Hiroshima Peace Science Volume 18
1995 発行


The fourth WorId Conference on Women (FWCW = Beijing Conference) and the advancement of the status of women
Kodera, Sayoko
This short article is to report on the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, last September, of which Inter-Governmental Meetings this writer observed. This World Conference, as is well known, rather notorious for its sudden change of NGO Forum Site from originally planned place in Beijing City to Huairow County, 40 miles north of the City. In addition thereto, the draft of the Platform For Action which was discussed during the March Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in 1995 had more than 200 brackets to be removed before the aboption thereof at the Beijing Conference. Since most of the meetings of this Conference, practically almost all meetings except the Prenaly ones, were held as 'closed meetings,' there were, in fact, no ways for such observers representing NGOs as this writer to know what were discussed at those closed meetings. However, from various documents and materials the writer could obtain at the Conference, it has come to be rather clear that the status of women has not yet advanced satisfactorily to make it equal to that of men, as prescrived in the Preamble of the UN Charter 50 years ago, as well as many other international instruments adopted either by the UN itself or by its related organizations. Even within the UN Secretariat, despite Art. 8 of the Charter, the equality of women and men has far from been admitted to have been sufficiently attained. In this article. the writer introduced several cases in which low status of women were reflected. These cases are divided into 12 types in accordance with the 12 Critical Areas of Concern of the Platform For Action (PFA). For example, followings are the cases related to some of Areas: Poverty - Women constitute nearlly 70% of the world's 1.2 - 1.3 billion poor: Education - Of the world' s nearly 1 billion illiterate adults, two thirds are women ; Health - Each year at least half a million women die from complications due to pregnancy and another 100,000 due to unsafe abortions; Violence - In India, five women are burn