Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Adopted during the Fourth World Conference on Women in September 1995, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action focused on 12 areas concerning the implementation of women’s human rights and set out an agenda for women’s empowerment. It builds on the results of the previous three world conferences on women, but is considered a significant achievement in explicitly articulating women’s rights as human rights. The Platform for Action includes a series of strategic objectives to eliminate discrimination against women and achieve equality between women and men. It involves political and legal strategies on a global scale based on a human rights framework. The Platform for Action is the most comprehensive expression of States’ commitments to the human rights of women.

Subsequent reviews of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action have revealed that although significant progress has been made in some areas of women’s human rights, “discriminatory legislation as well as harmful traditional and customary practices and negative stereotyping of women and men still persist” particularly in family, civil, penal, labour and commercial laws or codes, or administrative rules and regulations.7 Both the 2005 and the 2010 reviews of the Platform concluded that de jure and de facto equality had not been achieved in any country in the world and the 2010 review recognized that even where legal reforms had taken place, they were often ineffectively enforced.

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