development can only be achieved with full and equal participation of
women, when population, environmental and development linkage are
adequately translated into policies and programmes, and when social
sectors are given equal priority with economic growth.
recommendations are addressed mainly to governments.
However, international organisations and non-governmental
organisations also have a wide responsibility in this area.
women's vital contribution to development
is still a shortage of vital quantitative and qualitative information on
National data collection systems do not yet accurately document
women's contribution to development.
that national statistics, on employment, mortality, morbidity, etc.,
are disaggregated by sex;
and quantify women's unpaid work and their work in the informal
an economic value to women's unpaid work;
timely and regular availability of socio-economic indicators on women;
the widest possible audience with accurate and full information on
women's productive and reproductive responsibilities.
the productivity of women and lessening the double burden
women contribute two thirds of the hours worked in the world, they only
earn about one tenth of the world's income and own only about 1 per cent
of world's property.
Women's working conditions are more difficult than those of men,
particularly because women's access to production resources is restricted.
all laws and practices preventing or restricting women from owning and
administering productive resources;
that women's access to technology and training has to be guaranteed in
all aspects of the economy, not only in those occupations and tasks
traditionally perceived as women's domain;
that women have access to credit without collateral and improve
access to markets in agricultural and informal sector;
and enforce laws of equal pay for work of equal value;
to relieve women's workload--including improved domestic technology
and better family planning services, should be a priority;
women should have access to safe water and fuel supply in or with unreasonable
distance of their homes;
care should be a standard feature of workplaces on the same basis as
care and maternity leave should be on the same footing as health
insurance and sick leave.
Providing family planning
women the ability to choose when and whether to have children has powerful
positive effects on their health, on the health of their children, and on
their ability to involve themselves in the world outside the confines of
Providing family planning services may be one of the best ways of
investing in women.
It also has a profound effect on population growth.
high quality services and a wide variety of family planning methods so
that women can choose the best one that best suits their needs;
appropriate and special family planning information and services for
men, teenagers, unmarried and newly married women, people who
tend to be excluded from services are usually combined with maternal
and child health care;
full information about possible side effects of family planning so
that women can make an informed choice;
that women are consulted and involved at every level in the
organisation of family planning services, so that services are
provided by appropriate staff in appropriate places at appropriate
that prevention and treatment of infertility is an effective part of
IEC and counselling about AIDS as an integral part of family planning
services and promote the use of condoms in AIDS prevention;
family planning into mother and child health care services and other
the quality of contraceptive care and ensure that services are
user-friendly and client-oriented.
the health of women
most dangerous time for both mother and her baby are usually the weeks
High infant death rates have serious effects on women's sense of
security, and dangerous labour, if it does not result in a mother's
death can cause much long-term suffering and disability.
traditional birth attendants in hygiene; in promoting the benefits of
birth spacing; in ensuring "at risk" births take place in a
interventions particularly on women who have lost two babies; provide
supplementary food for malnourished mothers--especially young teenage
mothers--to help reduce the incidence of low-birth-weight babies to
fewer than 10 percent of live births by the year 2000;
nutrition of pre-school children--with separate norms for boys and
girls and ensure that at least 90 per cent of children have a weight
for age corresponding to international reference norms;
parents about the need to care for their daughters equally with their
women to assume supervisory and decision-making roles in the health
girls gives them some of the basic skills and confidence to begin taking
control of their lives, and opens up opportunities for them in the world
outside the home.
Education is perhaps the strongest variable affecting the status of
girls' enrolment in school and their retention in the school system by
of drop-outs and reducing school fees if necessary;
the practice of expelling pregnant teenagers from school and encourage
them continue their education before and after the birth;
sex education, family planning and family responsibility in school
curricula for children
before they reach the age of first sexual experience;
both girls and boys to study the whole range of subjects;
a framework of appropriate policies and programmes to bring about
attitudinal and behavioural changes among both men and women
Equality of opportunity
the Decade for Woman and the recommendations of International Conferences
of 1975 and 1985, many declaration and much rhetoric, women in many parts
of the world and in many communities have still not reached equality in
status with men.
In many ways this is a reflection of lack of understanding of the
issues and the permissiveness of deep-seated attitudes and belief systems.
is an urgent need to change the attitudes of decision-makers and leaders
in favour of equality of status for women, and for ensuring commitment to
this cause at the highest levels of society.
Commitment will be expressed by high visibility for issues of women
and development, followed by formulation of a policy and strategy on women
and development, with adequate resources for its implementation.
Women must be an integral
part of the process of developing such a policy and strategy.
A legal and attitudinal framework which provides a basis for equality of
status is essential.
and implement the International Convention on the Elimination of all
Forms of Discrimination against women;
the legal system to remove barriers to women's full participation in
society and the family on an equal basis with men, and eliminate the
legal basis for discrimination;
both men and women at all levels, starting in the school system, to
accept the principle that women and men are equal in value and have
equal rights in society and the family;
women's access to decision-making and leadership positions in
government and private sector and ensure women's involvement in design
and implementation of programmes affecting women.
the year 2000
goals are needed to ensure progress in implementing these recommendations.
has proposed that governments should:
international assistance for family planning programmes from $US0.5
billion to $US 2.5 billion per year until the year 2000;
family planning a development priority, ranked alongside major
economic investments, and with an allocation of not less than one per
cent of GNP in the countries concerned;
contraceptive prevalence in developing countries so as to reach
at least 56 per cent of women of reproductive age by the year
2000 in view of the considerable unmet needs in family planning,
thereby expending the currently estimated 326 million user couples to
535 million user couples;
that no person lives more than one hour's walk away from a health
facility providing basic health care and family planning and that no
one lives more than two hours' travelling time from basic emergency
that all women pay at least one visit to a health care facility during
maternal mortality by at least 50 per cent by the year 2000 especially
in those countries where such mortality is very high (higher than 100
maternal deaths per 1000,000 births);
infant mortality to 50 per 1000 live births by the year
2000--especially in those countries where infant mortality is high,
girls' enrolment in primary school to at least 75 per cent by the year
enrolment is particularly low, ensure that the ratio of girls
to boys in primary school is at least 4:5 by the year 2000;
girls' enrolment in secondary school to at least 60 per cent by the
In countries where girls' enrolment is particularly low, ensure
that the ratio of girls to boys in secondary school is at least 3:5 by
the year 2000;
women's illiteracy so that at least 70 percent
are able to read and write by the year 2000.
goals cover not only population but also some of the specific concerns of
many other agencies and organisations working in the field of development.
A co-operation and co-ordinated effort and committed leadership are
essential to ensure their achievement.