Nations of the World...How They Evolved ! (Nations of the World...How They Evolved! Book 1)
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The document encourages the creation of programmes and allocation of resources to support domestic campaigns aimed at informing the public about the need for equality between women and men [ 3 ]. While the subject of women and communication media was discussed more thoroughly in Nairobi, it was at the Beijing Conference where the topic was truly addressed in-depth, giving it unprecedented importance.
This appendix, in addition to describing the situation in this sector and while admitting that significant changes have occurred, stresses that there is still a lot to be done. The document emphasises two strategic objectives. The first of these refers to the access of women to decision-making in the media and new communication technologies.
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The second refers to promoting a balanced and non-stereotyped image of women in the media. Under each of the objectives, certain actions are established, to be taken by governments, national and international media systems, the communication media, non-governmental organisations and the private sector to promote an active role by women. Some of the objectives proposed at this conference were encouraging the media to refrain from presenting women as inferior beings, sexual objects and commodities, removing sexist stereotypes from the media, taking measures against pornography and images of violence against women and girls and portraying an image of women as actors and beneficiaries of development.
These measures established to improve the image of women have not led to significant changes in marketing, and social stereotypes that do not benefit equality are still found in this area. While this subject has been of great interest to scholars and professionals who study the topic, with the first papers discussing gender differences in marketing [ 4 ] and the differing gender roles in advertising [ 5 ] published back in , the fact is that this research has not had a noticeable impact in this field up to now.
In the advertising industry, sexist biases continue to be broadcasted, portraying a demeaning image of women, using them as a constant lure to sell and seduce male consumers. In turn, the projection of negative, degrading images of women in the communication media does not help foster or promote equality [ 6 ].
To the contrary, we might assert that this media stance is fostering and projecting a patriarchal, sexist society instead of paving the way for an egalitarian society. Ever since it was created in , the objective of the United Nations has been to guarantee equality amongst all human beings and, more specifically, between men and women. Thus, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights , the organisation reiterated its commitment to promoting equality amongst people without distinction of their gender.
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These proclamations sparked intergovernmental actions taken in defence of women. The Commission on the Status of Women created in was the first body in the United Nations system devoted to defending the status of women. The purpose of this Commission is to draw up recommendations and reports aimed at guaranteeing the rights of women under equal conditions with men in the political, economic, social, and educational spheres. Over the next two decades, contacts between international non-governmental organisations for women and the League of Nations increased, placing pressure on the government delegations present at several summits on essential issues for women such as health, education, peace-keeping and disarmament, although an adequate legal and institutional framework was lacking [ 7 ].
It can be asserted that the earliest participation by women in the non-governmental sphere in drawing up international resolutions, conventions and declarations was in the area of labour rights, through the International Labour Organisation ILO. The two objectives pursued by the ILO since its creation, in relation to female workers, were to protect their role as mothers and to promote equality between men and women in terms of employment. Both the contents of the conventions and the resolutions issued by the ILO have evolved from mere protection from a health and reproduction perspective, progressing towards the adoption of measures focusing on equal conditions and opportunities in employment [ 8 ].
During the course of , two International Human Rights Covenants applicable to both men and women were approved.
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These covenants bolstered the Universal Declaration by developing the rights contained therein, turning them into legal obligations for the governments of the countries that ratified or acceded to them. There is a greater emphasis on the principle of equality between men and women in these two International Covenants than there is in the Declaration of Human Rights.
While gender-based discrimination is mentioned in the Declaration of Human Rights as one of several types of distinctions, such as race or religion, in the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, an entire article is devoted to stressing that men and women are equally entitled to these rights.
Amongst the rights proclaimed in the first of these covenants, some highlights are the right to marriage above a minimum age, consent by husband and wife and equal rights and responsibilities by both spouses in relation to the marriage, within marriage and in the event of dissolution thereof. The right to vote and to hold public office established in the Convention on the Political Rights of Women was also reiterated.
The United Nations gradually recognised and expanded the rights of women in the civil, political, economic, educational and labour arenas. The status of women was seen essentially as a legal concern by the UN in its early years. The demands were mainly related to access to education, health services, food, work in decent health and wage conditions, etc. However, during this first period, the UN failed to consider the causes of the inequality that half the population continued to bear merely because they were women.
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At that time, their marginalisation in decision-making, lack of power and the established roles for men and women did not find their way into the agenda of the United Nations. In all fairness, we must mention that some early displays of a different perception of the feminine issue were also seen during this first period, in which women were no longer passive beneficiaries of development or vulnerable individuals with rights to be protected, to become actors in the economic and social development of the nations [ 10 ]. Starting in the late s, the international community began to make the substantial change that would be seen in its strategy on issues related to promotion of women, based on their integration in the development processes.
