Report of the Secretary-General.
|UN Document Symbol||A/44/511|
|Convention||Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities|
|Document Type||Report of the Secretary-General|
31 p., chart, graph, tables
|Subjects||Women's Advancement, Women Workers, Socially Disadvantaged Persons, Armed Conflicts, Women with Disabilities, Equal Opportunity, Women in Politics|
12 October 1989
Forty-fourth session Agenda item 104 (a)
FORWARD-LOOKING STRATEGIES FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN
TO THE YEAR 2000
Implementation of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategic
for the advancement of woman
Report of the Secretary-General
II. PRIORITY THEMES TO BE CONSIDERED BY THE COMMISSION ON THE
STATUS OF WOMEN AT ITS THIRTY-FOURTH SESSION 3-52 3
A. Equality in political participation and decision-making 4-15 3
B. Negative effects of the world economic situation on the
improvement of the status of women 16-36 7
C. Women in areas affected by armed conflicts, foreign
intervention, alien and colonial domination, foreign
occupation and threats to peace 37-52 12
III. ACTION TAKEN BY THE ORGANIZATIONS OF THE UNITED NATIONS
SYSTEM TO IMPLEMENT THE NAIROBI FORWARD-LOOKING STRATEGIES
FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN 53 _ 101 16
A. Comprehensive reporting system for monitoring and
review and appraisal 53 _ 60 16
89-24257 1230h (E)
A/44/511 English Page 2
B. Contribution of the United Nations system to the work
of the Commission on the Status of Women 61 18
C. Interregional consultation on women in public life .... 62-63 18
D. Seminar on women and rural development 64-65 19
E. Situation of disabled women 66-70 20
F. New five-year targets at each level for the percentage
of women in Professional and decision-making positions 71 - 95 21
G. More effective public information programs relating
to the advancement of women 96 - 101 28
A/44/511 English Page 3
1. In its resolution 43/101 of 8 December 1988, the General Assembly provided comprehensive guidance to Governments, the organizations of the United Nations system, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations on the implementation of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, 1/ and requested the Secretary-General to report to the Assembly at its forty-fourth session on the measures taken to implement the resolution.
2. National actions to implement the resolution will be outlined in the review and appraisal of the implementation of the Strategies, and detailed information on progress made by the organizations of the United Nations system will be included in the biennial report or. monitoring to be presented to the Commission in 1990.
II. PRIORITY THEMES TO BE CONSIDERED BY THE COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN AT ITS THIRTY-FOURTH SESSION
3. The Commission on the Status of Women will consider three priority themes under the rubrics of equality, development and peace at its thirty-fourth session, to be held from 26 February to 9 March 1990. The themes were selected as part of the long-term programs of work of the Commission set out in the annex to Economic and Social Council resolution 1987/24. They cover political, economic and legal aspects of women's situation and touch upon essential issues of which the United Nations is seized: political democracy, the global economic situation and the results of armed conflict. In each, the Secretariat's analysis shows that women are affected differently from men. Although apparently diverse, the themes are interrelated by a common thread running through all the analyses: the conclusion is that international goals can be more easily achieved if women are more effective participants in the underlying processes of decision-making. By involving women at all levels of economic decision-making, policies of adjustment can be designed that are both more effective and sensitive to human needs. By involving women in political decisions, armed conflict can be lessened and its effects reduced.
A. Equality in political participation and decision-making
4. Women are dramatically underrepresented in political decision-making world wide. As of 1 September 1989, only six heads of Government out of 159 Member States of the United Nations are women: those of Dominica, Ice]land, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines and the United Kingdom. The record at ministerial levels is little better, as can be seen in figure 1. Based on reports by Governments in the Worldwide Government Directory for 1987-88, 2/ the Division for the Advancement of Women estimates that, on average, only 3.5 per cent of the top level positions in governments in the world are occupied by women. There are regional variations, as can be seen in figure 2, but even in the region with the best overall record, Europe, the figure does not exceed 8 per cent. A total of 99 countries have no women in top decision-making positions.
A/44/511 English Page 4
Figure 1. Ratio of woman to men in ministerial levels of decision marking
Figure 2. Women in ministerial-level decision-making positions, 1987, by region (average percentage)
A/44/511 English Page 5
5. If all levels reported in the Directory are considered, 3/ the picture is no better. The average incidence of women in the four highest levels of government (Deputy of State, Director of government department, or equivalent) world wide is 5.2 per cent, an average of 6.8 per cent for Europe, 3.6 per cent for Africa, 8.7 per cent for South America, 2 per cent for Asia, 6.5 per cent for North America and 3.7 per cent for the Pacific. ]4/ In only four countries did the percentage of women exceed 20 per cent: Iceland (33.3), Norway (33.3), Finland (23.5) and Bhutan (28.6). Moreover, although there are some regional' variations, the data indicate that women in decision-making positions are much more likely to be in the traditional so-called feminine social fields than in economic or political decision-making (table 1).
Table 1. Percentage of woman in decision-making by type of ministry
Executive I Economic Law and justice ¦As.9. Social TOTAL
3.3 1.6 1.6 3.4 8.6 3.6
0.7 1.4 2.0 0.8 3.8 2.0
1.4 1.1 2.7 0.0 6.7 3.7
South America 1.0 1.6 0.4 10.0 11.6 3.4
North America 9.7 8.4 4.5 7.5 11.5 7.4
10.6 4.1 3.6 4.1 12.3 6.8
6. There are two paths to decision-making in government, which vary according to
the political system: rising through the representative political system and
careers in the civil service. In both cases, there have been pediments to women
as reflected in the current low Level of participation in public decision-making,
including an apparent lack of consciousness on the part of women, whether in the
general public as voters or in the public service, of the desirability of their
1. Women in politics
7. With regard to political participation, it should be noted that there are
almost no legal impediments to women's political activities, including access to
the highest executive posts. Indeed, as was pointed out in the report of the
Secretary-General to the Commission on the Status of Women on the full
participation of women in the construction of their countries and the creation of
just social and political systems (E/CN.6/1989/7), the average pa Licipation of
women in elections corresponds to the total number of women eligible and is
generally similar to that of men.
A/44/511 English Page 6
8. However, the low participation of women at national decision-making levels is not an isolated phenomenon, but is closely linked to the low participation of women in parliaments, political parties, trade unions and issue associations. For example, the participation of women in national parliaments, considered one of the most important indicators of women's participation in political life, was on average 9.7 per cent in 1988 (according to the Women's Indicators and Statistics Data Base of the Statistical Office of the Secretariat, based on 125 countries). This compared with an average of 7.5 per cent in 1975, at the beginning of the United Nations Decade for Women.
9. The report of the Secretary-General found that women were almost completely absent from the leadership of major political parties and trade unions, the institutions that often provide the political cadres for key executive bodies.
