No2, May 1999
WomenAction 2000 | Live @ the UNGASS!


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An occasional bulletin of the International Women’s Tribune Centre to cover plans and preparations for the 5 year review of the United Nations Platform for Action, an agenda for women’s empowerment that came out of the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing 1995


What Came Out of the 1st PrepCom?
NGO Plans Coming Out of the PrepCom
What’s Next?
National Alternative Reports Go Global
Global Communication Network for NGOs
Regional Meetings
How Do We Assess Progress?
Questionnaire to Governments
Annexes to Questionnaire


The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) met from March 15-19, 1999 as the Preparatory Committee (Prep-Com) for Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the Twenty-First Century, also known as Beijing Plus Five. This Special Session, called by the UN General Assembly to review and assess progress made in the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action (PFA), will be held June 5-9, 2000 at UN headquarters in New York. Decisions coming from the PrepCom include:


It was decided that the focus of the review process will be on:

  • best practices

  • obstacles encountered

  • vision for the future

  • identification of new and emerging trends
  • In a draft proposal prepared by the UN Division for the Advancement of Women (UN/DAW) for the PrepCom, four issues had been suggested as cross-cutting themes for the review process. However, government delegates and NGOs alike argued that new and emerging issues should come from the review process itself, especially from the regional meetings, and should not be decided upon before the process had begun.


    It was unanimously agreed that the review process would be undertaken on the basis of, and with full respect for, the PFA and that there would be no renegotiation of the existing agreements contained therein.


    Governments that have not yet done so were invited to prepare national action plans for implementing the PFA. As of March 9, 1999, 112 of 189 Member and Observer States had sent these plans to UN/DAW. The importance of involving relevant actors of civil society, especially NGOs, in the process of developing national action plans was underlined.


    All UN regional commissions and other intergovernmental regional organizations were encouraged to hold preparatory meetings to ensure a regional perspective on implementation, further actions and initiatives, and new and emerging trends. Reports from these meetings will be available for discussion at PrepCom II in March, 2000. (See UN regional meetings).


    The draft resolution from the PrepCom specifies that NGOs in consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), as well as NGOs that were accredited to the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing 1995, may participate in the Special Session. Questions were raised with regard to the participation of NGOs without consultative status that have been actively involved in Beijing plus Five activities since 1995 but who did not attend the Beijing conference and/or were not accredited to ECOSOC. This question and others regarding NGO access and participation will be further considered at PrepCom II in March 2000.

    Other recommendations concerning NGOs included:

    • the UN system should hold discussions with "relevant actors of civil society" in the exchange of views regarding the review and appraisal process

    • Governments should ensure NGO representation at the Special Session at a high political level

    • ---
    • NGOs should be included in national preparatory processes as well as in government delegations to PrepCom II and the Special Session in 2000

    6. PLANS FOR PREPCOM II, MARCH 6-24, 2000:

    It was decided that the UN Commission on the Status of Women (UN/CSW) will meet for three weeks from March 6-24, 2000, with the majority of the time given over to the work of preparing for the Special Session, June 5-9, 2000.


    It was decided that the agenda will include:

    • Review and appraisal of progress made in the implementation of the 12 critical areas of concern in the PFA

    • Further action and initiatives for overcoming obstacles to implementation of the PFA.



    .... lobby government delegates at the Special Session for issues vital to NGOs as part of a strategy to accelerate our movement forward during the next five years. There will be no NGO Forum at the Special Session (June 5-9, 2000) comparable to the Forums of 1985 and 1995. However, there will be a 2-day NGO Working Session June 3-4, 2000.

    .... establish an NGO Coordinating Committee with representatives from:

      1. Regional groupings
      2. Issue-based caucuses and networks
      3. Global/Regional communication networks
      4. CONGO* Committees on the Status of Women in New York, Geneva and Vienna

    .... utilize all forms of communication to ensure broad-based participation in a transparent planning process that has representation from all regions. This will include a Beijng Plus Five Website linked to regional and thematic websites, as a major area for posting information relevant to Beijing Plus Five (see Global Communications).

    .... advocate for ongoing emphasis on the 12 critical areas of concern throughout the review process with a view to identifying new and emerging issues during the national and regional reviews. Reports from these regional meetings will be a focus of PrepCom II, March 6-24, 2000.

    .... lobby for broad-based and active participation by NGOs throughout the review process, at national and regional level, as part of national delegations at PrepCom II and the Special Session, and as part of all discussions on national action plans and review and assessment of the PFA.

    .... support the action of national NGO groups to cooperate in preparing an alternative report to that submitted by their government (see National Alternative Reports go Global).

    * Conference of Non Governmental Organizations in Consultative Status with ECOSOC


    An interim drafting group has been set up to prepare a letter of information to be sent out to NGOs regarding preparations for Beijing Plus Five activities. An NGO Coordinating Committee is also planned to:

    1. Facilitate parallel activities during the PrepCom and Special Session

    2. Continue discussions with the UN regarding NGO access and accreditation matters, both for NGOs in the regions and for NGOs who wish to participate in PrepCom II and the Special Session in 2000.

    3. Find ways of sharing among all interested groups and networks any information and/or documents emerging from the UN secretariat and governments, keeping track of the process, informing of the possibility of an intersessional meeting, etc.


