In 2020, the international community will celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women held in 1995 and adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA), which is often hailed as the most comprehensive and visionary international agenda for the empowerment of women and girls to date. Through the Beijing Platform for Action, 189 governments committed to take strategic action in 12 critical areas of concern and other emerging thematic issues, to remove the systemic barriers that prevent women from equal participation in both the public and the private spheres. Despite some progress and important achievements in different areas, challenges persist for the majority of women and girls who seek to enjoy their rights.
UN Women has launched a multigenerational campaign, “Generation Equality: Realizing women’s rights for an equal future”, which will be central to mobilizing civil society, governments and the private sector to promote the implementation of the BPfA. Notably, the campaign aims to promote strong youth participation in the Beijing +25 process.
As part of the 25th anniversary celebration, States have agreed to undertake comprehensive national-level reviews of the progress and challenges encountered in implementing the BPfA since its adoption twenty-five years ago. These efforts are being complemented at the regional level with reviews organized by UN Regional Commissions in October–November 2019, with the participation of civil society organizations. The participation of feminist women’s rights organizations and other stakeholders in these spaces is to ensure a proper assessment of progress towards gender equality.
In order to ensure the strong participation of civil society in this process, UN Women has invited women’s rights organizations and individual experts to share their strategic vision and experience to achieve the common goal of reviewing the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action towards its effective implementation by participating in different consultative groups. Aiming to ensure that these spaces reflect the voices of women from the Global South and from marginalized communities in the Global North, CWGL recommended two FAR Steering Committee members for the Beijing +25 Civil Society Working Group, Sharon Bhagwan Rolls and Rosalee Gonzalez, who have participated in calls with this group, organized by NGO-CSW. A call for nominations to participate in the Advisory Group for this process, which will work closely with the UN Women, France, and Mexico and represent civil society in the planning process, was circulated to the Alliance. There will be other ways in which members of FAR will be able to participate and contribute to this important process. Stay tuned for more information!
In the weeks and months ahead, we will continue sharing relevant information about the Beijing +25 review process, including opportunities for civil society organizations to participate, through FAR’s website, Facebook page, or list serve.
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