Secretary for Legal Affairs
Office of Legal Cooperation
Secretary for Legal Affairs Office of Legal Cooperation Search Español

OEA/Ser.P
AG/RES. 1732 (XXX-O/00)
5 June 2000
Original: Spanish

RESOLUTION

ADOPTION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE INTER-AMERICAN PROGRAM ON THE PROMOTION OF WOMEN’S HUMAN RIGHTS AND GENDER EQUITY AND EQUALITY

(Resolution adopted at the first plenary session, held on June 5, 2000)

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,

HAVING SEEN resolution AG/RES. 1625 (XXIX-O/99), "Status of Women in the Americas and Strengthening and Modernization of the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM)," which convenes the Meeting of Ministers or Highest-Ranking Authorities Responsible for the Advancement of Women in the Member States and requests the CIM, as coordinator for the aforementioned meeting, to prepare a draft agenda that will include approval of the "Draft Inter-American Program on the Promotion of Women’s Rights and Gender Equity";

Bearing in mind that the above-mentioned meeting of ministers took place in Washington, D.C., on April 27 and 28, 2000, and that it adopted resolution CIM/MINS/doc.19 rev. 1/00, which approved the Inter-American Program on the Promotion of Women’s Human Rights and Gender Equity and Equality, having changed its title;

RECALLING that the OAS has furthered the development and implementation of hemispheric initiatives on the promotion of women’s human rights and gender equity and equality;

CONSIDERING that the Inter-American Program on the Promotion of Women’s Human Rights and Gender Equity and Equality will require active participation by the OAS, in particular by the CIM as the principal hemispheric policy-generating forum for gender equity and equality, as well as cooperation between the OAS and the various regional and subregional agencies and entities; and

EMPHASIZING that the above-mentioned program reasserts the commitment undertaken by the governments to fight all forms of discrimination and to promote equal rights and equal opportunities for men and women, with a gender perspective,

RESOLVES:

1. To adopt the Inter-American Program on the Promotion of Women’s Human Rights and Gender Equity and Equality, annexed hereto.

2. To instruct the CIM to serve as the organ for follow-up, coordination, and evaluation of the Inter-American Program and the actions taken to implement it.

3. To urge the OAS General Secretariat to see that the gender perspective is incorporated into all work, projects, and programs of the organs, agencies, and entities of the OAS in fulfillment of the Program.

4. To instruct the Permanent Council to propose to the General Assembly, at its thirty-first regular session, the allocation of technical, human, and financial resources, within the budget of the Organization, so that both the General Secretariat and the CIM may implement this Program.

5. To urge the CIM Permanent Secretariat to include in the draft program-budget for 2002 a breakdown of the activities needed for implementation of and follow-up to the Inter-American Program.

6. To urge the General Secretariat to assign the CIM, out of the program-budget for 2001, the human and material resources needed to implement this Program and to comply with resolution AG/RES. 1592 (XXVIII-O/98), "Status of Women in the Americas and Strengthening of the Inter-American Commission of Women."

7. To urge the organs of the OAS and specialized organizations of the inter-American system to provide the support necessary to implement the Inter-American Program.

8.To request the General Secretariat of the Organization to present annual reports to the General Assembly on the implementation of the Inter-American Program.

9.To express its satisfaction at the holding of the First Meeting of Ministers or Highest-Ranking Authorities Responsible for the Advancement of Women in the Member States.

10.To commend the work of the CIM and its Permanent Secretariat in successfully fulfilling the mandates assigned to it through resolution AG/RES. 1625 (XXIX-O/99).

ANNEX

OEA/Ser.L/II.7.8
CIM/MINIS/doc.3/00 rev. 2
28 April 2000
Original: Spanish

FIRST MINISTERIAL MEETING
ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN
April 27-28, 2000
Washington, D.C

DRAFT INTER-AMERICAN PROGRAM ON THE PROMOTION OF WOMEN'S HUMAN RIGHTS AND GENDER EQUITY AND EQUALITY

[CIM/RES. 209/98 and AG/RES. 1625 (XXIX-O/99)]

(Item 1 on the agenda)

INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION OF WOMEN (CIM)
ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES (OAS)

DRAFT INTER-AMERICAN PROGRAM ON THE PROMOTION OF
WOMEN'S HUMAN RIGHTS AND GENDER EQUITY AND EQUALITY

I. BACKGROUND

II. CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

III. OBJECTIVES

IV. LINES OF ACTION

1. The Governments of the Member States

2. Inter-American Organizations

2.1 OAS General Secretariat

2.2 Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM)

V. HUMAN AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES

VI. PROGRAM MONITORING ACTIVITIES

DRAFT INTER-AMERICAN PROGRAM ON THE PROMOTION OF
WOMEN'S HUMAN RIGHTS AND GENDER EQUITY AND EQUALITY

INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION OF WOMEN (CIM)
ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES (OAS)

I. BACKGROUND

The Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM), established in 1928 through a resolution of the Sixth International Conference of American States, was the first intergovernmental agency in the world created specifically to fight for the civil and political rights of women in the Hemisphere. From its inception, one of its basic purposes has been to protect women's rights in the Hemisphere so that women and men may participate in all spheres of society on an equal footing, in order to fully and equitably enjoy the benefits of development.

