Subject: [fem-women2000 213] CSW Daily News 13 -English-
From: "takasaki.ayako" <>
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2000 12:13:39 +0900
Seq: 213

以下はWomenAction のDaily News13号(3月17日)です。

To: Multiple recipients of list <>
Subject: [B5NGONEWS] Daily Newsletter Number 13 

Daily Newsletter Number 13 
March 17th 2000, New York CSW 


Wednesday morning during the NGO briefing a woman from Nepal informed us of
the critical situation in Southern Asia, where 550 million people are living
in absolute poverty.The majority of women are illiterate and the death rate
is climbing. The globalisation of the economy has led to crushing external
debt in this part of the world and unemployment is growing by leaps and
bounds .The gap between rich and poor is growing and it is financial actors
who hold all the cards. Everywhere in the world, financial transactions,
already completely disconnected from the reality of economic production, are
carried on at lightning speed, accelerated by ICTs. These transactions,
which are not regulated by any instance, can, in less than a day, plunge
entire regions and millions of people into poverty and unemployment.American
Nobel Prize winner James Tobin proposed over 20 years ago to instate a 0.1%
tax on each financial transaction, in order to regulate and to slow down
runaway speculation. Tobin went unheard at the time, but in the past two
years, citizens have taken up Tobin's idea and are proposing that the tax be
applied and the proceeds used to eliminate poverty around the world. The
0.1% would be enough to meet the urgent needs of populations around the
world in food, education, and health. The Internet is playing a key role in
spreading this idea and in building a world-wide network of citizens in
favor of the application of the tax. Here is a concrete solution to the
great question of poverty in the world. What if the women of the world, vast
majority of the world's poor, took up this struggle? There can be hope; we
can speak of it again in June 2000. In the meantime, connect to for more information and of course to to
find the newsletter. Let us make the Internet the medium of international
solidarity between women! 

WomenAction 2000 


In the number 12 editorial we announced that The European Union was
demanding a new conference in 2005. It looks like we made a mistake: the
person speaking was a representative of the European Union NGO Caucus. We
apologize for this mistake. 


Appropriate ICTs 

Community radio at your service 

How often do you use the radio to communicate women's interests ? You should
be using it more -- much more ! That's the advice of the Women's
International Network of AMARC, the World Association of Community Radio
Broadcasters. AMARC-WIN attended the Beijing+5 Prepcom to promote community
radio as a tool for democratization of information and a place for women to
present our issues in depth. They work to help women to start or join
community radio stations, learn to produce and distribute programs, and be
part of the decision-making about media at all levels. You may have heard
AMARC representatives at caucuses, panels, and workshops, insisting that not
only the internet but good old-fashioned broadcast radio is very important
for women, and that we must protect and promote access of civil society to
the airwaves, rather than see all of this scarce resource sold to commercial
interests. AMARC members who've been at the Prepcom include Frieda Werden, Mavic Cabrera- Balleza, Muthoni Wanyeki, And Maria Suarez Between the
Prepcom and Beijing+5 in June, you can e-mail the AMARC women's coordinator,
Julie Begin, in any of the three official languages of AMARC French,
Spanish, or English. She can be reached at, by phone at
(514)982-0351 in Montreal, or through the web site 


NGO Caucus 

Media Caucus Set Indicators 

As a follow up to its discussion with Diane Elson, UNIFEM's coordinator for
the Target and Indicator Project, the Women and Media Caucus outlined a
number of points which they believed should be 

considered in using media as an indicator of women's progress and These are: 

