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Gender Equity and Empowered Women (cross-cutting)

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Analysis and strategy statements on these thematic areas were elaborated in the first draft of the Annual Plan 2005-2006, as result of consultations of stakeholders in a series of workshops held in Thimphu, Bhutan, November 2005.

Improving maternal health, and gender equity and empowerment of women, are integral part of the Millennium Development Goals.

Women form the majority of world population (over 50%), but in general terms, they are located in a disadvantage situation, in all relevant dimensions. Poverty and extreme poverty hit women most; they have unequal access to productive assets, markets and services; and unequal access to basic services as clean water, health and education. Discrimination on the labour markets is wide spread (earning less than men in similar jobs). In many countries, repression and psychological or physical violence against women is the daily practice, at household level, and in the social and political dimension.

Now the consensus is growing that women not only should participate, but must be prioritised in sustainable development and poverty reduction strategies, as beneficiaries and actors.

First of all, recognising, valuing and appreciating in a fair manner, their actual contribution and work, in roles qualified as “traditional” (reproductive tasks: child and old peoples’ care, cooking, washing, cleaning, etc.). Second, promoting and extending basic women rights, subscribed by many countries but not put into practice so far. Third, creating better opportunities for education, participation in economic activities, and active participation in social and political life.

› Benin, Bhutan, Costa Rica

Analysis and strategy statements on these thematic areas were elaborated in the first draft of the Annual Plan 2005-2006, as result of consultations of stakeholders in a series of workshops held in Thimphu, Bhutan, November 2005.

  • Over the last years, progress has been made in Costa Rica concerning women rights, integration into the labour market, political representation in the Congress and Government. At political levels, the norm of gender equity is widely accepted. However, in daily life and culture, lot remains to be done. “Machismo” attitudes are still wide spread, as well as the phenomenon of domestic violence. Prostitution problems are increasing, under the influence of a bad focused tourism promotion by certain operators.
  • In Benin and Bhutan, participation of women in economic activities is high. However, patriarchal structures and attitudes are deeply rooted in some religions and cultures, which make the participation in social and political life rather sensible. Setting up a careful dialogue is important to widen perspectives in order to make the voice of women heard.

› Immediate PSSC Objective 5

Promote gender equity and empower women in Benin, Bhutan and Costa Rica, as explicit norm in the generation of results in the four major thematic areas and the sixth conceptual theme of the PSSC: by means of pro-active and representative participation of women in all relevant activities conducive to those results.

› Expected results

Concrete applications of the gender approach within the PSSC thematic areas:

  • Reports of meetings and dialogues.
  • Training material and guidelines.
  • Composition of National Mechanism and PSSC Secretariat staff.