    4. Encourage the development of national and regional shadow reports, possibly taking a role, if appropriate, in compiling the global collection of reports.

    5. Utilize widely the communication and information network being developed as a result of the Global Communications Network Forum held during PrepCom I. A coalition of women’s regional and global media networks are currently working on plans that include the training of regional facilitators for online working groups in close collaboration with the NGO Coordinating Committee, and website coordinators who would develop regional websites and assist with regional information for the proposed global Beijing Plus Five website now registered as:


    It was agreed by everyone who participated in PrepCom I (March 15-19, 1999) that we all have a lot to do between now and June 2000 if we are to see any real progress in the review of how governments have (or have not) implemented the Beijing Platform for Action in the five years since the Fourth World Conference on Women. The following notes represent some of the things that need to take place in the coming year:

    April - June 1999

    • Follow-up on ideas for NGO action generated during PrepCom I
    • Get the word out that there will not be an NGO Forum but a smaller, more focused NGO Working Session, with increased participation within the regions.
    • Put together an NGO Coordinating Committee
    • Initiate discussions to ascertain level of interest in NGO Alternative/Shadow Reports
    • Undertake fundraising for Beijing Plus Five plans, including Global Communications Network and regional online discussion groups and other strategies for increased outreach to the regions.
    • Identify which government departments will be responsible for undertaking national review.

    July - Sept 1999

    • Find out when UN regional and sub-regional meetings are being held for your region. Identify who might attend and begin planning participation.
    • Develop a media strategy through to June 2000 to ensure visibility for the important concerns and issues for women in your country and/or region. Engage all available media.
    • Discuss and decide at national level whether and how to undertake an alternative report.
    • Check your country's status on international commitments, e.g., has it removed reservations to CEDAW? Will it ratify the Optional Protocol?
    • Has your country responded to the UN questionnaire? (see Questionaire) Do you agree with the government’s response?
    • Could your group engage in assessment activities on one of the critical areas of concern? Should you establish or renew contact with other organizations engaged in similar activities? How much progress has been made on issues you care most about?

    Oct - Dec 1999

    • Monitor outcome of UN regional and/or sub-regional meetings
    • If your organization does not have online access and/or access to the World Wide Web, look for an organization that does and ask if they could share that access with you. Then decide which electronic conferences you and your group will participate in.
    • Begin planning participation for PrepCom II in March 2000 and decide whether you will attend the Special Session from June 5-9, 2000 (and the NGO Working Session from June 3-4, 2000)
    • Ensure women in your country are informed about the review process taking place. What is the opinion of women in your community on whether or not life has changed for women since the World Conference on Women in Beijing 1995? If it has changed, how has it changed?
    • Locate and read your government's official report to the UN on progress made

    Jan - March 2000

    • If you plan to take part in PrepCom II for the Beijing Plus Five review process (March 6-24, 2000), now is the time to send in your registration to UN/Division for the Advancement of Women (UN/DAW)
    • At the same time, register with the NGO Coordinating Committee for the NGO Consultation on Sunday, March 5th. The NGO Consultation provides a valuable briefing for the PrepCom and is a time to meet other NGOs and discuss common concerns and issues.
    • Find out who will be on the official government delegation from your country. Consider the idea of requesting a joint NGO-Government meeting prior to PrepCom II to discuss issues of mutual concern and learn more of your government's positions.
    • Make travel and accommodation arrangements

    March 5-24 2000

    • For those planning to participate in PrepCom II, plan to also attend the NGO Consultation Sunday, March 5 2000 for an update on what is on the agenda at PrepCom II (March 6-24 2000) and to participate in work groups on the review process
    • Bring with you reports and information from your regional and national NGO meetings, and use these in discussion and strategy groups organized by NGOs during PrepCom II.
    • Lobby your government delegates at Prepcom II and make sure they are knowledgeable about NGO activities and plans in your country and region.
    • Take careful notes and gather as much information as possible for taking home and sharing with NGOs in your country.

    April - June 2000

    • Finalize work on your region’s alternative report and send it to the NGO Coordinating Committee in New York.
    • Plan national and regional activities to coincide with the Special Session in New York.
    • Give as much publicity as possible to the Beijing Plus Five Review, with a focus on progress made and obstacles still to overcome in implementing the Beijing Platform for Action in your country and region.

    June 3-4, 2000

    • NGO Working Session on the Beijing Plus Five review process, to be held for two days prior to the Special Session itself. The Working Session is planned as a time for NGOs to finalize and publicize the Global NGO Alternative Report, and to review and analyze progress made and obstacles to overcome in the UN report on implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action by the UN and Member States.

    June 5-9, 2000

    • Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace, the UN Special Session (Beijing Plus Five) to review and assess progress made in implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action. This will take place at UN Headquarters in New York.
    • NGOs will hold parallel activities during the Special Session, but there will not be an NGO Forum.


    One of the ideas discussed at the NGO Beijing Plus Five strategy meetings during the CSW was to encourage action at the national level by urging NGOs to collectively produce national alternative reports on the implementation (or lack thereof) of the Platform for Action. One approach could be to utilize the questionnaire prepared by the UN Division for the Advancement of Women for governments to answer. The following is a summary of a process by which NGOs in every country could develop such a report.


