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Beijing Women’s Conference Makes Significant Headway

A committee of the U.N. Fourth World Women’s Conference passed an agreement Sunday night which acknowledges women’s right to control their sexuality and sexual relations. The committee’s wording added that women should enjoy this right, “free of coercion, discrimination and violence.” The passage of the resolution represents a victory for women activists and the most […]

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Anti-abortion “Terrorist” Sentenced to Twenty Years

A Federal judge sentenced Shelley Shannon to twenty years in prison Friday. Shannon had earlier pled guilty to charges of attacking six abortion clinics. She begins serving the term after she finishes a previous ten year term which she received for shooting and wounding a doctor outside a Wichita abortion clinic in 1993. Judge Redden […]

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Commitment to Implementing Platform for Action

As of September 11, 1995, 109 governments have addressed the official meeting at the Fourth World Conference about the commitments they will take home with them. Of these, 47 have made specific commitments to implement the conference recommendations. Australia will introduce a new health program for indigenous women. Cambodia will ensure gender parity in peace […]

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WOMEN’S RIGHTS ADVOCATES ADVANCE PLATFORM FOR ACTION

Women’s advocates claimed victory today as two measures that had faced stiff opposition from anti-abortion and conservative delegations were approved. The Working Group I, which deals with health issues and other matters, approved paragraph 107 (k) which addresses women’s freedom from sexual violence and coercion; and urges nations to review laws which punish women who […]

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Notes on Progress of Platform for Action

Unwaged work continues to be a contentious issue at the Fourth World Conference On Women. The European Union is seeking a return to language from the Social Summit held by the UN in Copenhagen this past summer. Language at that conference did not contain provisions urging countries to count women’s unwaged work in their national […]

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NGO’S Participate in Unprecedented Numbers at FWCW

At a press conference at the official government meeting at the Fourth World Conference On Women (FWCW), the UN Conference Secretariat for the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s), Kristen Timothy announced that 3000 NGO’s represented by over 4000 individuals, were participating in the FWCW. Timothy said NGO participation in the FWCW has included involvement in prior world […]

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Huariou Forum Ends With Ceremony and Final Press Conference

The final day in Huairou was, again, wet and muddy, as NGO participants conducted their last day of work and workshops. The number of participants ended at over 31,000 compared to the 1985 Third World Conference On Women in Nairobi where only 300 NGO’s were represented by 10,000 participants. The program led with young feminists […]

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NGOs Criticize Media for Poor Forum Coverage

On the final day of the NGO Forum in Huairou, Western women’s NGOs held a press conference to confront Western media about their poor coverage of Forum activities. Representatives from NGOs in Spain, Norway, and the United States decried the media’s almost exclusive focus on the logistical difficulties of the conference and on criticism of […]

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Counting Women’s Work as Political Leverage

The International Wages for Housework Campaign at an NGO Forum panel called upon delegates at the Fourth World Conference on Women to accept Platform language urging governments to measure and value women’s unwaged work. The provision suggests that governments include unwaged work in their national accounting, but does not go so far as to require […]

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Women From Around Globe Shared Strategies, Says NGO Forum Director Irene Santiago

At the final press conference for the NGO Forum, Irene Santiago, Executive Director, said the Forum had been an extraordinary gathering where women “shared their strategies, research, their knowledge of technology, information and connected the local to the global.” Over 30,000 women registered and participated in the Forum where 4,500 workshops, panels and plenaries were […]

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Packwood Expulsion Vote — They Finally Get It!

Commentary by Eleanor Smeal The Senate Ethic Committee’s stunning recommendation to expel Senator Packwood sends a strong message to the Senate and the Nation that women have at last been heard. Sexual harassment is a serious offense which won’t be ignored. Senator Boxer and the courageous women from Oregon, who have led the fight, have […]

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Feminist Majority Joins Call For Strong Women In Political Decision-Making Platform Language

A second provision urges the review of the “differential impact of electoral systems on the political representation of women in elected bodies” and asks governments to consider the adjustment or reform of systems to enhance women’s representation. Other organizations working for the adoption of strong language on women in political-decision-making include International Alliance of Women, […]

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Feminists Strategize to Achieve Gender Balance in Politics

Beatrice Bakojja, Member of Parliament from Uganda, expressed that Uganda has very few women in politics at all levels of government. She identified the main obstacles to womenês political participation as being mainly cultural, educational and financial. Ugandan society is traditional and stigmatizes women politicians. In addition, few women possess the financial resources to run […]

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World Bank Utilizes Crucial Resource

Commentary by Eleanor Smeal When he addresses the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing next week, World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn is expected to argue that women bring a necessary resource to economic strategizing. Indeed the bank is expected to take to Beijing the long-time feminist message that discrimination against women hurts financial […]

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Nancy Mellette Joins Fight to Allow Women into the Citadel

At a press conference yesterday, Nancy Mellete, a second lieutenant in the Oak Ridge Military Academy corps of cadets, announced that she planned to join the legal proceedings seeking to allow women into the Citadel. Mellette, who is a member of her a cademy’s cross-country, track, basketball and softball teams and who can run two […]

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From Cairo to Beijing Workshop

Approximately 40 people braved the rain to attend today’s Feminist Majority workshop, From Cairo to Beijing. Panelists spoke from Asia, Africa, and the United States about the successes and problems with the implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo last year. All three panelists stressed the important role of NGOs […]