowd in late February. In a conference room across the street from United Nations, as part of a "side event" to the 50th annual session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), about 100 people watched 16-year-old Anisa Fedaei portray the daughter of the cocoa farmer in a short play called "Playing the Game." "I am Patience from a developing country and I am 12 years old," said Anisa. "I don't go to school because I help my mother. Our family lives in a small hut. My mother cannot own the land and cannot get credit." But now, "Patience" explains, thanks to the help of a local cooperative, they can invest in the farm and grow enough to trade. (excerpt)
UN Chronicle. 2005 Dec;  p..Secretary-General Kofi Annan highlighted in a BBC interview that the largest demographic group to be targeted by the HIV/AIDS pandemic was women. Taking stock of this reality, he stated: "We've seen women's organizations at the grass-roots level and this is very important, because today in Africa AIDS has a woman's face.... Often they are the innocent victims." The United Nations Children's Fund reported that in sub-Saharan Africa, where prevalence of the disease is most severe, two girls for every boy (aged 15 to 24) are newly infected with the virus, while in the most affected countries the ratio is five to one among the 15-to-19-year-olds). The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) reported in 2004 that worldwide women comprised nearly 50 per cent of adults living with the virus, almost 60 per cent of them in sub-Saharan Africa. In his report "In Larger Freedom: Towards Development, Security and Human Rights For All", Mr. Annan emphasized two imperatives: mobilization of greater political will to formulate and expedite policy decisions related to the disease; and increased financial support for the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Appropriate actions are therefore required to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of combating HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Their reversal and eradication, as well as the overall reduction in mortality rates worldwide, by 2015 is the main goal. The report also encourages Member States to prioritize HIV/AIDS-related initiatives, which would require furthering awareness of the disease while attacking stigmatization. "If there is anything we have learned in the two decades of this epidemic, it is that in the world of AIDS, silence is death", the Secretary-General reflected at the launch of the Global Media AIDS Initiative in January 2004. Silence equals death has become something of a catchphrase with regard to AIDS awareness. (excerpt)
Target: 30 percent of leadership positions to women by 1995 - United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
UN Chronicle. 1990 Jun; 27(2): p..A target of 30 per cent of leadership positions to be held by women by 1995 in Governments, political parties, trade unions, professional and other representative groups was recommended by the Commission on the Status of Women at its 34th session. On average, only 3.5 per cent of national ministerial posts were held by women in 1987, according to a UN study. The recommendation was among 22 texts adopted by the body, many of them aimed at accelerating the implementation of the 1985 Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women. Thirteen drafts recommended action by the Commission's parent body, the UN Economic and Social Council. (excerpt)
UN Chronicle. 1987 Feb; 24: p..The General Assembly on 4 December called on Member States to approve, as a matter of priority, effective measures to implement the Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, adopted in July 1985 at the Nairobi Conference on the United Nations Decade for Women (1976-1985). The measures, it stated, should include establishment or strengthening of appropriate mechanisms for the advancement of women and for implementation of the Strategies, in order to ensure the full integration of women in the political, economic, social and cultural life of their countries. The Assembly acted by adopting resolution 41/110 on the role of women in society without a vote. Governments and intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations were asked to pay due attention to the role of women in society "in all its interrelated aspects - as mothers, as participants in the economic development process and as participants in public life". (excerpt)
UN Chronicle. 1987 Aug; 24: p..Reducing by half the rates of infant and child deaths by the year 2000 was among the targets set for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) by its 41-member Executive Board at its 1987 session. The Board, in endorsing the programme objectives of its 1986-1990 medium-term plan, asked the Fund to give continued priority in both rural and urban areas to the "Child Survival and Development Revolution"--an initiative undertaken by UNICEF in 1983--through such measures as child immunization, oral rehydration therapy and diarrhoeal management, promotion of breast-feeding, improved nutrition and health education, and birth-spacing. The Fund should "work towards the retention of the child and its needs on the political agenda'. Special attention should be given to actions directed against the "causal roots of child and infant mortality'. Basic services should be stressed and child survival and development activities should be integrated into primary health care systems. (excerpt)
UN Chronicle. 1997 Summer; 34(2): p..Aloisia Woergetter of Austria, Chairperson of the Open-ended Working Group on the Elaboration of a draft Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, announced on 21 March that the Working Group had reached agreement on the inclusion of an enquiry procedure in the draft optional protocol, which would enable the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women to request State parties to the protocol to explain and remedy complaints about serious violations of women's rights. A large majority of participating Governments was in favour of the optional protocol and for the procedures to be followed. She described that as "remarkable", noting that such support had not been thought possible in the past. The optional protocol would greatly strengthen the Convention and allow individual women to actually complain about violations of their rights before the United Nations. "I think, we can easily say that we are, at the moment, the most successful optional protocol drafting group." The group hoped that it could finish its work next year. (excerpt)
Draft declarations against violence approved by Commission - United Nations Commission on the Status of Women - includes related article on the rights of married women.
