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Paragraph 162 – Beijing Platform for Action


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): The Good Men Project

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2019/10/05

162. In the private sector, including transnational and national enterprises, women are largely absent from management and policy levels, denoting discriminatory hiring and promotion policies and practices. The unfavourable work environment as well as the limited number of employment opportunities available have led many women to seek alternatives. Women have increasingly become self-employed and owners and managers of micro, small and medium-scale enterprises. The expansion of the informal sector, in many countries, and of self-organized and independent enterprises is in large part due to women, whose collaborative, self-help and traditional practices and initiatives in production and trade represent a vital economic resource. When they gain access to and control over capital, credit and other resources, technology and training, women can increase production, marketing and income for sustainable development.

Beijing Declaration (1995)

Paragraph 162 factors in the private sector. As Paragraph 161 dealt with paid work or the more concretized empirics measuring pay rather than self-reports on hours work in the home with children, in cleaning, or out caring for the elderly, for the sick, or assisting in some community activity.

The range of the discourse is, in fact, quite large with “transnational and national enterprises.” However, let’s roll with it, the domains in which transnational corporations and national ones span, in terms of assets and wealth, can be enormous. Some rival and far surpass many economies of the world, even bypassing regulatory networks and laws for hoarding or offshoring or some wealth.

At the levels of “management and policy” for these national and transnational enterprises, women are seen as absent from both. They look at the contours of the denotation of discrimination implied, therefore, in the “hiring and promotion policies and practices.” Now, this becomes and international and women’s rights orientation or set of assumptions; these seems true, though could be wrong.

On a first pass analysis, this, indeed, may be the case on this issue. In which, the lack of women is because of the fact discrimination in policies and practices in place, regarding women, which, as has been found in other stipulations from the Beijing Declaration, occurs in both negligence in in some instances – indifference to the concerns of women – and in active policies against women’s participation in societies in others. Other factors come into play here too.

An “unfavourable work environment” is referenced as important because of the limitations in the available work opportunities in all sectors with important to the structure and running of a society, as well as the financial centers and capital generators of countries. With said limitations, women will, quite naturally, and as stipulated look and eventually move for greener pastures.

With some of the early trends demarcated at the time, though far more noticeable 25 years later, self-employment and managers of small enterprises and businesses have become a strong possibility for many women. This is important for several reasons.

One of which is the manner of description of women, as such; these set examples and change the archetypal ideological notions held in collective minds. Our global informational networks report on women differently because women’s lives, experiences, and concerns are more honestly reported, more adequately and comprehensively described, as well as new avenues for the fulfillment of women’s potential open up.

They expand this into the domains of “micro, small and medium-scale enterprises.” With respect to the enterprises, and the types, this is not specified. This is part of the global emphasis of the Beijing Declaration and the provision for wide flexibility in accomplishing the guidelines or outlines of it. This seems reasonable with 193 Member States in the world identified within the United Nations.

With the other sentence, “The expansion of the informal sector, in many countries, and of self-organized and independent enterprises is in large part due to women, whose collaborative, self-help and traditional practices and initiatives in production and trade represent a vital economic resource,” some positive findings way back in 1995 seems to presage more of the current moment.

While working for Trusted Clothes, I interviewed dozens and dozens of fashion designers and fashionistas, far fewer fashionistos. In these empirical findings, the vast majority of those small and medium business owners were women, not men, though some men were a part of it. It seems to replicate throughout many of the micro, small, and medium sized businesses or enterprises.

This is not only in the formal sector in 1995, apparently, globally speaking, but also in the informal sector of work with the “self-organized and independent enterprises” coming out of the entrepreneurial efforts of women, by and large. These are vital economic contributors and, thus, indispensable in a globalized world and economy.

With more ability to have financial or economic independence, women become major contributors to the production of capital, investment, credit, technology, especially one can see these play out in education and training in 2020, these become part of dynamic, pluralistic, sustainable economies as a basis for sustainable development.

(Updated 2020-09-27, only use the updated listing, please) Not all nations, organizations, societies, or individuals accept the proposals of the United Nations; one can find similar statements in other documents, conventions, declarations and so on, with the subsequent statements of equality or women’s rights, and the important days and campaigns devoted to the rights of women and girls too:


Strategic Aims

Celebratory Days

Guidelines and Campaigns

Women and Men Women’s Rights Campaigners


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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