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LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
Washington, D.C., September 8, 1975.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: As a congressional adviser to the World Conference of the International Women's Year, I submit to you and the Committee the following report on the Conference, including my comments and observations.
It was an honor to serve as a congressional adviser to the Conference. Because of my service on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and as a member of the U.S. delegation to the 29th session of the United Nations General Assembly, I have had the opportunity to work in every way I could to help improve and strengthen the role of women in economic development. The Conference provided an excellent chance to further this effort. As a member of the Government Operations Committee I appreciate the role the Committee can play in assuring that the U.S. Government promotes equality for all men and women. The Committee also has a role in assuring that the United States, in its relationships with the United Nations and other international organizations, assists in improving the status of women worldwide. Finally, as a member of the U.S. Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year, I realized the importance of U.S. Government implementation of the proposals passed by the Conference.
It is my hope that the following report will serve both as a factual resource and a guide to action. The report describes major activities and proceedings of the Conference, with emphasis on the efforts of the U.S. Delegation. It also includes guidelines and resolutions passed by the Conference. In addition, I have suggested ways in which the U.S. Government, and Congress in particular, can implement the World Plan of Action adopted by the Conference. Because of its oversight responsibilities in the operation of Government activities, the Government Operations Committee can play a major role in this effort. I have outlined some suggestions for Government Operations activities in the Recommendations for Action section (page 14).
Two Government Operations Committee staff members, one from the majority, Marilyn Harris, and one from the minority, Hannah McCornack, participated in most of the Conference proceedings and served the entire U.S. delegation. I appreciate your willingness to make it possible for them to help represent the Committee and the Senate. I was also assisted by Julia Bloch of the Senate Nutrition Committee.
I would like to thank and compliment Pat Hutar, chairperson of the U.S. delegation to the Conference: Dan Parker of AID; Jewel Lafontant and Jill Ruckelshaus, official C.S. delegates to the Conference: and other delegation members and advisers. The delegation was dedicated to full participation in the Conference, and the entire group deserves praise. I extend thanks to Ambassador John Jora, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, and State Department staff for providing assistance to me and the staff members who accompanied me.
CHARLES H. PERCE.
The World Conference of the International Women's Year was a first in many respects. It was the first United Nations conference devoted specifically to women, the first U.N. conference where a majority of the delegates were women, and the first major forum held for women from throughout the world for consideration of common problems and aspirations.
International Women's Year was proclaimed by the U.N. General Assembly in 1972 at the suggestion of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women. The year is being marked by intensified action by the U.N. and its member nations to promote equality among men and women, to insure full integration of women in social and economic development, to underline the importance of women's increasing contribution to cooperation among States and to recognize women's role in pursuing world peace.
pon the recommendation of the U.N. Economic and Social Council, the World Conference on International Women's Year was called as a focal point for IWY activities. The purpose of the Conference was to develop an action program for implementation of the IWY goals of equality, development and peace, to bring together participants. from nations with diverse cultural traditions and economic systems, and to encourage awareness of the need to eliminate discrimination against women.
The World Conference was preceded in 1974 and 1975 by three regional meetings sponsored by the U.N. Economic Commissions for Asia and the Far East, and Africa and Latin America. Recommendations for national and regional action made at these meetings were useful in development of the World Plan of Action adopted in Mexico City.
The Conference was held in Mexico City from June 19 to July 2, 1975. Helvi Sipila, the highest ranking woman at the U.X., was Secretary-General of the Conference. An estimated 7,000 persons, three-quarters of whom were women, attended the Conference's official and unofficial activities.
The organization and activities of the official Tribune for nongovernmental organizations as well as the work of the official Conference are described in separate sections of this report. Other activities included a preconference Journalists' Encounter, organized for 50 journalists by the Centre for Economic and Social Information (CESI) of the U.N. Office of Public Information. The Encounter was open to all 1,500 journalists accredited by the Conference and was devoted to discussion of the goals of IWY as well as media attitudes toward IWY.
Immediately following the Conference, CESI joined with the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in sponsoring a media workshop to expand on the results of the Encounter.
Another preconference event was the Seminar on Women and Development, organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in conjunction with the U.N. Institute for Training and Research and the U.N. Development Programme. The Seminar developed guidelines for national and international action programs for the greater integration of women in the development process.