UN Chronicle. 1993 Jun; 30(2): p..A draft declaration on the elimination of violence against women was unanimously approved by the Commission on the Status of Women at its thirty-seventh session (17-26 March, Vienna). It was among 13 resolutions approved by the 45-member Commission on issues ranging from women's role in development to preparations for the 1995 World Conference on Women. The non-binding declaration, which is to be submitted to the forty-eighth General Assembly for adoption later this year, states that violence against women is an obstacle to the achievement of equality, development and peace--the three main goals of the UN to advance the status of women. It contains a comprehensive definition of violence against women and identifies the responsibilities of States and organizations in applying remedial measures. That definition includes physical and psychological violence within the family, marital rape and female genital mutilation, as well as sexual harassment and intimidation at work and in schools. States are called on not to "invoke any custom, tradition or religious or other consideration" to avoid their obligations to implement the declaration. (excerpt)
Commission gives high priority to monitoring global trends - UN Population Commission meeting, Mar 28-31, 1994 - includes information on preparation of action program to be recommended at the Sep 5-13, 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, Cairo, Egypt.
UN Chronicle. 1994 Jun; 31(2): p..The effect of population growth on the environment, the role and status of women, and the demographic implications of development Policies were among major topics discussed by the Population Commission at its twenty-seventh session (28-31 March, New York). "The most important lesson we have learned is that population growth and other demographic trends can only be affected by investing in people and by promoting equality between women and men", Dr. Nafis Sadik, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and Secretary-General of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, told the 26-member body. In the single text approved during the session, for adoption by the Economic and Social Council, the Commission asked that high priority be given to monitoring world population trends and policies, and to strengthening multilateral technical cooperation to address population concerns. (excerpt)
Equal pay, urban women problems discussed by Commission - UN Commission on the Status of Women, 38th session, Mar 7-18, 1994 - includes news of other developments pertaining to equal pay and equality in marriage.
UN Chronicle. 1994 Jun; 31(2): p..Equal pay for work of equal value, women in urban areas and measures to eradicate violence against women were among the issues dealt with by the Commission on the Status of Women at its thirty-eighth session (7-18 March, New York). Being also the preparatory body for the Fourth world conference on Women in Beijing 1995, the commission's work focused on preparatory activities, in particular the drafting of the Platform for Action. In discussing priority themes--equality, development and peace--established for its thirty-seven through fortieth sessions, the Commission adopted 13 resolutions, many calling on Governments to urgently improve the situations of women around the world. "The road to Beijing must be paved with vision, commitment and a determination to harness the support of Governments to remove the remaining obstacles to the advancement of women", Gertrude Mongella, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Secretary-General of the Fourth World Conference, told the 45-member Commission on 7 March. It has the task of organizing that conclave, which is set for September 1995. (excerpt)
Exploitation of women workers in family enterprises decried - United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.
