The Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA) 1995 and the Special Session of General Assembly - Beijing +5 Outcomes Document (2000)
The Beijing Platform for Action is one of the most influential, international policy documents regarding women’s human rights. It is considered one of the most progressive blueprints for achieving gender equality for women. It was negotiated and adopted by over 180 countries at the 4th World Conference on Women held in Beijing China.
The document is divided into twelve critical areas of concern, each with it’s own principles and actions.
A Women and poverty
B Education and training of women
C Women and health
D Violence against women
E Women and armed conflict
F Women and the economy
G Women in power and decision-making
H Institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women
I Human rights of women
J Women and the environment
K Women and the media
L The girl child
The BPfA set out how to remove the systemic barriers that hold women back from equal participation in all areas of life, whether in public or in private. Despite some progress, real change has been agonisingly slow for the majority of women and girls in the world. The world has changed drastically since 1995 and many of the obstacles and multiple discriminations facing women and girls today, such as digital technology, HIV and access to assisted fertility treatments were not there when the plan was set in action. Today, not a single country can claim to have achieved gender equality. Multiple obstacles remain unchanged in law and in culture of peace.
Each year at the Commission on the Status of Women a policy area will be reviewed in light of achievements, gains, gaps and strategies. The full platform is reviewed each 5 years. NRWC has participated in all of the national NGO reviews of the BPfA and has participated in the regional Beijing + 25 NGO and intergovernmental meetings held in 2019.
A useful video on BPfA and it’s journey to date can be found at ‘Beijing on my Mind’ – Dr Patricia Licuanan
Beijing Platform for Action Reviews
Beijing + 25 - CSW 64th Session (2020)
The year 2020 marked 25 years since the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women (FWCW) was held in Beijing, China in 1995. The Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA) which came out of the Conference is, along with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the major blueprint for global gender equality and the empowerment of women.
This 25-year anniversary corresponds with the 20th anniversary of the Security Council resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) on Women Peace and Security (WPS) , 5 years of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2030 and 2019 makes it 40 years since the formulation of CEDAW (Convention on All Forms of Discrimination Against Women).
In preparation for this review, NRWC participated in the Australian national preparation of the ‘Working Together for Equality NGO Beijing + 25 Review (2019) – Australia’. This document is part of the ongoing Australian Civil Society monitoring and evaluation of women’s rights commitments made by the Australian Government and Civil Society to the advancement of women through the use of agreed strategies from the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA) and 2000 Beijing +5 Outcomes Document.
As part of this review NRWC attended The Asia Pacific NGO Forum on Beijing + 25 held in Bangkok, Thailand and the Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on the Regional Review of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action 25 year Review held at ESCAP Bangkok, Thailand (27 – 29 November, 2019).