The issues presented are based on the 12 critical areas of concern of the Beijing Platform for action. Pick any area of concern to view related documents.

Women and Poverty

Women and Media

Women and the Environment

Education and Training of Women

Women and Health

Violence against Women

Women in Power
and Decision-Making

Women and Armed Conflict

Institutional Mechanisms for the Advancement of Women

Women and the Economy

Human Rights of Women

The Girl Child

Women and Poverty
Gender and PRSPs:
with experiences from Tanzania, Bolivia, Viet Nam and Mozambique

The report provides an overview of gender and the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) with particular reference to Tanzania, Bolivia, Viet Nam and Mozambique. The study was conducted over a 21-day period as part of a subscription service provided by BRIDGE to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark. This is not an in-depth study, but aims to give a general idea of how gender has been incorporated into the PRSP processes, particularly, in the four countries from where experiences are drawn.

Women in Poverty: A New World Underclass
Women are traditionally found to be more impoverished than men. This feminization of poverty should be considered a legitimate foreign policy concern. Because women are increasingly economic actors and heads of households as well as mothers, their poverty slows global economic growth. TOP | HOME

Consumption Expenditure and Female Poverty: A Review of the Evidence
This paper sets out to answer two questions. First, are poor females at a significant disadvantage compared to males and non-poor females in terms of welfare indicators of such as health, education, nutrition, labor force participation, and time use? Second, are female-headed households over-represented among the poor? To answer these questions and maintain consistency in the definition of poverty, this review limits itself to the literature that includes consumption expenditure (or income) welfare measures. This includes more than 60 Poverty Assessments carried out by the World Bank since 1994 as well as other recent published and unpublished studies. There is considerable variation in the nature and extent of gender inequality across countries, making it difficult to generalize that disparities between women and men are systematically larger below the poverty line. The evidence surrounding the incidence of poverty in female-headed households is also found to be country and case specific. For example, in a given context, de jure female-headed households may be disproportionately poor while de facto households are not. The evidence indicates that a more nuanced approach to understanding the relationship between headship and poverty is needed. This includes accounting for differences in household structure and as well as analyzing the process of household formation. TOP | HOME

Gender, Poverty and Trade
This paper differs from other studies of the impact of trade on inequality and poverty in several ways: First, its principal focus is gender inequalities. Second, it takes a broad view of poverty and examines interactions between different dimensions of social inequalities and poverty, thus seeking to go beyond the static ‘winners and losers’ analysis. Third, it argues that the ‘success’ of trade policies must be evaluated not through market-based criteria, such as whether they maximise flows of goods and services, but in terms of whether they further desired social outcomes such as equity, social inclusion, freedom from poverty, development of human capabilities, protection of human rights, democratic governance and environmental sustainability.

Globalisation the cause of poor women's woes
Economic globalisation is concentrating more power in a few corporations and international agencies, and is greatly responsible for the causes of women's poverty. So concluded an interesting panel discussion that was part of the Women's Conference

Women and Poverty
More than 1 billion people in the world today, the great majority of whom are women, live in unacceptable conditions of poverty, mostly in the developing countries. Poverty has various causes, including structural ones. Poverty is a complex, multidimensional problem, with origins in both the national and international domains.

The Feminization of Poverty

The majority of the 1.5 billion people living on 1 dollar a day or less are women. In addition, the gap between women and men caught in the cycle of poverty has continued to widen in the past decade, a phenomenon commonly referred to as "the feminization of poverty". Worldwide, women earn on average slightly more than 50 per cent of what men earn.

Education and Training of Women
The Structure of Social Disparities in Education: Gender and Wealth
This paper uses a set of internationally comparable household datasets (the Demographic and Health Surveys—or DHS) to investigate the ways in which gender and wealth interact in generating within country inequalities in educational enrollment and attainment. In addition, a multivariate analysis is carried out to assess the partial relationship between educational outcomes and gender, wealth, household characteristics (including the education of adults in the household) and community characteristics (including the presence of schools in the community). There are four main findings. First, a large female disadvantage in education is found in countries in Western and Central Africa, North Africa, and South Asia. Second, while gender gaps are large in a subset of countries, wealth gaps are large in almost all the countries studied. In addition, in some countries the interaction of gender and wealth result in large gaps in educational outcomes. Third, the education of adults in the household has a significant impact on the enrollment of children in all the countries studied, and the effect of female adult education is larger than that of males in some, but not all, of he countries studied. Fourth, the presence of a primary and a secondary school in the community has a significant effect on enrollment in some countries only (notably the Western and Central African countries) and the effect does not appear to systematically differ by gender of the child.

Education, Health and Women's Issues in China
Primary health care and basic education are important indicators of development, especially in a country as populous as China. The Chinese government recognises the importance of increasing access and improving the quality of primary health care and basic education as positive steps towards the eradication of poverty. Priority is therefore placed on health promotion, disease prevention and universal compulsory education.


FWCW Platform for Action Education and Training of Women
Education is a human right and an essential tool for achieving the goals of equality, development and peace. Non-discriminatory education benefits both girls and boys and thus ultimately contributes to more equal relationships between women and men. Equality of access to and attainment of educational qualifications is necessary if more women are to become agents of change. Literacy of women is an important key to improving health, nutrition and education in the family and to empowering women to participate in decision-making in society.

The importance of training and education to women
Facts and figures on education and training of women. This document is on PDF format. You must download Acrobat Reader to view the document.

Fact sheet:educating girls and women
Educating girls and women is closely associated with better health, lower infant mortality, lower fertility, higher economic growth and environmental stewardship. Educated women are more likely to be part of the labor force and to seek health care for themselves and their children. Learn more from this fact sheet.

Women and education and training in Canada
Facts and figures on education and training of women in Canada and the world in general. This document is on PDF format. You must download Acrobat Reader to view the document.

Violence against Women

Women@Work to End Violence: Voices in Cyberspace
This publication offers excerpts taken from the "end-violence" online Working Group in which thousands of members shared their ideas, best practices and lessons learned to eradicate the gender-based violence. The Working Group has been sponsored by UNIFEM in collaboration with the Education Development Center, Inc., the World Bank and the Global Knowledge Partnership. TOP | HOME

Toolkit to end violence against women
To provide concrete guidance to communities, policy leaders, and individuals engaged in activities to end violence against women, the National Advisory Council on Violence Against Women developed the Toolkit To End Violence Against Women (USA). The recommendations contained in the Toolkit were reviewed by numerous experts in the fields of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking. Each Toolkit chapter focuses on a particular audience or environment and includes recommendations for strengthening prevention efforts and improving services and advocacy for victims. We encourage you to consult all chapters of the Toolkit for instruction, guidance, and inspiration. TOP | HOME

Fact sheet: violence against women
One in every three women worldwide has been beaten, raped, coerced into sex or physically abused in some way -- usually by someone she knows. On the street, in the workplace and at home, personal violence kills or incapacitates as many women ages 15-40 as cancer, and causes more ill-health than malaria and accidents combined. It devastates lives, fractures communities and cripples development. Where women are considered property, such violence is often an indirect attack by one man upon another, with the woman caught in the middle.

