UNDP Gender Deat

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41en_vio ... Violence


UNDP Gender Deat

owner-habifem(AT)undp.org ; gidp [ gidp@undp.org] 

[This issue of Gender Beat brings news from UN Headquarters, followed by UNDP information from countries. The next issue will focus on reports from the ongoing meetings of the Commission on the Status of Women and the Beijing+5 PrepCom.]


On March 8, 1999, a global videoconference was held on the theme, "A World Free from Violence Against Women," linking UN Headquarters to sites in Nairobi, New Delhi, Mexico City, and EU Parliament in Strasbourg. In New York, over two thousand people gathered in the UN General Assembly hall, including heads and members of UN agencies, and representatives from media, NGOs, governments, and the general public. And on every continent across the world, the innovative use of technology helped bring the videoconference to thousands of universities, community centres, and other viewing sites, via satellite and internet. The videoconference represents part of a wider inter-agency initiative to highlight the issue of violence against women, and complements regional campaigns in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific. UNIFEM is now spearheading a follow-up strategy with agency partners to ensure that the heightened awareness is channelled into concrete actions to work towards a world free of gender-based violence. Further information: < kirsten.gelsdorf(AT)undp.org >.

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) concluded its three-week session (January 19-February 5, 1999; New York), by adopting comments for advancing the status of women in Algeria, Kyrgyzstan, Liechtenstein, Greece, Thailand, China and Colombia. Through the adoption of a general recommendation on health, the 23-member expert body urged States to remove all barriers to women's access to health services, education and information, including in the area of sexual and reproductive health. It also emphasised resource allocations for programmes targeting adolescents for the prevention/treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. The Committee expressed particular concern about the prevalence of patriarchal structures and prejudices that have perpetuated discrimination against women and impeded implementation of the CEDAW Convention. The next (twenty-first) session of CEDAW will be held from 7 to 25 June to consider the reports of Nepal, Georgia, Belize, Chile, Ireland, United Kingdom, and Spain, with a pre-session working group meeting June 28 - July 2, 1999 (New York). Further information: <brautigamc@un.org> CEDAW OPTIONAL PROTOCOL ADOPTED. On 12 March 1999, the forty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women adopted an Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, based on the recommendation of its Working Group. The Protocol contains two procedures: a communications procedure allowing individual women, or groups of women, to submit claims of violations of rights to CEDAW; and an inquiry procedure enabling the Committee to initiate inquiries into situations of grave or systematic violations of women's rights. (In either case, States must be party to the Protocol.) The Protocol is the result of four years of negotiations in the Working Group and will be submitted to the General Assembly for adoption in late 1999, and should be open for signature, ratification and accession in 2000. The Protocol will enter into force once ten States parties to the Convention have ratified or acceded to it. Full document: 
< http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/protocol/protocol.pdf  >


At the fourth session of the ACC Inter-agency Committee on Women and Gender Equality (23-26 February, 1999; New York), the IACWGE indicated several priority areas of interagency cooperation: (i) Good Practices: a repository of UN-system gender good practices will continue to be developed, with wide dissemination at the Beijing +5 Review (Coordinators: UNDP/UNIFEM); (ii) Financial Monitoring: work will continue on the formulation of guidelines for financial monitoring -- including budget codes -- in support of gender equality (Coordinator: UN Division for the Advancement of Women); (iii) System-wide surveys: One survey to review the gender focal point system and another to examine system-wide management commitment to gender mainstreaming will be conducted (Task Manager: UNFPA); (iv) Gender impact analysis: a framework for gender impact analysis at organisational and project levels will be established, and exchange of experiences facilitated (Task Manager: World Bank). (v) Gender training resources: the development of a comprehensive database of gender training resources will be examined (Coordinator: UNICEF). In addition, the IACWGE recommended that the next system-wide medium-term plan (2001-2005) be a two-stage process: a first phase (due March 2000) that assesses UN system activities, obstacles encountered, and lessons learned from the present plan; and, a second phase (due March 2001) that is informed by the June 2000 Special Session. The Dialogue with Agency Field Representatives also led to specific recommendations with respect to the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and Common Country Assessments (CCA), and gender mainstreaming and networking at the field level.
Further information: < brautigamc(AT)un.org  >

