Subject: [fem-women2000 132] Summary of the 11/22/99 Panel on "Beijing+5: Setting Targets" (fwd)
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Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 15:05:01 +0900
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---------------- Original message follows ----------------
 Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 12:28:39 EST
 Subject: Summary of the 11/22/99 Panel on "Beijing+5: Setting Targets"

Greetings.  Attached is a summary of the Panel Discussion on "Beijing+5: 
Setting Targets," held on 22 November 1999.  Warm thanks again to Kathie 
Uhler for her hard work in having prepared the summary.  Minor editing for 
length was also done in the CONGO office, so we apologize in advance if we 
inadvertently muddied the text.

Please let us know if you have trouble opening the file attachment, and we 
can send the summary to you by fax.

With best regards,
Rebecca Nichols


NGOs for Women 2000

A Panel Discussion
Beijing+5:  Setting Targets

November 22, 1999	1:15-2:45
Conference Room 6, UN Secretariat Building


Panelists:  Yakin Ertuk, Director, UN Division for the Advancement of
Women; Patricia Flor, Chair, Commission on the Status of Women;
Christine Kapalata, Counselor, Permanent Mission of the United
Republic of Tanzania; Cecilia Blewer, Coalition Against
Trafficking in Women; Charlotte Bunch, Center for Women's Global
Leadership; Bani Dugal Gujral, Bahai International Community;
June Zeitlin, Executive Director, Women's Environment and
Development Organization.

Moderator:  Sudha Acharya, Vice-President of CONGO and CONGO Focal
Point for Beijing+5.
Rapporteur:    Kathie Uhler, Franciscans International

After her formal welcome, the Moderator paid tribute to the late
Annabelle Wiener, World Federation of United Nations Associations, a
First Vice-President of CONGO, and a former Member of the Board of the
Executive Committee of DPI NGOs. The Moderator remarked that we lost
a valued colleague who contributed greatly over many years to the cause.
These sentiments were echoed by the speakers, many of whom also lamented
the recent passing of Eleanor Brown, Chair, NGO Committee on the Status
of Women (New York), and leader of the International Federation of Women

The Moderator introduced the Discussion by noting that the speakers
would focus on clear and identifiable targets for the implementation
of the Platform for Action (PFA) and that the targets would be
incorporated in the review process for Beijing+5. She introduced the
panelists as they made their presentations.

Patricia Flor, Chair, Commission on the Status of Women.

Ms. Flor opened her presentation by asking what are the real objectives
of targets, and on what levels these might be best situated: local,
national, international.  She enumerated six objectives or functions:
(1) They make progress visible and measurable. Since the PFA is given
in general terms, they provide means to its goals; (2) They allow
monitoring of trends, to see if there is progress; (3) They translate
idealistic, ultimate goals into realistic stages or phases of sub-
objectives; (4) They provide incentive for sustained and strengthened,
last minute efforts; (5) They help in determining responsibility for
achieving targets; and (6) They allow progress to be rewarded by general

There are some necessary characteristics of the targets and benchmarks
in order to fulfill the above functions. They must be based, first of
all, on measurable data and statistics that are accessible to the public.
Systematic monitoring of trends, incentives and changes towards the
targets and benchmarks is also necessary, with regular publication of
the results. Finally, the ownership of the targets and benchmarks should
be made strong by their adoption by the actors and institutions that
can influence the targeted areas. These major players would then become
involved in structuring the targets and become accountable for the
results, including the rewards.

Referring to the question of suitable levels for targets, Ms. Flor noted
that global and international targets, such as the eradication of
poverty by a certain date, leave open who is responsible and accountable.
For many countries, she said, this poses too open a target. Could
sub-targets or sub-structures be introduced that would take into account
how achievable a target might be in a given country?  The implementation
and functioning of targets are clearer for action at the national and
local levels in the PFA.

Charlotte Bunch, Center for Women's Global Leadership.

Ms. Bunch opened her presentation by stating that the Beijing PFA is
one of the most comprehensive articulations ever of governments'
commitments to the human rights of women and girls. It is based on the
growing understanding that women's rights are human rights. Furthermore,
the Beijing Process is one to which hundreds of thousands of activists
worldwide contributed locally and globally.