VAW online resources (USA)
Up-to-date information on interventions to stop violence against women for criminal justice practitioners, advocates, and social service professionals with the latest in research and promising practices regarding issues of domestic violence, stalking, batterer intervention programs, child custody & protection, sexual assault, and welfare reform.

Women and Armed Conflict

Women and peace-building in Sri Lanka (2003)
The document summarises the contents and process of the workshop titled Women’s Journey to Peace: Strengthening the Next Steps Forward, then focuses on the findings, learnings and recommendations which emerged from each of the sessions of the said workshop. The document concludes by highlighting some observations about women, politics and change, and then summarise suggestions made on how women’s actions for peace be more effective. TOP | HOME

Women, war and peace:
The independent experts’ assessment on the impact of armed conflict on women and women’s role in peace-building (2002)
The voices of women, their experiences during war and their struggles to build peace are at the heart of this report by independent experts. Because of the specific way in which women are targeted during conflict, and because Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security called for further study, UNIFEM appointed the two women, both politicians and government officials in their home countries, to travel to conflict areas, interview women and bring their concerns to the attention of the United Nations and the world. The report covers many areas of concern, from the gender dimensions of violence and displacement during conflict to the role of peacekeepers and the need for women to play a central part during peace negotiations and reconstruction. Key recommendations focus on finding ways to protect and empower women. TOP | HOME

Women waging peace (2002)
Certainly, some extraordinary men have changed the course of history with their peace-making. Yet women are often the most powerful voices for moderation in times of conflict. While most men come to the negotiating table directly from the war room and battlefield, women usually arrive straight out of civil activism and-take a deep breath-family care. TOP | HOME

Gender mainstreaming in peace support operations: Moving beyond rhetoric to practice (July 2002)
This paper discusses the need, rationale and mandates for mainstreaming gender throughout Peace Support Operations (PSOs). It raises some of the challenges and suggests recommendations for assisting the process. At this critical time in the development of gender mainstreaming within PSOs it aims to contribute to the growing debate of ‘How’ gender mainstreaming policy can be translated and entrenched in practice. Download this document. TOP | HOME

Gender and conflict early warning: A framework for action (2002)
The deliberate victimisation of women during recent wars has focused attention on the different impacts of internal and transnational conflicts on men and women. At the same time, the contribution of women and women’s organisations to conflict resolution, management and peace building is also gaining wider recognition. This paper proposes a list of gender-sensitive early warning indicators for the purpose of verification and expansion. It concludes with a set of recommendations for future research and action, with particular emphasis on conducting empirical tests on the assumptions put forth. This paper, in Adobe Acrobat format, is produced in collaboration with the Swiss Peace Foundation and International Alert. TOP | HOME

Women, peace and security: A policy audit (2001)
This report draws on the work of International Alert, which is bringing together women"s NGOs and civil society organisations for a "Women"s Peace Audit". This audit is the second in a two-stage process, and is meant to assess the extent to which the international community is addressing the needs of women. The focus is on evaluating the implementation and monitoring of national and international commitments to gender-sensitive conflict and post-conflict re/construction. The report argues that some women"s organisations have had considerable success as part of policy-making processes, such as gaining recognition for the inclusion of gender-based violence as a war crime in the International Criminal Court. This suggests that when given an opportunity to participate, women have the capacity to make significant contributions. The recommendations that arise from the report are numerous, and include: facilitating the greater participation of women at the peace and negotiation table; addressing the mechanisms for effective prosecution of crimes against women in war; and developing guidelines for ensuring gender-sensitivity in post-conflict rehabilitation programmes. This paper, in Adobe Acrobat format, is produced by International Alert. TOP | HOME

Unveiling women as pillars of peace
Peace-building in communities fractured by conflict in Kenya (2000)
This is the first of a series of research studies carried out under the UNDP project Rebuilding Fractured Communities, Phase II, a collaborative effort between the Management Development and Governance Division and the Regional Bureau for Africa. The series documents community efforts in the following countries: Burundi, Cambodia, Guatemala, Kenya, Liberia, Philippines, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and the former Yugoslavia. These studies aim to identify tools and methodologies using participatory strategies to build consensus and repair fracture within and between communities. TOP | HOME

Fact Sheet 5: Women and armed conflict (2000)
It is estimated that close to 90 per cent of current war casualties are civilians, the majority of whom are women and children, compared to a century ago when 90 per cent of those who lost their lives were military personnel. More.

Inventory of initiatives & actions regarding women & peacebuilding in Europe
This inventory focuses primarily on NGOs and organisations, both women led and otherwise, involved in either conflict prevention, conflict resolution, post conflict or peacebuilding work. It excludes universities and other such organisations. It is not exhaustive, but should be seen as a starting point and a tool to be used by organisations, creating links with others and providing information on organisations engaged in this area. Published in 2001 it is written in English and French.

Fact sheet: focusing on women and armed conflict
The absence of women from decision making councils cripples efforts to forestall conflict, and also hampers peacemaking, peacekeeping and post-conflict reconciliation. The breakdown of social structures during conflict costs the lives of countless women and children and helps spread HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections.

Protection of women in armed conflicts
Under international humanitarian law, which primarily protects the most vulnerable, women are consequently entitled to special protection which the States have the duty to respect and ensure. Here is the extract from "Protection of the civilian population in periods of armed conflict, formulated during the 26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

Women and Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Issues and Sources
The discussion of women's participation in decision-making in relation to war and peace in fact predates the recent discussion of post-conflict reconstruction. In 1975, the Nairobi Conference, which marked the opening of the United Nations Decade for Women, pointed to the need to involve women equally in decision-making. The recommendations of the Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women stated that: "Governments should be encouraged to increase the participation of women in the peace process at the decision-making level, including them as part of delegations to negotiate international agreements relating to peace and disarmament and establishing a target for the number of women participating in such delegations


Women and the Economy
What does the collapse of the Cancun Ministerial
mean for women's rights in development?

Woith the collapse of the Cancun talks gender advocates must maintain their vigilance of the World Trade Organization and continue working to transform the system of global governance into a democratic, transparent, accountable system that facilitates, not impedes, the attainment of human rights by all. This system is in crisis and the failure in Cancun may have dealt a crippling blow. Monitoring negotiations in Geneva is more difficult for most gender advocates however, so building coalitions and effectively sharing information throughout our networks becomes more important than ever. Download the document from our server.

