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August 3

Compiled and Written by Irene Stuber
who is solely responsible for its content.
This version of Women of Achievement has been taken
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Notes from the U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women


QUOTE by Dale Spender.

Women's Contribution to Managing Natural Resources and Safeguarding the Environment - Notes from the Fourth World Conference on Women

"All regions of the world are affected by accelerated resource depletion and environmental degradation, due to drought, desertification, deforestation, natural disasters, and polluting substances. Awareness of these disasters has increased markedly in the past decade. Women, however, are still largely absent from public decision-making in environmental management, protection, and conservation while being critical actors at the grassroots level.
      "The draft Platform argues that women, particularly indigenous women, have pivotal roles in environmental conservation. It identifies a linkage between poverty and deteriorating natural environments and states that the strategic actions needed for sound environmental management requires a holistic, multidisciplinary, and inter-sectoral approach.
      "The proposed actions are designed to promote the involvement of women in environmental decision-making at all levels and to ensure the integration of women's needs, concerns, and perspectives in policies and programs for environmental and sustainable development.
      "In most developing countries, women are responsible for obtaining water and fuel and in managing household consumption. As a result, they are especially concerned with the quality and sustainability of the environment.
      "Yet, because women are largely absent from decision-making, environmental policies often do not take into account the close links between their daily lives and the environment.
            * Women account for half of the food production in developing countries. In some African countries, they have to walk 10 kilometres or more to fetch water and fuel.
            * Much of the soil conservation in East Africa over the past decades has been carried out by women.
            * In India, women provide 75 per cent of the labour for transplanting and weeding rice, 60 per cent for harvesting, and 33 per cent for threshing."

[The above was taken from releases from the United Nations Information Centre in Sydney for Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific.]

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B. 08-03-1802, Sarah Platt Haines Doremus organized relief for Greek women suffering under Turkish oppression, became active in New York's women's prison reform movement, helped establish school for poor children who couldn't attend public school because of ragged clothing, was active with the Presbyterian Home for Aged Women, and raised funds and lobbied for Dr. J. Marion Sims' Woman's Hospital.

B. 08-03-1851, Lady Isabella Caroline Somerset, English successor to Frances Willard as president of the world WCTU. She started a treatment center for alcoholic women in 1895, the first of its kind in England and perhaps the world.

Event 08-03-1861: Congress authorized the Surgeon General to employ women as nurses for army hospitals at a salary of $12 per month and one ration a day.

B. 08-03-1905, Maggie Kuhn, founder of the Gray Panthers, an activist organization for older citizens. She regarded retirement communities a "big playpens for wrinkled babies." Her mother traveled from Memphis to Buffalo, NY, alone so her daughter would not be born in the South whose social segregation she deplored.

B. 08-03-1920, Dame P.D.James, English detective novelist who creates characters that feel and develop. Her most noted works, Innocent Blood and Devices and Desires.

Event 08-03-2000: Yueling Chen, a 1992 Olympic Gold Medalist for China in the 10-kilometer walk, now a U.S. citizen, fails in her attempt to join the U.S. 2000 team after residing in the U.S. for almost eight years.
      The International Olympic Committee turned down the request because she has been a U.S. citizen for less than three years.
      She works at a company in San Diego, CA.
      China could have waived the requirement, but chose not to do so. It is ironical that Yueling Chen has been closed out of the Olympics this way since it is common for athletes to play for other countries if they have not qualified in the nation where they reside.

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      "It is the men, not women, who control knowledge, and I believe that this is an understanding we should never lose sight of.
      "It is because men control knowledge that we do not know about our traditions as women; it is because men control knowledge that the knowledge we produce can be used against us in the same way that the knowledge of our foremothers was used against them, and is denied to us."
            -- Dale Spender in her classic Women of Ideas and What Men Have Done to Them. If you haven't read this book, you can't begin the recognize the hundreds of ways women are trained to overlook discriminations against themselves.

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