Throughout the international community, women have been a primary focus of the United Nations due to their importance to the economic and social balance in a country. The advancement of women is a vital issue concerning the world as the new millennium begins. Although the international community views women with high regard and of the utmost respect, ancient traditions, one sided beliefs, and false stereotypical propaganda, which demean and belittle women are existent in the world today. Historically, women have been victims of inequality and abusive practices, and due to this, many women never reach their full potential in the economic world.
First, the primary root that hinders the progress of women is the inferiority complex at an early age. In document UN/ CRC/ 531, analyzed through UNICEF, an estimated 25% of the world's children (developing world) are in the web of child labor. To add to this, nearly 70% of all girl / female laborers go unregistered, often performing acts of prostitution and strenuous domestic housework. This form of unregistered work is dangerous to young girls because the employers often abuse their employees sexually and physically, as well as psychologically scarring them for years. This alarming fact can be attributed to the inequality of education given to young girls. At an early age, many girls are taught to be inferior to their male counterparts, both mentally and physically.
Currently, 75% of all the world's illiterates are women, with this burdensome fact, it is no wonder why women can not fully advance, ; and this is due to their poor access to education. In many countries these superiority complexes possessed by the males are enforced through gender bias and stereotypical propaganda. In this abused state of mind, these young girls often have to deal with many problems, which are not existent in the lives of most males. Typical gender bias such as this, often plague a girl's life until womanhood where even at an older age, she can still be abused. It is important to address the need for establishing equality in the household as a primary step in advancing a woman's role in society. Women are also subject to traffickers, who force these girls into a life of prostitution, creating a situation hopeless for economic development.
They are lured by the hopes of earning money for families, instead their lives are endangered and the possibilities for a successful future become minuscule. Girls in rural areas are also subjected to several domestic responsibilities that fail to serve as any type of advancement. The employment of women in these areas are concentrated in low pay and are denied the opportunities to be promoted to higher positions of economic growth. The Commission on the Status of Women stresses the importance for governments to provide equal access to education, technical assistance, training, and counseling to further advance women to higher economic positions in the work environment. Economic advancement of women cannot be established without international female representation in the community and political scene. Recently, the CSW proposed the use of quotas and targets in hopes of raising the percentage of women in government and other decision-making positions.
The idea of quotas was denied but minimum percentages and targets have been strongly endorsed as a valid strategy. As a part of incorporating women into decision-making, providing equal access to education and improving literacy rates has been a priority. The CSW urged governments to designate approximately 20 percent of the national budget and personal efforts to decrease female illiteracy rates in comparison to previous years. UN Actions: Among the many UN conferences and women advancement campaigns, the UN Fourth Conference on Women in Beijing made impressive efforts in creating equality of men and women. The Platform for Action focused on the importance of women as active decision-makers and as entrepreneurs, especially in rural areas. Addressing the economic advancement of women specifically, the Division for the Advancement of Women organized a meeting of Transnational Corporations and International Financial Institutions to discuss increasing the women's role.
UN organizations also provide much support for the advancement of women. These include UNIFEM, FORWARD, and the foundation for Women's Health Research and Development. Also, women's rights were put at the center of the world policy agenda at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo. Further efforts in Beijing were displayed when NGO representatives and government officials gathered to discuss the aspects of women's rights. As a result of such efforts and the cooperation of several governments, the General Assembly has adopted Resolution 48/104, and 50/166, which both address the elimination of discrimination against women. The Commission on Human Rights also adopted resolution 1998/52.
The newly adopted document reiterates much of what was said at the Beijing Conference with special emphasis on international support. Committees such as the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women have increased their meeting time by 100 percent. This time is used to analyze state reports, and consult with other UN agencies on currently working programs. In correlation with these programs, the World Bank now lends an average of 5 billion a year for projects that strengthen the role of women in development.
Funding is used many times to set up micro-credit programs for women to develop businesses and eventually become financially independent.