The number of women in decision-making positions in media organisations; 
Government regulatory policies that address women's concerns in media and
how they are implemented; 
The space and time dedicated for coverage of women's issues by women. The
topics/subjects assigned to women media practitioners; 
The number of women who have access to the different media and communication
tools e.g., telephone, fax, Internet, radio, television, newspapers and
other print media; 
Programme content and the quality of coverage of women's issues in the media; 
Declassification of issues (as it is some issues are seen as 'soft' issues
and therefore are women's issues容.g., health, nutrition, education and
some issues are seen as 'hard' issues and therefore are considered men's
issues e.g., politics, economics) . 
The Women and Media Caucus also called on UNIFEM to link up with other UN
bodies intergovernmental agencies, and women's media and information and
communication organisations who may have the capacity to collect and compile
data. Members of the Caucus have expressed willingness to take on tasks that
this undertaking may entail. 
Mavic Cabrera-Balleza 

Lesbian rights are human rights: 

On Tuesday the lesbian caucus facilitated a panel discussion on sexuality
and human rights. A packed meeting heard inputs from women representing
countries including Nigeria, Australia, Nepal and Canada as well as
panelists from the Youth Caucus and Amnesty International. The tension was
tangible as many people noticed men in robes, women and men holding bibles
and wearing ambiguous buttons. After days of reports of intimidation, people
were unsure of what to expect. 

Ironic being in the United Nations building where one expects respect for
difference rather than a concerted strategy to divert energy from the work
we're here for. The World March of Women representative said that the
lesbian group had two demands included in the World March for Women
platform: Lesbian rights to be included as human rights in all conventions
and the recognition of sexual orientation as grounds for asylum. Women who
participate in the march and who are lesbians or who identify with lesbians
are asked to wear purple. A Nigerian woman working with a women's health
organization spoke of research into sexuality in Nigeria including questions
on homosexual experiences. This vital research cannot find a publisher a
reflection of the ongoing repression of lesbian, gay and bisexual realities.
In Nepal homosexuality is not recognized but also not criminalized. Human
Rights organizations are working on ways to ensure that lesbians and gays
are recognized and at the same time not discriminated against. 

The audience was not intimidated. People listened, supported and stood to
applaud excellent and well thought-through presentations. The meeting
reflected national differences and diversities but highlighted the global
struggle lesbians fighting for visibility and human rights. 

Jennifer Radloff 

Panel on realities of young women's lives a success 

About 90 people gathered on wednesday for the panel session about the
realities of young women's lives, organised by the Youth for Women's Rights.
Young women from all the regions in the world spoke about the problems they
and others have to face and moved the audience with their stories. 

The panelist spoke about a variety of problems like incest, unwanted
pregnancy, violence against young women, the lack of access to sexual and
reproductive healthcare services, the difficulties of sharing career and
care and the harsh realities of young women in rural areas. They also
focussed on the negative effects some traditions and cultures have on the
lives of girls and young women. 

At the end of their presentation the panelist came with recommendations
which will be available with a compilation of all the stories on Friday
March 17. 

For further information please contact 

Statement from the Youth Caucus facilitators 

In a statement from the Youth Caucus Facilitators of 14 March, amongst other
issues they noted: 

"We are concerned about the misrepresentation of the activities of the Youth
Caucus as well as the misquoting of statements made by members of the Youth
Caucus during the past week as was published in Vivant. Further, we are
disturbed by reports from Youth Caucus members of stalking incidents both
within and outside of UN grounds, as well as harassing phone calls." It

"The presence at Youth Caucus meetings of non-participating adult monitors
who were unwilling to identify themselves, as well as adults and youth, who
are unfamiliar with young women's issues, continues to create an atmosphere
of hostility." 

The statement was presented to try and clarify the activities of the Youth
Caucus and to reiterate their support for the Beijing Platform for Action. 

Karat Coalition Caucus - Central & Eastern Europe (CEE), Commonwealth of
Independent States (CIS) 

NGOs from CEE/CIS showed a very clear vision for what should be done in
their region till 2005. The Karat Coalition (women's NGO network of CEE/CIS
countries) have defined 4 areas of concern in their region: Women & Economy;
Institutional Mechanisms, Women and Girls in Armed Conflict and Peace
Building, and Women in Power and Decision-Making. Besides the background of
each topic, they have recommended actions to be taken. In the area of armed
conflict, a fundamental review of educational systems and curricula as well
as the reduction of military budgets is recommended. The implementation of
CSW resolutions needs to be monitored. Karat Coalition urges the
international community to establish procedures to guarantee that no one
with a criminal record may serve as a peacekeeper and that all peacekeepers
receive human rights training, including attention to the rights of women
and girls. Voluntary and safe return of women and girls war refugees to
their places of origin should be ensured. 