10. The causes for the low levels of representation and participation in political institutions are complex. The main reason for the disappointing figures seems to be the failure to articulate women's issues in such a way that women can consciously vote and lobby for candidates who represent their interests. In general there have been few major differences in male and female voting patterns. Only in a few developed countries have women begun noticeably to favour different values and issues, and to vote for those candidates who would be their best representatives from that point of view, many of whom are women. It is becoming more accepted that only when women begin to vote according to gender interests, and once those votes begin to determine the outcome of elections at all levels of politics, will there be a major breakthrough with regard to women's access to decision-making.
2. Women in the public service
11. As an economic sector, the government is one place where women are relatively well represented in the work force. They are not, however, well represented in the top levels of public sector management. Ironically, in many countries low pay levels in fact "feminize" the public sector, and this may become a factor in achieving a high percentage of women in the higher civil service by allowing women to advance without the same resistance of men, who find these jobs less attractive than those in the private sector.
12. There are few comparative studies of women in national public service. Nevertheless, the experience of any major public bureaucracy can provide lessons to all. In this sense, the United Nations system, as a complex of public sector institutions, is illustrative. In terms of the Nairobi Strategies, it is expected to be a model. Unfortunately, the proportion of women in management positions in the United Nations system is very low. In fact, the percentage of women in senior management of the United Nations system (3.9 per cent) is only slightly above the world average for highest level positions.
13. Some of the reasons for low participation of women in government executive decision-making are as follows:
A/44/511 English Page 7
(a) Lack of adequate recruitment and promotion mechanisms, preventing women
from entering the civil service in significant numbers and being promoted without
discrimination to its higher levels. Where such mechanisms have been established
for a number of years, a visible increase in women at executive levels has
occurred. For example, the data acquired from the World Directory of Governments
shows that in Norway this average participation reached 20.3 ***, with
33.3 per cent at ministerial level and 31.8 per cent at the next level. The institution of competitive examinations for entry-level recruitment in the United Nations Secretariat has led to almost 40 per cent of the posts for which competition was open being occupied by women.
(b) Insufficient application of quotas and other affirmative measures aimed
at ensuring the adequate participation of women at all levels of political parties,
parliaments, trade unions, including their governing bodies and executives. The
positive impact of such measures can be seen in the Nordic countries.
14. There are also obstacles hindering all forms of participation of women in
political life that are pertinent to participation in decision-making bodies. They
include the following:
(a) Time constraints resulting from household duties, childbearing and child rearing, which affect women's ability to participate in socio-political activities;
(b) Insufficient education in general and political education in particular;
(c) Women's reluctance or diffidence about taking part in politics, in particular at high levels The cultural models persisting in many countries define the role of women as linked exclusively to the private sector and discourage their incorporation into the public field, especially in positions involving the exercise of political power.
15. Women's participation in politics is relatively higher in countries with
developed social support services, advanced studies and training courses (in
political science, law or management) accessible to and attended by women, and with
visible women's movements and networks. Consciousness-raising and information
campaigns, grassroots political services, networking of women in politics in
research and in non-governmental activities also play important roles in increasing
political participation. The existence of political democracy, as a form of
government, is crucial to understanding the differences in the global political
participation of women in decision-making processes. While the participation of
women in the electoral process by exercising their voting rights has been noted,
participation at decision-making levels is generally dependent on access to
political careers which have not been easy for women to attain.
B. Negative effects of the world economic situation on the improvement of the status of women
16. The world economic situation affects people differently in different countries, and the issues arising from the problems of trade, monetary flows, debt
A/44/511 English Page 8
and development assistance are discussed in many United Nations forums. The issue is not whether women are affected by this situation, but rather whether they are affected differently from men and, if so, what can be done to reduce negative effects and make use of factors in the economic environment to further the internationally accepted goal of equality between men and women.
17. The international economy is a combination of market forces and public policy. The forces of the market affect people differently according to their relative position in society, their access to economic resources, their ability to create buffers against shocks. Since in most societies, women do not have equal opportunities or economic status, the effect of international economic developments is transmitted through this unequal national market structure and hence often increases existing structural inequality. When public economic policy is assumed to be gender-neutral in situations where gender in fact makes a difference, at best these policies will not affect the existing differences between women and men and, at worst, will make these differences more acute.
18. Thus, the relationship between the status of women and the world economic situation must be seen in terms of the interactions between economic and social structure and the design of policies to use the forces of the market to mobilize human potential equally and thereby enable women to participate fully in the economy and to ensure that public resources are directed towards this end.
19. There are a number of key interactions between women and the international economy in which gender differences have been identified. The dominant interaction relates to adjustment policies in response to the global situation of trade and debt. Adjustment measures have in effect required austerity in many countries in a situation in which external shocks had already reduced growth of even generated absolute declines in income. These have been discussed in some detail in the 1989 World Survey on the Role of Women in Development.
20. The international community is now considering ways to combine adjustment with growth both in the short-term and the longer-term perspective; in the latter, both structural objectives and social concerns would be integrated. This concern is increasingly reflected in programs for Africa such as the United Nations Programs of Action for African Economic Recovery and Development 1986-1990 (resolution S-13/2, annex), and there is a growing consensus that long-term socio-economic development goals should be part of the objectives of adjustment programs. At stake is not only how to soften inevitable negative effects
post facto but rather the integration of measures to avoid negative effects from the moment adjustment programs are designed. Some specialized agencies are undertaking specific research activities on structural adjustment on women. The International Labor Organization (ILO), for example, has a regional study under way in Latin America and is also analyzing the gender issues in the structural adjustment of African economies, including some potential demographic implications. A review of the impact of structural adjustment programs and policies on selected projects of the United Nations Development. Fund for Women (UNIFEM) has led the Fund to carry out another major assessment, which will be published for the thirty-fourth session of the Commission on the Status of Women in March 1990 as UNIFEM's contribution to the discussions on the priority theme, women and the economic crisis.
A/44/511 English Page 9
21. The avoidance of negative impact on women's status should be seen as a benefit to the whole society, and thus serves the macro-economic aim of adjustment. Indeed, since women are often highly represented in sectors that are identified as essential for economic adjustment, such as export industries, they are at the heart of the adjustment process.
22. Adjustment policies affect women in two principal ways; women's coping strategies in the domestic economy are affected by adjustment policies and women's advancement by the effects of reduced capacity for public expenditure. In addition, strategies to increase development through new industries may have an effect on advancement of women that can be either positive or negative.
