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Gender equality: Women’s rights in review 25 years after Beijing

By: United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)

September 1995 saw the largest-ever global gathering on gender equality: the United Nations’ Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing, China. The commitments and actions that Member States agreed that year in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action remain our most comprehensive and transformative agenda for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. However, as we take stock of progress, it is clear that its implementation has fallen far short of the initial promise.

The complex and fast-moving political, social, economic and environmental changes of the past 25 years have brought welcome steps forward in some areas of women’s and girls’ lives. But we have also seen powerful pushback, with damaging reversals of hard-won advances in women’s rights and the broader development agenda. Poverty, discrimination and violence are still strongly present in the lives of women and girls. Under-representation in power and decision-making is still the norm. We are impatient for that to change.

This report’s review of the Beijing Platform for Action draws on the most comprehensive and participatory stock-taking exercise ever undertaken on women’s rights, to which 170 countries contributed. It highlights gaps and opportunities and proposes effective solutions. It helps us look frankly at where commitments have been broken, and to energetically recommit to action and implementation. This is also critical for the success of the UN Decade of Action and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, for which gender equality is fundamental.

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Uploaded on: Mar 23, 2020
Year Published: 2020
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