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World Conference to review and appraise the achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace

26 July 1985

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Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies. Introduction

  1. Historical Background

  2. Historical Background

  3. Substantive background of the Forward-looking Strategies

  4. Current trends and perspectives to the year 2000

  5. Basic approach to the formulation of the Forward-looking Strategies


A. Historical Background

1. The founding of the United Nations after the victory in the Second World War and the emergence of independent States following decolonization were some of the important events in the political, economic and social liberation of women. The International Women's Year, the World Conferences held at Mexico City in 1975 and Copenhagen in 1980, and the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace contributed greatly to the process of eliminating obstacles to the improvement of the status of women at the national, regional and international levels. In the early 1970s, efforts to end discrimination against women and to ensure their equal participation in society provided the impetus for most initiatives taken at all of those levels. Those efforts were also inspired by the awareness that women's reproductive and productive roles were closely linked to the political, economic, social, cultural, legal, educational and religious conditions that constrained the advancement of women and that factors intensifying the economic exploitation, marginalization and oppression of women stemmed from chronic inequalities, injustices and exploitative conditions at the family, community, national, subregional, regional and international levels.

2. In 1972, the General Assembly, in its resolution 3010 (XXVII), proclaimed 1975 International Women's Year, to be devoted to intensified action to promote equality between men and women, to ensure the full integration of women in the total development effort and to increase women's contribution to the strengthening of world peace. The World Plan of Action for the Implementation of the Objectives of the International Women's Year,/1 adopted by the World Conference of the International Women's Year at Mexico City in 1975, was endorsed by the General Assembly in its resolution 3520 (XXX). The General Assembly, in that resolution, proclaimed 1976-1985 the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace. In its resolution 33/185, the General Assembly decided upon the sub-theme "Employment, Health and Education" for the World Conference of the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace, to be held at Copenhagen to review and evaluate the progress made in the first half of the Decade.

3. In 1980, at the mid-point of the Decade, the Copenhagen World Conference adopted the Programme of Action for the Second Half of the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace,/2 which further elaborated on the existing obstacles and on the existing international consensus on measures to be taken for the advancement of women. The Programme of Action was endorsed by the General Assembly that year in its resolution 35/136.

4. Also in 1980, the General Assembly, in its resolution 35/56, adopted the International Development Strategy for the Third United Nations Development Decade and reaffirmed the recommendations of the Copenhagen World Conference (General Assembly resolution 35/56, annex, para. 51). In the Strategy, the importance of the participation of women in the development process, as both agents and beneficiaries, was stressed. Also, the Strategy called for appropriate measures to be taken in order to bring about profound social and economic changes and to eliminate the structural imbalances that compounded and perpetuated women's disadvantages in society.

5. The strategies contained in the World Plan of Action and in the Programme of Action were important contributions towards enlarging the perspective for the future of women. In most areas, however, further action is required. In this connection the General Assembly confirmed the goals and objectives of the Decade - equality, development and peace - stressed their validity for the future and indicated the need for concrete measures to overcome the obstacles to their achievement during the period 1986-2000.

6. The Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women during the Period from 1986 to the Year 2000 set forth in the present document present concrete measures to overcome the obstacles to the Decade's goals and objectives for the advancement of women. Building on principles of equality also espoused in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,/3 the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,/4 the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,/5 the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,/6 and the Declaration on the Participation of Women in Promoting International Peace and Co-operation,/7 the Forward-looking Strategies reaffirm the international concern regarding the status of women and provide a framework for renewed commitment by the international community to the advancement of women and the elimination of gender-based discrimination. The efforts for the integration of women in the development process should be strengthened and should take into account the objectives of a new international economic order and the International Development Strategy for the Third United Nations Development Decade.

7. The Nairobi World Conference is taking place at a critical moment for the developing countries. Ten years ago, when the Decade was launched, there was hope that accelerated economic growth, sustained by growing international trade, financial flow and technological developments, would allow the increased participation of women in the economic and social development of those countries. These hopes have been belied owing to the persistence and, in some cases, the aggravation of an economic crisis in the developing countries, which has been an important obstacle that endangers not only the pursuance of new programmes in support of women but also the maintenance of those that were already under way.