The task for Beijing+5 is to create a rights-based review of
implementation of the PFA. At the core of this approach is
accountability, but the political will to advance these rights is often
lacking. In fact, the PFA's human rights principles are often undermined
by discriminatory law; social practices; lack of resources; and the
impact of globalization.  The question for the Beijing+5 Review is how
to accelerate implementation and how to measure progress in meeting
commitments and overcoming obstacles. Setting measurable targets is one
concrete way to move forward, yet the PFA has few specific targets,
timelines and resources spelled out in it, in contrast to the ICPD
International Conference on Population and Development, (1994) and the
Earth Summit (1992). Accountability will be made easier by setting goals
nationally, regionally and internationally now.  Illustrations of some
specific targets are:
*  Outlaw all forms of legal discrimination against women by 2001. The
   review can call upon governments to end formal sex discrimination,
   a commitment made not only in Beijing, but also in other world
   conferences, UN treaties, UNHR, UN Charter, and national
*  Ratify CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
   Discrimination Against Women), remove reservations to it, and adopt
   the Optional Protocol (OP). Progress has been made in ratifying CEDAW
   and adopting the OP. Can we set a timeline for this process?
*  Commitment of resources. We need to go beyond legal equality to
   substantive equality, i.e., we need to "follow the money." The
   resources or lack of them reveal a lack of political will to make
   women's rights a priority. In Cairo+5, for example, governments
   agreed to specific five-year goals in seeking progress towards
   universal sexual and reproductive health. Beijing+5 needs to
   reaffirm the ICPD commitments and determine additional steps, some
   global and some national.
*  Plans for a Decade of Commitment to implement the PFA. The decade
   would highlight on-going accountability based on specific targets
   and timelines regarding PFA strategies and, to keep pressure on this
   agenda, setting the date for another World Conference on Women in
   either 2005 or 2010.

Ms. Bunch concluded that the Beijing+5 review is not an abstraction,
because violations of the human rights of women and girls affect the
lives and cause the deaths of women and girls every day. Governments
and NGOs have valuable experience in working to secure the human rights
of women and girls in all twelve areas of critical concern of the PFA.
The review process must enable real dialogue and evaluation of these
diverse experiences. The rules of the GA Special Session must enable
NGOs to speak as they did at the Rio+5 Review and as proposed for the
Copenhagen+5 Review. Such a dialogical review will show how the UN can
develop new partnerships, not only between women and men, but also
between government and civil society.

Cecilia Blewer, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women.

Ms. Blewer began by saying that she wished it were as easy to create
benchmarks for reducing violence against women as it is to create
benchmarks for inoculating men against the urge to do violence against
women, or inoculating women against the effects of male violence.  The
problem with creating benchmarks on violence against women is two-fold:
(1) Violence is about status: men use violence to keep women
subordinate; and (2) women are often ashamed of the violence wrought
on their bodies. Women know that the status reduction they suffer from
an act of violence can lead to other acts of violence or degradation,
further reducing their status, further costing them the support of their
community, their family, and their economic base. A victim of violence
asks herself what she did to provoke this violence. Long after their
bodies heal, the effects of post-traumatic stress remain.

All cultures find a way of blaming or stigmatizing women for the violence
that men do to them, e.g., through honor killings, rape, battering,
dowry violence or prostitution. For a woman, it is a clear risk to tell
anyone about an incident, since every society has built-in
disincentives for reporting. For example, reporting violence puts a
prostituted woman into contact with the police, and this can sometimes
lead to more rape or to arrest and the violence of imprisonment. There
is little reason for this vulnerable population to believe that the
system of justice will work for them, so prostituted women remain

The silence about violence against women makes the statistics on
violence and, therefore, benchmarking, problematic, Ms. Blewer
contended. Until women can have confidence in the benefit of reporting
violence, there will be no real progress in measuring acts of violence.
Nevertheless, benchmarking should be attempted, because the exercise
alone forces individuals and systems into some sort of crude
accountability. Ms. Blewer outlined some areas where benchmarks could
be placed:
*  Precisely where these disincentives to reporting occur: if homes are
   lost by reporting, shelters must be built; if there are honor
   killings, executioners must be punished; if police violence or
   bribery results, anti-corruption measures must be forcefully put in
   place; and where arrest or deportation results, laws need to be
   changed to protect the victims.
*  Benchmarks can be developed for the creation of networks of social
   services to help women who have been victimized by violence. The
   networks should include medical and mental health care, legal aid,
   childcare and job training, and thus begin to provide valuable
*  Benchmarks need to be developed to reduce men's sense of entitlement
   to do violence against women. Legal reform is one such instrument.
   Last year Sweden enacted a law that recognized that prostitution was
   inherently violent in all its aspects.
*  Public education campaigns to change social norms about male
   violence against women can also be benchmarked. Attitudes towards
   sexual aggression can be measured.

