Beijing+20 in Africa

Since the 4th World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995, Africa has made considerable strides in developing progressive frameworks to advance the rights of women on the Continent. The adoption of the gender equality principle in the African Union’s (AU) Constitutive Act of 2002, the AU Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa of 2003, the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa of 2004, and 2010 the launch of the African Women’s Decade 2010-2020 are some examples.

At national and regional levels, significant progress has been made in such critical areas as: women’s political participation, girls’ education, maternal health, adoption of action plans on UN Security Council Resolution 1325, as well as laws and policies on violence against women, amongst others.

Even with all the achievements made during the last two decades on the African continent, the 20 year review of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action’s BDPfA comes within a social, political and economic environment in which many of the gains made in 1995 are facing various threats.

Trends and challenges continue to hinder the advancement of women and girls’ rights, for example:  widening inequalities between the rich and poor and between men and women due to prioritization of macroeconomic policies that are driven by growth, without equitable development and respect for human rights; HIV, maternal mortality and morbidity continue to be amongst the leading causes of death for women; increasing radical and extremist groups that pose threats to the safety, security and advancement of women and girls, and the shrinking space and resources for civil society particularly those working on women’s rights.


Integrating Men into Gender Equality: Six Illustrations

Th Heinrich-Boell-Foundation in Nairobi has created six illustrations that highlight and discuss some of the ongoing challenges around the imporant tasks of targeting and reaching men as advocates for gender equality in Kenya.

By Anzetse Were , Nduhiu Change

Video: Beijing+20 in South Africa

The Heinrich Böll Stiftung Southern Africa office spoke to five leading women’s rights activists on their perceptions of the challenges that women in South Africa face today and whether the Beijing Declaration, and South Africa’s commitment to it, remains relevant to addressing those challenges.

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

Innocence under fire

Sexual violence against girls and boys within the context of armed conflict - Report on an expert panel and film screening from December 10, 2013


By Nicola Popovic

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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