1 Invisible and visible adjustment in female domestic and economic labor
23. The most documented effect of adjustment policies on women are their attempts to absorb the resulting economic shocks through their own efforts, both within the household and by entering the remunerated labor force. Their tendency to increase their domestic work to compensate for a deterioration in public services (education, health, transport), as well as to make sacrifices to maintain the household's living standard, constitutes what the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has termed the invisible adjustment. 5/
24. The role women usually play in the family - the fact that they are often largely responsible for the well-being of the family members - makes them particularly vulnerable. If the standard of living of the family declines, women try to cope by increasing the amount of time they work, at home or outside the home.
25. There have been two concomitant trends in female employment and unemployment in the 1980s, On the one hand, women may have been discouraged from entering the formal labor force by the increase in overall unemployment or the decreasing attractiveness of available jobs. On the other hand, the deepening of the effects of the economic situation may have pushed? women into the labor market, usually in occupations of lower productivity and income. This seems to have occurred most frequently in what is called the informal sector, a part of the economy characterized by its lack of definition, information and regulation. Micro-studies, reported in the 1989 World Survey on the Role of Women in Development, suggest that in many cases the informal sector is a source of exploitation. Indeed, it has Leen hypothesized that the current era of structural adjustment and labor flexibility has contributed to a rapid feminization of the labor force in many parts of the world and that this is clearly related to an erosion of labor regulations, to a shift from direct to indirect forms of employment, including sub-contracting, and to a revival of home based work. The growing flexibility of labor markets has meant that more and more jobs available to women as well as men are in temporary and part-time positions, which are generally less secure and lack social security benefits. Women's increasing presence in the employed work force thus appears to be associated with a spread of more precarious forms of economic activity. 6/
A/44/511 English Page 10
26. The effect of the world economic situation has been amplified by women's traditional position, particularly when the task of domestic coping is not shared, either by men in the household or through the provision of public services. The effect is even greater when women enter the economy without the same resources as men, for example in terms of general education, literacy, health, technology, credit, training and access to other productive assets. While pronounced for women in all developing countries, the effect is particularly acute for rural women, as has been noted by the report of the Secretary-General on the situation of women in rural areas (A/44/516).
27. There are a number of direct links between the international economy and women. One, which is of particular importance because of the structure of employment and income in most developing countries, is the shift of agricultural production away from food towards export cropping. While women remain the major food producers in many countries, there is evidence that export cropping, which usually involves new technologies, displaces women disproportionately. This is a function of differential access to technology and training rather than to factors inherent in the occupation itself, and is among the potential effects of structural adjustment on women's economic activities that are currently being monitored and documented. 7/
28. Another area that deserves particular attention is women's work in export-processing zones, and more generally in export industries. These activities have had the advantage of generating exports and gains in foreign currencies for developing countries. They have also led to the creation of numerous jobs for young women who might not otherwise have taken up an economic activity. However, the working conditions and social status of this type of industry need to be carefully studied to ensure minimum protection for women working in these areas while encouraging the development of such industries.
29. Women represent a major under-utilized human resource, and one that could play
a key role in attaining the increased export earnings that so many developing
countries consider to be a major element of their self-sustained development. At
the same time, institutional and attitudinal barriers constrain women from full
participation in the development of their countries' trade. Participants attending
the International Trade Centre (ITC) workshop on women in export development in
December 1988 proposed the main elements of a strategy to strengthen the role of
women in trade development, which included the following concepts: the need for
tailor-made technical co-operation programs for women entrepreneurs; selectivity
of approach by product group, provision of specialized advisory assistance in
product adaptation development, export marketing and functional areas (including
packaging, quality control and trade information); and co-operation with
development banks, national trade promotion organizations and similar bodies.
These concepts are applied in projects implemented in Africa, but. the scope of such
technical assistance should be expanded to reach more potential women entrepreneurs.
30. Still another area is international migration in the search for jobs. For a number of countries, this involves migration of women to undertake low-paid, low-skilled jobs in other countries, often without legal protection and under
A/44/511 English Page 11
conditions of potential exploitation. This subject will be studied under the priority thane of equality for the thirty-fifth session of the Commission on the Status of Women in 1991.
2 Effects of changes in public expenditure on the status of women
31. The Nairobi Strategies recognize the crucial role of public policy, backed by public expenditure, in overcoming the factors underlying women's unequal status. This is particularly true in education, but can also be seen in a broad range of affirmative action policies. For example, the advancement of women in public service is easier if the public service is expanding. There is now considerable evidence that the reductions in growth of public expenditure during the 1980s, as a consequence of the world economic climate, have had a regative effect on government public resources for the advancement of women.
32. As noted in the report presented to the General Assembly last year (A/43/638), considerable progress was made towards equality between girls and boys in school enrolment throughout the 1970s, as measured by changes in the ratio between the number of boys and girls enrolled. An initial analysis of some 20 countries conducted by the Division for the Advancement of Women of the United Nations Office at Vienna cited in the 1989 World Survey on the Role of Women in Development suggested that periods of recession in the early eighties had been accompanied by phases of deterioration in the number of girls enrolled in schools- Subsequently, a new analysis using information on 117 countries from the Woman's Indicators and Statistics Data Base of the Statistical Office noted a strong correlation between increases in government final consumption expenditure during the 1970s (a measure of public-sector spending as a proportion of national accounts) and changes in the ratio of girls to boys in enrolment in primary and secondary schools. As expenditure increased, the ratio improved. The same correlation was not found for the 1980s: in most countries government final consumption expenditure did not increase, nor did the sex ratios in enrolment improve.
33. Quantitative correlations aside, it is important to point out that in the majority of the developing countries the content of formal education has not changed. The main traditional stereotypes of men and women's roles remain the same, and they are partly responsible for the difficulties women face in attempting to participate fully. Qualitative reform also requires public resources.
34. The analysis seems to show that it is not recession itself that affects the ratio: neither the rate of growth of gross domestic product (GDP) nor that of GDP per capita seem to have had a significant influence on progress towards equal access to school. Surprisingly, it is the overall level of public expenditure, rather than expenditure on education itself, that is correlated with changes in the enrolment ratio. This suggests that the existence of a variety of publicly funded programs affecting many aspects of women's advancement is more important than sectoral expenditure. It should be noted that the overall impact of this lack of increase in public expenditure on the number of girls enrolled in schools as compared to boys appears to have been to halt the progress towalds equality, rather than constituting a backward movement.
A/44/511 English Page 12
35. The influence of public expenditure has been strongest on second level schools. This confirms the early findings of the more restricted analysis conducted for the 1989 World Survey. The second level is that which most affects the potential of girls to play their full role in the society and the economy and which is most sensitive to cuts in overall government expenditure.
36. At issue is the role of the public sector in promoting women's advancement. Reductions in public expenditure by Governments during the economic crisis of the 1980s have undoubtedly had their effect. The question is whether this effect was lnevitable. Pedeductions in public expenditures may not have been gender-neutral. Indeed, the advancement of women, as a new programmatic priority, may well have suffered more than other programs.