In the field of institutional mechanisms the Karat Coalition would like to
see a non-discriminatory, gender-sensitive legal environment where gender
equality legislation is reviewed and enacted. 

The Karat Coalition would like to create open and transparent channels of
communication with governments, international organisations, NGOs, the
private sector and civil society. Noting that women bear the brunt economic
restructuring and are often the first to lose their jobs in times of
recession, economic restructuring has lead to the marginalisation of women's
labor. Professional retraining, re-qualification and vocational training for
women is therefore essential. It is equally important to work with
governments to evaluate the gender impacts of their policies of reform,
restructuring and privatization. 

In the area of power, women from CEE/CIS want to ensure that all training
programs include 50% women. Educational materials have to identify and
remove all examples of leadership that undermine confidence in women as
leaders and decision-makers. New materials that promote women in leadership
have to be developed by the year 2005. 

For more information, contact Kinga Lohmann, at 212-7551800 (temporary phone
number) or Lenka Simerska at 

Note: The next Karat Coalition caucus takes place on March 13, 2000,
10:4-12:15, Unifem, 304 East 45th Street, 15th floor. 

Arab Women's Caucus concerns 

Despite the achievements made during the last decade on the status of Arab
women, difficulties and obstacles hindering the advancement of women in
social, economic and political life persist. These are some of the main
challenges facing women: 

Discrimination against women has not yet been eliminated. For instance,
among the twenty-two Arab countries, only eleven countries have ratified
CEDAW and many with reservations. 

Illiteracy rate among Arab women is still very high and consists a major
obstacle to their empowerment and advancement 

Percentage of women participating in economic and productive life is still
very low and this has resulted in what is increasingly being referred to as
"feminization of poverty" 

Participation of women in decision-making and public life is still marginal
and infinitesimal. For example, only 4% of Arab women are in legislative
bodies. In a number of Arab countries, women are striving to acquire their
suffrage rights or the right to vote and run for office (as in the case of

The absence of democratic practices and violation of human rights in several
Arab countries is detrimental to the situation of women and gender equality. 

The percentage of maternal mortality is still high and there is a difficulty
in access to quality reproductive health services. 

The following recommendations have been identified to address main obstacles
and challenges: 

Laws and legislation that discriminate against women should be reviewed and

Governments should put into force the conventions on women and children
which they have ratified, instead of paying lip service to them. 

A comprehensive health care system which promotes the reduction of maternal
mortality and morbidity should be established, as a public health priority 

Greater participation of women in the decision-making process at all levels
should be encouraged. This is imperative for the political empowerment of

NGOs must be encouraged to become more independent. They must be supported
in their capacity for a more effective role in the process of sustainable
development and as catalysts and agents of change 

The complete version of the document is at 

Health Caucus Statement 

The Health Caucus statement presented last Monday during the NGO Briefing
raised some very strong points on the issue of women and girls' access to
adequate health services and how Governments must act upon these needs. The
issue of health, according to the statement, cuts across other women's
rights issues such as violence against women, sexuality, education, sexism,
racism and ageism. Government action on women's health must thus take into
account the varied needs of varied women. 

Governments have been called upon to ensure: women have access to health
services, including safe abortions; education is used as a tool to promote
women's own use of health care services; health service providers are
equipped with adequate skills and are sensitive to women's health needs; and
women and girls live in environments that protect and promote their health. 