Ms. Blewer concluded that benchmarks can increase the rates and then
narrow the gaps between officially reported rates of violence, rates
reported by social services, rates revealed by crime surveys, and the
rates of men prosecuted.

Christine Kapalata, Counselor, Permanent Mission of the United Republic
of Tanzania.

Ms. Kapalata stated that she was speaking in her own capacity and not
on behalf of the Bureau for the PrepCom for Beijing+5 or for the Mission
of Tanzania.  She offered three questions:
*  Is it right to have targets and benchmarks? The problem is that we
   have the PFA with twelve critical areas of concern in a
   differentiated world. Ms. Kapalata contended that it is right to have
   targets and benchmarks, because we need to take stock of what has
   been done and what we must do to go forward in each area.
*  Whose responsibility is the PFA? The Beijing+5 Review must evaluate
   the responsibility of all actors: state, civil society, and NGOs.
   Full responsibility is not held by any one player, because the PFA
   is a collective endeavor. All participate, then, in sharing credit,
   responsibility and blame.  Also, the process of implementing the PFA
   is incremental. Throughout its various objectives, we must look at
   basic measures or standards and from these gauge how far we must go.
   We should share best practices and develop ways in which we can
   exchange experiences and information.
*  Major handicaps to progress in implementing the PFA are human and
   financial. In setting benchmarks and evaluating achievements,
   differences among countries come into play. For example, in Tanzania
   only four of the PFA's critical areas of concern were adopted for
   implementation by 2000: health, legal training, discrimination
   against women, and the elimination of violence.

June Zeitlin, Executive Director, Women's Environment and Development

Ms. Zeitlin began by adding a few criteria to the review process:
*  Data disaggregated by sex is needed to measure progress in the
   advancement of women;
*  WEDO believes that having women in decision making in all areas of
   critical concern is essential to carrying out the PFA;
*  Bringing women's experiences into the policy development area;
*  Resources - these are critical to implementing Beijing and Cairo;
*  Political will is just as important as resources.

The key sections of the PFA for WEDO are those linking human rights and
development, economics and political power, and environmental
sustainability.  Stressing the importance of women exercising
political power and decision making, Ms. Zeitlin noted that while ECOSOC
had targeted a goal of 30 % women in Parliaments worldwide by 1995, only
10% was achieved. Our progress in this area is less than 1 % per year,
and we cannot accept this. We could set a concrete goal for each country
of between 5-10 %, depending whether the country is developed or
developing. The Nordic countries are always at the high end - 38-39 %.
The Arab countries are always below 5 %; and the Americas, Asia and
Africa come in at 11-15 %.

Reviewing the linkages between the economy and decision making, women
are very absent, Ms. Zeitlin said. Special targets could be set for women
in budget making and at the World Trade Organization, for example. In
the PFA, the areas on the economy and poverty are separated. Through
globalization, however, macro-economics, poverty elimination and jobs
are closely interconnected. Women are needed in these "macro" areas,
as they are needed at the micro level of the same areas.  Language for
devising targets on poverty reduction and official development aid
increases could be taken from other documents and incorporated into the

The last five years have brought attention to areas of critical concern
about women. In the next five years, she expects further implementation
that is progressive and incremental. Governments need to be held
accountable through NGO monitoring. To move this implementation along,
Ms. Zeitlin concluded, we need a PrepCom that is open as far as possible,
and that is receptive to the NGOs that have been created since Beijing.

Bani Dugal Gujral, Bahai International Community.

Ms. Dugal Gujral began that the need for structures and mechanisms to
promote the advancement of women at the national level has been part
of the discussions at every global conference on women since the First
World Conference in 1975 in Mexico City.  According to the Beijing PFA,
"A national machinery for the advancement of women in the central policy
coordinating unit inside government" ideally is placed at the "highest
possible level in the government." Its mandate is (1) to generate and
disseminate gender disaggregated data and information for planning and
evaluation; and (2) to support government-wide mainstreaming of a
gender-equality perspective in all policy areas so that, before
decisions are taken, an analysis is made of the effects on women and
men, respectively; and (3) to design, promote the implementation of,
execute, monitor, evaluate, advocate and mobilize support for policies
that promote the advancement of women.