8. The critical international economic situation since the end of the 1970s has particularly adversely affected developing countries and, most acutely, the women of those countries. The overall picture for the developing countries, particularly the least developed countries, the drought-stricken and famine-stricken areas of Africa, the debt-ridden countries and the low-income countries, has reached a critical point as a result of structural imbalances and the continuing critical international economic situation. The situation calls for an increased commitment to improving and promoting national policies and multilateral co-operation for development in support of national programmes, bearing in mind that each country is responsible for its own development policy. The gap between the developed and developing countries, particularly the least developed among them, instead of narrowing, is widening further. In order to stem such negative trends and mitigate the current difficulties of the developing countries, which affect women the most, one of the primary tasks of the international community is to pursue with all vigour the efforts directed towards the establishment of a New International Economic Order founded on equity, sovereign equality, interdependence and common interest.

B. Substantive background of the Forward-looking Strategies

9. The three objectives of the Decade - equality, development and peace - are broad, interrelated and mutually reinforcing, so that the achievement of one contributes to the achievement of another.

10. The Copenhagen World Conference interpreted equality as meaning not only legal equality, the elimination of de jure discrimination, but also equality of rights, responsibilities and opportunities for the participation of women in development, both as beneficiaries and as active agents.

11. Equality is both a goal and a means whereby individuals are accorded equal treatment under the law and equal opportunities to enjoy their rights and to develop their potential talents and skills so that they can participate in national political, economic, social and cultural development and can benefit from its results. For women in particular, equality means the realization of rights that have been denied as a result of cultural, institutional, behaviourial and attitudinal discrimination. Equality is important for development and peace because national and global inequities perpetuate themselves and increase tensions of all types.

12. The role of women in development is directly related to the goal of comprehensive social and economic development and is fundamental to the development of all societies. Development means total development, including development in the political, economic, social, cultural and other dimensions of human life, as well as the development of the economic and other material resources and the physical, moral, intellectual and cultural growth of human beings. It should be conducive to providing women, particularly those who are poor or destitute, with the necessary means for increasingly claiming, achieving, enjoying and utilizing equality of opportunity. More directly, the increasingly successful participation of each woman in societal activities as a legally independent agent will contribute to further recognition in practice of her right to equality. Development also requires a moral dimension to ensure that it is just and responsive to the needs and rights of the individual and that science and technology are applied within a social and economic framework that ensures environmental safety for all life forms on our planet.

13. The full and effective promotion of women's rights can best occur in conditions of international peace and security where relations among States are based on the respect for the legitimate rights of all nations, great and small, and peoples to self-determination, independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and the right to live in peace within their national borders.

Peace depends on the prevention of the use or threat of the use of force, aggression, military occupation, interference in the internal affairs of others, the elimination of domination, discrimination, oppression and exploitation, as well as of gross and mass violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Peace includes not only the absence of war, violence and hostilities at the national and international levels but also the enjoyment of economic and social justice, equality and the entire range of human rights and fundamental freedoms within society. It depends upon respect for the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as international covenants and the other relevant international instruments on human rights, upon mutual co-operation and understanding among all States irrespective of their social political and economic systems and upon the effective implementation by States of the fundamental human rights standards to which their citizens are entitled.

It also embraces the whole range of actions reflected in concerns for security and implicit assumptions of trust between nations, social groups and individuals. It represents goodwill toward others and promotes respect for life while protecting freedom, human rights and the dignity of peoples and of individuals. Peace cannot be realized under conditions of economic and sexual inequality, denial of basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, deliberate exploitation of large sectors of the population, unequal development of countries, and exploitative economic relations. Without peace and stability there can be no development. Peace and development are interrelated and mutually reinforcing.

In this respect special attention is drawn to the final document of the tenth special session of the General Assembly, the first special session devoted to disarmament encompassing all measures thought to be advisable in order to ensure that the goal of general and complete disarmament under effective international control is realized. This document describes a comprehensive programme of disarmament, including nuclear disarmament, which is important not only for peace but also for the promotion of the economic and social development of all, particularly in the developing countries, through the constructive use of the enormous amount of material and human resources otherwise expended on the arms race.

Peace is promoted by equality of the sexes, economic equality and the universal enjoyment of basic human rights and fundamental freedoms. Its enjoyment by all requires that women be enabled to exercise their right to participate on an equal footing with men in all spheres of the political, economic and social life of their respective countries, particularly in the decision-making process, while exercising their right to freedom of opinion, expression, information and association in the promotion of international peace and co-operation.

