Subject: [fem-women2000 383] IWTC Women's GlobalNet #151
From: lalamaziwa <>
Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2000 06:45:43 -0500
Seq: 383

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 From: iwtc <>
 Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2000 05:18:00 -0700
 Subject: Women's GlobalNet #151

IWTC Women's GlobalNet #151
Activities and Initiatives of Women Worldwide
by Anne S. Walker

This special edition has been produced by the Isis International- Manila 
Global Media Team in New York for the Special Session

June 6, 2000


NEW YORK - UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said today that while there 
has been progress on the goal for women=92s equality since the 4th 
Conference on Women held in Beijing five years ago,  "much remains to be 
done." Addressing the opening of the five-day United Nations General 
Assembly Special Session on Women 2000, Annan noted that  women still 
earn less, have higher unemployment rates,are more often unemployed, 
generally poorer than men, and that most countries have yet to pass laws 
in favor of women=92s rights to own land and other property.

The UN Secretary General also noted that even while these old challenges 
have yet to be met, new ones have already emerged.  He cited the spread 
of AIDS particularly in southern Africa "where 40 per cent of pregnant 
women are HIV-positive and more than one child in 10 has lost its mother 
to AIDS. "

Another problem is the trafficking of women and children which he said 
has now become a "worldwide plague." He cited, however, the following 
progress for women:
-Violence against women is now illegal almost everywhere.
- There is a worldwide mobilization against harmful traditional 
practices such as "honor killings" or "shame killings."
-New health strategies have helped saved thousands of women=92s lives, and 
more couples now use family planning than ever before.
-A record number of women have become leaders and decision makers in 
both the government and private sectors.
Above all, he said, "more countries have understood that women=92s 
equality is a pre-requisite for development.

Annan called for the full implementation of the Beijing Platform for 
Action, which was passed by 189 member states during the Fourth 
International Conference on Women in 1995. "I believe that implementing 
the Beijing Platform will be crucial in achieving all the Millennium 
goals  I have asked the world=92s leaders to adopt on behalf of all the 
world=92s peoples," he said. The Beijing Platform for Action contains the 
agenda for women=92s empowerment, spelling out the strategic objectives 
and actions to be taken by the year 2000 by governments, the 
international community, NGOs and the private sector for removing 
existing obstacles to women=92s advancement. The Beijing document  
identified twelve critical areas of concern, considered to represent the 
main obstacles in achieving the goal of women=92s advancement  - women and 
poverty, education and training for women, women and health, violence 
against women, women and armed conflict, women and the economy, women in 
power and decision making, institutional mechanisms for the advancement 
of women, human rights of women, women and the media, women and the 
environment and the girl child.

Theo Ben Gurirab, Foreign Minister of Namibia, who was unanimously 
elected as President of the General Assembly, stressed the importance of 
the five-day conference. "We are charged with the sense of a new 
beginning," he said. "This Special Session must try to live up to 
expectations of millions of women all over the world." Entitled "Women 
2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace in the 21st Century" or 
Beijing +5 Review, the special session of the GA will review the 
progress made in the implementation of the Beijing platform. "The 23rd 
Special Session gives us the ideal opportunity to assess how far 
member-states have come to address problems, face new challenges and 
reaffirm new commitments," said Gurirab in his opening speech.  "The 
General Assembly can then move forward to achieve women=92s goal of 
equality and empowerment in all walks of life." Gurirab praised the 
participation of the nongovernment organizations in the deliberations 
leading to the current session, also known as  Beijing Plus 5.

Last Saturday, folowing the NGO Working Session at the UN, the NGO 
sector submitted its own report  titled Alternative Global Report for 
consideration by Member States which Gurirab acknowledged in his speech. 
The Beijing Conference was considered a "watershed event" as it resulted 
in a new  international commitment to achieve gender equality and 
development and the general advancement of women into the 21st century. 
This conference had one of the biggest delegations, with some 17,000 
representatives from government and civil society and another 30,000 
attending the parallel NGO forums.
(Isis International/Manila - Global Women=92s Media Team) 
IWTC Women's GlobalNet is a production of:

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