Of the twelve critical areas of concern in the PFA, that of addressing
national machineries is perhaps the most critical, because it is the
means for implementing the other eleven.  The question is, then, what
targets we can set for their strengthening.  A possible key to the
effectiveness of national machineries is political will. The PFA
requests governments to prepare plans of action that would include
proposals for allocating or reallocating resources for implementation.
Although most countries have established some form of national
machinery, relatively few national plans of action include time-bound
targets for strengthening those machineries.

The focus needs to be on making the national machinery effective by
endowing it with the legal authority and sufficient resources to monitor
the implementation of the national plan to achieve the goals of the PFA.
Once this is done and national laws have been brought into compliance
with CEDAW, accountability mechanisms must be established. These
mechanisms should enable government to work closely with NGOs and
organizations of civil society to identify obstacles to the advancement
of women and to develop strategies for removing those obstacles.

In Mali, for example, the national plan explicitly addresses the
mobilization of resources for its selected areas of concern and
indicates the annual budgeted amounts and sources from 1996-2000.
Elsewhere, as in Luxembourg, plans provide information on financial
mechanisms that assist women's projects or enable the mobilization of
resources by NGOs.  One of the greatest needs is for gender-
disaggregated data. Some plans, like Australia's, focus on establishing
information centers to collect, analyze data and disseminate all types
of information related to gender and to create data banks.  These
examples demonstrate that there are effective ways to set targets to
achieve the PFA and national goals.

Yakin Ertuk, Director, UN Division for the Advancement of Women.

Ms. Ertuk began her presentation by noting that there have been 123
national reports submitted to DAW in response to the Secretary-General's
questionnaire, which was sent to all Member States. These will provide
data for the DAW analysis that will be available for Delegates during
formal sessions in the near future. The outline of the DAW document is

Ms. Ertuk then presented an overview of how progress has been made in
implementing the Beijing Platform for Action (PFA). Evident in the
country reports is that, in order to implement the twelve critical areas,
countries have adopted some common measures, such as policy change,
legislative change, institutional change, programmatic change,
generation and dissemination of data, and reflection on resources.
Obstacles to implementation of the PFA were seem to fall into six
*  Discriminatory attitudes and practices were mentioned in all country
   reports, with causes listed including stereotyping of gender roles
   and identities.
*  Economic change and instability.
*  The increase in conflict and population displacements through
   political conflict and natural disasters. This has very serious
   ramifications, since we do not have adequate response systems in
   place. Moreover, women more often than men are impacted by the
   effects of such disorder. Methodologies are needed, especially
   regarding how to incorporate the needs of ethnic groups and refugees.
*  Lack of data and monitoring mechanisms, together with a lack of clear
*  Resource availability and allocation.
*  Backlash, which appears to be an exploratory area in some countries.

In another section of the DAW document called, "Trends of Global Change"
DAW tried to identify the major areas that have become prominent since
Beijing and which may have a serious impact on how we should revise our
strategies.  These are: (1) population movements and displacements,
including women's migration, trafficking of women, etc.; (2) work,
demands for labor, changes in labor affecting women, conditions of work;
(3) political identity or how the public presentations of women are
looked at above and below the level of the state; (4) shifting boundaries
of conflict; (5) challenge of technologies, new since Beijing; (6)
global governance and the role of the UN.  This section will also
include an outline of the Secretary-General's "Global Compact," which
will describe what it entails and how it involves the corporate world
and NGOs as two key international players. It will also note the
importance of "re-bringing in" the role of the state in guaranteeing
social rights and human rights.

Regarding resources, Mr. Ertuk suggested that we need to revisit the
concept of gender budgeting, because new ways may be found to look at
existing resources and to use them in ways that may become more

