Subject: [fem-women2000 265] Fw: Media Message Memo
From: lalamaziwa <>
Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 15:28:57 +0900
Seq: 265

>----- Original Message -----
>From: Kathy Bonk <>
>Sent: Thursday, May 25, 2000 7:34 PM
>Subject: Media Message Memo
>> TO:  Women 2000 Spokespeople and Media Officers
>> FROM:  Kathy Bonk and Emily Tynes, Beijing+5 NGO Media Center/CCMC
>> Over the past few weeks, many of you have been providing input into a
>> talking points memo for the upcoming Women 2000 UNGASS.  Many thanks forall
>> your suggestions.  Below you will find a composite of the key themes.Over
>> the next few days as we continue with media training sessions, we will boil
>> these down into simple sound bites.
>> Please feel free to share these with your colleagues.
>> Women 2000 Talking Points Memo
>> Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace is a weeklong review
>> process also known as Beijing +5.  Thousands of women from around the world
>> will gather in New York City to influence the findings of a United Nations
>> Special Session assessing what governments have done since the 1995 World
>> Conference on Women in Beijing, China.
>> The modern process began in Mexico City in 1975 with the United Nations
>> First World Conference on Women. Its World Plan of Action represented a
>> unique global consensus on what women want, a consensus that still endures
>> among the delegates here. The process continued in Copenhagen in 1980 and in
>> Nairobi in 1985. At Beijing in 1995, the Fourth World Conference on Women
>> adopted a Platform for Action that for the first time spelled out what must
>> be done to empower the world's women.
>> Leaders and spokespeople for non-governmental organizations have often found
>> it helpful in responding to questions to keep in mind the basic messages
>> that form the foundations of our work. Here is a brief summary of some
>> central messages.
>> Women 2000 is part of a 25- year process on behalf of the world's women.
>> * Governments, NGOs and individuals CAN make a big difference
>> in the lives of women and girls around the world. We are working toward full
>> partnership between women and men, legally, economically, politically and
>> socially.
>> * Women 2000 is an historic opportunity to review and assess women's
>> progress toward the goals of the Platform for Action, as well as the
>> remaining obstacles and challenges.
>> The Platform for Action is an integrated document and is not up for debate;
>> the real issue is how we are going to implement its recommendations.
>> * The Platform for Action is an important framework that was carefully
>> crafted by 188 nations and thousands of NGOs worldwide to integrate key
>> issues affecting all people.
>> * The Platform for Action is not at issue here. Debate at the UN
>> General Assembly Special Session now concerns varying interpretations of
>> what countries have and have not done to implement the Platform, and what
>> further actions should be taken.
>> * Opposition to the Platform for Action is real and dangerous.
>> This week we will measure our progress and take the next step toward
>> advancing women everywhere.
>> * Progress of women has been uneven at best, both globally and within
>> each country.  And in some instances, women have fallen behind.
>> * There have been many that can be celebrated/applauded, but women
>> still face serious challenges.
>> * Delegates and NGOs supporting the Platform for Action will be
>> working to ensure that these gains will not be reversed by those opposing
>> women's empowerment.
>> * In many places, women's lives have never been better-with longer
>> life spans, healthier families, better education and more opportunities in
>> every sphere. But elsewhere, change has come slowly if at all, and women are
>> the first to lose ground in any local controversy.
>> *
>> * In too many places, violence of every kind is threatening the very
>> fabric of women's existence.
>> 4. The next generation will determine our common future.
>> * The key to further progress is in the hands of the coming generation
>> of young people - of the six billion people on earth, 3 billion are under 25
>> and 1 billion are in their early reproductive years.  The youth of the
>> world, both girls and boys, will decide the fate of our planet.
>> * As they are educated to awareness of global sisterhood, girls and
>> women will insist upon the rights and options denied to their mothers so as
>> to build a future of equality for all.
>> Major Achievements, Major Obstacles
>> Journalists are likely to ask broad questions about women's gains and
>> losses, seeking a "sound bite" or quotable remark to use in summary reports.
>> To avoid both over-generalization and inaccuracy is difficult. Here are some
>> points to consider in forming your answers.
>> Achievements:
>> * Women's roles, status and rights are now subjects of controversy
>> worldwide. This has put women for the first time on the political agenda in