C. Women in areas affected by armed conflicts, foreign intervention, alien and colonial domination, foreign occupation and threats to peace
37. The elimination of armed conflicts is a major concern of the Charter of the United Nations. The period since the Second World War has seen a large number of such conflicts, each with its own causes. The general term, armed conflicts, covers the variety of confrontations set out in the title of the priority theme and will be used throughout to refer to all. In the simplest sense, an armed conflict is any situation in which armed force is used, whether between nations or domestically. As a famous poster once put it, war is hazardous to children and other living things, reflecting the fact that all humans suffer from armed conflict. A common characteristic is that women have usually not been combatants themselves, nor have they usually participatod in the decision-making leading up to the conflict.
38. The protection of women in areas affected by armed conflicts is recognised in international law and in the practice of international humanitarian relief. There is also a growing recognition of the potential role of women in conflict resolution and peace-making. The priority theme will focus on these dimensions, whose longstanding nature has been reflected in the United Nations declarations, especially the Declaration on the Participation of Women in Promoting International Peace and Co-operation (General Assembly resolution 37/63 of 3 December 1982) and the Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict (General Assembly resolution 3318 (XXIX) of 14 December 1974).
1. Legal protection of women in areas of armed conflict
39. The 1949 Geneva Conventions, which are the main international legal instruments governing armed conflict, take account of the fact that an estimated half of the people killed in the course of the Second World War were civilians. They contain over 40 articles dealing with special protection of women and children. The conflicts that have taken place since 1945 may *** Produced as many casualties but have taken on forms in which it is often difficult to distinguish combatants from civilians, thus making the latter all the more vulnerable. The
A/44/511 English Page 13
additional protocols to the Geneva Conventions adopted in 1976 and 1977 take this change into account by offering better legal protection, especially to the civilian population and consequently to women and children.
40. One aspect of the changed situation is the elimination of the distinction between international and non-international conflicts from the point of view of protection.
41. The general protection of women as members of the civilian population is dealt with in part III of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, entitled "Status and treatment of protected persons". Section I contains "Provisions common to the territories of the parties to the conflict and to occupied territories". The second paragraph of article 27 (treatment, general observations) reads as follows: "Women shall be especially protected against any attack on their honour, in particular against rape, enforced prostitution, or any form of indecent assault". This article is supplemented by articles 31 (prohibition of coercion),
32 (prohibition of corporal punishment, torture etc.) and 33 (prohibition of collective penalties and reprisals). These three articles apply to all protected persons. This general protection has been reaffirmed in article 76 of Protocol I, which adds a general principle that "women shall be the object of special respect and shall be protected".
42. For non-international armed conflict, the first paragraph of article 3, which is common to all four Geneva Conventions of 1949, stipulates, inter alia, that "persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat ... shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any similar criteria".
43. With respect to international armed conflicts, several articles of the Fourth Geneva Convention are relevant: article 14 (hospital and safety zones and localities), which stipulates that expectant mothers and mothers of children under seven are among the privileged persons who can find refuge in such zones; article 16 (wounded and sick; general protection), which says that, among others, expectant mothers shall be the object of particular protection and respect; article 23 (consignment of medical supplies, food and clothing), which provides for the consignment of essential foodstuffs, clothing and tonics intended for children under fifteen, expectant mothers and maternity cases. Other provisions apply to female members of the civilian population who are subject to punishment, whether disciplinary or penal: i.e. article 119 (disciplinary punishments), and
article 124, which stipulates that "women internees undergoing disciplinary punishment shall be confined in ceparate quarters from male internees and shall be under the immediate supervision of women". This rule was repeated in the fifth paragraph of article 75 of Protocol I (fundamental guarantees). Two new rules were included in Protocol I (art. 76, chaps. 2 and 3). One of these rules stipulates that pregnant women and mothers having dependent infants who are arrested, detained or interned for reasons related to the armed conflict, shall have their cases considered with the utmost priority. The other rule states that, to the maximum extent feasible, the parties to the conflict shall Endeavour to avoid the pronouncement of the death penalty on pregnant women or mothers having dependent
A/44/511 English Page 14
infants and that the death penalty shall not bo carr 1 out on such women. Some of
these rules are included in Protocol II relating to in-international armed
conflicts. Paragraph 2 of article 5 of Protocol II stipulates that women deprived
of their liberty shall be held in quarters separated from those of men and shall be
under the immediate supervision of women. Article 6 stipulates that in
non-international conflicts, the death penalty shall not be carried out on pregnant
women or mothers of young children.
44. The protection of female prisoners of war is dealt with in article 14 of the Third Geneva Convention relating to the respect for the persons of prisoners. Paragraph 2 of that article reads as follows: "Women shall be treated with all the regard due to their sex and shall in all cases benefit by treatment as favourable as that granted to men".
45. With respect to international armed conflicts, several articles of the Third Geneva Convention are relevant: Article 25 (quarters), Article 97 (execution of disciplinary punishment) and 108 (execution of penalties following conviction for penal offence). All these articles stipulate that women prisoners of war shall be confined in separate quarters and supervised by women. Protocol II, applicable in non-international armed conflict, obviously applies to all persons affected by the conflict, hence to women who must be called "female combatants" since the term "prisoners of war" does not exist in this kind of conflict.
46. The refugee does not enjoy special protection under international humanitarian law, nor is there any definition of a refugee as a person protected by that law. However, a refugee is above all a civilian and as such is protected by the relevant provisions of international law. The sole criterion, for the purposes of the Fourth Geneva Convention, is the absence of protection by any Government. The term "refugee" is thus giver a broad connotation. In international public law there are two defined categories: refugees fleeing persecution; and refugees on account of armed conflict and other disturbances. In addition, there is a category called displaced persons. In relation to problems with the legal protection of refugees, note should be taken of the problems facing women in gaining access to the legal procedures for their designation as refugees.
47. Special protection of the refugee as a civilian person in the power of a party to the armed conflict is accorded by certain provisions of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 (Fourth Convention). The Fourth Convention provides for protection in mainly two kinds of situation: aliens in territory of a party to the conflict; and inhabitants of an occupied territory. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) carries out activities to help accord protection to women refugees.
48. Displaced persons are defined as persons who flee armed conflict or other disturbances but who remain inside their country. Having crossed no international frontier, they are not considered refugees under international law, but in common usage are none the less regarded as such. Persons to whom neither refugee definition applies, or who do not come under the protection of UNHCR, are sometimes also referred to as displaced persons, even when they are outside their country. The protection of such civilians under international humanitarian law is covered by
A/44/511 English Page 15
provisions for the protection of civilians who are in the power of the enemy, and for the protection of civilians against the effects of hostilities.