Africans deplore statement 

A statement issued by the "Pro-Family Coalition" has upset many
participants, especially Nigerians and other Africans. The statement is
contained in a document titled "#9 Suggested Changes to the Proposed
Outcomes Document" and reads in part, "For example, in Nigeria, an NGO
sponsored by American foundations listed 'virginity' as a harmful
traditional practice". Reporting on the offensive document at the African
caucus on Tuesday March 14, a Nigerian participant said this was peddling
outrageous lies about Nigeria and is an extreme distortion of CEDAW. Many
participants saw the statements as not only false and illogical but a
trivialization of the serious processes of the Beijing + 5 review. 

Many participants at the African caucus deplored the tactics of the
Pro-Family Coalition as an attempt to divert attention from the real issues
of the BPA, especially those of critical concern to Africa. They noted that
some right wing groups have recruited large numbers of participants to
disrupt the proceedings of many caucuses. 

Meanwhile, participants are planning to identify and lodge formal complaints
to the Coordinator of the "Pro-Family Coalition". 

Nkechi Eke Nwankwo 

African Lobbying at the CSW 

African non-governmental delegates at the CSW have been lobbying their
governments and, through them, the Group of 77. Documents used include the
country-based NGO reports, the African NGO report, the five-priority
lobbying areas position paper and the NGO coalition position paper. 

The African NGO position was defined in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia last November
during an NGO consultation held before the Sixth African Regional Conference
on Women. Drawing from country-based reports, the report of the NGO
consultation outlines continental progress in and persistent challenges to
the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action. 

The report is available in English from Women and Law in Development in
Africa (WiLDAF): Other members of the task force are
Abantu for Development, the African Women's Development and Communication
Network (FEMNET), Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMWA), the Association of African
Women in Research and Development (AAWORD), the Federation des Reseaux des
Femmes Africaines pour la Paix (FERFAP), Microfin Afrique and the Tunisian
Mother's Association. 

At the CSW, the task force coordinated the African Caucus. Member of the
African Caucus include all interested African NGO participants at the CSW.
The African Caucus defined five priority lobbying areas from the African NGO
report, including globalization, power and decision-making, armed conflict,
HIV/AIDS and women's human rights. The position paper is available in both
English and French from WiLDAF. 

To ensure the upholding of universality and indivisibility, the African
Caucus decided to include of the five priority areas in the global NGO
coalition document. In addition, and in line with this strategy, members of
the African Caucus participated fully in all the issue-based caucuses of the
CSW, ensuring representation of the five priority areas in the line-by-line
work of these caucuses. 

About-face in Zambia: Government Adopts National Gender Policy. 

Zambian women were pleased but astonished to learn of the adoption of a
National Gender Policy on March 8. President Frederick Chiluba had stated
his opposition to such a policy only a week before, saying that "women
should not be given 'favorable' treatment". For women's groups who have been
lobbying for a gender policy in Zambia for years and formulated one after
the Beijing Conference, this public statement had been particularly disturbing. 

In a spectacular about-face, Chiluba announced that his administration was
committed to eradicating gender discrimination and adjusting the existing
gender imbalances in the country. "This will enhance development and the
attainment of equality between the sexes" said Michael Sata, Minister
without Portfolio. The speech, read on behalf of the President, went on to
say that "the policy will also ensure that the micro-social economic
policies, the national budget and other government policies and programs are
gender responsive." Chiluba called on Zambians to work together so that the
implementation of the gender policy was successful. 

Jennifer Radloff, Sharon Hackett 



Women Making the News 

Over 1,000 media organisations in 51 countries all over the world took part
in the Women Making the News campaign organised by UNESCO on 8 March 2000.
This event called on the media to ensure that the world's news output on the
first International Women's Day (IWD) in the 21st century is produced under
the responsibility of women. 

In qualitative terms, media's participation to the campaign has a three-fold
significance. It has : 

contributed to increased editorial responsibilities of hundreds of women
journalists and provided them with means to express themselves; raised
awareness on issues affecting women and led to increased coverage of these
issues from the women's perspective; and showed the level of understanding
and commitment of media industries to gender equality issues and equal
access and representation of women in the media. 

