For Arab countries, the twentieth-anniversary review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform comes at a time when the region stands at a major crossroads in the context of recent uprisings, political instability and protracted armed conflicts. Some remarkable progress has taken place in relation to the rights of women and girls, and overall, gender issues have gained significant momentum since 1995. For example, new constitutions and legislation have enshrined women’s rights and afforded better protection from gender-based violence and discrimination and several States withdrew some or all of the reservations they had made upon ratification or accession to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Nonetheless, these positive developments sharply contrast with a reality in which discrimination against women and girls persists at all levels of society, and is often institutionalized by law. Newly established measures have not yet yielded a meaningful increase in women’s access to economic and financial resources and participation in decision-making. In many countries of the region, legal and institutional safeguards to protect women and girls from abuse have yet to materialize. Click here to access the report.