14. The effective participation of women in development and in the strengthening of peace, as well as the promotion of the equality of women and men, require concerted multi-dimensional strategies and measures that should be people-oriented. Such strategies and measures will require continual upgrading and the productive utilization of human resources with a view to promoting equality and producing sustained, endogenous development of societies and groups of individuals.

15. The three goals of the Decade - equality, development and peace - are inextricably linked to the three sub-themes - employment, health and education. They constitute the concrete basis on which equality, development and peace rest. The enhancement of women's equal participation in development and peace requires the development of human resources, recognition by society of the need to improve women's status, and the participation of all in the restructuring of society. It involves, in particular, building a participatory human infrastructure to permit the mobilization of women at all levels, within different spheres and sectors. To achieve optimum development of human and material resources, women's strengths and capabilities, including their great contribution to the welfare of families and to the development of society, must be fully acknowledged and valued. The attainment of the goals and objectives of the Decade requires a sharing of this responsibility by men and women and by society as a whole and requires that women play a central role as intellectuals, policy-makers, decision-makers, planners, and contributors and beneficiaries of development.

16. The need for women's perspective on human development is critical since it is in the interest of human enrichment and progress to introduce and weave into the social fabric women's concept of equality, their choices between alternative development strategies and their approach to peace, in accordance with their aspirations, interests and talents. These things are not only desirable in themselves but are also essential for the attainment of the goals and objectives of the Decade.

17. The review and appraisal of progress achieved and obstacles encountered at the national level in the realization of the goals and objectives of the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace (see A/CONF.116/5 and Add.1-14) identifies various levels of experience. Despite the considerable progress achieved and the increasing participation of women in society, the Decade has only partially attained its goals and objectives. Although the earlier years of the Decade were characterized by relatively favourable economic conditions in both the developed and developing countries, deteriorating economic conditions have slowed efforts directed towards promoting the equal participation of women in society and have given rise to new problems. With regard to development, there are indications that in some cases, although the participation of women is increasing, their benefits are not increasing proportionately.

18. Many of the obstacles discussed in the Forward-looking Strategies were identified in the review and appraisal (see A/CONF.116/5 and Add.1-14). The overwhelming obstacles to the advancement of women are in practice caused by varying combinations of political and economic as well as social and cultural factors. Furthermore, the social and cultural obstacles are sometimes aggravated by political and economic factors such as the critical international economic situation and the consequent adjustment programmes, which in general entail a high social cost. In this context, the economic constraints due in part to the prevailing macro-economic factors have contributed to the aggravation of economic conditions at the national level. Moreover, the devaluation of women's productive and reproductive roles, as a result of which the status of women continued to be regarded as secondary to that of men, and the low priority assigned to promoting the participation of women in development are historical factors that limit women's access to employment, health and education, as well as to other sectoral resources, and to the effective integration of women in the decision-making process. Regardless of gains, the structural constraints imposed by a socio-economic framework in which women are second-class persons still limit progress. Despite changes in some countries to promote equity in all spheres of life, the "double burden" for women of having the major responsibility for domestic tasks and of participating in the labour force remains. For example, several countries in both the developed and developing world identify as a major obstacle the lack of adequate supportive services for working women.

19. According to responses from the developing countries, particularly the least developed, to the United Nations questionnaire to Governments (see A/C0NF.116/5 and Add.1-14), poverty is on the increase in some countries and constitutes another major obstacle to the advancement of women. The exigencies created by problems of mass poverty, compounded by scarce national resources, have compelled Governments to concentrate on alleviating the poverty of both women and men rather than on equality issues for women. At the same time, because women's secondary position increases their vulnerability to marginalization, those belonging to the lowest socio-economic strata are likely to be the poorest of the poor and should be given priority. Women are an essential productive force in all economies; therefore it is particularly important in times of economic recession that programmes and measures designed to raise the status of women should not be relaxed but rather intensified.

20. To economic problems, with their attendant social and cultural implications, must be added the threat to international peace and security resulting from violations of the principles of the United Nations Charter. This situation, affecting inter alia the lives of women, constitutes a most serious obstacle to development and thus hinders the fulfilment of the Forward-looking Strategies.

21. What is now needed is the political will to promote development in such a way that the strategy for the advancement of women seeks first and foremost to alter the current unequal conditions and structures that continue to define women as secondary persons and give women's issues a low priority. Development should now move to another plane in which women's pivotal role in society is recognized and given its true value. That will allow women to assume their legitimate and core positions in the strategies for effecting the changes necessary to promote and sustain development.

