Beijing+20 - Women’s rights worldwide – time for implementation once and for all
Gender equity is vital to social development and peaceful cohabitation, to reducing violence and to achieving economic prosperity. Poverty can only be lastingly combated and human rights enforced if women are granted extensive equal access to education, public offices and powerful positions. This recognition formed the basis for the Beijing Platform for Action as far back as 20 years ago for which a strong international women’s movement had fought and which was adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. It was considered back then – and is still considered today – to mark a milestone in the entrenching of women’s and human rights worldwide and was recognized by 191 member states of the United Nations.
Yet, even today, gender equity and the systematic reduction of discrimination against women worldwide remain very distant realities. Whilst achievements have certainly been made in advancing equal rights for women and girls – though these vary depending on the region – there have also been setbacks and regressions in gender equality. On an international scale, the political climate is defined by a conservative mobilization campaign against women’s human rights: politically religious fundamentalists across the board are on the advance; gender-based violence and the curtailment of women’s rights are on the rise.
“Empowering Women – Empowering Humanity: Picture It!”. With this slogan, UN Women has been mobilizing international representatives of women’s NGOs worldwide to engage in “Beijing + 20” and calling for a new boost in the participation and emancipation of women. Beijing + 20 aims to take stock of what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved and will take place at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) from 9 – 20 March.
On this site, we will be providing key information on the Beijing Platform for Action and “Beijing + 20”, and on debates that will be taking place in New York in connection with the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Above all, we have outlined the core activities, debates and strategic developments that are being undertaken in various regions as part of the work of the international offices of the Heinrich Boell Foundation and its partner organizations in order to promote gender equity, reduce discrimination against women, but also other genders, and to enforce the human rights of women.
The Beijing Platform for Action comprises twelve critical areas, which we would like to present here: