Subject: [fem-women2000 73] New Flash And Feature from WFS - Bangkok -Beijing +5
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Date: Sat, 30 Oct 1999 23:42:19 +0900
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 From: Leelangi Wanasundera <>
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 Date: Wed, 27 Oct 1999 22:57:14 +0600
 Subject: [asia-women] New Flash And Feature from WFS - Bangkok -Beijing +5

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>Subject: New Flash And Feature from WFS - Bangkok -Beijing +5
>Beijing+5: Women Lobby Governments Against Globalisation 
>By Adele Khan
>Women's Feature Service 
>Bangkok, Oct.27 (WFS) -- Globalisation is featuring at
>the top of the list of women's concerns four years after the
>Fourth World Conference of Women held in Beijing in 1995.
>Asian women are busy lobbying officials at an inter-
>governmental meeting to examine implementation of the Beijing
>Platform For Action in the Asia-Pacific region.  
>The inter-governmental meeting organised by the Economic and
>Social Commission for Asia-Pacific (ESCAP) began in Bangkok on
>October 26. 
>At earlier meetings such as the South Asia meet at Kathmandu
>in July and the Asia-Pacific meet in Bangkok in August, NGO
>women argued that there are emerging issues separate from the
>twelve critical areas of concern identified in 1995. 
>These critical areas -=fe whether about women and poverty,
>economic and political empowerment, health, education,
>environment, violence, in situation of armed conflict, the
>girl child or institution building for women's empowerment -=fe
>still stand. But, women's organisations in Asia, in a joint
>statement arising from the Bangkok conference, state: "New
>trends that perpetuate injustices," and impede women's
>empowerment include, "The negative impact of globalisation and
>structural adjustment programmes on all the Critical Areas of
>One such negative trend recognised by the Asia-Pacific
>Regional NGO Symposium is the increasing dependence of
>developing countries on agriculture technologies introduced by
>developed countries. 
>Other new technologies, while these can be empowering, are
>currently being used to retrench women. Unemployment for women
>has also been aggravated by the East Asia economic crisis. 
>Globalisation has also led to increased privatisation of
>education, with governments cutting back on budget allocations
>for all social development. Noticeably affecting the critical
>areas of education and health, among others, governments are
>increasing defence spending -=fe including expenditure on
>building nuclear capabilities in some Asian countries.
>The appropriation of indigenous healthcare knowledge and
>practices by private multinational companies is yet another
>emerging trend with critical implications. Not only would this
>affect the poor more adversely, women would be the worst
>sufferers. In all countries across the region, surveys have
>found that the expenditure on medical treatment for women is
>generally far below the average expenditure on that for men.
>Women are also more likely to opt for traditional therapies. 
>The link between economic changes and the substantial increase
>in violence against women has been stated. The failure of
>social support mechanisms has a negative impact on women, who
>are still the primary care givers in most of the region. The
>link between globalisation and internal displacement and
>cross-border migration and trafficking is clearly drawn. Even
>technology -- the increased use of Internet -=fe has contributed
>to trafficking.
>The symposium emphasised that it is a matter of especial
>concern to women -=fe the worst sufferers in situations of armed
>conflict -=fe that more and more countries in the region are
>emerging with nuclear technology and capacity. The increased
>militarisation, moreover, has gone hand in hand with
>reinforcement of traditional and feudal values.
>The rise in religious fundamentalism and the threat of and use
>of violence has also served to discourage, even prevent, women
>from seeking public office. The resurgence of right wing
>political movements has resulted in women's rights being
>denied in the name of culture, religion or other identity
>based constructs. Alongside, there is increasing backlash
>against civil society actors, especially women's and human
>rights organisation. 
>These recommendations and findings are being presented at the
>four-day Intergovernmental meeting to review the
>implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action.
>(ends\wfs\550 words)
>Beijing+5: NGOs Stress Rights At ESCAP Meet In Bangkok
>Bangkok, Oct.27 (WFS) -- On the opening day of the
>intergovernmental meeting to review the implementation of the
>Beijing Platform for Action in the Asia-Pacific region,
>organised by the ESCAP (Economic and Social Commission for the
>Asia-Pacific) here, yesterday, NGOs emphasised the twin themes
>of rights and empowerment. 
>A day earlier, while giving the keynote address at the NGO
>preparatory meet preceding the official conference, noted
>human rights activist Sunila Abeyasekara of Sri Lanka, had set
>the tone for NGOs by highlighting "two particular realities of
>Asian women -- globalisation and the financial crisis, and the
>rise of right-wing politics." 
>While globalisation has resulted in increased poverty,
>displacement and downsizing of government support to the
>social sectors, the shift in political trends includes
>increasing religious fundamentalism, said Abeyasekara, a
>recipient of the UN Human Rights Award for 1998.
>Abeyasekara pointed out that women are the worst sufferers in
>situations of conflict, whether of a religious, ethnic or
>political nature, and called upon the UN system to accord
>priority to the inclusion of women in its peace-keeping
>activities and forces. She also pointed out that not many
>Asian countries have signed the international treaty banning
>The human rights activist also stressed that the burden of
>poverty falls hardest on women. Globalisation has affected
>women not only because of the consequent depletion of state
>support to areas such as health and education services, but
>also through the cutbacks in employment, internal displacement
>because of mega infrastructure projects and cross-border
>migration arising from unemployment. Such displacement,
>migration and poverty makes a breeding ground for illegal
>trafficking in people, she added. 
>Abeyasekara called on all Asian governments to ratify the
>International Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers. 
>About 200 government delegates and an equal number of NGOs
>from 60 countries in the Asia Pacific region are attending the
>meeting. (WFS)

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