Questions and Answers

*  Carol Lubin, International Federation of Settlements and
   Neighborhood Centres, asked how targets and benchmarks relate to the
   exploratory work going on regarding social indicators.
*  Leslie Wright, Chair, NGO Committee on the Status of Women and World
   Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, asked whether data should
   not be disaggregated according to age as well as gender.
*  Marian Chamberlain, International Council of Research on Women,
   commented that regarding attitudes of men, there is a growing amount
   of long-term research.
*  Felicity Hill, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom,
   asked for comments on the ways in which benchmarks or targets for
   the twelve critical areas of concern could be connected to the triad
   of equality, development and peace, which were themes of the four
   women's conferences. Peace seems to be dropping off, for example,
   in recent regional reviews of Beijing.
*  Sorosh Roshan, Medical Women's International and International
   Health Awareness Network asked for comments on where we are on
   benchmarks for health, in that a long time ago, targets were set for
   the year 2000.
*  Mary Gindhart, The Grail, asked to hear more about the linkages
   between macro-economics and the reduction of poverty for women.
*  Alexandra Volkenburg, Mission of The Netherlands asked Ms. Ertuk
   if she had noticed more countries picking out targets from the twelve
   critical areas of the PFA, and whether she saw this as a good
*  Kathy Hall-Martinez, Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, asked
   for comments on the consensus that seems to exist about the
   importance of targets and indicators and how this will impact the
   Beijing Review.
*  Sara Friedman, Working Group on Girls, commented that in this
   discussion, benchmarks and targets were discussed regarding women's
   needs, but without much reference to girls' behaviors and needs, and
   asked for comments.
   Sudha Acharya clarified that the panel could not cover all twelve
   areas of concern, with media and other areas
   left unaddressed.
*  Sajni M. Thadani, Commission on the Status of Women, asked whether
   there are other ways of sharing on best practices other than through

Responses to the questions were given as follows:

Yakin Ertuk
*  Affirmed the importance of age disaggregation as part of the
   life-cycle approach. DAW will highlight this as a social indicator.
*  Responded that, regarding the equality-development-peace triad,
   there would soon be an on-line report on the theme from an expert
   group meeting and workshop held last week in Beirut.
*  Agreed that the macro-economic - reduction of poverty gap is critical
   and has become more accentuated following the effects of
   globalization . The SG's Global Compact invites NGOs and the
   corporate world to address three critical areas in this regard: labor
   standards, environment and human rights.
*  Said that, regarding best practices, there is an interagency project
   which UNIFEM and UNDP are compiling and which will be forwarded to
   the CSW Prep Com.

Charlotte Bunch
*  Reflected that all are addressing short- and long-term strategies
   and that the key phrase that keeps coming back is the interface
   between political will and resources. How do the targets relate to
   the specific process that we will be going through in the Review?
   It is helpful to identify matters that do not require resources but
   only political will, such as removing discriminatory laws. We should
   push for these actions now.
*  Included next are medium level, micro decisions of governments to
   which they must be held accountable. This is where gender budgeting
   is so important.
*  Asked, on those macro level peace and globalization matters for which
   resources exist, how do we get accountability at the global level
   for these decisions?

Christine Kapalata
*  Noted that the sharing of best practices takes place through
   exchanges in many ways regionally and locally in Africa, especially
   in East Africa and Southern Africa.

June Zeitlin
*  Regarding gender budgeting, poverty and the macro-economy, affirmed
   that many countries, including South Africa, Australia and Mali have
   pioneered here, but that the tool is still evolving.
*  Alerted the group to related kinds of decision making that will be
   occurring, such as at the World Trade Organization meeting at month's
   end. The Women's Caucus, Center for Concern, WEDO and others will
   be there to try to inject a woman's perspective into the discussions.

Wrap-up Statements

Cecilia Blewer - Long-term, we must disconnect masculinity from

Bani Dugal Gujral - Best practices are also found in PFA national action
plans and in the CEDAW reports and their country reports.

Patricia Flor- Peace is the last word, and we must look at it in a broader
framework, including nonviolence in families and society.  Regarding
gender, we need to continue efforts to deconstruct socially constructed
roles and attitudes.  Social indicators are found in other fora, and
we need to know what consensus there is around what they are and how
they are defined. If there is consensus, we can build on it in the
Beijing+5 and CSW processes.  Lastly, while there is consensus that
targets and benchmarks play a useful role, Ms. Flor cautioned that does
not mean that there is agreement over which specific targets might be
agreed at the Special Session.  A useful exercise might be for each of
us to set targets for ourselves according to our special competence,
rather than waiting for an overall agreement at the Special Session.
In the end, a collective effort to achieve targets could emerge.

Sudha Acharya - The Moderator thanked the panelists and UN Conference
Services, and emphasized that NGOs are here ready to work with the Member
States and the United Nations during the Prep Com and the Special


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