>> virtually every country.
>> *
>> * Pragmatic policymakers understand now that long-term development
>> cannot occur unless they mobilize the talents and potential in the female
>> half of the population.
>> * Activist women know that they are part of a global movement that has
>> a common agenda to empower all women, and that they are not alone in their
>> struggle.
>> *
>> * The worldwide network of women working for empowerment is growing in
>> size and reach, and in its ability to help women achieve their common goals.
>> *
>> * Young girls and women can see a much broader range of options and
>> role models for their lives than ever before.
>> *
>> * Problems that confront all women-such as violence, discrimination,
>> sexual harassment and inequality-are now widely recognized as problems and
>> not accepted as merely facts of life.
>> Obstacles:
>> * Violence against women is still rampant in many forms: armed
>> conflict, domestic assault, sexual trafficking, genital mutilation, and
>> coercion of every kind. Around the world, at least one woman in every three
>> has been abused in her lifetime.
>> *
>> * Wherever poverty exists, women suffer most. Wherever globalization
>> or other factors increase poverty, women are affected first and lose the
>> most-the majority of the 1.5 billion people living on $1 a day or less are
>> women.
>> *
>> * Tradition, patriarchal norms, and cultural patterns of
>> discrimination against women and girls persist in too many places. These
>> attitudes seem in some cases to be strengthening; often in a "backlash" that
>> reflects alarm at women's undeniable gains.
>> *
>> * Rights may be extended in one sphere, such as access to employment,
>> and denied in another, such as rights to property and credit, reproductive
>> and sexual rights or the sharing of household and care giving
>> responsibilities.
>> *
>> * Women's achievements still tend to be devalued simply because they
>> are done by women, profoundly affecting women's own view of their potential.
>> * Policy and decision-making in every field still tend to be dominated
>> by men worldwide.
>> *
>> * In most countries, the media continue to project a negative and
>> degrading image of women and do not reflect women's diverse lives and
>> contributions to society.
>> Continuing Issues
>> Some of the U.N. debates appear to concern meaningless differences in
>> wording, but certain phrases can have inflammatory meanings. Here are a few
>> examples that you might want to explain to journalists.
>> * Parental rights can be invoked as a way to deprive adolescents of
>> the right to decide for themselves the uses of their own bodies and the
>> direction of their lives.
>> *
>> * Family values are often presented as an alternative to women's
>> rights, as though they were contradictory, or as though women's only
>> fulfillment can be within the family. The phrase is also too vague to have
>> useful meaning.
>> *
>> * Equity may be offered as a substitute for equality, but while
>> equality means that a thing is shared half-and-half, equity means that a
>> thing is shared period, as in a 10 percent equity share. The definition of a
>> "fair" or "equitable" share changes according to who is doing the dividing.
>> *
>> * Safe motherhood is not a euphemism for abortion. One in four
>> pregnancies involves complications, so safe motherhood requires prenatal
>> screening and family planning counseling, health care and nutrition, and
>> birth attendants trained to anticipate and deal with common emergencies.
>> Nearly 600,000 women die each year from pregnancy-related causes.
>> *
>> * Reproductive health care is not a simple euphemism for birth
>> control, contraceptives or abortion. It is a broad concept of care that
>> includes all the information, services and medical attention a person needs
>> to lead a healthy sexual and childbearing life.
>> *
>> * Family planning includes the broader means to freely choose the
>> number and spacing of births, including both modern contraceptives and
>> natural methods, and family planning programs often include broader
>> reproductive health services. Family planning does not include abortion.
>> *
>> * Abortion must be recognized as a global public health issue because
>> over 40% of worldwide abortions are performed under unsafe conditions,
>> leading to nearly 80,000 maternal deaths each year-most of them poor women
>> in developing countries. United Nations documents call upon all countries to
>> set up ways to deal with these health concerns. In the long run, family
>> planning can ensure that every child is a wanted child. Where family
>> planning is widely available, abortion rates plummet. To equate family
>> planning and abortion is completely wrong.

 _________________________________________________________________________ for Women 2000, UN Special Session on Beijing+5
 Searcheable Archive
 visit fem-net HomePage for other mailing lists

Return to Index
Return to fem-women2000 HOME