    To produce a Global NGO Alternative Report based on the UN/DAW questionnaire to governments and other documents for presentation to, and discussion by NGOs at the 44th Session of CSW in March 1999. (This session of the CSW will function as the Second and Final PrepCom for the Beijing Plus Five Special Session in June 2000.)

    The public launch of the Global NGO Alternative Report would take place at the NGO Working Session (June 3-4, 2000), and will coincide with the publication of the United Nations Beijing Plus Five report at the Special Session (June 5-9, 2000).


    1. NGOs in each Member State of the United Nations prepare a Country Alternative Report, using the questionnaire to the degree possible, their government’s response to the questionnaire if available, and all other documents relating to status of women reports, e.g. CEDAW. National NGOs should also attempt to identify emerging themes that may not be covered within the 12 Critical Areas of Concern in the Beijing Platform for Action.

    2. Contact regional and international women’s organizations to exchange information and share reports. National, regional and international NGO networks are setting up systems for the sharing of reports and other information. If possible, upload your NGO alternative report to your regional web site. (See pages 8 and 9 for Global Communication Network plans, and pages 23 and 24 for contact addresses.)

    3. Regional NGOs (or a Regional NGO Coordinating Committee) collect and share alternative reports from each country in their region. If possible, prepare a Regional NGO Alternative Report using the country reports as base information. Use the Regional Meetings planned to meet with other NGOs and to discuss (or share) the regional report.

    4. A Central Coordinating Committee will then collect the regional reports and put the NGO Global Alternative Report together. This may take the form of separate regional reports all published together, or a final report that represents a synthesis of all the reports. It was suggested that the final report would:
    • analyze
    • synthesize
    • identify emerging issues
    • look for patterns
    • give "best practices" as examples
    • make recommendations for the way forward


    1. March 1999:

    • NGOs participating in the CSW map out a beginning plan for encouraging the development of country, regional and global alternative reports.

    2. April-July 1999

    • Inform NGOs in every region of the aim, and a suggested process to achieve the aim. Encourage the formation of national coalitions.

    • Obtain a copy of your government’s response to the UN/DAW questionnaire. If you are unable to get one from your government, check the Womenwatch website.
      (If you do not have a computer with access to the World Wide Web, check around with other groups, libraries, universities, and see if they can help you). Begin to plan how to tackle a review of progress made and obstacles encountered in the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action.

    • Develop a strategy for using a national alternative report to highlight issues not responded to by governments.

    • Alert your regional focal point that your collective of NGOs/groups will be preparing a national alternative report.

    3. July-August 1999

    • Produce your country report and make it available at your regional meeting.

    • Prepare executive summary of your national report and upload to your regional website.

    4. August-September 1999

    • Plan how to develop a regional report in collaboration with other national NGOs in your region).

    5. September-December 1999

    • Regional meetings are held, providing opportunity for discussion and regional overview in preparation for the development of regional NGO alternative reports.

    6. December 1999-February 2000

    • Central Coordinating Committee is formed to collect all regional reports and produce a draft Global NGO Alternative Report.

    7. March 6-24, 2000 (PrepCom II)

    • NGO community discusses, reviews, and finally adopts the NGO Global Alternative Report.

    8. June 2000

    • Public Launch of Global NGO Alternative Report at 1) NGO Working Session, June 3-4, 1999, and 2) Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace, June 5-9, 2000.


    How do we stay in contact ?

    During the 43rd Session of the Commision on the Status of Women, representatives of regional and international information and communication networks met to discuss strategies for using electronic networking as part of the Beijing Plus Five review process, and to share experiences on advocacy

    The following is a summary of some of the strategies discussed and what has happened since the meetings in New York in March!

    NGOs NEED:

    • a way of continuing the discussion around the Beijing Plus Five review framework

    • a way of collecting and sharing the national and regional NGO alternative reports

    • a clearinghouse for all important information devoted to NGO initiatives and information around the Beijing Plus Five process

    • a way of continuing the discussion around NGO access and participation in UN meetings in general and the Special Session on Beijing Plus Five specifically

    • a way of monitoring and reviewing specific actions to be taken on critical areas of concern


    1. Development of global and regional websites as "platforms" for Beijing Plus Five review process information (see graphic below). (Update: Seed money has been raised and work has begun on a global website. The registered domain name is and it should be online soon. Websites are already in operation in Asia, Africa and N. America, with sites planned in Europe)

    2. Training and capacity building for regional facilitators of on-line working groups and regional website coordinators. (Update: An initial training course for regional online and web facilitators will be held September, 1999, at Sookmyung University, Seoul, Korea).

    3. Development of a score card/checklist for monitoring implementaion of critical areas of concern. (Update: A draft survey/ checklist has been developed for Section J: Women and the Media, as a possible template for other sections of the Platform for Action. The Section J survey will be disseminated widely to media networks, NGOs and other civil society groups in every world region.)