It is important to emphasize the work done by the CIM to establish systematic standards on behalf of women's rights, such as the Inter-American Conventions on the Nationality of Women (Uruguay, 1933), the Granting of Political Rights to Women (Colombia, 1948), the Granting of Civil Rights to Women (Colombia, 1948), and the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence against Women "Convention of Belém do Pará" (Brazil, 1994).

In 1994, the Assembly of Delegates of the CIM adopted its Strategic Plan of Action 1995-2000, which established strategies for securing and strengthening the role of women through the year 2000. That same year, the First Summit of the Americas was held in Miami. The Plan of Action adopted at the Summit referred explicitly to the need to strengthen policies and programs to improve and expand the participation of women in all spheres of society (Item 18, "Strengthening the Role of Women in Society") and to strengthen the CIM.

Following up on efforts to implement the Plan of Action of the First Summit of the Americas (Miami, 1994), the Second Summit of the Americas (Santiago, 1998) entrusted the Organization of American States (OAS) with specific mandates regarding its lines of action. Pursuant to those initiatives, the OAS General Assembly, at its twenty-eighth regular session, adopted resolution AG/RES. 1592 (XXVIII-O/98), inviting the CIM to conduct various activities, including the preparation of an Inter-American Program on the Promotion of Women's Rights and Gender Equity.

In November 1998, the Twenty-ninth Assembly of Delegates of the CIM issued the Declaration of Santo Domingo [CIM/RES. 195 (XXIX-O/98)], which recognizes the rights of women throughout their entire life cycle as an inalienable, integral, and indivisible part of universal human rights. It also reaffirms the importance of protecting women's human rights and eliminating all forms of discrimination against women, drawing on strategies aimed at strengthening the CIM and its relations with other institutions in the inter-American system.

The Twenty-ninth Assembly of Delegates of the CIM also adopted resolution CIM/Res. 209 (XXIX-O/98), "Strengthening and Modernization of the Inter-American Commission of Women." On the basis of that resolution, the OAS General Assembly, at its twenty-ninth regular session, adopted resolution AG/RES. 1625 (XXIX-O/99), "Status of Women in the Americas and Strengthening and Modernization of the Inter-American Commission of Women." It calls for a meeting of ministers or authorities at the highest level responsible for the advancement of women in the member states. It further requests that the CIM, acting as coordinator for the aforementioned meeting, prepare a preliminary draft agenda that will include, among other topics, the approval of the Draft Inter-American Program on the Promotion of Women's Human Rights and Gender Equity and Equality and consideration of the commitments adopted at the Summits of the Americas.

II. CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

In the mid-1970s, the gender perspective began to emerge in response to theoretical and methodological issues raised by manifest gender-based imbalances and inequalities between men and women.

Gender can be defined as a cultural, social, and historical construct which, on the biological basis of sex, determines the values that society attaches to being masculine and feminine as well as the nature of collective subjective identities. Gender also shapes the difference in social value assigned to men and to women and the balance of power between them.

Gender relations also cut across other social relationships: production, ethnicity, nationality, religion, and other, generational relationships. Gender relations, rather than existing in isolation, are linked to other social relations systems.

Gender equality means that women and men enjoy the same status and have equal conditions for realizing their full human rights and potential to contribute to political, economic, social, and cultural development, and to benefit from the results. Gender equality is therefore the equal valuing by society of both the similarities and differences between women and men, and the varying roles that they play."

This means that, if gender equality is to be achieved, a series of gender equity measures must be taken to offset the historic and social disadvantages that prevent women's equal enjoyment of the benefits of development and equal participation in public and private decision-making and in power structures. Gender equity is, thus, a path that leads to gender equality. The Inter-American Program on the Promotion of Women's Human Rights and Gender Equity and Equality is intended to further this process.

Incorporation of the gender perspective is "a strategy for making women’s as well as men’s concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and societal spheres, so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated."

