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A Declaration of Intent


The report of the Gender Working Group, "Science and Technology for Sustainable Human Development: The Gender Dimension" and the papers on which it is based contain a rich collection of ideas and policy measures. These could be the basis for reform of both the current science and technology system and the ways in which the output of that system is used to contribute to sustainable human development for the benefit of both woman and man. The specific measures adopted by each government will necessarily depend on the national context. The transformative actions that are called for, therefore, are provided as a list of possible actions each country may adopt according to its own local situation.

Two recommendations, however, apply to all countries and a third is directed at donor governments. The first recommendation is that all governments agree to adopt a Declaration of Intent on Gender, Science and Technology for Sustainable Human Development. This declaration consists of important goals toward which each country should move.

It was not the job of the Gender Working Group to suggest specific ways in which each country should implement its Declaration of Intent. For that reason the second recommendation maintains that each country establish its own ad hoc committee to make recommendations on how the goals in the Declaration might be implemented under the specific conditions of that country. We recognize that, to implement the recommendations of its ad hoc committee, each government will need to pass appropriate legislation and establish regulatory policy frameworks.

The third recommendation, which is directed to donor countries and agencies, suggests that donor agencies may help the National Ad Hoc Committees on Gender and Science and Technology to obtain access to relevant information, and should target financial support to projects that enable recipient countries to implement the recommendations of their ad hoc committees.

Declaration of Intent:
Gender, Science and Technology for Sustainable Human Development

All governments agree to work actively toward the following goals:

1. To ensure basic education for all, with particular emphasis on scientific and technological literacy, so that all women and men can effectively use science and technology to meet basic needs.

2. To ensure that men and women have equal opportunity to acquire advanced training in science and technology and to pursue careers as technologists, scientists and engineers.

3. To achieve gender equity within science and technology institutions, including policy and decision-making bodies.

4. To ensure that the needs and aspirations of women and men are equally taken into account in the setting of research priorities and in the design, transfer and application of new technologies.

5. To ensure all men and women have equal access to the information and knowledge, particularly scientific and technological knowledge, that they need to improve their standard of living and quality of life.

6. To recognize local knowledge systems, where they exist, and their gendered nature as a source of knowledge complementary to modern science and technology and also valuable for sustainable human development.

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