Beijing+20 in Asia

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Asia is a continent of extremes. Poverty rates vary from 1,7 % up to 70 %. Especially single mothers are in considerable danger to fall below poverty level. Natural disasters, such as earth quakes, tsunamis and floods shattered several countries in the region, such as Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Japan. Here too, women are among the first to suffer from the consequences of the catastrophes. Especially the provision of reproductive health services is insufficient, most of all in rural areas.

The Asian Countries of India and China as two of the most important aspiring industrial nations world wide constitute 37 % of the world’s population. They are member states of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).

All member states of UNESCAP ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDWA), although 18 only did with certain reservations. Human rights activists need to deal with repressions and even jail sentences (i.e. Bhurma, Thailand, China).

Selective abortion of female fetuses and female infanticide is among the first acts of violence against women and girls in some countries of Asia. But also sexual abuse, rape, human and organ trafficking put women and girls in the region at risk. In some of the countries (such as Thailand, the Philippines, as well as other tourist locations), child abuse and sex tourism are a great risk to young girls.

Concerning primary education, big differences between boys and girls prevail in several countries in Asia. The literacy rate among women is most often lower than among men.


From Transition to Transformation - Women, Peace & Security

Afghan Women have had a long journey in terms of their rights and socio-political participation since the Taliban downfall in 2001. As Afghanistan has just entered into a new decade of transformation, the main questions related to women, peace and security remain: What has been built to ensure women’s protection and participation over the last decade? And what strategic approach could consolidate gender equality in the decade to come?

By Abdullah Athayi

„Are we doing the right things?"

20 years after the Beijing Platform for Action, Ly Pisey from the Women‘s Network for Unity critically reflects on the ongoing work improving women's lives in Cambodia.

By Ly Pisey

„We want the youth to have a voice“

Sok Sothea, a young Cambodian activist from the Youth Fellowship for Democracy reports on the situation of women and girls in Cambodia with regards to education, health and employment.

By Sok Sothea

Women's Conference on Beijing+20 in Cambodia

What is the legacy of the Beijing Conference, and its relevance today in Cambodia? A new publication by hbs Cambodia collects excerpts from the discussion that took place on the 16th of February 2015 at Metahouse in Phnom Penh.

By Naomi Burnett

“India is still confronted with the old issues, as well as the new ones”

Ranjana Kumari, Director of the Centre for Social Research in New Delhi, is a veteran Indian feminist who has been following the International Women’s Conferences since Nairobi in 1985. She just returned from the March 2015 meeting in New York. We talked with her about women’s rights and gender equity in India.

By Ranjana Kumari, Shalini Yog Shah

Still a long road ahead

"Cambodia still has a long road ahead", believes Ms. Sok, who spoke at the roundtable on Beijing +20 at the Metahouse in Phnom Penh, hosted by Heinrich Boell Foundation. Since the promises of Beijing, a lot has been improved, but especially concerning education and economy, much remains to be done.

Brides for India’s North

Declining sex ratios due to decades of discrimination against women in certain parts of India have left many men unmarried. An interview about cross-regional marriage migration with Ravinder Kaur.

By Caroline Bertram

“Women are more interested in modern politics”

Humaira Saqib is the chairwoman and editor-in-chief of Women News Agency and Nigah-e Zan magazine. She is also a member of the leadership board of the “Women Political Participation Committee” and a member of “Afghanistan 1400.” In the interview she talks about the political future of women in Afghanistan.

Cross-Border Observations on Rape in India and South Africa

In early 2013, the cases of two young women, brutally gang-raped and murdered in different parts of the world received uncharacteristic national and international attention. One was Jyoti Singh, a 23-year-old from India; and the other was 17-year-old Anene Booysen in South Africa.

By Claudia Lopes

"The government ignores the upcoming generation of females"

Manizha Ramiz heads the women’s committee at the Khatt-e Naw organization. She also teaches at the Accounting and Management Institute and works for Education TV. She was born in Kabul and went to the Ariana High School. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in management and is currently doing a Master's degree in psychology at Kabul University.

Operationalizing a Gender-Sensitive Approach in the Green Climate Fund

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has a mandate to fund mitigation and adaption action in developing countries while "taking a gender-sensitive approach."  With the Fund Board set to discuss and decide the vision, objectives and business model for the Fund, this paper makes a case for mainstreaming gender into the processes and financing of the GCF in conjunction with these decisions.

By Liane Schalatek and Katya Burns, edited by Gail Karlsson and Ana Rojas

Good to Know

  • Progress of the World's Women 2015/2016: detailed report by the UN Women on the economical barriers facing women, and strategies of improving the political participation of women on a global scale. more>>
  • Beijing Platform for Action
    Read the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action here
    An overview the Platform's 12 critical areas of concern by the UN Women. more>>
  • Women in Armed Conflicts: in the context of the CSW 59, the GWI co-hosted an event at concering a pressing issue for the Platform - women in armed conflicts. more>>


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