    All those interested in learning more about the above initiatives are invited to send a message to:, or to contact a representative of one of the organizations listed below:

    "WomenAction" Working group members include: (See contact information)

  • International Women’s Tribune Centre, USA
  • IIAV/Knowledge Sharing Project, The Netherlands
  • Isis International, Manila, Philippines
  • Isis Internacional, Santiago, Chile
  • Isis-WICCE, Kampala, Uganda
  • Asian Women's Resource Exchange (AWORC), Manila
  • APC/Women’s Network Support Program
  • (N. America, Europe, Africa, L. America, Asia)
  • ENDA/SYNFEV, Dakar, Senegal
  • FEMNET, Nairobi, Kenya,
  • Women’s Features Service, New Delhi, India
  • ALAI, Quito, Ecuador
  • CanadianFeminist Alliance for International Action
  • US Women Connect, Washington DC, USA
  • also (as collaborating partners)

  • WomenWatch, including UNIFEM, UN/DAW, INSTRAW and UNDP/GIDP.
  • What about a global Beijing Plus Five NGO web site?




    April 1999:

    1-2 Bangkok, Thailand: (Government)

    ESCAP (Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) Expert Group meeting on the review of the implementation of the Jakarta Declaration and Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women in Asia and the Pacific and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.


    Thelma Kay, Chief, WID Section
    ESCAP, United Nations Building
    Rajadamnern Nok Avenue, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
    Tel: (66-2) 288-1234, Fax: (66-2) 288-1000

    May 1999:

    15-16 Bucharest, Romania (NGO)

    Central-Eastern European Preparatory meeting for the Beijing Plus Five Special Session. Organized by Karat Coalition, AnA Society for Feminist Analysis (Romania) and UNESCO Office in Bucharest.


    Cecilia Preda, AnA Centre, 244 Ferdinand Blvd., Apt 11,
    70313 Bucharest, Romania. Tel/Fax: (40-1) 252-4959

    28-29 Ede, The Netherlands: (NGO)

    "Linking Up Cairo, Copenhagen, & Beijing Plus Five Reviews Towards the 21st Century." Organized by Vrouwenberaad in cooperation with WIDE (Women in Development Europe), and SID/WID (Society for International Development/Women in Develop-ment).


    Vrouwenberaad Ontwikkelingssamenwerking
    PO Box 77, 2340 AB Oegstgeest, The Netherlands
    Tel: (31-71) 5159-392, Fax: (31-71) 5175-391

    June 1999:

    2-3 Port Vila, Vanuatu: (NGO)

    "Pacific Women’s Conference on Beijing Platform for Action." Organized by APWLD (Asia Pacific Women in Law & Development). To discuss the articles of CEDAW most relevant to women in the Pacific and to link these issues to the review process of the Beijing Platform for Action.


    Virada Somswasdi, Regional Coordinator, APWLD
    Santitham YMCA Building, 3rd Floor, Room 305-307
    11 Sermsuk Rd, Soi Mengrairasmi, Chiangmai 50300, Thailand
    Tel: (66-53) 404-613/4, Fax: (66-53) 404-615

    Nicaragua: (NGO)
    Beijing Plus Five, En lace Continental de Mujeres Indigenes.


    22-27. Seoul, Korea: (NGO)

    Asian Women’s Resource Exchange (AWORC) Regional Training Workshop. Hosted by APWINC (Asian-Pacific Women’s Information Network Center), trainers from JCS-NET, Isis International/Manila, APC/WNSP (Association for Progressive Communications/Women’s Network-ing Support Program) and others.


    Chat Garcia Ramilo
    Isis International - Manila, #3 Marunong St., Brgy
    Central District, Quezon City, Philippines
    Tel: (63-2) 435-3405, Fax: (63-2) 435-308
    Web Site:

    July 1999:

    8-11. Sydney, Australia: (NGO)

    Preparing for Beijing Plus Five. Organized by ANCORW (Australian National Committee on Refugee Women) and CAPOW! (Coalition of Australian Participating Organizations of Women). This sub-regional meeting aims to ensure that women’s voices from the region will be heard during the preparatory process for Beijing Plus Five. Formal input from Asia/Pacific women will be made to the Regional Meeting of ESCAP (see October 1999).


    Sally or Francesca, 1 Park Rd
    Auburn NSW 2144, Australia
    Tel: (61-2) 9649-4066. Fax (61-2) 9649-4077

    August 1999

    11-14 Kathmandu, Nepal

    "South Asian Mid-Decade Beyond Beijing Meet". Based on questionnaire sent to governments, cross cutting themes and emerging issues in the South Asian context will be collated for regional and global alternative report.

    "Beyond Beijing Mid-Decade Meet" is a series of workshops in five development regions in Nepal to be held in the months of June and July,1999.


    Anjana Shakya , Organizer
    Asia Pacific Watch and Beyond Beijing Committee
    G.P.O. Box 4690, Kathmandu, Nepal
    Tel: 977-1-520054. Fax: 977-1-521180

    September 1999:

    Bangkok, Thailand: (NGO)

    Asia Regional Review of Women and Media (Section J). Organized by Isis International-Manila to review Section J (Women and Media) in the Platform for Action, to assess developments and to draw up recommendations for the Special Session in 2000. Prior to the meeting, Isis International will also run an on-line (e-mail) review of Section J.


    Lan Mercado, Isis International-Manila
    (see earlier)

    October 1999: (Gov)

    26-29 Bangkok, Thailand:
    "High level meeting to review implementation in Asia and the Pacific of the Beijing Platform for Action," organized by ESCAP


    ESCAP (see earlier)

    November 1999: (Gov)

    22-27 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:

    "6th African Regional Conference on Women for the Mid-Decade Review of the Implementation of the Dakar and Beijing Platforms for Action."

    "For the first time since the enactment of the regional and global meetings, representatives from governments, civil society, inter-governmental organizations and the international community will be able to participate as full partners in the deliberations as well as initiate, build and strengthen partnerships and dialogues with each other. With the participants drawn from a cross-section of the public and private sector, this format is designed to catalyze the gender approach in decision-making and implementation, emerging from a shared sense of ownership and responsibility amongst all the actors playing a role in national development. Translation and interpretation services will be provided."


    UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
    Centre for African Women (CAW), Africa Hall
    PO Box 3001, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    Tel: (251-1) 51-49-45. Fax: (251-1) 51-44-16
    Contact: Josephine Ouedraogo, Director, CAW

    January/February 2000:

    Lima, Peru: (Gov)

    "VIII Regional Conference on Women of Latin America and the Caribbean," CEPAL/ECLAC (Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean)

    The primary focus of the conference will be to review implementation of the Regional Programme of Action and to identify priority issues for the 2001-2001 Plan of Action. There will be an NGO Forum in the few days before the meeting in which a few regional and international NGOs will be invited by the Executive Secretary to participate. NGOs holding consultative status with ECOSOC can particpate.


    Diane Almeras, Social Affairs Officer
    Women and Development Unit, CEPAL/ECLAC
    Edificio Naciones Unidas, Avenida Dag Hammarskjold
    Casilla 179-D, Santiago de Chile
    Tel: (56-2) 210-2000. Fax: (56-2) 208-0252/ 208-1946


    At the time of going to press, dates for the ECE (Economic Commission for Europe and North America) regional meeting to review and assess the Beijing Platform for Action were still unknown. However, a meeting is proposed, (probably December 1999 or January 2000) and information will be available in the next issue of Preview 2000, due out in September 1999.

    Information on other regional and sub-regional meetings will also be publicized through the IWTC Women’s GlobalNet, a bi-weekly bulletin of activities and initiatives of women worldwide. To subscribe, send your fax or e-mail to IWTC.


    UN Initiatives:

    A number of initiatives are now underway to measure progress made in realizing the objectives put forward in the Beijing Platform for Action, for instance:

    • The UN proposes that Member States use a variety of sources, including the questionnaire which is presented on the following pages. (In Annex II to the questionnaire (see later) the UN encourages governments to draw upon data in various sectors, making sure it is disaggregated by sex and age to show gaps between men and women).

    NGO Initiatives:

    • As NGOs consider whether or not they will do a national alternative/shadow report, one of the questions they will need to consider is what indicators they will use to gauge progress. Many may choose to use the same questionnaire posed to governments and then add information on issues in it.
    • Others NGOs may work with new approaches to assessing progress. For example, how do we measure empowerment? What are participatory approaches for engaged women in the grassroots in measuring progress? What are the issues we see as the focal point for action during the next five years?

    There are a number of challenging initiatives underway that may well become the tools available for all to use in the coming years.

    More Opportunities for NGOs Emerging

    One of the newer opportunities for assessment in which NGOs can participate are the on-line dialogues on the critical areas of concern. These are being organized in collaboration with WomenWatch, the UN website for women, and will be announced on both the WomanWatch site and the new NGO Global Website, WomenAction, soon. (Current plans call for dialogues to be held from July through November 1999.)


    As of May 1, 1999, six of 189 Member and Observer States of the United Nations had responded to the UN/Division for the Advancement of Women questionnaire. The States that have responded are: Bhutan, Ethiopia, Georgia, Japan, Palestine and Vanuatu.

    Questionnaire to Governments on Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, October 1998


    This questionnaire has been designed to obtain information from Governments and to facilitate national reporting on implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action. The information supplied will be analyzed and compiled for the comprehensive review and assessment which will be submitted by the Secretary-General to the Commission on the Status of Women at its forty-fourth session in the year 2000, and to the special session of the General Assembly to be held at the United Nations, New York in June 2000.

    For the special session, several reports will be prepared. The comprehensive review will contain a factual assessment of the status of implementation of the Platform for Action since its adoption. It will show progress and shortfalls, and provide an indication of areas where further actions and initiatives within the framework of the Platform for Action might be most urgent. Another report will contain suggestions for further actions and initiatives that might be considered during the review for the outlook on gender equality and advancement of women beyond the year 2000.

    In order to prepare these reports, the United Nations Secretariat will draw on a variety of sources of information and statistics available to it in addition to the responses to this questionnaire. Among the sources to be used will be the national reports by Governments prepared for the Beijing Conference, the national action plans designed to implement the Platform for Action, reports submitted since 1995 by States parties under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and information generated since 1995 during the review by the Commission on the Status of Women of the Platform’s twelve critical areas of concern. Official statistics available from the United Nations Statistics Division, the Population Division and other statistical information available in the UN system (WHO, ILO, UNESCO, etc.) will be used as well. We will also coordinate with other UN offices responsible for follow-up to other global conference to exchange pertinent country information.

    Please note that the information being sought through this questionnaire is more qualitative that quantitative in nature. However, respondents wishing to update quantitative information disaggregated by sex and age or to report on indicators used at the national level to monitor activities for gender equality and advancement of women may do so. The United Nations does not currently have an agreed list of indicators on gender equality and advancement of women. Annex II to this questionnaire contains a list of data sets/indicators for reference only used by the United Nations for planning and monitoring development activities, particularly at the country programming level.

    Part One:

    Respondents are invited to provide a brief (3 to 6 pages) analytical overview of trends and experiences in implementation in the reporting country. This overall picture should highlight major achievements and obstacles encountered since the Platform for Action was adopted.

    Part Two:

    This section focuses on overall implementation in relation to the national action plans and, in particular, on resource allocations and institutional arrangements.

    Part Three:

    This section focuses specifically on implementation in the twelve critical areas of concern of the Platform for Action. In this Part, respondents are invited to describe policies, programmes, and projects which have been undertaken to implement the Platform for Action including, for example, legislation, positive action measures, development of new or improved services and/or awareness creation. Where specific targets of strategies have been set, progress in achieving those targets and strategies should be reported. Respondents are also invited to indicate future actions or initiatives to be taken, nationally and/or internationally, to ensure full implementation of the Platform for Action in each of the critical areas of concern. In this regard you are encouraged, in particular, to indicate any new commitments made to further implement the Platform for Action and a vision for women’s advancement and gender equality in your country in the next millennium.



    Part One

    Overview of trends in achieving gender equality and women’s advancement

    1. Give a brief analytical overview (3 to 6 pages) of trends in your country in implementing the Platform for Action. This overview or broad picture should, for example, describe the country’s policy with regard to achieving the goal of equality between women and men and should be linked to your national action plan or other plans or strategies. Your response could, for example, address questions such as:
    • What have been the major achievements and/or breakthroughs in concrete terms in implementing the national action plan and/or policies and programmes for gender equality and advancement of women?

    • Is the situation of women and girls in sectors not covered by the national action plan better or worse than in 1995? Why?

    • Are the goals of gender equality and advancement of women being pursued as a priority in relation to other public policy goals? Please explain.

    • What were the country’s priorities in terms of the critical areas of concern of the Platform for Action? Explain.

    • Identify areas where mainstreaming a gender perspective has been most/least successful. In which sectors is a gender approach being applied? Please illustrate with examples of legislation, policies, best practices and lessons learned.

    • Has attention to gender equality and advancement of women changed since 1995 - in Government policies, in public perception, in the media, in academic institutions? Please explain concretely the nature of the change.

    • How has the global situation, for example, structural adjustment, the global financial crisis and/or globalization of markets affected women and girls in your country?




    Part Two

    Financial and institutional measures

    1. Discuss how equality and women’s advancement are addressed in the national budget. This could include an indication of the percentage of the overall budget that is allocated for women-specific policies/programmes and any increases/decreases since 1995. What percentage of this allocation comes from international or bilateral donors? Describe efforts to monitor budgetary allocations related to achieving gender equality and advancement of women.
      1. Discuss structures and mechanisms that have been put in place to institutionalize follow-up to, and implementation of, the Platform for Action. Describe whether similar mechanisms have been established for follow-up to other conferences, such as the World Summit for Social Development or the Vienna World Conference on Human Rights.
      2. Describe the arrangements that have been made to coordinate the various follow-up efforts to global conferences.
      3. Describe the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in planning and shaping the follow-up activities. Do members of NGOs participate formally in the mechanisms established to follow up the Beijing Conference?


    Part Three

    Implementation of the critical areas of concern of the Beijing Platform for Action

    1. Innovative policies, programmes, projects and good practices
    1. In relation to each of the twelve critical areas of concern, describe best practices and innovative actions taken by the Government or other actors (NGOs, civil society, the private sector) to achieve the objectives in each critical area of concern in the Platform for Action. Your response should refer to the country’s national action plan, and could include examples of legal measures, reforms, media campaigns, and pilot programmes or projects. Please cite, in particular, any targets which were in the Government’s national action plan or other relevant plans, and indicate how far these were met. (For example, a target may have been to appoint more women to the cabinet. To what extent was it achieved?)
    1. Obstacles encountered
    1. What obstacles were encountered and what lessons were learned in implementing policies and other measures in each critical area of concern? (For example, despite new legislation to limit traditional practices harmful to the health of women and girls, these practices continued, showing that an education campaign was also needed to bring change in behavior, or customary law was adapted to fit modern legislation when it was learned that women were more discriminated against by customary laws than men.)
    1. Commitments to further action and initiatives
    1. Many governments made commitments to action at the Beijing Conference. Describe steps taken by your Government to fulfill any specific commitments it made at Beijing.

    2. List any new commitments in each of the twelve critical areas of concern which your Government has made since Beijing and how these are being implemented, including any new targets which have been set and the time frame for meeting them. (For example, to increase resource allocations to primary education and to local governments to conduct an awareness campaign among parents on the importance of sending girls to school; to review the regulations governing land rights for women and men; to increase by 50 percent the number of police officers trained to handle domestic violence cases and cases of rape.)

    3. List any further actions and initiatives which your Government believes should or could be taken to fully implement the Platform for Action beyond the year 2000. Among these, identify which ones your own Government intends to take and when.

    4. Briefly describe your vision for women’s advancement and equality for women in the new millennium.



    Common Data Sets/Indicators for Measuring Development Progress

    The following is a consolidated list of data sets/indicators which have been identified by the United Nations for use in planning and monitoring development achievements. It is supplied here for reference only. Much of this information is already available to the United Nations. To be useful, all data should be disaggregated by sex and age in order to show any gaps between men and women. Should any recent censuses or surveys in these areas be conducted, you are requested to supply this information.