The UN Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) has proposed a framework that examines inter-linkages between the twelve critical areas of concern in the Beijing Platform for Action (PFA). The framework is expected to assist in the development of a more integrated, holistic approach to the review process, by identifying functional categories of actions and initiatives to achieve gender equality across the critical areas, possible cross-cutting themes for further actions and initiatives. The Commission on the Status of Women, meeting this week as the Preparatory Committee for the Special Session (June 2000), is expected to provide guidance how this approach should be further developed to serve as basis for the outcome of the Special Session. The results of the PrepCom will be posted on the website. Full document: 


UNDP Panama has been holding a monthly "Gender Café" -- informal, interactive sessions by staff of UNDP, UNFPA and CINUP, focusing on discussions about gender from a national perspective, sharing of personal experience, and so on. Male staff have also participated in discussions of gender concepts and roles, in the context of masculinity and "machismo." The Café is an informal aspect of a range of initiatives of the inter-agency thematic gender group in Panama, which has been especially active in the regional interagency public awareness campaign to combat violence against women. A high-profile tribunal on domestic violence was organised in November 1998, with UNDP support, by the National Network Against Violence towards Women and the National Directorate of Women (November 25, 1998). Another important area of work is in the area of gender-disaggregated statistics, which is being developed in cooperation with UNIFEM Mexico, the National Institute of Statistics and Census, the National Directorate for Women, and UNFPA. Further information: < ingrid.gustafsson(AT)undp.org.pa >

UNDP in partnership with Society for International Development (SID) has organised several activities in European Parliaments over the past three years on the theme of Good Governance and Women in Decision-Making. The latest conference in this series, "In Search of New Partnership between North and South," was held late last year in the Italian Parliament (Rome, 30 November - 1 December 1998). UNDP helped organise a special roundtable dialogue on women's leadership. This forum facilitated the participation of women parliamentarians from around the world in a dialogue on the role of women's leadership in global human security. The parliamentarians prepared detailed statements about human security in their own countries and regions; described what women leaders in their countries/regions are doing to ensure human security as critical actors and agents for change in all areas of governance; and detailed actions that could be taken to bring women's concerns into the dialogue between North and South on human security. Further information: < judith.hennigfeld@undp.org >.

The Regional Prevention of Maternal Mortality (RPMM) Network is an African-based network of NGOs working to reduce the number of women dying as a result of pregnancy and childbirth in sub-Saharan Africa. Established in 1997 with initial support from UNDP and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Network builds upon 10 years of operational research in West Africa. RPMM's unique approach involves multidisciplinary teamwork and collaboration at country level with government, civil society, the private sector and UN partners to ensure that pregnant women have access to care for obstetric emergencies. The Network's activities have shown that even in resource-poor settings, progress can be made in saving the lives of women with complications. In 1998, the Network facilitated the establishment of teams in 3 countries in East Africa and 5 francophone African countries, and provides technical support for the development of activities to reduce maternal deaths, and for the integration of these issues into national policies and programmes. Further information: < mina.mauerstein-bail(AT)undp.org >


BRINGING EQUALITY HOME: Implementing the Convention on All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. This new booklet brings together stories about how CEDAW has been used successfully by national NGOs to bring about new and changed constitutions, positive law reform that prohibits gender-based discrimination, and government policies that promote women's equality. English version on-line: < http://www.unifem.undp.org/cedaw/indexen.htm  >, (French and Spanish versions forthcoming).
Free print copies for NGOs from the South from UNIFEM < ilana.landsberg-lewis(AT)undp.org  >.

UNDP/RBEC SUB-REGIONAL BULLETIN. The Regional Support Center in Bratislava, with the support of Women's Issues Information Center in Lithuania, has launched "Women's Choice," a new Sub-regional Internet Bulletin for Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltic States 
< http://www.undp.sk  >. With information from Gender Focal Points in Government and UNDP country offices, and from women's NGO's, the bulletin aims to strengthen networking and to facilitate exchange of information, experience and good practices in the Sub-Region. Further information: 
< anna.raduchowska-brochwicz(AT)undp.org >

Based on thirteen case-studies of violence against women and girls in Muslim societies, this new training manual from the Sisterhood Is Global Institute (SIGI) assists women to identify sources of violence in the family, community, society, and state; communicate information about and understanding of violence to others; and influence governments to formulate and implement policies that eliminate gender-based violence. It is developed to train trainers who work with service providers such as police, doctors, and judges, or grassroots-level women and men, and women's rights activists.
Further information: http://sigi.org/ 

On the web:   http://www.undp.org/gender 


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