Beijing+25: 25 Years After the Global Platform for Action on Gender Equality

What is Beijing+25?

2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA) of 1995. This extensive and historic document was drafted during the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. This conference, historically marked as the venue at which Hilary Clinton famously announced to the crowd of delegates, “human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights, once and for all,” remains as one of the core moments of global gender equality initiatives.

Its original platform was and remains a public call to action on key elements in providing gender equality around the globe, in both public and private spheres. This document aims to provide LGBTIQ and gender equality activists with an overview of the original Beijing Platform for Action, the processes taking place to mark its 25th anniversary, and how to engage with them inclusively.

Key Elements

Originally drafted by UN Women during its Fourth World Conference, the final BPfA was signed by 189 member states. Within the official document lie twelve areas of focus by which global leaders may measure gender equality.

  1. Women and poverty
  2. Education and training for women
  3. Women and health
  4. Violence against women
  5. Women and armed conflict
  6. Women and the economy
  7. Women in power and decision-making
  8. Institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women
  9. Human rights of women
  10. Women and the media
  11. Women and the environment
  12. The girl-child

Why Is It Important?

The BPfA continues to serve a vital role in the push for gender equality. Beyond its groundbreaking impact on the international community at the time of its implementation, the BPfA remains the core platform by which gender equality may be quantified on an international scale.

The United Nations (UN) continues to advocate that future global agendas must be both “universal” and “anchored” in human rights, including those related to gender equality, making the BPfA continuously relevant to future agendas. Expanding upon this, the UN centers its promotion of the “realization of women’s and girls’ human rights” as essential to gaining not only universal human rights, but also establishing peace, security, and sustainable development.

The review forums planned throughout 2020 act as important opportunities to maintain and reignite global focus on gender equality. Although not yet fully realized, these goals act as a standard by which intersectional feminists may quantify progress towards total equality. Past anniversarial reviews to the BPfA have provided meaningful expansion and refinement of its original objectives, as well as reimagined avenues towards realizing full international equality. This will result in various documented assessments serving as major tools in highlighting international commitments to gender equality and holding global actors accountable to their various commitments.

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