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Few women occupy positions in public decision-making. While their numbers have been increasing slowly in many countries, in most there has been little change. In only a few countries has the proportion of women reached a point where it can be said that their influence on public policy is comparable with that of men.;The Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women to the Year 2000 reflect the significance that the United Nations attaches to the importance of equality as part of the process of the advancement of women.;During the meeting in Vienna in September 1989, scholars and political practitioners examined the obstacles to women's participation in decision-making and suggested remedies. Responding to a concern that the information presented to the meeting and the conclusions arising from it should be available to a wider audience, the Government of the Netherlands provided funds to enable the Division for the Advancement of Women of the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations to prepare this book.