Promoting gender equality: a resource kit for trade unions
A resource kit targeted to trade unions and other types of organizations has been produced to help raise awareness about gender issues and promote gender equality within unions. Promoting Gender Equality: Resource Kit for Trade Unions, published by the ILO Gender Promotion Programme (GENPROM), was developed through collaboration with the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) as well as various national trade unions.
The kit addresses issues including: promoting gender equality through collective bargaining; guidelines for gender equality bargaining; organizing the unorganized; the informal economy and other unprotected workers; organizing in diversity; and promoting women workers' rights through alliances and solidarity. TOP | HOME

Women and men in the informal economy
On the occasion of the 90th Session of the International Labour Conference, held in June 2002 in Geneva, the ILO issued a report on Women and Men in the Informal Economy. The report includes an up-to-date statistical summary and analyses of the situations and characteristics of employment of women and men in the informal economy in selected countries, based on available data. It also features recommendations on measures to improve statistics and data on the informal economy for policy making. The statistics in the report were analyzed and presented according to the new conceptual framework for the informal economy; this framework was proposed in the ILO report on Decent Work and the Informal Economy, which was discussed at the International Labour Conference.

Gender Inequality, Income, and Growth: Are Good Times Good for Women?
The relative status of women is poor in the developing world, compared to developed countries. Increases in per capita income lead to improvements in different measures of gender equality, suggesting that there may be market failures hindering investment in girls in developing countries, and that these are typically overcome as development proceeds. Gender inequality in education and health can also be explained to a considerable extent by religious preference, regional factors, and civil freedom. These systematic patterns in gender differentials suggest that low investment in women is not an efficient economic choice, and we can show that gender inequality in education is bad for economic growth. Thus, societies that have a preference for not investing in girls pay a price for it in terms of slower growth and reduced income.

Progress of the world's women 2000
This report examines the progress of the world's women from the mid 1980s to the late 1990s. It concentrates on the economic dimensions of gender equality and women's empowerment in the context of globalization. It assesses women's progress using a variety of indicators and examines the issue of accountability, focusing in particular on government accountability for the gender impact of their policies and programmes, including national budgets, and on corporate accountability for the social impact of their operations. Finally, it explores ways in which globalization can be reshaped to promote the progress of poor women. TOP | HOME

Women in Business and Globalization
If women are to successfully meet the challenges of globalization and liberalization they must deal with the following realizations such as the need to practice what we preach: Our businesses have to be women-friendly. Likewise, we have to be in the forefront of espousing fair trade practices as well as transparency and accountability among private businesses. More from this paper presented by Isabelita Sy-Palanca, President of the Women's Business Council of the Philippines and Deputy Chair of the Confederation of Women's Business Councils - APEC.

Fact sheet: improving women's economic status
Major gaps continue between the economic opportunities and status afforded to women and those offered to men -- in training, credit, employment opportunities, workplace roles and wages. Yet women's economic integration is a powerful impetus for economic, social and environmental progress. Improving women's economic status clearly helps to save lives by promoting health, encouraging economic progress, and enhancing the social status of women.

Human Rights of Women
Second class: The legal status of Iranian women (2000)
In many ways, the Iranian revolution has brought to the fore the discrepancy between reality and mental perceptions. But in no other respect has the inconsistency been more apparent than in the private and social lives of women.
Soon after the revolution, Iranian women came to discover the gap between the reality before them and the expectations that had prompted them to take an active role in the course of the revolution. They also realized the challenge that this gap was to pose before them. It is because of the impact of the events resulting from this historical challenge that many believe that the revolution has given birth to a kind of paradox in the life of the Iranian women. TOP | HOME

1998: A wonderful year for women's human rights? (1998)
This paper looks at some aspects of the UN's human rights standards and machinery and how they might become more relevant to the human rights of women at both the national and the international levels. Amnesty International promotes awareness of and adherence to all the rights embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other internationally recognized human rights instruments, the values enshrined in them, and the indivisibility and interdependence of all human rights and freedoms.

Connecting the global and the local: Women’s human rights movements and the critique of globalization
In this interview by WHRNet, Josefa Francisco talks about WAGI’s work, the importance of international women’s human rights advocacy in national/local struggles, and the need for strong linkages between global and national/local struggles. She explains why feminists in the South should counter neo-liberalist globalization, discusses some problems with the women’s movement at global and national/local levels, gives a critique of the Northern rights language discourse, and offers advice to younger feminists.

Bringing equality home
From the Foreword: "This booklet does not attempt to provide an exhaustive listing of all of the work that has been done with CEDAW to date, and many of the initiatives it describes are still very much in progress. What it provides is a collection of 'snapshots' of a dynamic process currently taking place around the world as societies explore ways of using the Convention to bring concrete improvements to women's daily lives."

State Policies and Women’s Autonomy in China, The Republic of Korea, and India 1950-2000: Lessons From Contrasting Experiences
We compare changes in gender roles and women’s empowerment in China, the Republic of Korea, and India. Around 1950, when all these countries had new governments following revolution or the end of colonial rule, they were largely poor and agrarian, with many cultural commonalities which placed similar severe constraints on women’s autonomy. They adopted very different paths of development, which are known to have profoundly affected development outcomes in these countries. However, these choices have also had tremendous impact on gender outcomes, and today these countries show striking differences in the extent of gender equity achieved: China has achieved the most, and the Republic of Korea the least. We conclude that: (a)
States can exert enormous influence over gender equity. They can mitigate cultural influences on women’s autonomy (as in China and India), or slow down the pace of change in gender equity despite rapid integration of women in education, formal employment and urbanization (as in the Republic of Korea). (b) The impact of policies to provide opportunities for women’s empowerment can be greatly enhanced if accompanied by communication efforts to alter cultural values which place heavy constraints to women’s accessing these opportunities. TOP | HOME

Engendering development: Through gender equality in rights, resources and voice.
Gender discrimination remains pervasive in many dimensions of life—worldwide. This is so despite considerable advances in gender equality in recent decades. The nature and extent of the discrimination vary considerably across countries and regions. But the patterns are striking. In no region of the developing world are women equal to men in legal, social, and economic rights. Gender gaps are widespread in access to and control of resources, in economic opportunities, in power, and political voice. Women and girls bear the largest and most direct costs of these inequalities—but the costs cut more broadly across society, ultimately harming everyone. Gender equality is a core development issue—a development objective in its own right.

Fact sheet: advancing women's human rights
The concept of empowerment for women saves their lives not only physically but in a qualitative sense. Advancing women's human rights gives them options beyond childbearing and the autonomy to make those choices free of coercion. This enriches the women's families and communities as well.

