The condition of women in the world requires particular attention to their interests. They are the victims of persistent discrimination both legal and socio-economic: male/female equality remains theoretical in many countries and women are still often subject to legal discrimination (polygamy, restricted inheritance and property rights, marital tutelage). Women are often prime targets during armed conflicts and are particular subject to large-scale sexual violence, deemed to be a weapon of war and crime against humanity by Security Council Resolution 1820. Women are also the first victims of domestic violence and prime targets of human trafficking. They also suffer from the persistence of cultural and religious practices and prejudices such as genital mutilations and prenatal selection.
The United Nations took steps in 1979 to improve women’s condition in the world by adopting the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Only 7States (including the United States, Sudan, Somalia and Iran) are not as yet parties to this convention.
Improvement in the condition of women is one of the main Millennium Development Goals. Strategies in favour of women have been adopted under the aegis of the United Nations, such as the action plan approved at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994 (providing for access to sexual and reproductive health) and the action programme of the 1995 Beijing Fourth World Conference on Women. France has taken an active part in adoption by the UNSC of major resolutions on “Women, peace and security”: Resolution 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 and1889 (2009).
Update : July 2010
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