49. International humanitarian law grants extensive protection to women and children during armed conflicts and wars. Naturally, they benefit from all the general provisions protecting victims of armed conflicts. In addition, of 560 articles contained in the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the additional Protocols of 1976 and 1977, more than 50 articles apply particularly to women. If, in fact, women and children are not always protected as they should be, this is not through lack of legal provisions. The issue is really how this protection is applied, the adequacy of the international machinery for that purpose and the extent to which women in conflict situations are aware of their rights under international humanitarian law.
2. Humanitarian support to women in areas affected by armed conflict
50. Humanitarian support to women in areas affected by armed conflict includes measures taken both from a de jure and a de facto position. In legal terms, the Geneva Conventions of 1949 have numerous provisions relating to relief in the event of international armed conflicts. For example, articles 13 to 26 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, part II, entitled "General protection of populations against certain consequences of war" provide for plans for the evacuation of certain categories of the population, such as elderly women and children, as well as assistance to women who have become refugees or displaced persons or other assistance under the existing norms of international law; and the provision of safe and comfortable shelters, including humanitarian assistance in the form of clothing, food and medical facilities. A special role is given to the International Committee of the Red Cross in accordance with article 68 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. There is also a very important role for UNHCR in this area.
3. Participation of women in the peace process
51. Women have a particular concern with resolving armed conflict, although by and large they do not participate in decision-making about it. Yet, as pointed out earlier, while the percentage of women in decision-making positions generally is low, their incidence in positions relating to defence or foreign affairs is particularly low. Moreover, women have seldom been included in delegations involved in international peace-making negotiations. Nevertheless, women in non-governmental positions have frequently been leaders of movements for peace and disarmament, as was reported by the Secretary-General to the Commission on the Status of Women in 1988 (E/CN.6/1988/7), as well as to the Second Special Session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament (A/S-15/40). Increasing participation by women in the decision-making process and policy formulation related to peace and international co-operation should be an issue of increasing concern of the international community and, indeed, will be discussed in depth at the thirty-sixth session of the Commission in 1992.
A/44/511 English Page 16
52. Among the obstacles to women's participation in peace decision-making are
those deriving from economic development policies that negatively affect women and
from political policies that have sometimes been manipulative of women, encouraging
their public participation during times of crisis and excluding them from
participation in post-crisis eras. Differential access to education and to careers
can also keep women out of public life.
III. ACTION TAKEN BY THE ORGANIZATIONS OF THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM TO IMPLEMENT THE NAIROBI FORWARL-LOOKING STRATEGIES FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN
A. Comprehensive reporting system for monitoring and review and appraisal
53. In its resolution 42/62 of 30 November 1987, the General Assembly reaffirmed the need for the United Nations to develop an integrated reporting system with the Commission on the Status of Women at its centre and, building upon existing information and resources, to monitor the review and appraisal of progress with regard to the advancement of women. Subsequently, by its resolution 1988/22, responding to the Commission's recommendations, the Economic and Social Council adopted a two-year cycle of system-wide monitoring of progress in the implementation of the Strategies, and established a five-year cycle for review and appraisal. This was the first time either during or after the United Nations Decade for Women that such a comprehensive reporting system was established. The aim was to simplify the substantive aspects of global and regional monitoring, and to extend the review and appraisal at the national level to the whole of the Strategies. The system was endorsed by the General Assembly in its resolution 43/101.
54. The Economic and Social Council. in an annex to resolution 1988/22, specified that national information on progress should be collected through questionnaires sent to Member States and structured according to the Strategies. For the first review and appraisal, the Secretary-General circulated a questionnaire to Member States on 28 June 1988, with a deadline of 15 January 1989, so as to enable a progress report to be made to the thirty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women. A computerized data base had been established for that purpose.
55. By the deadline, answers had been received from only eight Member States (Argentina, Bhutan, Costa Rica, Hungary, Iraq, Mexico, Morocco and Peru). By 31 January 1989, additional replies had been received from Denmark, Finland, France, Italy and Turkey, still making a total of only 13. The Secretary-General reported to the Commission that material obtained from the questionnaire and national reports was essential for the preparation of his report on the review and appraisal and urged that all Member States that had not yet replied do so urgently. By 15 July 1989, a total of 52 Member States had replied. The review and appraisal report has been prepared on the basis of those replies and other sources of information set forth in the resolution on the reporting system.
A/44/511 English Page 17
56. The same questionnaire was sent on 10 October 1988 to all intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council. By 15 January 1989, substantive replies had been received from 24 non-governmental organizations. The NGO Committees on the Status of Women (in New York, Geneva and Vienna) submitted consolidated views to the Secretary-General In January 1989 on the contribution that could be made to the review and appraisal by non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Council. During the thirty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women, representatives of the three NGO Committees formed a planning committee to design the activities of non-governmental organizations for the review and appraisal around the thirty-fourth session of the Commission. The NGO Committers further suggested a joint consultation between members of the Commission and non-governmental organizations at an appropriate time during the thirty-fourth session of the Commission.
57. The Economic and Social Council, by its resolution 1988/19, requested the regional commissions to hold, within available resources, regional review and appraisal meetings in preparation for the global exercise. The first meeting, untitled "Fourth Regional Conference on the Integration of Women into the Economic and Social Development of Latin America and the Caribbean" was sponsored by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and took place at Guatemala City from 27 to 30 September 1988. The Conference discussed issues of concern to women in the region, especially the problem of international debt, and completed a regional appraisal of the Forward-looking Strategies. The second meeting was held by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) at Bangkok from 21 to 25 November 1988. The review was undertaken by the ESCAP Committee on Population and Social Development, which noted the importance of the Strategies as a practical guide for national priorities on women. The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) convened a review and appraisal meeting entitled the "Fourth Regional Conference on the Integration of Women in Development", at Abuja, Nigeria, from 18 to 22 September 1989. The results of those meetings will be includa in the report of the Secretary-General on the review and appraisal.
56. As regards operational projects, the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNTFEM) has established a model institutional memory through its knowledge bank, based on a project monitoring and evaluation system tnat includes an impact analysis and a feedback capability to enable development planners to share and conmparo learning experiences. This approach can be used in existing reporting systems to improve monitoring and evaluation activities as a flexible mechanism to respond to bottlenecks in project implementation and to undertake evaluations of its innovative and experimental projects. One of the major UNIFEM evaluations undaer this facility is the assessment of its five-year experience in support of mainstreaming initiatives for women and development by national and international Large-scale, central funding and technical co-operation instruments (banks, ministries, United Nations agencies). The comprehensive report on this assessment will be submitted to the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programs (UNDE) in June 1990.