Women 2000: An Investigation into the Status of Women’s Rights in Central and South-Eastern Europe and the Newly Independent States
This is the result of the first investigation ever conducted to compare and contrast the status of women across the broad expanse of the former Soviet Union. The final report details the status of women’s rights in twenty-nine countries, examining aspects such as the legal framework and national machinery addressing discrimination against women; educational opportunities; women’s participation in public life, politics, media, the business sector, academia and civil society; violence against women, including sexual violence; women’s de facto exploitation by way of prostitution and trafficking in women; the situation of women within distinctive and vulnerable groups such as ethnic minorities, sexual minorities and prisoners or the situation of women and armed conflict and as refugees. Download this document in PDF format.


The human rights of women
This is a reference guide to official United Nations documents on the human rights of women.

Background paper on racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia
This is a UNIFEM background paper integrating gender into the Third World Conference against Racism, Racila Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.

Women and Media
Women and media: Progress and issues (2003)

According to the results of an online discussion intiated by WomenWatch there have been few improvements in media portrayal of women both in advertising and news coverage. Women still scarcely occupy decision-making positions in media organizations. Technological developments have made women's images in media more complex and contributed to unattainable social expectations surrounding women's beauty and abilities. However, it also noted that women and media monitoring groups have made some contributions in promoting positive images and role of women in media.
Download the document. TOP | HOME

Overcoming the gender digital divide: Understanding ICTs and their potential for the empowerment of women (2003)
This research paper offers research findings on the potential of ICTs and how they can empower and transform women's lives. This burgeoning potential will not be realised, the authors assert, until women of all nations compound efforts to better inform policy-makers of the needs of women in relation to the access and use of ICTs, and the need to shape policy formation accordingly. Download the document.

Gender, information technology, and developing countries: An analytic study (1998)
Information technology (IT) has become a potent force in transforming social, economic, and political life globally. Without its incorporation into the information age, there is little chance for countries or regions to develop. More and more concern is being shown about the impact of those left on the other side of the digital divide - the division between the information "haves" and "have nots." Most women within developing countries are in the deepest part of the divide - further removed from the information age than the men whose poverty they share. If access to and use of these technologies is directly linked to social and economic development, then it is imperative to ensure that women in developing countries understand the significance of these technologies and use them. If not, they will become further marginalized from the mainstream of their countries and of the world. It is essential that gender issues be considered early in the process of the introduction of information technology in developing countries so that gender concerns can be incorporated from the beginning and not as a corrective afterwards. Many people dismiss the concern for gender and IT in developing countries on the basis that development should deal with basic needs first. However, it is not a choice between one and the other. IT can be an important tool in meeting women's basic needs and can provide the access to resources to lead women out of poverty.

ICTs as an instrument in advancing girls’ and women’s capabilities in school education in Africa
Any interrogation into the use ICTs as a tool for the advancement of African girls
and women in education has to confront three major contextual areas:
educational and development issues, ICT issues and gender issues and the
confluence between these. This paper contends that a clear conceptual
framework in problematising the education crisis from a developmental,
gendered and ICT perspective is lacking and is critical in providing conceptual
clarity on appropriate strategies for using ICTs as a tool for women’s
empowerment particularly in Africa.

Gender Issues in Information Technology Communication
In a women's list group, one member (tagged CP) jumped in and suggested that one of the discussants (tagged DH) had to be a male despite the obviously female name used. According to CP, who acknowledged herself as female, because DH was always critical in her/his messages regarding the issues discussed and was aggressive in asserting his/her ideas, DH had to be a man. CP also attributed her suspicion that DH was a man to the language DH used. While the sexual identity of a member of a list-group may be concealed, apparently, some can still detect this through the language the person uses.
This is a report published by Isis International - Manila. TOP | HOME

Telecentres for universal access: Engendered policy options
The concept of community-based telecentres recently gained widespread attention as a vital response to the perpetual lack of access to information and communication technologies and services in the developing world. While telecentres are not an entirely new idea, the strong emphasis on this new policy option offers an intriguing and encouraging approach to overcoming the wide disparities of access in the global information society, and as such, provide opportunities for developing societies and historically disadvantaged regions and populations to participate in the newly emerging social and economic orders.
This is a report published by Isis International - Manila. TOP | HOME

Women Connect! Case study of an alternative communication model
For women’s organisations engaged in outreach—whether to community members or to politicians, legislators and the media, communication skills are crucial. Today the communication strategies of women’s non-government organisations (NGOs) span a broad range—from posters, folk drama, and slogan-bearing t-shirts to the Internet and Websites. However, many, if not most, women’s organisations, in both developed and developing countries, know they still have much to learn about communication—be it traditional media, mass media or modern information technology.
This is a report published by Isis International - Manila. TOP | HOME

Get in and Get in early: Ensuring women’s access to and participation in ICT Projects
Recent research on Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-based projects shows that the majority of these projects developed and funded by major donors do not consider gender an important component of project design and, consequently, fail to address the demands of women in the targeted communities and provide them access to ICT. This is a report published by Isis International - Manila.

Transforming infomation and communications technologies (ICTs) for gender equality
This monograph examines how information and communication technologies (ICTs) can contribute to sustainable human development (SHD), and specifically its gender equality and women’s empowerment goals. It shows that this outcome is neither automatic nor inevitable. On the contrary, factors inherent in the manner in which ICTs have been developed and used threaten the achievement of SHD and its gender equality objectives. It is therefore important for development thinkers and practitioners to understand the technological and institutional changes that are shaping the production, use and rapid diffusion of ICTS, whether they are working on specific gender or more general development issues. The monograph is intended to contribute to that understanding.

Partnership with media for transformative leadership
The concept of transformative leadership still has to acquire a wide following in the mainline media - not because of opposition or sceptism to the idea but simply due to lack of its wide dissemination. This is the paper presented by Angana Parekh of Women's Feature Service-India during the Asia-Pacific Congress and Training of Women and Men in Media, and Women in Politics, Governance and Decision-making on Transformative Leadership held in Manila, Philippines on 8-10 November 2001.

Gender analysis of telecenter evaluation methodology
This document sets out to address the question of how gender can be meaningfully integrated into telecentre evaluation methodologies. It is animated by African experiences and examples and specifically by South African experiences and examples. Specifically in terms of primary research with women and men working as telecentre operators and managers, with women and men in communities serviced by telecentres and an investigation of similarities of these experiences across countries and continents in the developing world.

Gender and Information and Communications Technology (ICT): Towards an analyticalk framework
This paper presents a range of perspectives on gender and information and communication technology (ICT) drawn from a review of the literature. The aim is to present some of the major debates and critiques of ICT to highlight some important issues of concern for women. It also provides an analytical framework from which to view women’s global participation in, need for and critique of computer networking. The framework builds on an initial one developed for our second research study: Women Working in ICT.

Access to media: Best practices, obstacles and challenges
Over the last five years, women have made significant advances in gaining access to media. They have also become aware of important hurdles. This document, included in the CSW Media Caucus Information Pack, attempts to unpack these experiences.

