The United Nations is marking 20 years since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which remains an ambitious agenda for women’s rights. While there have been improvements in many areas, women’s rights still have a long way to go. Beijing+20 is an opportunity to reflect on the Declaration and its impact in the context of the post-2015 agenda and to reinforce the commitment to fully and universally achieve women’s rights.
UNRISD will contribute to the Beijing+20 process with a number of initiatives, two of which are highlighted here.
Today, UNRISD is launching a series of think pieces, Let's Talk about Women's Rights: 20 Years after the Beijing Platform for Action
, which bring together leading feminist thinkers from around the world to discuss achievements on women’s rights and gender equality, identify the challenges of implementing the Platform for Action and consider ways of moving forward. The think pieces will offer provocative and critical insights and highlight opportunities for realizing women’s rights after 2015.
Second, UNRISD will participate in the 59th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, to be held 9–20 March in New York, where we will co-organize a side event with the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation onWomen's Mobilization for Gender-Egalitarian Policy Change in the 20 Years since Beijing.
The discussion is based on findings from the UNRISD research project When and Why Do States Respond to Women’s Claims?
Speakers will suggest ways to support women’s rights advocates in their efforts to push for laws and policies for gender equality.
Information about our other initiatives can be found on our Beijing+20 webpage
Where It All Began
In 1995, at the Fourth World Conference for Women in Beijing, 189 member states adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action after two weeks of intense negotiations. Women’s rights were recognized as human rights everywhere in the world, and women’s voices from civil society, international organizations and states were legitimized. The Declaration identifies 12 critical areas (see box) for achieving gender equality and sets an expansive and visionary agenda. It provides an international framework to hold states accountable and to monitor their actions towards the realization of women’s rights.
The Beijing process and the final Declaration reinforced women’s movements across the world and built solidarity across and within countries. It created political momentum to bring women’s rights to the forefront of the global agenda.
Photo credit: UN Women Asia & Pacific.
The 12 areas of concern of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action
- Women and the environment
- Women in power and decision-making
- The girl child
- Women and the economy
- Women and poverty
- Violence against women
- Human rights of women
- Education and training of women
- Institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women
- Women and health
- Women and the media
- Women and armed conflict