At this conference, a dialogue about equality between men and women was held on a global scale for the first time. Never before had the member states of the UN met to discuss agreed goals regarding gender equality, identifying obstacles and designing specific strategies to achieve such goals. While, on a domestic scale, initiatives had been taken for the advancement of women, raising their participation in all spheres, the Mexico Conference gave these isolated steps forward a platform for institutional support and for implementation on a worldwide scale.
In addition to equality, the Plan of Action of Mexico also set the goal of fully integrating women into the entire effort towards development. One of the objectives to be achieved was to increase the contribution of women to securing world peace.
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It was at this time that women began to be seen not just as passive victims of underdevelopment and conflicts but rather as active agents in the development and peace processes. The goals of equality, development and peace became the motto of the United Nations Decade for Women, declared by the UN at the urging of the conference for the period spanning from to The World Plan of Action outlined the fundamental goals of equality, development and peace and urged the governments of the signatory states to implement the necessary measures at national, regional and international levels to reach these goals by the end of the Decade for Women.
In an effort to ensure their success, 14 minimum targets were set for the first half of the period. These included participations by women in the debates and in establishing guidelines, promotion of equal education and access thereto at all levels, highlighting the compulsory nature of primary education, reducing female unemployment rates, health, parity in exercising civil rights and the presence of women in decision-making bodies at local, national and international levels.
The UN member states were to meet in Copenhagen in to assess the degree of achievement of these intermediate goals. As a result of the Mexico Conference, the UN created two new bodies: the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women INSTRAW , the purpose of which was to stimulate the advancement of women and their contribution to development through research, training and the spread of information [ 11 ], and the United Nations Development Fund for Women UNIFEM , which would provide financial support and technical assistance to programmes promoting human rights for women and gender equality [ 12 ].
The work done by these agencies has been extremely important in improving the status of women around the world. In its 30 articles, this document outlines the measures to be implemented in order to progressively eradicate all forms of discrimination against women in political and public life, in teaching, employment, health, marriage and the family and based on nationality. It represents a compilation of all the efforts made by the United Nations to incorporate the principle of gender equality into domestic laws.
With the aim of assisting women in exercising the rights entitled to them by law, governments were advised to attempt to eliminate these obstacles. These were equitable access to education, equal employment opportunities and adequate healthcare. In turn, the stereotypical images held of women were to be broken down by governments through campaigns aimed at advertising and the communication media.
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The resistance that certain official delegations displayed towards the contents of the recommendations, which were incompatible with national legislation in numerous cases and with certain cultural principles that were deeply rooted in their societies, hindered consensus. The political tensions that had already begun to surface at the Mexico Conference grew stronger. Such is the case that the discussion came to a standstill and the final document was approved without reaching a consensus by all the participating states.
The strategies set in Nairobi revolve around the three cornerstones: equality, development and peace. This document identifies the obstacles found to hinder the achievement of the goals defined in the principles for the decade and draws up basic strategies for the future and measures to be applied at the national level. Within the subject of development, the subthemes of nutrition, water and agriculture, industry, trade and sales services, science and technology, communications, housing, settlements, development and transportation, energy, environment and social services were added to the subthemes of employment, health and education defined in Mexico.
Special attention was given within the field of health to women and children under apartheid, Palestinian women and children and women in areas under the influence of armed conflicts, foreign intervention and threats to peace. More Videos. Speaking Highlights. Inspiration in your inbox Join thousands of nature-inspired innovators and keep up-to-date with the latest biomimicry news, research, events, and more. Thank you for joining our community! We look forward to being in touch.
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Since the middle ages, circular boundaries turn up as a frequent shape representing a natural bound of any city, which is based on some central focus, distorted by terrain, rivers and large distance routes, connecting cities. Towns started evolving as fortresses or were built around fortresses with walls to protect the citizens.
Inside the walls, the cities grow and densify, building irregular shaped blocks and narrow streets around the centre, which is the market place or the main church place. The old city was a walking city, allowing to buy the necessary things and to work in close distance to the living place. Cities have been connected though a star-like road network with neighbouring villages and further cities in wider distance.
The radial major road network have been superimposed by secondary places, which serve as sub-centres for neighbourhoods or outskirt areas, being the origin of secondary again star-like street networks inside the built-up area.
This structure strengthens the centre function of urban cores as well as functions of the sub-centres and triggers later the layout of public transport systems. The secondary street network provided new connections between the sub-centres, connections which are the origins of the ring road systems around the centre.
In the late nineteenth century, the local street network shaping the villages outside the ancient boundaries of the large cities was replaced frequently by a gridded block system to develop efficient housing for the growing population. Between the s and the s, these structures have been further superimposed by large ring roads or tangential roads outside the core cities e.
The railway systems, set up in the nineteenth century by private companies, who developed usually one certain network branch, supply a particular suburban area, each railway line with its own terminus, not inside but around the city centre. These systems triggered the development of inner city tram and metro lines, which connected the terminus stations in all larger cities—e. In the European metropolitan regions, the structures are similar as described in the introduction.