III. OBJECTIVES

The Inter-American Program has the following objectives:

GENERAL

1. To systematically integrate a gender perspective in all organs, organizations, and entities of the inter-American system.

2. To encourage OAS member states to formulate public policies, strategies, and proposals aimed at promoting women's human rights and gender equality in all spheres of public and private life, taking due account of their diversity and their life cycles.

3. To make international cooperation and horizontal cooperation among the member states one of the instruments for implementing this program.

4. To strengthen relations and foster partnership-for-development and coordination activities with other regional and international bodies and civil society organizations active in the Americas, with a view to guaranteeing policy effectiveness and optimal use of resources.

5. To promote the full and equal participation of women in all aspects of economic, social, political, and cultural development.

SPECIFIC

To promote gender equity and equality and women's human rights by strengthening and fostering:

1. Women's real and formal legal equality.

2. Women’s full and equal access to the benefits of economic, social, political, and cultural development.

3. Full and equal access for women to employment and productive resources.

4. Women's full and equal participation in political life in their countries and in decision-making at all levels.

5. Women's full and equal access to education at all levels and to the various fields of study.

6. Women's full access to health services during their entire life cycle, which, as required and to the extent possible, shall include physical, emotional, and mental health.

7. Women's right to a life free of abuse and violence in all their forms, in both the public and the private spheres.

8.The elimination of cultural patterns or stereotypes that denigrate the image of women, particularly in educational materials and those disseminated in the media.

IV. LINES OF ACTION

Responsibility for implementing this Program will fall to the governments of member states and to the OAS. Furthermore, implementation shall be coordinated with national units in charge of women’s policies and draw on the contributions of civil society organizations, depending on the different activities to be undertaken. The following lines of action assist in fulfilling those arising from the mandates of the Summits of the Americas, the Strategic Plan of Action of the CIM, the Biennial Work Program of the CIM, the CIM Plan of Action on "Women’s Participation in Power and Decision-making Structures," the mandates of the OAS General Assembly, the Beijing Platform for Action, and ECLAC's 1995-2001 Regional Program of Action for the Women of Latin America and the Caribbean.

1. TO RECOMMEND THAT THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE MEMBER STATES TAKE THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS

1.1. Formulate public policies and strategies and take steps to promote women's human rights and gender equality in all spheres of public and private life, taking due account of their diversity and their life cycles, by incorporating a gender perspective.

1.2. Promote the study of, and if appropriate, the review of national laws, to ensure that they meet the obligations set out in the international conventions and treaties on women’s human rights adopted and ratified by them, together with the adoption of measures to guarantee their effective enforcement.

The goal will be to achieve, through redoubled effort and by all possible means, legal equality between men and women by the year 2002. To that end, special efforts will be made to eliminate the discriminatory laws against women that still exist and to achieve real and effective application of laws already in force that establish equal rights for women. Progress made in 2002 will therefore be evaluated.

1.3. Promote, also, the study and, where applicable, the revision of national legislation in order to encourage full compliance with other international commitments adopted by regional and global conferences in which they have participated or been approved by their legislatures, with the objective of ensuring equality and gender equity.

1.4. Create, where appropriate, and strengthen national institutions responsible for women's development, provide them with sufficient human, financial, and material resources, and invest them with authority at the highest levels of the administration, so as to ensure that a gender perspective and equality of opportunity between men and women are integrated into public policies relating to all spheres of society and government.

1.5.Incorporate a gender perspective as an integral part of the programs, actions, instruments, and agendas of national and international events, especially ministerial-level meetings.

1.6. Publicize even more widely the human rights of women, including those contained in international conventions, so that women will have the awareness they need to demand respect for those rights. The information will be disseminated in appropriate language and formats also adapted to the needs of women with disabilities and tailored to the situation of women in each country of the region: inter alia, women in urban and rural areas, indigenous women, women of different ethnic groups, ages, and migrant women.

1.7. Strengthen the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM) as the principal hemispheric policy-generating forum for the advancement of women’s rights and gender equality and endow it with the technical, human, and financial resources it needs, including through voluntary contributions, to promote the initiatives required to attain Program objectives and follow up on this program.

1.8. Implement the Plan of Action of the CIM on Women's Participation in Power and Decision-making Structures.

1.9. Encourage the adoption of affirmative action measures of a legislative, administrative, and legal nature, as appropriate, to achieve equal opportunities for women in all structures of society.

1.10. Develop mechanisms to give women ready and timely access to justice, in particular low- or zero-income women, by adopting measures to render judicial proceedings more transparent, efficient, and effective.