    Economic activity

    • Unemployment ratio
    • Unemployment-population ratio
    • Percent of labour force engaged in agriculture, industry, and services
    • Percent of labour force by employment status
    • Percent of children aged 10-14 who are working


    • GNP
    • GNP per capita
    • GDP per capita


    • Adult literary rate
    • Literacy rate of 15-24 year-olds
    • Net primary enrollment ratio
    • Percent reaching grade 5 and completing grade 4
    • Net secondary enrollment ratio
    • Average no. of years of schooling completed

    Gender equality in education

    • Ratio of boys in primary and secondary education combined
    • Ratio of literate females to males at ages 15-24


    • Population with access to health services

    Population and fertility

    • Population size
    • Population aged 0-4; 1-14; 15-49; 60+
    • Population by urban/rural distribution
    • Population growth rate
    • Total fertility rate
    • Fertility rate for women aged 15-19

    Housing and environment

    • Floor area per person
    • Number of persons per room excluding kitchen and bathroom
    • Percent of population with access to adequate sanitation
    • Percent of population with access to safe drinking water
    • Percent of population with access to electricity
    • Percent of population relying on traditional fuels for energy use
    • Arable land per capita
    • Human security and social justice
    • Number of victims of violence per 1000 people
    • Number or persons in prison per 100,000 people

    Income and poverty

    • Household income per capita
    • Number of population below poverty-line
    • Proportion of children under age 5 underweight


    • Life expectancy at birth
    • Infant mortality rate
    • Under-five mortality rate
    • Maternal mortality rate

    Reproductive health

    • Contraceptive prevalence rate
    • Number of births attended by trained health personnel
    • HIV adult prevalence rate
    • HIV prevalence in 15-24 year old pregnant women


    Information on UN/Govt Beijing + 5 Activities:

    UN Division for the Advancement of Women
    Two United Nations Plaza, 12th Floor
    New York, NY 10017, USA
    Tel: (1-212) 963-8034. Fax: (1-212) 963-3463
    Web site:
    Contact: Koh Miyaoi, Information Officer

    For Information on UN Regional Meetings:


    UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
    Centre for African Women (CAW), Africa Hall
    PO Box 3001, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    Tel: (251-1) 51-49-45. Fax: (251-1) 51-44-16
    Contact: Josephine Ouedraogo, Director, CAW

    Asia and the Pacific

    UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP),
    Women in Development (WID) Section
    United Nations Building, Rajadamnern Nok Avenue
    Bangkok 10200, Thailand
    Tel: (66-2) 288-1989. Fax: (66-2) 288-1018
    Contact: Thelma Kay, Chief, WID Section

    Latin America and the Caribbean

    Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean
    (ECLAC/CEPAL), Women and Development Unit
    Edificio Naciones Unidas, Avenida Dag Hammarskjold
    Casilla 179-D, Santiago de Chile
    Tel: (56-2) 210-2000. Fax: (56-2) 208-0252/ 208-1946
    Contact: Diane Almeras, Social Affairs Officer

    Europe and North America

    Economic Commission for Europe (ECE)
    Gender Focal Point
    Palais de Nations, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland
    Tel: (41-22) 917-2670. Fax: (41-22) 917-0036
    Contact: Patrice Robineau, Gender Focal Point

    Western Asia

    Economic and Social Commission for W. Asia,
    Women and Development Unit
    P.O. Box 11-8575, Riad el-Solh Square, Beirut, Lebanon
    Tel: (961-1) 98-13-01 Fax: (961-1) 98-15-10
    Contact: Fatima Kassem, Chief, WID Unit

    Information on NGO Beijing + 5 Activities:

    NGO Coordinating Committee for Beijing + 5
    c/o NGO Committee on the Status of Women (CONGO)
    12th Floor, 777 United Nations Plaza
    New York, NY 10017, USA
    Tel: (1-212) 692-0725. Fax: (1-212) 692-0724(NGO/CSW)
    Tel: (1-212) 986-8557. Fax: (1-212) 986-0821 (CONGO)
    Contact: Sudha Acharya (Beijing + 5 Focal Point)

    NOTE: For NGO Committees on the Status of Women in Geneva and Vienna - partners with the NY/CSW in coordinating activities for Beijing +5 - please see Europe and North America

    For Information on NGO Regional Activities:


    B.P 3370
    Dakar, Senegal
    Tel: (221) 821-6027/(221) 822-4229
    Fax: (221) 822-2695
    Contact: Marie-Hélène Mottin-Sylva

    FEMNET, PO Box 54562
    Nairobi, Kenya
    Tel: (254-2) 74-13-20. Fax: (254-2) 74-29-27
    Contact: Executive Director

    (Networking support programme for South African women)
    c/o SANGONET
    PO Box 31, Johannesburg 2000, South Africa
    Tel: (27-11) 838-6943/4. Fax: *27-11) 492-1058
    Contact: Dibetle Lydia Masemola, Project Manager or
    Lynn Danzig, womensnet news administrator

    Isis - WICCE
    PO Box 4934, Kampala Uganda
    Tel: (256-41) 54-39-53. Fax: (256-41) 54-39-54
    Contact: Ruth Ojiambo Ochieng or Jessica Nkuye