A/44/511 English Page 18
59. In its resolution 1989/32, the Economic and Social Council decided that a comprehensive report on the progress achieved and obstacles encountered in implementing the Nairobi Strategies in the first five years should be submitted to the Commission on the Status of Women at its extended session in 1990; further decided that draft conclusions and recommendations arising from the review and appraisal should also be submitted and that they should include measures to overcome the obstacles that should be addressed immediately if the pace of implementation was to be increased; urged that in order to provide guidance in the formulation of draft recommendations and conclusions, information on the preliminary results of the review and appraisal, which would ultimately be included in the comprehensive report, be made available to an open-ended group of Member States meeting on an informal basis in New York during the forty-fourth session of the General Assembly at the time of the debate on the advancement of women.
60. The Economic and Social Council requested that the documents listed in the annex to resolution 1988/22 of 26 May 1988, especially the 1989 World Survey on the Role of Women in Development, be used in preparing the comprehensive report and recommendations; urged the Secretariat to contact national machineries of countries that had not yet responded to the questionnaire to request that they do so immediately, and if possible to arrange for diagnostic missions to be sent on request to selected countries to provide assistance in preparing responses; and requested the Commission on the Status of Women to consider the review and appraisal documentation prepared by the Secretary-General in plenary meeting and to convene a committee of the whole to provide the final text of the recommendations.
B. Contribution of the United Nations system to the work of the Commission on the Status of Women
61. In paragraph 4 of its resolution 43/101, the General Assembly reaffirmed the central role of the Commission on the Status of Women in matters related to the advancement of women and called upon it to promote the implementation of the Forward-looking Strategies to the Year 2000 based on the goals of the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace and the subtheme "Employment, Health and Education", and urged all organizations of the United Nations system to co-operate with the Commission in this task. At the ad hoc inter-agency meeting on women held at Vienna on 10 April 1989, the implementation of Economic and Social Council resolutions 1988/19 and 1988/22, as well as the above resolution, were discussed and procedures were adopted to ensure an efficient response by the organizations of the United Nations system both to the review and appraisal by the Commission in 1990 and to the preparation of priority theme reports for its thirty-fourth and thirty-fifth sessions in 1990 and 1991.
C. Interregional consultation on women in public life
62. In paragraph 14 of its resolution 43/101, the General Assembly requested the Commission on the Status of Women to explore, at its thirty-third session, the possibility of holding, during the period 1990-1991, an interregional consultation on women in public life. By its resolution 33/2 entitled "Interregional
A/44/511 English Page 19
consultation on women in public life", the Commission on the Status of Women recommended that the Economic and Social Council convene in 1991 a high-level interregional consultation on women In public life of a duration of not more than three days. It recommended that the consultation should discuss such issues as: (a) a more equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men at local, national and international aecigion-making levels in the political, economic and social field;; (b) factors facilitating or inhibiting the entry of women into public life; (c) changing roles of women and men and their impact on participation in policy formulation, the decision-making process and the implementation of national and international programs. The Commission also recommended that the consultation should make proposals with particular regard to the needs of developing countries in order to facilitate and ensure the rapid advancement of women in all sectors of public life. It recommended that the consultation should report, through the Secretary-General, to the General Assembly on the results of its deliberations and its decisions and recommendations, for further action by the United Nations system. The Commission stressed that financing for the proposal for such an interregional consultation should come through voluntary and other sources.
(53. In its decision 1989/129, the Economic and Social Council endorsed the recommendation of the Commission that the Council convene in 1991 a high-level interregional consultation on women in public life, to be financed from voluntary and other contributions. Based in part on the results of the Commission's discussion, under the rubric of equality, of the priority theme, of equality in political participation and decision-nicking and as part of the preparations of the priority theme of peace for the 1992 session of the Commission, the Secretary-General will make proposals to the Council on the holding of the consultation.
D . Seminar on woman and rural development
(54. In paragraph 1.2 of its resolution 43/101, the General Assembly endorsed Economic and Social Council resolution 1988/29, in which the Council requested the Secretary-General to convene a seminar on women and rural development, using the Resources available in the Trust Fund for the Preparatory Activities of the 1985 World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women established under Council decision 1983/132. The seminar was convened at Vienna from 20 to 26 May 1989 by the Division for the Advancement of Womon or the United Nations Office at Vienna. It was attended by 33 experts from 31 countries representing all regions and by several representatives of the United Nations system. The work of the seminar was based on background papers and case studies of programmes and projects prepared by the experts. The seminar addressed general issues related to development assistance and the advancement of women. In particular, its discussions placed emphasis on three interrelated issues: (a) priorities for policies in favour of rural women; (b) strategies for development assistance in rural areas; and (c) project formulation, execution, monitoring and evaluation.
A/44/511 English Page 20
65. The conclusions and recommendations of the seminar are included in the report of the Secretary-General on national experience relating to the improvement of the situation of women in rural areas (A/44/516).
E. Situation of disabled women
66. In paragraph 11 of its resolution 43/101, the General Assembly urged that particular attention be given by the United Nations and Governments to the situation of disabled women.
67. Work has continued on the updating and reprinting of the development education kit on women and disability produced by the Joint United Nations Information Committee/Non-Governmental Organization Programs Group on Women for the 1981 International Year of Disabled Persons. Its main goals are to provide information about the situation facing women with disabilities and their special problems. The lead agency for the project is the International Labor Organization (ILO), and approximately 20 organizations of the United Nations system and non-governmental organizations are contributing to the kit, scheduled to be published in the fourth quarter of 1989 in Arabic, English, French and Spanish. A version is being planned for persons with visual handicaps as well. The update of the kit has been financed by contributions from the Norwegian Red Cross, A New Life (Norges Rode Kors,
ET NYTT LIV), the Voluntary Fund for the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons, Rehabilitation International and other extrabudgetary sources. Those organizations, as well as the Disabled Peoples' International, League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO), have taken part in a JUNIC/NGO technical panel set up in Geneva to review the kit.
68. The Statistical Office of the Department of International Economic and Social Affairs of the Secretariat published a Compendium of Statistics and Indicators on the Situation of Women 8/ in 1989, and included statistics on the prevalence of disability by sex and selected characteristics of disabled populations for the latest available year. In 1988 it also issued, on microcomputer diskettes, the United Nations disability statistics data base, containing a comprehensive collection of statistics on disabled women for 55 countries and areas of the world. 9/
69. The Commission on the Status of Women, under the priority theme of equality, will review the question of vulnerable women at its thirty-fifth session in 1991. Disabled women will be a major focus of the report to be prepared by the Secretary-General on that theme. The Secretary-General requested Member States (as part of the review and appraisal of national implementation of the Strategies) to indicate the extent to which disabled women constitute a priority area for the advancement of women, and the steps taken to implement the relevant provisions of the Nairobi Strategies. Of 52 replies received by 15 July 1989, several reported having established or planned rehabilitation and training centres to improve the situation of disabled women. Eight Member States (Cameroon, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Iraq, Morocco and Yugoslavia) indicated that they had designated disabled women as an area of special concern in their national policies and plans.
