Transverse Themes and Programmes:

Records of the General Conference
Twenty-sixth Session Paris, 15 October to 7 November 1991

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

The General Conference

Recalling UNESCO's long tradition and efforts in promoting equality and improving the status of women,

Recognizing with appreciation that women constitute one of the three categories of priority beneficiaries for the period 1992-1993,

Reaffirming the Recommendation and the Convention against Discrimination In Education, adopted at its eleventh session, on 14 December 1960, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly at its thirty-fourth session (1979),

Emphasizing the Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in resolution 40/108, and the System-Wide Medium-Term Plan for Women and Development 1990-1995 (resolution 1987/86 of the Economic and Social Council),

Taking account of the recommendations and conclusions arising from the first review and appraisal of the implementation of the Nairobi-Forward-Looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women to the Year 2000 (resolution 1990/15 of the Economic and Social Council),

Referring to 25 C/Resolutions 108, 109 and 18, and the identification of women as a special target group in the Draft Programme and Budget for 1992-1993 (26 C/5),

Noting at the same time that the economic and ecological difficulties encountered by most countries are increasing the hardship of women and children in particular, that gender disparities have even tended to widen, and that the majority of women lag behind men in education, power, wealth and the opportunity to participate,

1 Resolution adopted on the report of Commission 1 at the twenty-third plenary meeting, on 4 November 1991.

1. Invites Member States and their National Commissions to inform the Director-General of the name of the person in their National Commission or other institution who is dealing with UNESCO's transverse theme 'Women', with a view to faciliating contacts between Member States and UNESCO's Co-ordinating Unit for Activities Relating to Women (FEM), and at the same time provide him with information on the relevant institutions and organizations, governmental and non-governmental, which promote the advancement of women;

2. Invites the Director-General to initiate and encourage in the 1992-1993 biennium international reflection on the main lines of UNESCO's policy concerning women, with particular emphasis on examining the issues of planning, programming, budgeting and terminology, in the context of the fourth Medium-Term Plan;

3. Further invites the Director-General, when implementing the biennial programme for the period 1992-1993:

(a) to pursue the dual strategy reconfirmed in the Medium-Term Plan for 1990-1995 more, systematically by integrating the female dimension into the planning, implementation and evaluation of all the Organization's programmes and at the same time developing activities- - specifically- addressing the needs. concerns and interests of women;

(b) to revitalize the Co-ordinating Unit for Activities Relating to Women, by strengthening the unit both economically and in personnel, in particular in view of UNESCO's preparations for the fourth World Conference on Women: Action for Equality, Development and Peace (1995) and UNESCO's participation in inter-agency co-operation;

(c) to reinforce the Intersectoral Committee for the Co-ordination of Activities concerning Women with a view to increasing its influence in programme planning and implementation;
(d) to strengthen UNESCO's co-operation within the United Nations system and with relevant organizations, both governmental and non-governmental, in matters relating to the improvement of the status of women;

(e) to continue the efforts made to increase the representation of women on the staff of the Organization at the Professional level and above, particularly at higher levels, and among consultants, scholarship holders, participants in training courses and in meetings in general, for example by routinely reminding governments and organizations to nominate eligible women candidates for scholarships and for posts, assignments and other professional activities;

(f) to pay attention to the guidelines on non-sexist language, so that UNESCO documents and fora do not further spread biased and stereotyped connotations;

4. Further invites the Director-General to ensure that the Organization will be able to make a significant contribution, in its fields of competence, to the fourth World Conference on Women, particularly by further improving inter-agency co-operation within the United Nations system, including the joint and co-ordinated preparation of the world report on the Implementation of the Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women to be submitted to the 1995 World Conference, a report which should be based on the interpretation and processing of all relevant information available in the United Nations system and on the principle of the improvement of the quality of questionnaires sent out to Member States and National Commissions and the reduction of their number;

5. Draws the attention of the Director-General to the fact that the activities relating to women as set out in document 26 C/5 differ widely in terms of policy, and therefore recommends that the relevant objectives, outputs and policies relating to women, as outlined in the programme resolutions and under each subprogramme, be summarized and disseminated in the form of a policy paper complementing the list contained in paragraph 11104, so that UNESCO's policy.in this field becomes more visible;

6. Further recommends that the Director-General evaluate all programme activities. relating to women, in particular with respect to policy, and report on the result to the General Conference at its twenty-seventh session, in the report which he will submit on the subject in accordance with 25 C/Resolution 109, paragraph 3(a);

7. Further invites the Director-General, on the basis of his reports to the Executive Board and the General Conference, to call upon the Member States, through their National Commissions for UNESCO or other suitable institutions, to strengthen national efforts to promote the advancement of women in the fields of competence of UNESCO, within the existing budget:

(a) under Major Programme Area I:

(i) to do his utmost to ensure that girls and women are given top priority in the implementation of the Framework for Action to Meet Basic Learning Needs, and to take into account their special needs;

(ii) to include the female dimension in technical and vocational education, as regards both content and recruitment;

(iii) to ensure that the aspect of equality between women and men is duly considered in educational planning and management;

(iv) to take into account in the implementation of and future activities concerning the Recommendation on the Status of Teachers, the fact that the majority of the teachers in the world are women;

(b) under Major Programme Area II:

(i) to continue efforts to increase the participation of women in science and technology;

(ii) to give attention to the ethical, social, legal and psychological effects of advanced biotechnology, in particular in the field of human reproduction;

(iii) to ensure that the needs, skills and knowledge of women regarding their interaction with the environment, their role as farmers, and as resource managers more generally, constitute research topics and guide other actions related to UNESCO's environmental programmes and projects, particularly in view of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development to be held in Brazil in 1992;

(c) under Major Programme Area III:

(i) to elaborate a concept for the improvement of the status of women in the field of culture, both in their everyday activities as educators, producers and citizens, and as artists and artisans;

(ii) to ensure that women's perspectives are integrated into any UNESCO considerations on culture and development;

(d) under Major Programme Area IV, to strengthen UNESCO's, efforts to Improve the participation'of women in the media:

(e) under Major Programme Areas V, VI and VII:

(i) to take into account the specific measures needed to prevent the marginalization of women in the process of modernization;

(ii) to promote the active participation of women in decision-making processes necessary for democratization at national, regional and community levels;

(iii) to advance basic legal knowledge among women;

(iv) to further the social process relating to equity between women and men and help conceptualize the possible gender-related contradictions and tensions that might arise from revitalizing traditional values and cultural identities;

(v) to enhance the roles of women as agents of both cultural continuity and development and intergenerational justice and peace.