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(From Guardian Unlimited)
After months of lobbying and two weeks of tough negotiations, the UN Commission on the Status of Women published its conclusions on ending violence against women and girls. Conservative governments and religious groups, including the Vatican, had pushed to remove references to women's sexual and reproductive health rights from the draft text. During the negotiations in New York, Helen Clark, head of the UN Development Programme, said the language of the CSW text must not undermine previous agreements . The head of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet, had indicated a compromise on language might be needed to get an agreement, as long as it reflected the spirit of the key issues. On the eve of the conference, Bachelet said culture and tradition should not be allowed to block progress on women's rights.