1.11. Systematize and support the exchange of information on issues relating to women's human rights and gender equality and facilitate the direct exchange of experience among countries, institutions, and organizations working in these areas.

1.12. Launch awareness campaigns and implement programs to promote gender equality and equal opportunities at all levels in national education systems, both formal and informal.

1.13. Support the provision of continuing gender education and training for judiciary, legislative staff, and law enforcement officers of both sexes, within the objectives of this program.

1.14. Develop strategic linkages with civil society organizations for the exchange of information and sharing of best practices related to gender mainstreaming.

1.15. Include, where appropriate, the objectives and lines of action of this Inter-American Program in their national programs or plans on women.

1.16. Ensure women’s equal access to employment and productive resources, such as credit and land.

1.17. Promote policies designed to ensure equal pay for equal work by women and men, as well as equal pay for work of equal value.

1.18. Encourage recognition of the economic value of women’s non-remunerated labor, among others, work done in the home.

1.19. Promote a cultural change whereby all sectors of society will become involved in the empowerment of women and in the search for gender equality, in particular, by engaging men as an active and integral part of this change.

2. INTER-AMERICAN ORGANIZATIONS

2.1. ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN BY THE OAS GENERAL SECRETARIAT:

2.1.1. Disseminate the Inter-American Program among the member states, contributing to the fulfillment of the mandates issued in the resolution AG/RES. 1625 (XXIX-O/99), "Status of Women in the Americas and Strengthening and Modernization of the Inter-American Commission of Women," adopted by the General Assembly at its twenty-ninth regular session.

2.1.2. Ensure that a gender perspective is consistently mainstreamed into the preparation and application of international instruments, mechanisms, and procedures within the framework of the OAS, and particularly on the agendas of ministerial-level meetings.

2.1.3. Adopt, in coordination with the CIM, the measures needed to integrate the gender perspective into the execution of programs and activities by all organs, specialized agencies, and entities in the OAS and promote the incorporation of this perspective in the work of the agencies of the inter-American system.

2.1.4. Provide all organs, agencies, and entities of the OAS system with the necessary training to incorporate the gender perspective into their work and to prepare suitable tools for attaining this Program’s main objectives, tapping, where applicable, the experience of other international organizations, cooperation agencies, and member states.

2.1.5. Strengthen the Permanent Secretariat of the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM), by providing it with an adequate supply of human and financial resources and supporting it in raising private resources.

2.1.6. Implement measures to ensure full and equal participation by men and women in all categories of posts in the OAS system, particularly in decision-making positions [AG/RES. 1627 (XXIX/O-99)].

2.1.7. Lend support to integrate the gender perspective in the overall programs of the Organization and the inter-American system, including its budget allocations.

2.2. ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN BY THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION OF WOMEN

2.2.1. Play a pivotal role as the principal hemispheric policy-generating forum in carrying out the Inter-American Program on the Promotion of Women’s Human Rights and Gender Equity and Equality, as a specialized agency sponsoring actions to promote women’s human rights and gender equality, and to forge closer ties with other international fora and civil society organizations.

2.2.2. Report to the OAS General Assembly and the CIM Assembly of Delegates on progress made in executing the Inter-American Program.

2.2.3. Invite all organs, agencies, and entities of the inter-American system that have not yet done so to share with the CIM information showing the progress made by each of them in activities designed to incorporate a gender perspective, implement this program, and promote gender equality.

2.2.4. Invite all international bodies, organizations, and institutions to share information, including lessons learned and best practices on promotion and protection of women’s human rights and the incorporation of the gender perspective to achieve gender equality.

2.2.5. Take action with civil society organizations

a. To promote joint efforts with government agencies and civil society organizations to establish effective means of implementing, monitoring, and evaluating policies, programs, and projects designed to promote women’s human rights and incorporate a gender perspective in order to achieve gender equality.

b. Conduct studies and analysis on the status of women's human rights in the various countries.

V. HUMAN AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES

To ask the General Secretariat of the OAS to:

a. Take short-term measures to comply with item 2.1.5. of this program.

b. Urge specialized agencies to examine their budgets to determine if any allocations can be made to activities under the Inter-American Program.

VI. PROGRAM MONITORING ACTIVITIES

It will be incumbent upon the CIM to monitor this Inter-American Program and to coordinate and evaluate, in coordination with women’s governmental mechanisms, the actions taken to implement it, including support for the formulation of policies aimed at promoting women’s human rights and gender equality.

The Secretary General of the OAS shall report annually to the General Assembly of the OAS on the implementation of this Program by the organs and agencies of the Inter-American System.

[../Navebar.htm]