A/44/513 English Page 21
70. ILO is increasingly incorporating components related to disabled women into
mainstream rehabilitation technical co-operation programs. For example, a
regional African workshop on policies and programs for disabled women and female
children was held at Harare in 1985, a national workshop for disabled women was
held at Mbabane in 1987, and a workshop to develop policies and programs for the
social vocational rehabilitation for disabled women in the Middle East was held at
Amman in 1987. ILO recently published the Vocational Rehabilitation for Women with
Disabilities, Dispelling the Shadows of Neglect: a survey of six Asia and Pacific
countries on the situation of disabled women. During 1990 and 1991, ILO will
survey disabled women in selected countries with a view to promoting
self-sufficiency through income-earning activities.
F. New five-year targets at each level for the percentage of women in Professional and decision-making positions
71. In paragraph 3 of its resolution 40/258 B of 18 December 1985, the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to take the necessary measures to increase the number of women in posts subject to geographical distribution with a view to achieving, to the extent possible, an overall participation rate of 30 per cent of the total by 1990, without prejudice to the principle of equitable geographical distribution of posts. That objective was subsequently confirmed by the Assembly in its resolutions 41/206 D of 11 December 1986, 42/220 C of 21 December 1987, and 43/224 C of 21 December 1988. Quantitative targets have also been set by the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), UNICEF and the World Bank, as described below.
72. In paragraph 15 of its resolution 43/101, the General Assembly once again called upon the Secretary-General and the executive heads of the specialized agencies and other United Nations bodies to establish five-year targets at each level for the percentage of women in Professional and decision-making positions, in accordance with the criteria established by the General Assembly, in particular that of equitable geographical distribution, in order that a definite upward trend in the implementation of Assembly resolution 41/206 D of 11 December 1986 be registered in the number of Professional and decision-making positions held by women by 1990, and to set additional targets every five years.
73. In its resolution 1989/29, entitled "Improvement of the status of women in the Secretariat", the Economic and Social Council requested the Secretary-General to continue his efforts and to consider additional measures to increase the number of women, particularly in senior policy-making and decision-making posts subject to geographical distribution, with a view to achieving an overall participation rate of 30 per cent by 1990; further requested that such additional measures also meet the goal of ensuring equitable representation of women from developing countries; reiterated the request to all Member States to continue to support the efforts of the United Nations and its specialized agencies to increase the proportion of women in the Professional category and above by, inter alia, nominating more women candidates and encouraging women to apply for vacant posts and to participate in national competitive examinations; urged the Secretary-General to take note of the
A/44/511 English Page 22
concern of the Commission on the Status of Women that budgetary constraints should not interfere with the important goal, in accordance with the action programme, of rectifying the underrepresentation in the Secretariat and, in particular, the recruitment and promotion of women to senior policy-making and decision-making positions; requested the Commission on the Status of Women to continue monitoring the improvement of the status of women in the Secretariat and within the United Nations system; and requested the Secretary-General to report on the progress achieved in the continued implementation of the action programs on the status of women in the Secretariat to the Economic and Social Council and to the General Assembly at its forty-fourth session and to submit such information to the Commission on the Status of Women at its thirty-fourth aassion.
74. Table 2 indicates the percentage of female staff in four categories of Professional posts as a percentage of total Professional staff and listed by groups of organizations in the United Nations system- as at 31 December 1988. 10_/
Table 2. Female staff in Professional posts as a percentage of total Professional staff at Headquarters and other established offices by types of organizations of the United Nations system (as at 31 December 1988)
Manaaement of Professional post
Type of organization Senior (USG, ASG, D- -2) (D Middle -1, P-5) Regular <P-4, P-3) Entry level (P-2, P-l) TOTAL
United Nations Secretariat 5.2 13.7 32.8 41.9 28.4
United Nations voluntary funds and programs 5.0 11.8 28.8 42.9 27.9
Specialized agencies 2.3 6.1 23.3 42.7 20.4
Other a/ 0.0 5.3 21.3 71.4 18.8
All organizations 3.6 8.8 27.3 42.8 23.4
Source: Based on Personnel Statistics, prepared by the secretariat of the Consultative Committee on Administrative Questions (Personnel and General Administration questions of the ACC, July 1989).
a./ International Trade Centre, International Court of Justice, United Nations University and the International Civil Service Commission.
A/44/511 English Page 23
75. Table 3 illustrates the change of percentage between 31 December 1987 and 31 December 1988 of female staff in Professional posts as a percentage of total Professional staff at Headquarters or other established offices by types of organizations of the United Nations system. It does not include technical co-operation project personnel.
Table 3. Chanoe of percentage between 31 December 1987 and 31 December 1988 of female staff in Professional posts as a percentage of total Professional staff at Headquarters and other established offices by
Change 31 December 1987-31 Decembeir 1988
Management 5) Professional 1)
Type of organization Senior (USG, ASG, D- 2) (D Middle -1, P-
Regular (P-4, P-3) Entry (P-2, P-
Secretariat -0.7 -0.7 +0.7 +1.1 +0.4
and programs + 1.4 + 0.3 +0.6 -0.1 +0.9
Specialized agencies +0.3 + 0.8 + 1.3 -1.7 +0.7
Others s/ 0.0 + 2.6 -0.6 3.6 -0.9
Ml organizations + 0.2 + 0.3 +1.O -0.4 +0.5
Source: Based on Personnel Statistics., prepared by the secretariat of the Consultative Committee on Administrative Questions (Personnel and General Administration Questions of the ACC, July 1989).
a/ International Trade Centre, International Court of Justice, united Nations University, International Civil Service Commission.
76. With two exceptions, there has been little improvement in the representation of women in the various types of organizations at Professional levels of the United Nations system over a one-year period. The decrease in women in senior and middle management in the United Nations Secretariat contrasts with the slight progress shown in other types of organizations. The number of women at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General level dropped from 4 to 2
A/44/511 English Page 24
during the period, partly offset by one additional D-2, but the number of D-l posts occupied by women dropped from 26 to 20 during the period and the number of females at the P-5 level decreased by only 4 to 99 (of a total of 637 Professional officers at that level). It should be noted that during the period the United Nations Secretariat had already begun to reduce its staff by an overall target of approximately 15 per cent and 25 per cent at the Under-Secretary-General/Assistant Secretary-General and D-2 levels. Secondly, there is an overall slight decrease in the percentage of women at the entry-level in all types of organizations except the United Nations Secretariat.