Women meeting the challenge: A handbook for media leadership
This is filled with practical solutions to the barriers that hold women back from reaching their leadership potential. It draws upon the discussions at CSLI and other AWMC programs to create a guide for women aspiring to leadership in the news media. It uses recent studies to demonstrate where African women stand as leaders in the media.

Directory of women's media
This is a directory of women's media organizations in print periodicals, internet and other women's media compiled by the Women Institute for Press Freedom.

Women working with media for development and democracy
This is a directory of women's organizations working with media.

Women and Environment
Women's action agenda for a healthy planet (2002)
This is the preliminary draft as of October 23, 2001. It has the following ten themes: Governance and Sustainable Development; Globalisation and the claim for transparency and accountability in the institutions of the Global System; Socio-environmental Dimensions of Conflicts and the Arms Race; Role Of Women In Peace Building; Tensions between the Free Market Ideology and Sustainable Production and Consumption Goals; Women's Right to Access and Control Over Global Public Goods; Women's Sexual And Reproductive Health and Rights and the Environment; Environmental Security: Protecting The Health of Present and Future Generations; Protection of Biodiversity, Indigenous Knowledge and Resources; Gender Dimension of Sustainable Cities; Gaps and Opportunities in Education, Communication and Information Technologies


Women and Health
Women's reproductive health in the Middle East and North Africa (2003)
About half of the 10 million women who give birth each year in the Middle East and North Africa have some kind of complication, with more then 1 million of them suffering serious injuries that lead to long-term illness.

Translating Reproductive Rights Into Reality (2002)
There is a global call for reproductive health and rights, but the reality of getting the care and supplies to the people who need them is a challenge.

Women's health
This is a links page of organizations and online resources on women's health.

Gender and HIV/AIDS
The document offers an overview of gender and HIV/AIDS. The author discusses current infection rates and trends of HIV in women. She states that the traditional health based approach is not sufficient in tackling the epidemic, that it is necessary to look at gender inequality, sexual politics and what is called the third epidemic, which moves beyond the medical to the social and refers to the denial, blame, stigmatisation, prejudice and discrimination which is present in every country dealing with HIV/AIDS. The paper argues for HIV/AIDS to be addressed with a gendered, rights based approach. A number of research papers and agreements are discussed in support of the argument that HIV/AIDS is a human rights issue. TOP | HOME

Gender and HIV/AIDS: Supporting Resources Collection
This document collates key resources on gender and HIV/AIDS. These are divided into:
* Key texts in the subject
* case studies of good practice
* tools and guides
* courses
* web resources
* networking and contact details


Women in Power and Decision-Making
Women and Politics in Asia (2004)
This is the March 2004 issue of NIASnytt, a publication of the Nordic Institute on Asian Studies. Included in this issue are the following articles: Fresh insights and perspectives on women and politics in Asia; Sons and daughters: Benevolent patriarchy in Singapore; Under-representation of women in Thai politics; Women, citizenship and the politics of dress in Twentieth Century Philippines; When competitive elections in China let the women down; and Quota systems in Pakistan under the Musharraf regime.
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Women and politics in Asia (2004)
This bibliography provides a source for further reading to the NIASnytt: Asia Insights 2004:1Theme: Women and politics in Asia and is compiled by Anja Moller Rasmussen and Per Hansen, NIAS Library and Information Center, NIAS. It contains references to books, chapters in books and journal and newspaper articles. The references are selected from the databases Bibliography of Asian studie, databases on social sciences. Download the document from our server. TOP | HOME

Women elected in 2003
In January 2004, a new world record has been reached, with women comprising 15.2 % in both upper and lower houses. Only 14 countries have reached the 30% threshold, commonly considered necessary for women to have an impact on parliament.
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Women and political participation (2003)
Political participation strategies include mechanisms that enhance women's political participation. Examples of these are gender quotas that allot 30 to 50 percent of decision-making positions for women; gender mainstreaming strategies that promote a culture of gender sensitivity in government; national machineries for women, which have the primary role of leading and monitoring gender mainstreaming strategies of governments; gender or women's budgets that allot a percentage of national budget for gender mainstreaming and affirmative action for women's advancement. In legislatures of some democratic countries, women's sectoral representatives have been appointed on terms and capacities at par with elected representatives. A more recent mechanism that provides a leeway for women's political participation is the party list system where women's groups can bid for seats in the legislature. A WHRnet publication. Download the document from our server. TOP | HOME

European women and power (2002)
Speech by MEP Maj Britt Theorin at the National Labor Women's conference in Canberra, Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 April, 2002. Download the word document.

View from Islam: The role of women in politics (2002)
Unlike many other ideologies or civilisations, Islam, from its very beginning, recognised the political rights and duties of women. Politics in Islam is not the taking of man-made systems such as freedom and democracy and giving them an ‘Islamic flavour’. The view of Islam, for both sexes in politics, is one of total submission to the will of Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’aala), not of the subjugation of women to the will of men. Unlike many other ideologies or civilisations, Islam, from its very beginning, recognised the political rights and duties of women. Politics in Islam is not the taking of man-made systems such as freedom and democracy and giving them an ‘Islamic flavour’. The view of Islam, for both sexes in politics, is one of total submission to the will of Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’aala), not of the subjugation of women to the will of men. TOP | HOME

Moving into power: Changing the rules of the game (2002)
The purpose of this paper is to provide background for consideration of strategies to promote women’s leadership. It analyzes the state of women’s leadership in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), identifies the central obstacles to women accessing greater power, and concludes with a discussion of pertinent policy issues. The study is based on bibliographic research performed in the United States and was conducted within a short period of time, which has imposed regrettable, yet inevitable, limitations on the study’s scope and depth. Information on some countries or time periods is missing because data were not readily available. TOP | HOME

Obstacles to women's participation in Parliament (2002)
Women around the world at every socio-political level find themselves underrepresented in parliament and far removed from decision-making levels. While the political playing field in each country has its own particular characteristics, one feature remains common to all: it is uneven and not conducive to women's participation. Women who want to enter politics find that the political, public, cultural and social environment are often unfriendly or even hostile to them. Even a quick glance at the current composition of political decision-makers in any region provides evidence that women still face numerous obstacles in articulating and shaping their own interests. What are the obstacles women face in entering parliament? How can women better cope with these hindrances? In this chapter we take the first step towards increasing women's parliamentary representation and effectiveness by identifying the common problems that women face. We categorize the problems into three areas: political, socio-economic and ideological and psychological (or socio- cultural).