    Asia and the Pacific

    NGO Focal Point for Beijing Plus Five
    c/o Pan Pacific South East Asia Women’s Association
    2234 New Petchburi Road
    Bangkok 10310, Thailand
    Tel: (66-2) 314-4316. Fax: (66-2) 718-0372
    Contact: Thanpuying Sumalee Chartikavanij

    Asian Women’s Resource Network (AWORC)
    c/o Isis International - Manila
    #3 Marunong St., Brgy., Central District
    Quezon City, Philippines
    Tel: (63-2) 435-3405/436-0312. Fax: (63-2) 924-1065
    Website 1:
    Website 2:
    Contact: Luz M. Martinez or Chat Garcia

    Asian and Pacific Development Centre (APDC)
    Gender and Development Programme
    P.O. Box 12224, Persiaran Duta
    50770 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Tel/Fax: (60-3) 651-9209
    Contact: Vanessa Griffin, Director

    Asian-Pacific Resource & Research Centre for Women (ARROW),
    2nd Floor, Block F, Anjung Felda
    Jalan Maktab, 5400 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Tel: (60-3) 292-9913. Fax: (60-3) 292-9958
    Contact: Rashida Abdullah

    SEAWatch (Southeast Asia Watch)
    c/o President’s Office, Mirian College
    Katipunan Road, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
    Tel: (63-2) 924-6769. Fax: (63-2) 426-0169
    Contact: Mary Jane N. Real

    Pacific Regional YWCA
    PO Box 3940, Samabula, Suva, Fiji
    Tel: (679) 304-961. Fax: (679) 301-222
    Contact: Salamo Fulivai

    Latin America and the Caribbean

    Flora Tristan Women’s Centre
    Parque Hernan Velarde 42, Santa Beatriz
    Lima 1, Peru
    Tel: (51-14) 33-06-94. Fax: (51-14) 33-95-00
    Contact: Virginia Vargas

    Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action (CAFRA),
    PO Box 442 Tunapuna, Trinidad and Tobago
    Tel: (1-868) 663-8670. Fax: (1-868) 663-6482
    Contact: Cathy Shepherd

    Avenue Rafael Nunez 4329, Cordoba 5009, Argentina
    Fax: (54-5) 181-4063
    Contact: Ana Falu

    Isis Internacional
    Casilla 2067, Correo Central, Santiago, Chile
    Tel: (56-2) 633-4582. Fax: (56-2) 638-3142
    Contact: Ximena Charnes

    Europe and North America

    NGO Committee on the Status of Women
    E2-1, NGO Lounge, Palais des Nations
    211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
    Tel: (41-22) 752-1536. Fax: (41-22) 917-0181
    Contact: Renate Bloem

    NGO Committee on the Status of Women
    Kirchengasse 26, A-1070, Vienna, Austria
    Tel/Fax: (43-1) 893-3926
    Contact: Maria Jonas

    IIAV (International Information Centre and Archives for the Women's Movement)
    Obiplein 4, 1094 RB Amsterdam
    The Netherlands
    Tel: (31-20) 665-1318
    Fax: (31-20) 665-4267
    Contact: Lin Pugh, Program Manager, Knowledge Sharing program

    European Women’s Lobby
    18, rue Hydraulique, B-1210 Brussels, Belgium
    Tel: (32-2) 217-90-20. Fax: (32-2) 219-84-51
    Contact: Barbara Helfferich

    US Women Connect
    2020 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    Suite 267, Washington, DC 20006, USA
    Tel: (1-703) 922-4468. Fax: (1-703) 922-8139

    The Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA)
    151 Slater St, Room 408
    Ottawa, Canada K1P 5H3
    Tel: (1-613) 563-0681. Fax: (1-613) 563-0682
    Contact: Charlotte Thibault


    General Federation of Jordanian Women
    PO Box 9796, Jabel El-Hussain. Amman, Jordan
    Fax: (962-6) 694-810
    Contact: Emily Nafee

    Alliance for Arab Women
    28 Adly Street, Cairo, Egypt
    Tel: (20-2) 393-9899. Fax: (20-2) 393-6820
    Contact: Hoda Badran

    For information on new NGO WomenAction Network, E-mail:

    Members of the WomenAction 2000 Working Group include:

    ALAI, Ecuador - Sally Burch and Irene Leon
    APC/Africa,Senegal – Marietou Dia and Marie Helene Mottin-Sylla
    Chat Garcia Ramilo -Isis/Manila
    Karen Banks -APC/London
    Yukika Matsumotot -AWORC/Japan
    Maureen James -APC/USA
    Marie Helene Mottin-Sylla -ENDA-SYNFEV/Senegal
    Peregrine Wood -APC/Toronto
    Lin Pugh -IIAV/Amsterdam
    Anne S. Walker -IWTC/NY


    PREVIEW 2000 #2, MAY 1999

    An occasional bulletin of the International Women’s Tribune Centre to cover plans and preparations for the 5 year review of the United Nations Platform for Action, an agenda for women’s empowerment that came out of the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing 1995

    International Women's Tribune Centre
    777 United Nations Plaza
    New York, NY 10017
    Tel: (1-212) 687-8633
    Fax: (1-212) 661-2704



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