77. The acting focal point for women in the Office of Human Resources Management of the Secretariat reported that 90 staff members moved to higher posts during 1988 under the vacancy management system. Of the 90, 33 were women (36 per cent). A breakdown by grade follows! P-l to P-2: 3 women (100 per cent); P-2 to P-3: 11 of the 26 total were women (42 per cent); P-3 to P-4: 8 of the 25 total were women (32 per cent); P-4 to P-5« 10 of the 25 total were women (40 per cent); and P-5 to D-l: 1 of the 11 staff members promoted was a woman (9 per cent). Table 4 illustrates the number and percentage of female staff who either moved laterally or were promoted under the vacancy management system of the United Nations in 1988.
Table 4. Number and percentage of male and female staff who moved laterally or were promoted under the vacancy management system of the United Nations in 1988
Male Female Total Percentage
Lateral move 15 9 24 47.3
Promotion 57 33 90 36
Source: Office of Human Resources Management, July 1989.
78. UNICEF reported the greatest increase in women in senior and middle
management, with the addition of a woman at the Assistant Secretary-General level
and 5 at the D-l level. Also at middle management level, UNESCO saw an increase of
4 (to 9) in the number of D-l level women, although that constitutes only
12 per cent of the staff at that level.
79. In the United Nations Secretariat, the trend for the percentage of women to increase in entry-level positions mostiy filled by gender-neutral examination continued, as did normal career development in the regular Professional qrades (35.5 per cent of P-3s and 25 per cent of P-4s are women).
80. In 1985, the World Health Assembly set a target of 30 per cent of the total Professional posts to be filled by women by 1990. The Executive Board of the World
A/44/511 English Page 25
Health Organization (WHO) reviewed the situation in 1988, and recommended to the World Health Assembly that it maintain the target of 30 per cent. 11/ In 1989, the World Health Assembly accepted the Board's recommendation and urged Member States to make efforts to promote participation of women in WHO programs. 12./ WHO reported that by 1988 the percentage of posts in established offices occupied by women had risen to 22.3 per cent, from 20.3 per cent in 1986. In both WHO established offices and projects, in all locations, the percentage of such posts occupied by women had increased by 1988 to 20.6 per cent from 18.5 per cent in 1986.
81. The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1987 called for at least 30 per cent represeatation of women in Professional level posts by 1995, 13./ UNESCO has indicated its grade distribution of female staff as at 9 May 1989 (in percentages): 27.3 headquarters, 16.0 a tablished offices and 16.4 projects, for an overall percentage of 23.8.
82. The Council of the *** and Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations (FAO), at its ninety-fourth session in 1989, adopted a resolution entitled "Plan of action for the integration of women in agricultural and rural development" according priority to such measures as may be required to increase the access of women to Professional posts at all levels, in order to reach the target established by the United Nations General Assembly of a 30 per cent share of the total by 1995. 14./ FAO indicated that by 30 June 1988 there were 17.7 per cent female staff on regular posts in the Professional and higher categories at headquarters, which fell to 15 per cent when FAO regional offices were included.
83. In 1985, the UNICEF Executive Director committed the organization to
increasing the representation of female staff to one third of the Professional
category by 1990. Since that time, UNICEF has established targets at each
Professional levels P-5 and above (20 per cent), P-4 (33 per cent), P-3
(40 per cent), and P-2/P-1 levels (50 per cent).
84. The President of the World Bank in 1989 approved a proactive policy on women
with the full agreement of the Bank's senior management. Regarding career
development, the policy identifies women with high potential for managerial or
senior technical positions and prepares career development plans for each of them,
including mission leadership, task force and special study membership or
leadership. The policy also calls for monitoring the implementation of those
career plans and for the increase of women in the membership of the Bank's
technical/Professional panels (each of which now include at least two female
members). Concerning promotion, the policy aims, over the next three years, to
fill one quarter of the vacancies at level 24 and above with women and to ensure a
sufficient number of women's names appear on relevant short lists, and requests
selecting managers to record reasons why female candidates were not selected.
Concerning recruitment, the Bank's policy aims at a recruitment goal of 25 per cent
of qualified women at levels 22 to 24, and to recruit as many qualified women as
possible. The Bank's Vice-President for Personnel will assist managers as required
to meet those goals and will monitor progress in implementing the policy on women
with senior management of the World Bank.
A/44/511 English Page 26
85. The United Nations Development Programs (UNDP) reported that 30 per cent of the promotions in 1988 were women, and that approximately 25 per cent of its national officers in the field were women. With respect to UNDP's advisory groups the representation of women was as follows: review and monitoring committee, 4 ' of 7; ombudsman panel, 5 of 11; advisory committee on training, 1 of 4; appointment and promotion board, 4 of 12; and appointment and promotion panel, 9 of 12 To enhance its capacity to identify qualified women, particularly from developing countries UNDP wrote to all its field offices in 1989 instructing them to identify women candidates for recruitment at the middle and senior levels. UNDP resident representatives were also requested to liaise with local institutions to identify
UNDP Professional staff membersb6en a significant increase in the number of female UNDP Professional staff members between 1980 and 1988: from 17 per cent in 1980 to 21 per cent in 1988. That represented a net change of 4 per cent in the female and male categories. There was a significant increase in female staff members at the P-2, P-4 and P-5 levels during that period, but the number of female staff at the P-i, D-l and D-2 levels remained approximately the same. In 1987 and 1988, the growth rate of female staff members in the Professional category was more than four times that of male staff members (16 per cent female and nearly 4 per cent male) Recent UNDP statistics indicate that there are seven women currently serving as resident representatives out of a total of 112, i.e. 6 per cent.
86. ILO introduced a new policy in 1986 enabling posts at the level of P-l to P-3 to be filled by qualified female candidates without competition, its 1988-1989 programme and budget provided that, in order to improve the age, sex and geographical distribution of the staff at a faster rate, a certain percentage of vacancies would be reserved for young candidates, preferably women, from unrepresented countries. As a further measure, the recruitment of spouses was authorized from 1986. In ILO, the proportion of women in the Professional and higher categories has been rising steadily, reaching 20.1 per cent at the end of 1988 as against 15.9 per cent in 1982. This improvement has been most marked at the D-l level, where there are now six women (10.9 per cent of officials at that grade), compared with only one five years previously. Recruitment of women in the Professional and higher categories has also been improving in ILO, reaching one third of the intake in 1988. As the financial situation permits a higher rate of recruitment in the ILO, efforts will be maintained to continue to increase the percentage of women.
37. The Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Programs (UNIDO) introduced, with effect from January 1989, a plan of action to improve the status of women in the UNIDO secretariat. Regarding recruitment and placement, the UNIDO plan of action seeks to ensure that a definite upward trend will be registered in the number of Professional and decision-making positions held by women by 1990, in line with the decision of the International Development Board (IDB, 4/ Decision 32). Several steps were outlined, including: (a) concerted efforts to ensure that a tangible increase is achieved in the number of women holding Professional and decision-making posts by 1990; (b) indicative targets to be established by the departments concerned in consultation with the UNIDO Personnel Services Division.