Subject: [fem-women2000 484] Preliminary Analysis of the Beijing+5 Outcome Document (DAW)
From: lalamaziwa <>
Date: Thu, 03 Aug 2000 05:50:28 +0900
Seq: 484

text taken from

      Preliminary Analysis of the Beijing+5 Outcome Document

                            June 2000

The year 2000 constituted a critically important point for the review
and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action
and the adoption by consensus by the special session of the General
Assembly, "Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the
twenty-first century" of a Political Declaration and an outcome document
on future actions and initiatives. The Political Declaration strongly
reaffirms that governments have the responsibility to implement the
Beijing Platform for Action. The Platform, therefore, remains the
reference point for governmental commitment to women’s rights in the 12
critical areas of concern. The outcome document, not only reaffirmed the
Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action, but also strengthened
the Platform in some areas through making the actions more focused, and
encompassing the additional new issues which emerged or gained on
importance in the last five years. 

The provisions related to women and health are the case in point. They
go beyond Beijing in putting strong emphasis on the gender aspects of
HIV/AIDS pandemic and STIs, malaria and tuberculosis pointing out to
their disproportionate impact on women’s and girls health and calling
for proper policies and measures to address these challenges. The
document also explicitly addresses the situation of the girl child
affected by the HIV/AIDS ? as an infected person, care provider, and
orphan. It also recommends the promotion of women’s and girls mental
health, its integration into health care services and programmes and ?
in this context - gender sensitive training of health workers to
recognize and properly address gender-based violence. The document also
contains some specific provisions on ageing, stressing the need for
programmes for healthy, active ageing, aimed at ensuring the
independence, equality, participation and security of older women. 

Remarkable progress can also be noted with regard to the human rights of
women and the issue of violence against women. The outcome document
further expands the framework of the discussion. It focuses on the need
for promoting an environment that does not tolerate violations of the
rights of women and girls, and requests changes in legislation with the
view to remove discriminatory provisions by 2005, and eliminate
legislative gaps which leave women and girls without effective legal
protection and recourse against gender based discrimination. In this
context, more specific provisions are introduced to address the issues
which are not directly mentioned in the Platform for Action, such as
marital rape, crimes committed in the name of honour and passion, racism
and racially motivated violence against women and girls. The outcome
document also formulates a sets of concrete, new measures to combat the
violations of human rights of women which include: the call for zero
tolerance campaigns against violence against women; the requirement for
laws and other measures to address negative traditional practices,
including honour crimes; mainstreaming gender into national immigration
policies in order to recognize gender-related persecution and violence
in assessing grounds for granting refugee status and asylum. The outcome
document also puts on the agenda the signing and ratifying of the
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women, adopted in 1999 ? one of the greatest
legislative achievements in the area of human rights of women since the
Conference in Beijing and of the Rome Statute of the International
Criminal Court which provides that rape, sexual slavery, enforced
prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization and other forms
of sexual violence are war crimes when committed in the context of armed
conflict and also under defined circumstances, crimes against humanity.

The outcome document also constitutes a step forward with regard to the
issues of trafficking in women and girls and the associated forms of
violence by addressing them in a holistic manner. The suggested measures
to combat trafficking in women and girls range from addressing the root
factors of the phenomenon, to a comprehensive anti-trafficking strategy
which includes legislative and preventive measures, exchange of
information, assistance, protection and reintegration of victims, and
prosecution of offenders. The outcome document further suggests to set
up a national rapporteur or an interagency body with the participation
of civil society, including NGOs, to collect and exchange information
and to report on data, root causes, factors and trends in violence
against women, in particular trafficking. The document also introduces
the idea of not prosecuting women and girl victims of trafficking for
illegal entry or residence in the country.

While outlining the changes which have taken place during the last five
years under the conditions of globalization, structural transformation
and economic transition, the outcome document emphasizes the gender
dimension of the challenges presented by globalization. It stresses the
gender effects of changing patterns of production, work, and accelerated
technological advances in information and communication, pointing out to
their uneven impacts on women. While globalization brought greater
opportunities to some women, many others have been marginalized due to
deepening inequalities among and within countries. Consequently, the
outcome document calls for measures to address those new challenges.
They include: analysis of and policy responses to major reasons why
women and men are differently affected by job creation and retrenchment;
ensuring equal access to social protection systems to provide safeguards
against the uncertainties and changes in conditions of work;
facilitating employment for women, through inter alia removal of fiscal
obstacles, simplification of administrative procedures, promotion of
adequate social protection, and access to risk capital.

The outcome document has strongly reaffirmed the commitment made to
mainstreaming as the key strategy for promoting gender equality in the
Beijing Platform for Action, and further elaborated in the ECOSOC Agreed
Conclusions 1997/2 and in other General Assembly and ECOSOC resolutions.
Throughout the United Nations system consistent efforts are being made
to incorporate gender perspective into the substantive work of the
United Nations. The Interagency Committee on Women and Gender Equality
continues to collaborate effectively to develop methodologies for gender
mainstreaming. Increased recognition of the importance of incorporating
gender perspective in programme budgets has led to the establishment of
innovative initiatives to encourage greater attention to gender in
budget processes. Many departments and regional commissions have
increased attention to gender perspective in Medium Term Plans. The
President of the Security Council, on behalf of the Council, issued a
statement on the occasion of the International Women’s Day pointing out
that peace is inextricably linked with equality between women and men.
The study on "Mainstreaming a gender perspective in multidimensional
peace-keeping operations" carried out by DPKO and the on-going
development of fact-sheets on gender and disarmament by DDA are examples
of gender mainstreaming in the United Nations. The development of
competence on gender perspective among staff continues, with a
comprehensive programme under preparation for DESA. 

The efforts also include, but are not limited to, working to ensure that
there is more equal participation of women in all bodies and processes
in the work of the United Nations. Efforts are being made to encourage
the nomination of women as well as men on committees, tribunals, expert
group meetings, training programmes and fellowship programmes. 


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