The United Nations has organized four world conferences on women, which took place in Mexico City in 1975, Copenhagen in 1980, Nairobi in 1985 and Beijing in 1995. The Beijing conference built on political agreements reached at the three previous global conferences on women, and consolidated five decades of legal advances aimed at securing the equality of women with men in law and in practice. An unprecedented 17,000 government, civil society and media representatives attended.
The Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action, adopted unanimously by 189 countries, marked a significant turning point for the global agenda for gender equality and is considered the key global policy document. It sets strategic objectives and actions for the advancement of women and the achievement of gender equality in 12 critical areas of concern such as women and poverty, the economy, health, education and training, violence against women, and human rights, among others.
The General Assembly conducted regular five-year reviews of the Beijing Platform for Action in 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015, during which time the UN Economic and Social Council called upon Member States to perform comprehensive national reviews, and encouraged regional commissions to undertake regional reviews of progress made on fulfilling Beijing commitments. Since then, governments, civil society and the public have translated the Platform for Action’s promises into concrete changes in individual countries.
We encourage citizens of each signatory country to charge up political will by holding their governments accountable for accelerating actions on its commitments.