C. Current trends and perspectives to the year 2000

22. In the absence of major structural changes or technological breakthroughs, it can be predicted that up to the year 2000 recent trends will, for the most part, be extended and adjusted. The situation of women, as it evolves during the period 1986-2000, will also cause other changes, establishing a process of cause and effect of great complexity. Changes in women's material conditions, consciousness and aspirations, as well as societal attitudes towards women, are themselves social and cultural processes having major implications and a profound influence on institutions such as the family. Women's advancement has achieved a certain momentum that will be affected by the social and economic changes of the next 15 years, but it will also continue to exist as a force to be reckoned with. Internal processes will exercise a major influence in the economic sphere, but the state of the global economic system and of the political, social, cultural, demographic and communication processes directly affected by it will invariably have a more profound impact on the advancement of women.

23. At the beginning of the Decade there was an optimistic outlook for development, but during the early 1980s the world economy experienced a widespread recession due, inter alia, to sharp inflationary pressures that affected regions and some groups of countries, irrespective of their level of development or economic structure. During the same period, however, the countries with centrally planned economies as a group experienced stable economic growth. The developed market economy countries also experienced growth after the recession.

Despite the recovery in the developed market economy countries which is being felt in the world economy, the immediate outlook for recovery in developing countries, especially in the low-income and the least developed countries, remains bleak, particularly in view of their enormous public and private external debts and the cost of servicing that debt, which are an evident manifestation of this critical situation. This heavy burden has serious political, economic and social consequences for them. No lasting recovery can be achieved without rectifying the structural imbalances in the context of the critical international economic situation and without continued efforts towards the establishment of a new international economic order. The present situation clearly has serious repercussions for the status of women, particularly underprivileged women, and for human resource development.

Women, subject to compound discrimination on the basis of race, colour, ethnicity and national origin, in addition to sex, could be even more adversely affected by deteriorating economic conditions.

24. If current trends continue, the prospects for the developing world, particularly the low-income and least developed countries, will be sombre. The overall growth in the developing countries as currently projected will be lower in the period 1980-2000 than that experienced in the period 1960-1980. In order to redress this outlook and thereby promote the advancement of women, policies should be reoriented and reinforced to promote world trade, in particular so as to promote market access for the exports of developing countries. Similarly, policies should be pursued in other areas which would also promote growth and development in developing countries, for example, in respect of further lowering interest rates and pursuit of non-inflationary growth policies.

25. It is feared that, if there is slow growth in the world economy, there will inevitably be negative implications for women since, as a result of diminished resources, action to combat women's low position, in particular, their high rates of illiteracy, low levels of education, discrimination in employment, their unrecognized contribution to the economy and their special health needs, may be postponed. A pattern of development promoting just and equitable growth on the basis of justice and equality in international economic relations could make possible the attainment of the goals and objectives of the International Development Strategy, which could make a significant improvement in the status of women while enhancing women's effective contribution to development and peace. Such a pattern of development has its own internal dynamics that would facilitate an equitable distribution of resources and is conducive to promoting sustained, endogenous development, which will reduce dependence.

26. It is very important that the efforts to promote the economic and social status of women should rely in particular on the development strategies that stem from the goals and objectives of the International Development Strategy and the principles of a new international economic order. These principles include, inter alia, self-reliance, collective self-reliance, the activation of indigenous human and material resources. The restructuring of the world economy, viewed on a long-term basis, is to the benefit of all people - women and men of all countries.

27. According to estimates and projections of the International Labour Office, women constitute 35 per cent of the world's labour force, and this figure is likely to increase steadily to the year 2000. Unless profound and extensive changes are made, the type of work available to the majority of women, as well as the rewards, will continue to be low. Women's employment is likely to be concentrated in areas requiring lower skills and lower wages and minimum job security. While women's total input of labour in the formal and informal sector will surpass that of men by the year 2000, they will receive an unequal share of the world's assets and income. According to recent estimates, it seems that women have sole responsibility for the economic support of a large number of the world's children, approximately one third and higher in some countries, and the numbers seem to be rising. Forward-looking strategies must be progressive, equitable and designed to support effectively women's roles and responsibilities as they evolve up to the year 2000. It will continue to be necessary to take specific measures to prevent discrimination and exploitation of their economic contribution at national and international levels.

