GENDER ISSUES
 

What do "Gender Issues" refer to?

Gender issues refer to any aspect governing the lives of women and men as well as relations between them.  Gender issues must be integrated into all national policies to achieve equitable development for women and men.

 

Gender issues worldwide

In 1995, the Beijing Platform for Action recognized a set of priority gender issues, or areas of critical concern, for the advancement of women and the achievement of equality between women and men. These areas of concern are:

Women and poverty
Inequalities and inadequacies in and unequal access to education and training
Inequalities and inadequacies in and unequal access to health care and related services
Violence against women
Effects of armed conflict, or any conflict, including foreign occupation, on women
Inequality in economic structures and policies and unequal access to resources
Inequality in power sharing and decision-making at all levels
Insufficient mechanisms at all levels to promote the advancement of women
Lack or respect for and inadequate promotion and protection of women’s human rights
Stereotyping of women and inequality in women’s access to and participation in all communication systems, especially in the media
Gender inequalities in the management of natural resources and in safeguarding the environment
Persistent discrimination against and violation of the rights of the girl-child

 

Gender issues in the Arab countries

Countries participating in GSP regional workshops identified priority gender issues that need to be incorporated in national policies. These gender issues were identified in relation to current gender policy goals as well as objectives that future national programmes may assume.
 
Priority gender issues in the Arab countries are categorized under four main headings:
 

Economic life

 

Unfavorable labour market conditions due to low economic activity and cultural stereotypes that preference males

 

Limited opportunities for career promotions

 

Wage discrimination

 

Sexual division of labour within the home and market place (women segregation and job feminization)

 

Prevalence of women working in the informal sector and extent of under-counting of women’s work by conventional measures

Education

 

Socio-cultural heritage that reinforces gender discrimination within the home

 

Female drop-out rate from the educational system and its augmentation among women

 

Priority for men in training and acquiring experience

Health

 

Domestic violence, violence against women and female circumcision, and the need to eradicate them through education and enforceable legislation

Law

 

Prevalence of discriminatory legislation concerned with inheritance, marriage divorce and pension collection

 

Inadequate implementation of existing legislation due to lack of enforcement mechanisms or bureaucratic inefficiencies

   

Absence of measures and procedures conferring financial benefits or social security for the least fortunate groups in society, often girls and women

   

Absence of measures curtailing child labour

 

Existence of legislation inhibiting men/children to acquire the nationality of the wife/mother

Media representation

 

Limited participation of women in radio and TV productions, possibly leading to biased messages being transmitted to the public


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