UN Chronicle. 1991 Jun; 28(2): p..Women who work in family enterprises without payment are being exploited, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) declared, calling for guaranteed payment, social security and social benefits for them. As it concluded its tenth annual session (21 January-1 February, New York), the Committee also recommended that the value of women's domestic work be added to countries' gross national products. Nations should provide information on disabled women and on measures taken to ensure equal access for them to education, employment, health services and social security. The 23-member watchdog body monitors how countries implement the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. (excerpt)
Development and Change. 2005; 36(6):983-1010.The 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women (the 'Beijing Conference') was a landmark in policy terms, setting a global policy framework to advance gender equality. Ten years after Beijing, in March 2005, the UN's Commission on the Status of Women presided over an intergovernmental meeting in New York to review the progress achieved on the commitments made in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. This 'Plus 10' event was decidedly low key. Its aim was not agenda setting but agenda confirming; not policy formulation but policy affirmation. Whether it proves to be part of an ongoing worldwide movement in support of gender equality, or whether it marks the decline of that process, is a question that many in international women's movements are asking. This article, drawing on research undertaken for the UNRISD report, Gender Equality: Striving for Justice in an Unequal World, reflects on the ambivalent record of progress achieved by women over the last decades and considers how the policy environment has changed over the period since the high point of global women's movements. It examines how the changing international policy and political climate over this period has given rise to new issues and challenges for those active in global women's movements. (author's)
Studies in Family Planning. 2005 Mar; 36(1):71-79.This report was commissioned by the Population Program of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in December 2004. The author was charged with analyzing the United Nations’ deliberations that led to the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to answer the question of why there is no specific reproductive health goal. This coverage of the MDG process will be complemented by a special section of Studies in the June 2005 issue on reproductive health and the MDGs. The section will include excerpts about reproductive health from the final report of the Millennium Development Project entitled “Investing in Development: A Practical Plan to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals,” which was submitted to Secretary General Kofi Annan in January 2005, as well as commentaries by leading scholars and policymakers in the fields of population and reproductive health. (author's)
Women's empowerment, gender equality and the Millennium Development Goals: a WEDO information and action guide.
New York, New York, WEDO, .  p.The United Nations has been a key forum for women’s advocacy. From the 1975 UN International Year on Women through the Decade on Women (1976-1985) and the global conferences and summits of the 1990s women participated actively to shape economic, social, and political development. In these settings advocates established strategic mechanisms, influenced resolutions and won crucial commitments to set a farreaching global policy agenda that recognizes gender equality and women’s empowerment as essential components of poverty eradication, human development and human rights. The Millennium Declaration reflects widespread international acknowledgement that empowerment of women and the achievement of gender equality are matters of human rights and social justice. It is another indication of the successful efforts of women to put gender on the global policy agenda. (excerpt)
In: The women and international development annual. Volume 4, edited by Rita S. Gallin, Anne Ferguson, and Janice Harper. Boulder, Colorado, Westview Press, 1995. 51-75.The growth of women's studies since 1970 has not been limited to the United States. Similar developments, some as dramatic, have been underway in other countries where there were networks of women scholars and activists. The United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have made significant advances since the 1970s in women's studies research and in the number and range of courses available. Elsewhere courses appeared on the European continent, particularly in West Germany, the Netherlands, and the Scandinavian countries, where strong government support was available. In most developing countries, however, women's studies as such was little known prior to 1980. The notable exception was India. Here the origins of women's studies are attributable to the investigations of the Committee on the Status of Women in India, which were carried out from 1971 to 1974. The Committee's Report highlighted a lack of knowledge about the diversity of women's lives and pointed to the need for further research and reappraisal of the traditional assumptions of the social sciences. With that background, the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) established a Programme of Women's Studies in 1976 "to develop new perspectives in the social sciences--through examining basic assumptions, methodological approaches and concepts concerning the family, household, women's work, productivity, economic activity--to remedy the neglect and underassessment of women's contributions to the society. (excerpt)