US Delegates Discuss Violence, Families, Race

At the regularly scheduled U.S. Delegation Press briefing, U.S. Violence against Women Office Director Bonnie Campbell discussed what the U.S. is currently doing in the area of violence against women and how programs already in place will coincide with U.S. commitments to the UN Fourth World Conference On Women Platform for Action.

During the question and answer period of the briefing, the panel of three U.S. official government delegates, including Campbell and Melind Kinble, Deputy Assistant Secretary of International Organization Affairs of the Department of state and Mary Curtain, Human rights Officer of the department of State, discussed other portions of the draft Platform for Action.

Answering a question on the use of the word family vs. families, Kimble noted that former vice-presidential candidate Geraldie Ferraro negotiated language stating “family takes many different forms in different cultures and societies.”

The question of language about racial and ethnic minorities within the document came up ad was answered by Curtain who stated that race and ethnicity language was still a part of the “Declaration” section of the Draft Platform for action and that the U.S. had made a full commitment to retaining the language.

The U.S. Women of Color Coalition has been circulating a statement throughout the Conference stating that “the convergence of racial and ethnic discrimination with gender inequality makes us particularly vulnerable and overrepresented among the world’s poor and poorly educated. These multiple barriers have been recognized in some of the language under discussion in the drafting of the Declaration and in some parts of the Draft Platform for Action.”

The final votes on language for these portions of the Draft Platform are expected late Tuesday or during continued negotiations on Wednesday, September 13.


Colleen Dermody, FMF

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