Enhancing women’s political participation:
Legislative recruitment and electoral Systems (2002)

In this chapter, we focus our attention on two issues. First, we examine the principle steps involved in the legislative recruitment process in order to elucidate how women can increase their chances of getting nominated and elected. Second, we look at one particular mechanism proven effective in increasing women's representation: a country's electoral system. Which electoral systems are best suited to elect women and why? How have electoral systems affected women's representation in different countries? What specific factors should women be concerned about in the actual design of electoral systems? By addressing these questions, we hope to provide some insight on one effective and practical strategy that women can use to increase their parliamentary representation. TOP | HOME

Using quota’s to increase women’s political representation (2002)
Given the slow speed by which the number of women in politics is growing, women everywhere are calling for more efficient methods to increase their representation. Quotas present one such mechanism. The introduction of quota systems for women represents a qualitative jump into a policy of exact goals and means. Because of its relative efficiency, the hope for dramatic increase in women's representation by using this system is strong. At the same time quotas raise serious questions and, in some cases, strong resistance. What are the arguments for and against the use of quotas? What are the best ways to implement quotas? What lessons can be learned from countries' experiences with quota systems? In the discussion that follows we hope to shed some light on this frequently debated mechanism for raising women's representation.

Women in parliament: Making a difference (2002)
Although women remain significantly under-represented in today's parliaments, women are now looking beyond the numbers to focus on what they can actually do while in parliament – how they can make an impact, whatever their numbers may be. They are learning the rules of the game and using this knowledge and understanding to promote women's issues and concerns from inside the world's legislatures. In so doing, they are not only increasing the chances of their own success, but are also paving the way for a new generation of women to enter the legislative process. How can women maximize their impact on the political process through parliament? What strategies are most useful in increasing their effectiveness? What lessons can women MPs share with those aspiring to enter the field? In what ways have women impacted on political processes? This is our focus in this chapter, as we move from the road to parliament to making inroads in parliament.

Going for gender balance: A guide for balancing decision-making (2002)
This booklet look at efforts to improve gender balance in highest levels of organisation in political parties, public administration, trade unions, and non-governmental organisations in Europe. How are organisations in these sectors addressing their own internal organisational questions? Achieving balance at the top of these sectors often requires changes in public attitudes. We have therefore, where relevant or illuminating, also considered the activities of actors such as political parties, national governments, and non-governmental and voluntary associations in attempting to influence the general societal context to be more supportive of gender balance.


Women in politics in the Council of Europe Member States (2002)
This document contains information concerning the Council of Europe member States in the following areas: number of women holding government posts; percentage of women in elected positions at national, regional and local level; measures designed to facilitate women's participation in political life; and type of electoral system. Information and data have been provided by the authorities of the different member States as of 10 May 2002 and selected from relevant documents of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. TOP | HOME

Norway imposes quota for top women in business (Aug. 2002)
Norway is about to become the first country in the world to insist on female quotas for companyboardrooms. In a revolutionary move that has delighted unions and outraged big business, the Norwegian government ordered companies to ensure that at least 40 per cent of their board members are women. State-owned firms have been given one year to comply while the country's 650 major private companies have three years. The government plans to back up their decree with legislation. TOP | HOME

Breaking through the Glass Ceiling (Feb. 2002)
The study "Woman and Power" published at a conference in Berlin takes a look at the obstacles in women's careers, and at what motivates women to push their way through these barriers to the top.

Women in Politics in Asia (2001)
Asia and the Pacific has had the largest number of women elected as Heads of Governments during the past three decades among the regions in the world. However, women continue to be in the minority in the area of power and decision-making although progress in improving the proportion of women serving in politics and administration has been steady.
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Lady Leaders: The case of women's quota in Argentina (2001)
Argentina has taken steps to increase women’s participation in politics. In 1991, established that 30% of the candidate list for the Chamber of Deputies had to be women. As a consequence of the measure, the percentage of women deputies has increased from 5,44% in 1991/93 to 27% in 1995/97. At the same time the country was under Menem’s presidency that has been considered to neglect democratic institution such as parliament. The main aim of the paper is to answer the question Does a quota system enhance women’s participation in weak democracies? The argument of this paper is given that the numeric increase of women has occurred in a weak and or neglected parliament, the potential achievements of the initiatives has been neutralised. Additionally, argues that women have begun to make their voices heard in a political space that was traditionally controlled by men and this, in itself, constitutes a remarkable achievement.

Women in the Boyzone: Gender and parliamentary politics (2001)
This is a conference paper by Karen Ross which was delivered at the 2001 conference of the Political Studies Association. It uses interviews conducted with 75 women MPs from the UK, Australia and South Africa between 1995-2000 to consider differences in political style and agenda/ policy making between male and female members of parliament. TOP | HOME

Gender of Democracy: The encounter between feminism and reformism in contemporary Iran (2001)
This paper is a critical analysis of the encounter between feminist and reformist political thought during the first reformist presidency in the Islamic Republic of Iran (May 1997 to June 2001). It places feminism and reformism in their historical context, discusses the complex forces that have facilitated their development, and analyses the interface between these two movements. The paper is presented in three parts.

Women in local government in Asia and the Pacific: A comparative analysis of thirteen countries (2001)
This document provides a picture of women’s involvement in local government in the Asia and Pacific region for this summit in order to provide a basis for discussion. This comparative analysis is based on 13 country reports and it highlights continuing barriers to women’s involvement in local government; initiatives that have increased women’s participation; and the transformative leadership that women provide in local government. It also outlines regional and country-level strategies for increasing women’s involvement in local government.

Feminists recasting politics and power (2000)
This chapter from the DAWN publication titled 'Marketisation of Governance' provides a critical analysis of the state and state-power. It also highlights the views on the state, power and politics of women in the South. Women’s participation in mainstream political activity as well as in the broader arena of governance is also reviewed. TOP | HOME

Engendering global democracy (2000)
Ours is a world in which liberal democracy has apparently triumphed over its historic competitors. Yet concerns about its inadequacies have not gone away and may even be on the rise, encouraging the emergence of a range of innovative reformulations of democracy. Two sources of concern have particularly influenced this enquiry. The first is the long-standing feminist claim that women have been consistently marginalised within democratic ideas and institutions. Carole Pateman puts it more forcefully (1989: 210): 'For feminists, democracy has never existed; women have never been and still are not admitted as full and equal members and citizens in any country known as a democracy'. The second source is the more recent 'convergence of views ... that a major culprit in the hollowing out of democratic institutions and the growing incapacity of democratic states to direct their own future is the intensity of contemporary globalization' (McGrew 1997b: 234). This paper is rooted in the belief that both gender hierarchies and the impact of globalisation, and the ways in which they are intertwined, need to be taken on board if democracy is to be made more meaningful for more people. Further, the paper argues that the most effective and radical tools for such a reconstructive project are not to be found in contemporary global schemes nor in feminist democratic theory which aims to create a more women-friendly polity. Attention is drawn to an alternative strand of feminist engagement with democracy, in the shape of debates about the democratisation of the feminist movement itself. The paper focuses particularly on black and third world feminist interventions in these debates and their influence on efforts to construct more democratic movement organisation across national borders. TOP | HOME

Gender, Leadership and Choice in Multiparty Systems (2000)
While a significant amount of research seeks to explain the comparative number of women in national legislatures, there is little research that examines the effects of women’s leadership of political parties on voting behaviour. This article brings together research on leadership effects in parliamentary elections and female candidate effects in legislative races. Ideological, structural, and situational differences between men and women have been used to explain gender gaps in voting. We explore an alternative explanation – gender identity. When women candidates are present, the gender identity hypothesis assumes that women voters are more likely to choose women candidates because of gender. While this hypothesis has been tested in legislative races, it has not been applied to party leaders in parliamentary elections. We test the gender identity hypothesis in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Britain. We find that leadership evaluations affect vote choice across all countries but the effects of gender and the combined effects of gender and leadership differ across countries.

