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Beijing Conference on Women 1995 - What is the Beijing Declaration and Platform?

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Opening Ceremony Of The TenthAnniversary Commemoration Of The Fourth World Conference On Women
[Pool / Pool]/[Getty Images News]/[Getty Images]
Question: Beijing Conference on Women 1995 - What is the Beijing Declaration and Platform?
Answer: The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, approved in September 1995 at the Fourth World Conference on Women, is a global commitment to achieving equality, development and peace for women worldwide. As defined in the Mission Statement of the 123-page document:
The Platform for Action is an agenda for women's empowerment. It aims at…removing all the obstacles to women's active participation in all sphere of public and private life through a full and equal share in economic, social, cultural and political decision-making….at home, in the workplace and in the wider national and international communities. Equality…is a matter of human rights and a condition for social justice….
To achieve equality, the Platform for Action emphasizes the need for women to work together and in partnership with men towards the common goal of gender equity worldwide.

Although the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action is a stand-alone document, it builds upon consensus and progress made at earlier UN conferences/summits, particularly the Conference on Women in Nairobi in 1985 which developed the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women.

The Beijing Platform focuses on 12 "critical areas of concern" that must be addressed to achieve gender quality and women's empowerment:

  • women and poverty
  • education and training of women
  • women and health
  • violence against women
  • women and armed conflict
  • women and the economy
  • women in power and decision-making
  • institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women
  • human rights of women
  • women and the media
  • women and the environment
  • the girl child
To address each of the above concerns, specific strategic objectives were identified along with actions to be implemented by governments, financial and development institutions such as the World Bank, national and international NGOs (non-governmental groups) and women's groups, and the private sector.

The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was approved unanimously by representatives from 189 countries attending the Forth World Conference on Women, held during the 50th anniversary year of the founding of the United Nations.

Sources:
"Beijing+15." UNESCAP.org. Retrieved 5 March 2010.
"Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action: Fourth World Conference on Women." UNESCO.org. 15 September 1995.

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