28. During the period from 1986 to the year 2000, changes in the natural environment will be critical for women. One area of change is that of the role of women as intermediaries between the natural environment and society with respect to agro-ecosystems, as well as the provision of safe water and fuel supplies and the closely associated question of sanitation. The problem will continue to be greatest where water resources are limited - in arid and semi-arid areas - and in areas experiencing increasing demographic pressure. In a general manner, an improvement in the situation of women could bring about a reduction in mortality and morbidity as well as better regulation of fertility and hence of population growth, which would be beneficial for the environment and, ultimately, for women, children and men.

29. /7a The issues of fertility rates and population growth should be treated in a context that permits women to exercise effectively their rights in matters pertaining to population concerns, including the basic right to control their own fertility which forms an important basis for the enjoyment of other rights, as stated in the report of the International Population Conference held at Mexico City in 1984./8

30. It is expected that the ever-expanding communications network will be better attuned than before to the concerns of women and that planners in this field will provide increasing information on the objectives of the Decade - equality, development and peace - on the Forward-looking Strategies, and on the issues included in the subtheme - employment, health and education. All channels, including computers, formal and non-formal education and the media, as well as traditional mechanisms of communication involving the cultural media of ritual, drama, dialogue, oral literature and music, should be used.

31. Political and governmental factors that are likely to affect prospects for the achievement of progress by women during the period 1986-2000 will depend in large measure upon the existence or absence of peace. If widespread international tensions continue, with threats not only of nuclear catastrophe but also of localized conventional warfare, then the attention of policy-makers will be diverted from tasks directly and indirectly relevant to the advancement of women and men, and vast resources will be further applied to military and related activities. This should be avoided and these resources should be directed to the improvement of humanity.

32. To promote their interests effectively, women must be able to enjoy their right to take part in national and international decision-making processes, including the right to dissent publicly and peacefully from their Government's policies, and to mobilize to increase their participation in the promotion of peace within and between nations.

33. There is no doubt that, unless major measures are taken, numerous obstacles will continue to exist which retard the participation of women in political life, in the formulation of policies that affect them and in the formulation of national women's policies. Success will depend in large measure upon whether or not women can unite to help each other to change their poor material circumstances and secondary status and to obtain the time, energy and experience required to participate in political life. At the same time, improvements in health and educational status, legal and constitutional provisions and networking will increase the effectiveness of the political action taken by women so that they can obtain a much greater share in political decision-making than before.

34. In some countries and in some areas, women have made significant advances, but overall progress has been modest during the Decade, as is evident from the review and appraisal. During this period, women's consciousness and expectations have been raised, and it is important that this momentum should not be lost, regardless of the poor performance of the world economy. The changes occurring in the family, in women's roles and in relationships between women and men may present new challenges requiring new perspectives, strategies and measures. At the same time, it will be necessary to build alliances and solidarity groups across sexual lines in an attempt to overcome structural obstacles to the advancement of women.

35. /8a The World Plan of Action for the Implementation of the objectives of the International Women's Year,/1 the Declaration of Mexico on the Equality of Women and their Contribution to Development and Peace, 1975,/9 regional plans of action, the Programme of Action for the Second half of the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace,/2 and the sub-theme - employment, health and education - the Declaration on the Participation of Women in Promoting International Peace and Co-operation /7 and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women /6 remain valid and therefore constitute the basis for the strategies and concrete measures to be pursued up to the year 2000. The continuing relevance of the goals of the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace - and of its sub-theme - health, education and employment - should be stressed, as should the implementation of the relevant recommendations of the 1975 Plan of Action and the 1980 Programme of Action, so as to ensure the complete integration of women in the development process and the effective realization of the objectives of the Decade. The challenge now is for the international community to ensure that the achievements of the Decade become strong building blocks for development and to promote equality and peace, especially for the sake of future generations of women. The obstacles of the next 15 years must be met through concerted global, regional and national efforts. By the year 2000 illiteracy should have been eliminated, life expectancy for all women increased to at least 65 years of good quality life and opportunities for self-supporting employment made available. Above all, laws guaranteeing equality for women in all spheres of life must by then be fully and comprehensively implemented to ensure a truly equitable socio-economic framework within which real development can take place. Forward-looking Strategies for the advancement of women at the regional level should be based on a clear assessment of demographic trends and development forecasts that provide a realistic context for their implementation.