A question of relativity: The role of the news media in shaping the view of women in Asian political dynasties (2000)
It is one of Asia’s ironies that it has consistently produced more women heads of government than any other region in the world, yet there is little evidence that this power has helped to enable the ordinary Asian woman in any significant way. This study attempts to find some explanations for this paradox. It examines the forces that have helped to propel a number of women onto center-stage in the Asian political theater and, in particular, the role of the news media in this process. It explores the link between media portrayal of the dramatic rise to political power of some Asian women, the values inherent in journalistic commentary on their political governance, and its potential impact on the way women and leadership are perceived in much of Asia.

Promoting the participation of women in local governance and development:
The case of Ghana (2000)

This paper describes initiatives in Ghana to promote the participation of women in local governance and the role of European support. Local governance is interpreted as the active involvement of the local population within the territorial boundaries of a local government in ensuring improved quality of service and leadership at the local [government] level. It includes greater participation by civil society in decision-making processes and involves consensus-building and civic awareness. In view of this, the paper focuses on efforts to increase women’s participation as councilors and as well as initiatives to enhance the involvement of women and women groups in decision-making, requiring accountability and accessing support from local governments. It also presents interventions promoted through local governments to reduce poverty and promote socio-economic development targeted at women and seeking to bridge gender gaps and the European support in these efforts. Beyond this general support, it also looks at the work of the Institute of Local Government Studies in this area and European involvement in this capacity-building and coordinating institution. TOP | HOME

Unfinished democracy (2000)
Nearly everywhere, with the notable exception of countries like Kuwait, laws entitle women to vote and be elected. But in reality, the proportion of women in legislative bodies falls far short of representing their percentage in the general population. The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), a Geneva-based organization comprising 139 parliaments, says that men still account for 86 per cent of the world’s parliamentarians and that no country—not even in northern Europe—has achieved total parity. In the former communist countries, which once boasted some of the world’s highest rates of female representation in politics, the percentages have fallen sharply since 1989.

The Quota System: Women's Boon or Bane? (2000)
Quota systems primarily set a minimum percentage of representation for both sexes to ensure a balanced presence of men and women in political and decision-making posts. The basic argument for the use of quota system is that it addresses inequality engendered by law and culture. Yet the same argument is being used to describe quotas as unconstitutional.
Published by the Center for Legislative Development.

Women in political decision-making positions (2000)
This brochure contains facts and figures about the involvemnet of women in the decision-making processes in the institutions of the European Union as well as in national, regional, and local parliaments, committees and governments of the EU Member States and the EU economic area.

Cultural Barriers to Women's Leadership: a Worldwide Comparison (2000)
This paper delivered at the 28th World Congress of the International Political Science Association, 3rd August 2000 argues that cultural attitudes towards women play a significant role in hindering their political participation. Data is used from the World Values Survey 1995-99 to show that there are significant differences in attitudes towards women's leadership in post-industrial, post-communist and developing societies. There is also evidence that the barriers are fading among young people in post industrial societies. Download this PDF document. TOP | HOME

Strengthening democracy through women's political participation (2000)
We are seeing women who are emerging as builders of democracy. Women who are registering to vote and who are making their vote count. Women who are coming to the forefront in countries that do not have a democratic tradition but are working in that direction. Conditions for promoting democracy may not be all that comfortable, but women’s groups are finding that they can become a force for democratic change. Many times, because they are women’s groups, they can begin by operating under the radar so to speak, without drawing much attention from hostile authorities. After a while, their numbers grow and their influence is clearly seen and heard.

Women's political participation and good governance (2000)
This publication draws on the experiences and expertise of ministers, members of parliament, government officials and members of national, grassroots civil society and the private sector, who participated in a UNDP-sponsored meeting on Women’s Political Participation—21st Century Challenges (New Delhi, March 1999). It focuses on a number of issues including progress made in women’s political participation since Beijing, the Indian experiment with constitutional amendments mandating the reservation of one third of local government-elected representation to women, and the wider connection between gender, poverty and governance. It also highlights the South African Women’s Budget, Uganda’s experience with new political alliances for gender and politics and explores the policy responses to gender-based violence.

Women and decision-making: Making women visible (2000)
Although women have taken an unprecedented active role in the political events around the world in the last decade, their participation in politics and governance continues to be limited. They continue to be relegated to the backseat of politics and remain unable to meaningfully influence policy and decision-making notwithstanding their roles as legislators, chief executives and top administrators. Women's decision-making role in the public sectors remains in the areas that are considered 'traditionally' female, such as social welfare, health, tourism and education. Women are excluded in 'traditionally male turf' such as economy, national security and trade and commerce which reinforce gender-based stereotypes.

Is democracy for women? (1999)
The impact of democratic transitions on the representation of women in the national parliaments of Southern Africa
One of the most important characteristics of society that correlates with women's representation levels is a country's state of development. Research in democracies in the developed world (Richard Matland) has demonstrated a clear correlation between the representation of women in politics and factors such as: Women's participation in the labour force; The ratio of women's literacy to men's literacy; and the ratio of university-educated women to university-educated men.

Women's political participation (1999)
Excerpts from the Executive Summary: A review of the trends in the field of women’s empowerment indicates a diverse progress report from different parts of the world. There are numerous difficulties still to be resolved. Targets set by the UN for a 30% (eventually to grow into a 50% women’s participation) have only been achieved in very few countries, but achieving these targets has not provided a miracle or instantaneous gender-equality and impacting context. But the trends also indicate that a great deal has been achieved already over the past few years, not the least of which is the use of the Platform for Action as an important tool in the strides towards enhancing women’s political representation, as well as in the realisation that women’s involvement in politics is an important prerequisite for democracy. The review of trends also highlighted important vacuums: the lack of information, whether in terms of statistics or analysis of women’s positions in different areas of political involvement (e.g. the judiciary, local government, and the private sector to name but a few); the tendency to collect such information from the developed world, and then to compare whatever little is available elsewhere only with the developed world and not necessarily with similar contexts elsewhere in the developing world.