UN Secretary General Kofi Anan further highlighted the significance of this
campaign when he said: "I cannot think of a single issue in the news that is
not a women's issue. Women are every bit as much affected as any man by
peace and security, by human security, by human rights. It is therefore
right and indeed necessary that women should be there to cover these issues.
With equal strength and equal numbers." 

UNESCO hopes that this initiative will lead to a sustained involvement of
media organisations in advancing women's status not only on issues relating
to women and media but in all other critical areas of concern as well. 

Mavic Cabrera-Balleza 


The Insiders Viewpoint 

Word is getting around that the Prepcom will not get through part IV of the
Outcomes document

Actions and initiatives to overcome obstacles and to achieve the full and
accelerated implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action. Talk is that
governments are stalling the process. WomenAction is conducting random
interviews with members of official delegations and this is what they have
to say: 

"We're all concerned about the slowness of the process. We're trying to keep
our spirits high so that we can at least complete part IV. The Outcomes
document is very important because the Beijing Platform is not being
implemented fully in so many areas. We hope to be able to bring home
specific guidelines for action to promote women's empowerment not only in
Turkey but in the rest of the world. " Pinar Ilkkaracan, Turkish delegation 

"We seem to be following a process started in the Cairo + 5 review where
things moved so slow and there was a need for intersessionals. It's
discouraging that G-77 cannot seem to find an agreement amongst themselves.
But on the other hand and for some good reason, they do not want to split
up." "My other concern is the number of people accredited for the Holy See
and some religious groups. It's a real question that there seem to be no
proportion to the number of Franciscan monks present in this meeting." 

Nell Rasmussen, Danish delegation 

Mavic Cabrera-Balleza 


Special events 

Sign-Up for Participation at the Special Session 

The Asia Pacific Women Watch (APWW) drafted and circulated a petition letter
on NGO participation at the General Assembly Special Session in June. The
appeal, addressed to the DAW, addresses some of the logistical arrangements
perceived to hinder the full participation of NGOs during the Special
Session. These includes the deadline set for registration, the limit on the
number of participants allowed, and the alternative venue for NGO activities. 

Women's organisations from all five regions are called on to sign the appeal. 



A new revision of the governmental Outcomes Document will be released Friday

Saida Agrebi, President of the Tunisian's Mothers Association and
coordinator of North African and Maghrebi's ONG informed us that the
Tunisians ONG's will be holding in June a workshop on women and politics and
decision making. This workshop will be addressed to Arab and African women
so they can share their experiences and best practices. 

Commonwealth NGO strategy meeting, Friday 10AM location TBA at NGO briefing. 

WomenAction wants to go on!! 

After three weeks of the daily news published in English, French and
Spanish, WomenAction 2000 hopes we've shown that information is essential to
this conference. 

We do not know if we will be present in June, especially if only two or
three persons can be accredited. Our bulletin requires a team of at least
twelve people to write, translate, layout the paper, xerox , distribute and
put on-line. Our team is formed with women from Europe, Latin America, Asia,
Africa, Canada, Qu蛯ec, and the U.S.A. 

Special thanks go to our long-suffering translators, Sharon, Dafne, Sarah
and Virtudes. 

We want very much bring back the news in June with Internet TV as well. To
do this we will need to solve the technical, financial and accreditation

Remember the deadline for accreditation before the 31 of March (or April 5
for organizations that were not at Beijing). Let's remain vigilant for the
future, so that world conferences which seem threatened -- may continue,
and let us hope that nothing can stop us. 

We look forward to publicising online the final NGO Coalition document. The
more public it is, the less likely it can be used to negative ends. 

WomenAction 2000 is a global information, communication and media network
that enables NGOs to actively engage in the Beijing+5 review process with
the long-term goal of women's empowerment, with a special focus on women and
media. S. Boezak, J. Radloff, M. Cabrera-Balleza, B. Finke, S. Hackett, D.
Plou, L. Pugh, L. Simerska, I. Massu, M. Dessenne, C. Cinco
GreenNet Support    (


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