36. The Forward-looking Strategies and multidimensional measures must be pursued within the framework of a just international society in which equitable economic relations will allow the closing of the gap that separates the industrialized countries from the developing countries. In this regard, all countries are called upon to show their commitment as was decided in General Assembly resolution 34/138 and, therefore, to continue informal consultations on the launching of global negotiations, as decided by the General Assembly in decision 39/454.

D. Basic approach to the formulation of the Forward-looking Strategies

37. It is necessary to reiterate the unity, inseparability and interdependence of the objectives of the Decade - equality, development and peace - as regards the advancement of women and their full integration in economic, political, social and cultural development, for which purpose the objectives should remain in effect in the operational strategies for the advancement of women to the year 2000.

38. The Forward-looking Strategies are intended to provide a practical and effective guide for global action on a long-term basis and within the context of the broader goals and objectives of a new international economic order. Measures are designed for immediate action, with monitoring and evaluation occurring every five years, depending on the decision of the General Assembly. Since countries are at various stages of development, they should have the option to set their own priorities based on their own development policies and resource capabilities. What may be possible for immediate action in one country may require more long-range planning in another, and even more so in respect of countries which are still under colonialism, domination and foreign occupation. The exact methods and procedures of implementing measures will depend upon the nature of the political process and the administrative capabilities of each country.

39. Some measures are intended to affect women and others directly and are designed to make the societal context less obstructive and more supportive of their progress. These measures would include the elimination of sex-based stereotyping, which is at the root of continuing discrimination. Measures to improve the situation of women are bound to have a ripple effect in society, since the advancement of women is without doubt a pre-condition for the establishment of a humane and Progressive society.

40. The feasibility of policies, programs and projects concerning women will be affected not only by their numbers and socio-economic heterogeneity but also by the different life-styles of women and by the constant changes in their life cycle.

41. The Forward-looking Strategies not only suggest measures for overcoming obstacles that are fundamental and operational, but also identify those that are emerging. Thus, the strategies and measures presented are intended to serve as guidelines for a process of continuous adaptation to diverse and changing national situations at speeds and nodes determined by overall national priorities, within which the integration of women in development should rank high. The Forward-looking Strategies, acknowledging existing and potential obstacles, include separate basic strategies for the achievement of equality, development and peace. In line with the recommendations of the commission on the Status of Women, acting as the Preparatory Body for the Conference at its second session, particular attention is given to "especially vulnerable and underprivileged groups of women, such as rural and urban poor women; women in areas affected by armed conflicts, foreign intervention and international threats to peace; elderly women; young women; abused women; destitute women; women victims of trafficking and women in involuntary prostitution; women deprived of their traditional means of livelihood; women who are sole supporters of families; physically and mentally disabled women; women in detention; refugee and displaced women; migrant women; minority women; and indigenous women"./10

42. Although addressed primarily to Governments, international and regional organizations, and non-governmental organizations, an appeal is made to all women and men in a spirit of solidarity. In particular, it is addressed to those women and men who now enjoy certain improvements in their material circumstances and who have achieved positions where they may influence policy-making, development priorities and public opinion to change the current inferior and exploited condition of the majority of women ln order to serve the goals of equality for all women, their full participation in development, and the achievement and strengthening of peace.


1/ Report of the World Conference of the International Women's Year, Mexico City, 19 June-2 July 1975 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.76.IV.1), chap. I, sect. A.

2/ Report of the World Conference of the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace, Copenhagen, 24-30 July 1980 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.80.IV.3), chap. I, sect. A.

3/ General Assembly resolution 217 A (III).

4/ General Assembly resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.

5/ Ibid.

6/ General Assembly resolution 34/180, annex.

7/ General Assembly resolution 37/63, annex.

7a/ The Holy See delegation reserved its position with respect to paragraph 29 because it had not joined in the consensus at the International Conference on Population (Mexico City, 1984) and did not agree with the substance of paragraph 29.

8/ Report of the International Conference on Population, 1984, Mexico City, 6-14 August 1984 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.84.XIII.8), chap. I, sect. A, para. 1.

8a/ Reservations to paragraph 35 were formulated by Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Federal Republic of, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and United States of America. The United States reserved its position on the reference in paragraph 35 to the Declaration of Mexico on the Equality of Women and their Contribution to Development and Peace, 1975.

9/ Report of the World Conference of the International Women's Year ..., chap. I.

10/ Report of the Commission on the Status of Women acting as the Preparatory Body for the World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace on its second session (A/CONF.116/PC/19), chap. I, draft decision I, para. 2 (h).