The UN Development Programme (UNDP), with UN Women and the Government of Argentina, hosted a global conference titled 'Women and Social Inclusion: From Beijing to Post-2015.' The conference was part of a series of events to celebrate 20 years since the agreement of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA) on women's rights, and brought together global leaders to discuss women's poverty and inequality.
8 May 2015: The UN Development Programme (UNDP), with UN Women and the Government of Argentina, hosted a global conference titled ‘Women and Social Inclusion: From Beijing to Post-2015.’ The conference was part of a series of events to celebrate 20 years since the agreement of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA) on women’s rights, and brought together global leaders to discuss women’s poverty and inequality.
Held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 6-8 May 2015, the conference looked at emerging challenges facing women and girls worldwide, especially those living in poverty.
Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator, remarked on the state of women in the world. Despite an increase in their paid employment over the past years, women are still disproportionately vulnerable and receive less pay in their employment, she said. Clark called for growth and development to be more inclusive of women, by applying a “gender lens” to all policies, as well as by understanding the effects of climate change and conflict on women. On the post-2015 development agenda, she said the challenge of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be to turn its targets and goal on gender equality into actions that bring about real benefits for women and girls.
UN Women’s Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, said progress to achieve the BPfA in 20 years had been slow and uneven, but the specific drivers of inequality and poverty are now known. She explained that women: work in the informal sector; are more than twice as likely to perform unpaid care work; and earn on average 24% less than men for the same work. Mlambo-Ngcuka also discussed discriminatory laws that prevent women from owning land, inheriting, or holding certain jobs, and said that these “blatantly diminish women’s opportunities.” She called for addressing the structural issues behind inequality, ambitious and clever investment, and transformative change in order to “lift women out of poverty and equip them with an equal chance to thrive.”
Participants in the conference also discussed the unique experiences of women in a variety of social issues, including their participation in the economy, their vulnerability to climate change, and their inequality in conflict situations.
The conference was intended to provide input into the post-2015 development agenda, climate change agreement, and Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD 3). [Conference Website] [Helen Clark Remarks] [Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka Remarks] [Beijing Platform for Action Website]