E-discussion on Beijing +20



E-discussion on Beijing +20

In September 1995 an unprecedented 17,000 participants and 30,000 activists attended the opening of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China with a single purpose in mind: the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women, everywhere.  After two weeks of political debate, representatives of 189 governments hammered out commitments that were historic in scope and produced the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a progressive blueprint for advancing women’s rights.The Declaration identified 12 critical areas of concern and outlined actions to be taken in each of these areas in order to create a better world for women. The role of women in power and decision making was among these areas of concern. In calling for ‘gender balance’ in ‘governmental bodies’, ‘public administration entities’ and ‘the judiciary’, two broad objectives were outlined: 

1.Take measures to ensure women’s equal access to and full participation in power structures and decision making; 

2.Increase women’s capacity to participate in decision making.

In order to achieve this some governments have taken initiatives such as the implementation of gender quotas. In this discussion we would love to hear about more such examples. Governments have also worked towards the second component that calls for increasing women’s capacity to participate in decision making through projects to enhance the capacity of national machineries for the advancement of women and mainstreaming of the gender perspective and providing training programs. Again, we are looking forward to hearing more about such initiatives! We would like to hear your thoughts on what it will take to finally make the vision of Beijing a reality.  Please share your analysis, including of the factors that have had the greatest impact on the achievements to date, options for strategic and innovative actions to respond to remaining obstacles and challenges, and key recommendations to governments, development partners, political parties, civil society and women on how to best advance all women’s rights and support the full implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action.

For more information on increasing women's political participation under the Beijing Declaration please click here.

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ameena alrasheed's picture


 The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, is a mile stone on women's struggle for equality and empowerment, and as mentioned the Declaration identified 12 critical areas of concern and outlined actions to be taken.


Hence from there many initiatives too place, and in the political side the quota system was introduced, followed by affirmative actions implemented in many countries around the globe.


What is needed further is to keep momentum of the same spirit, resilience and determination felt at Beijing.




There are many actions yet to be explored to help as well as strategies and approaches to advance all women’s rights, and to implement het Beijing platform of actions namely;


Enhancing the existing strategies, politically the quota system need to be strengthened while alternative approaches need to be well in place, i.e. gender balance in empowering women, where we could foster for more male participation the processes involving men and boys could be a strategy that help boosting women’s chances in political, social and economic representation.




Activating the affirmative action stratagems that is responsive to different realities.


Building a strong will globally and collectively for women’s advancement.


Campaigning and supporting women’s cause globally, while the universal cause of sisterhood might be hindered with various levels of interest, it is essential to highlight our priorities globally, and to build a community base strategies to deal with issues of women empowerment.  


Innovation and improvising of more entrances to empower women, many alternative strategies are yet to be explored and learned from, highlighting the diverse communities and societies we deal with.


Lessons learned and exploration of previous experiences, particularity those experiences beyond the 1325, the implementing and the commitment to the resolution has faced challenges and obstacles, a new process of reevaluating and reconsidering a strategy of intervention that can secure a proper implementation  of the resolution and a follow up of the platform of actions made.


The road ahead is challenging and depleting however the progress made so far can stimulate and inspire us for more intervention and more innovative steps to follow.


iKNOW Politics's picture

Independent consultant for international organizations, governments, NGOs and universities.


I have taken the time to thoroughly analyze the B + 5, B + 10 and B + 15 reports and what I have discovered is truly alarming. Ten years ago some countries reported that they did not have a clear understanding of what equality is exactly ... These meetings are important to keep this important subject on the Agenda  but until women are included in decision-making processes, there will be no substantive changes in state and public policies, especially those of the government. In the Latin American region, there are countries with up to 4 laws on equality but the incidence of femicide is very high. In Ecuador, for example, Equality is mentioned in the Constitution a dozen of times, but the President does not want to hear about sexual and reproductive rights and puts an ultra-conservative international in charge of putting in place sex education programs.

In my country, Venezuela, equality programs carry the name of the deceased ex-president’s mother and are subject to the ideological interests of the policies of the party in power, with a series of abstract proposals which are non-operational and don’t have any financial feasibility. Among the various things that the Platform has to focus on, is supporting universities to put in place training program for Gender equality experts. Gender equality is a field that requires expert knowledge. Ministries and Secretaries in charge lack the necessary skills and maintain a bureaucracy that in many cases lacks the power to gender mainstream national plans. We need more gender specialists to push forward when it comes to public policies. We need to stop making equality something that is only part of what we call "good practice". This requires consistent public policies.


Original comment sent in Spanish by Evangelina Garcia Prince