It is a fact that Women Worldwide Conferences have contributed to place in first action line women reality and have remarked that it is necessary to walk towards real equality between men and women to continue development process. As a conclusion: there is no development without equality.
This process has been promoted from an international perspective and leader by United Nations. It has implicated different governments to elaborate measures that contribute to reach this equality.
Therefore, we have already drawn two levels of transforming action to which we must pay attention: on one hand international perspective leader from United Nations and in the other hand regional and national perspective.
Looking from and international perspective, we can see how from the first worldwide conference in 1975, an internal process in United Nations is started, so that to promote equality between men and women.
The fact is that it is included in this first conference resolution: the beginning of the most powerful organisations in the fight of women advance. The INSTRAW, International Institute for Investigation and Capability for Women Promotion and the UNIFEM, United Nations Women Development Found.
The INSTRAW has as mission investigation, capability and knowledge management in alliance to governments, United Nations system, civil society and the academy, so to reach gender equality and women empowerment.
UNIFEM is United Nations Found ordered to provide technical and financial assistance to promote equality. Its four strategic objectives are:
I. Reduce poverty and women exclusion.
II. Finish with violence against women.
III. Reduce AIDS spreading among women and girls
IV. Support women leadership.
UNIFEM cooperates with different countries in law and policies formulation and implementation to eliminate discrimination and to promote gender equality; it promotes as well institutions transformation for gender equality to be included in polices and to respect women rights.
Later, in 1979, United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the elimination of every discrimination against women and it became the Magna Letter of women’s rights. It was the first legal instrument that defined discrimination against women, with an integral perspective, mentioning fundamental liberties in every social life sphere, as well as political, economic, cultural and any aspect of life.
For the first time it is named as discrimination the contempt for sex reasons which implicates a reduction or cancellation of women.
I also emphasize that the Convention urged the governments to eliminate women discrimination, not only in public ambits but also in private life. It underlines the need to advance in women education to obtain their total development.
In every further worldwide conference it has been reinforced in one hand, United Nations organisms and in the other hand, the need to adopt legal measures and structures to guarantee the fulfilment of the objectives
However, we must say that the culmination of every effort is produced in the Fourth Conference in Beijing and the parallel Forum of Non Governmental Organisations.
Beijing Action Platform offers not only a legal frame but a real guide to women social advance for the promotion of a new role in society and also to reach effective equality between men and women.
Government’s exigencies are very high. The Platform make them responsible for the application of strategic objectives. For that reason it recommends take every necessary measure, assign resources and implicate non governmental organisations in the attainment of the objectives.
I will indicate some of the strategic objectives which implementation is transforming women role and life.
The Platform pay especial attention to women participation and implication in her own development and global human development. To reach it, one of the most important objectives is education and women capability.
Governments must ensure girls access to education, the promotion of their continuity and must establish non discrimination education systems, which means to review with a gender perspective, all the contents, study programmes and text books to teach in equality.
Towards education, girls and women get to a new reality; we are conscious of the fact that a girl who had the possibility of receiving official education has more guarantees that their rights are respected. She would probably tend to delay marriage and pregnancy. She will be better informed about her rights and health and her children will have more possibilities of receiving education.
It is this transforming capacity that the girl’s education has witch make it an essential part of the development.
The woman’s live transformation is a consequence of the promotion of her participation in the economy market and paid jobs. All the World’s Conferences have encouraged the incorporation of the woman into the economy.
This reality means that Governments are obliged to apply measures to incentivise the woman’s access to the job market, which will avoid job discrimination, and will promote the woman’s enterprise side, supporting her joining to market nets and facilitating technical support and access to financial resources.
Over the last decades there have been many important advances in the woman’s incorporation to the job market around the world, although it is true that there is a whole journey to do relating the conditions these women work regarding the inequality in their wages, the recognition of the non paid job they provide and the elimination of the laws and customs that deny them the rights upon their property.
As a result of the Fourth World Conference and the Development and Population International Conference held in Cairo, it is common to start talking about women’s emancipation and their access to the job market and economy, the need to family’s co- responsibility and domestic work. In order to achieve these policies that end the gender stereotypes, it is necessary that Governments develop policies and initiatives related to families to favour the equity and conciliation of work and family lives.
We have already mentioned several times in this article than one of the main subject of the Second Women World Conference is the implication of the woman herself in her development. It is after the Fourth World Women Conference when the women’s participation in the decision making and the necessity to access responsibility jobs, what is considered an strategic objective and need the government’s help.
The equity participation of men and women in the decision making process and political job position will provide a balance that will reflect more accurately the society’s composition, formed equally by men and women. It constitutes itself, as the Platform impose, a demand to reinforce the democracy for it places the equally participation as a guaranty of justice and equity. From this moment, women have to be active part of the social development necessarily, and not passive parts of more or less correct policies.
The political entitle of women have the power of transforming societies. We know that women’s participation in Parliaments and Governments favour more attention to the equity between men and women, and also the children and women’s rights.
Although the representation of the women in Parliaments has grown constantly in all countries, only 17% of the parliamentarians of the World are women. But this tendency is changing because of the participating share method used nowadays, recognized in the Beijing Conference. We know that many of the countries that have more women in Parliaments apply the share method: Rwanda (48,8%), Sweden (45,3%), Costa Rica (38,6%), Norway (37,9%), Denmark (36,9%), Netherlands (36,7%), Cuba (36%), Spain (36%), Argentina (35%), Mozambique (34,8%), Belgium (34,7%), Austria (33,9%), Island (33,3%), South Africa (32,8%).
Nowadays fourteen women are Head of State or Prime Minister around the world. This is a very tiny number considering that there are one hundred and twenty two States in United Nations. But fifty years ago, the balance was cero.
There have been many Studies regarding the support of legislative bills and the results of these bills in various countries that have confirmed that the legislative women are very involved with this child, women and family cause. This compromise results in an active support to legislative work of this subjects and measures to be taken in order to guarantee that this law projects become actual laws.
I would like to emphasize that the United Nation’s command to all countries to adopt measures in order to eradicate the violence against women has had and have right now great influence on women’s life.
Violence against women was defined in the action Platform as “all act of violence based on gender status and have as a result a possible or real physical, sexual or psychological damage, threats included, coercion or the arbitrary privation of freedom, occurring in public or private life”.
For the very first time this violence against women is recognized as a “manifestation of the historical inequality between men and women, that have driven to the domination of the men over women, and the discrimination of women and interposition of many obstacles against its plain development.
The United Nation’s impulse through UNIFEM to eradicate the gender violence is very important. Through the Fiduciary Fund to eradicate the violence against women, there are many economic resources to help development projects to eliminate this curse, working in close collaboration with governments and women associations.
The violence against women is no longer tolerable; many people work in the establishment of legal frames to fight violence, and get to work awearement measurements to prevent it and achieve the reduction of the tolerance level.