Are Women Really the "Fairer" Sex? Corruption and Women in Government
Numerous behavioral studies have found women to be more trust-worthy and public-spirited than men. These results suggest that women should be particularly effective in promoting honest government. Consistent with this hypothesis, we find that the greater the representation of women in parliament, the lower the level of corruption. We find this association in a large cross-section of countries; the result is robust to a wide range of specifications.

Gender, poverty and governance (1999)
This paper summarises current thinking on the theoretical and empirical relationships between gender inequality and poverty, including reflection on how these relationships have been articulated in development policy discourse. It goes on to examine the potential for governance structures and processes, as currently defined, to promote poverty reduction in a way which recognises and responds to women’s gendered experience of poverty. In doing so, the paper reviews interpretations of ‘governance’ and explores feminist and other critiques of conventional approaches to governance. It asks whether and how the governance agenda needs to be reconstituted if it is to succeed in addressing women’s gender specific needs and interests. Finally, the paper highlights some strategic entry points in the governance agenda which provide opportunities for promoting poor women’s gender interests.

A global analysis: What has worked for women in politics and what has not, 1975-1998
The question, which this paper is supposed to answer, is indeed a "64 thousand dollar question." The way it was formulated could give the impression that what is expected as an answer is a series of recipes. Clearly, this paper will provide none. While it is obvious that women's involvement in the political process is, nowhere in the world, proportionate to the 50% of the population which they represent approximately or to their input to society - whether this input is or is not accounted for in the GNP - there exist no ready-made solutions immediately applicable in any context.

A changing Asia: women in emerging civil societies (1998)
Asian Perspectives: A Changing Asia, Women in Emerging Civil Societies is the seventh in a series of seminars sponsored by The Asia Foundation. Convening on September 18, 1998, at The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C. This is the document of that seminar which is focused on the role of women and the nongovernmental sector in the context of political, economic, and social change occurring in Asia. TOP | HOME

Women and transformative politics in Cambodia
This paper discusses the position and situation of Cambodian women at the local level. It details the legacy of war as a major factor affecting the lives of Cambodian women today. Finally, the paper posits that women should mobilize forces with men to change the meaning of politics and transform traditional patterns of governance. This was presented by Minister Mu Sochua of the Cambodian Ministry of Women's and Veteran's Affairs during the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Conference of Transformative Leadership for Good Governance for the 21st Century In Bangkok, March 24-25, 2000. TOP | HOME

Women and democratisation (1998)
The aim of this report is to re-emphasise the difference between equality in law, both international and domestic, and equality in fact. Women throughout the Organization for Security and Co-operation-OSCE area (i.e., Europe, North America and Central Asia), notwithstanding international legal and political commitments, constitutional clauses and domestic legislation, continue to fall behind men in the enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms. The report then focuses on some of the key issues relating to women in the democratisation process. It looks at domestic legislation and the rule of law, and the role that a strong commitment to equality in constitutions and legal acts can play. It emphasises that such domestic legislation must conform with international standards not only on paper, but also in practice: here, the need for effective remedies is discussed briefly. TOP | HOME

Women's representation in parliament: The role of political parties (1997)
This is the full text of a working paper published by the Center for the Study of Democracy, University of Califonia Irvine in 1997. It considers how party characteristics effected women's representation in parliamentary parties in twelve industrialised nations in three periods of time 1975, 1985 and 1989. Variables analysed include: the effect of party organisational structure, political ideology and the impact of gender related candidate lists. TOP | HOME

NGOs: An alternative power base for women? (1997)
This chapter from the DAWN publication titled 'Marketisation of Governance' provides a critical analysis of the state and state-power. It also highlights the views on the state, power and politics of women in the South. Women’s participation in mainstream political activity as well as in the broader arena of governance is also reviewed. TOP | HOME

Women's political participation (1997)
This paper was a journey along several signposts. The first being the Beijing Platform for Action, which provides a firm and detailed framework for policies for enhancing both women’s access to and performance within decision-making bodies. Next were the key recommendations of major international conferences dealing with these issues, which elaborated as well as reaffirmed the principles and the advocacy of the Platform for Action, while stressing various features related to the entire sequence of institutions, actors, and processes involved. Hence, the affirmation that the field on which to enact and further women’s political participation is well-travelled, ripe for further mileage, as well as ready for a reassessment of the ground already covered. TOP | HOME

Women in electoral politics: Lessons from Norway (1995)
In many respects, the political status of women in Norway is worthy of admiration and even envy by women from other Western democracies. Norwegian women's political representation, especially at the elite levels, is the highest in the world. A government led by a woman prime minister, Gro Harlem Brundtland, contains 47 percent female cabinet ministers, 40 percent of parliamentary seats are filled by women, the three largest political parties are headed by women, and women hold 35 percent of all positions on public corporate committees, boards, and councils. There also is growing evidence that women increasingly are influencing Norwegian political agendas and public policy.

Women and government: New ways to political power (1994)
As the twentieth century nears its end, a constant theme of the growing worldwide women's movement has been the need for empowerment of the female half of the human race. The year 2000 has been repeatedly invoked as the goal for the achievement of feminism's holy grail of social, economic, political and legal equality. Women struggle for their rights not only because they regard equality as inherently just, but because they believe that by sharing equally with men the power to shape and govern societies, they can create a better world for all people.

Institutional Mechanisms for the Advancement of Women
National machineries for women in development (2002)
This report includes salient points and recommendations from the BRIDGE 1996 report on National Machineries for Women (NWMs), up-dated with more recent thinking, policy and practice1. Also included are summaries of some best practice examples. The original report reviews the experience of national machineries for women in developing countries, drawing on case study material from African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries (including Belize, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Jamaica, Namibia, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Uganda and Zambia) as well as comparative material from Chile and the Philippines where national machineries are well-established.

Strengthening institutional mechanisms
Southern Africa is making remarkable progress to integrate gender perspectives in legislation, public policies, programmes and projects by establishing and strengthening institutional mechanisms to promote the advancement of women. More from this 1999 report.

1999 Statement from India's Department of Women and Child Development
This statement from the Secretary of India's Department of Women and Child Development gives us an overview of India's implementation of institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women.

The Girl Child
Human rights and the girl child

Human Rights are universal, and civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights belong to all human beings, including children and young people. Children and youth also enjoy certain human rights specifically linked to their status as minors and to their need for special care and protection. Girl-children are particularly vulnerable to certain human rights violations, and therefore require additional protections.

Violence prevention and the girl child in Canada (1999)
In March, 1998, the Alliance of Five Research Centres on Violence (AFRCV) applied for and received a grant from Status of Women Canada (SWC) to undertake background research for the development of a national action plan on violence prevention for girl children. This research provides a portrait of the range and types of violence experienced by girls and young women in Canada.