The UN General Assembly held a high-level meeting to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995, which yielded the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action on gender equality.
The meeting took place in the context of the ‘Generation Equality’ campaign led by UN Women.
In 2021, Mexico, France, and UN Women will host a civil society-centered, global gathering to achieve "immediate and irreversible progress" towards gender equality.
The UN General Assembly held a high-level meeting to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995, which yielded the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action on gender equality. Among the over 100 leaders speaking via pre-recorded statements, President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili highlighted the legacy of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “one of the most fervent fighters for women’s rights.”
In 2020, the Beijing Declaration would have “no chance of being adopted,” asserted Emanuel Macron, President of France. He pointed to reversals of progress on women’s rights and the denial of women’s right to make decisions about their bodies and to abortion.
The President of Georgia highlighted the legacy of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “one of the most fervent fighters for women’s rights.”
As the host country of the 1995 conference, Xi Jinping, President of China, called for mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on women, especially front‑line workers. Xi stressed that women’s rights and interests are central to sustainable development and called on the UN to redouble efforts to address emerging challenges for women, including bridging the gender‑digital divide. China announced a pledge of USD5 million to UN Women over the next five years.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stressed the importance of equal representation of women in leadership positions, “in Governments, boardrooms, in climate negotiations and at the peace table — everywhere decisions are taken that affect people’s lives.” He noted that progress has been made since 1995, including a drop in maternal mortality by nearly 40 percent and more girls attend school than ever before in history. Nevertheless, he cited estimates that, on average, women have just 75 percent of the legal rights of men.
The high-level meeting of the UNGA took place in the context of the ‘Generation Equality’ campaign led by UN Women, which places a focus on intergenerational and youth engagement to advance gender equality. On 1 October, UN Women announced that it had added 11 youth leaders to the membership of its Generation Equality Youth Task Force, which was established to facilitate youth leadership and participation in the upcoming Generation Equality Forum.
The Forum will be a civil society-centered, global gathering for gender equality, convened by UN Women and co-hosted by the governments of Mexico and France in 2021. The Forum will launch a set of concrete, ambitious, and transformative actions to achieve immediate and irreversible progress towards gender equality. [Meeting summary] [UNGA press release] [UN News story][ENB coverage of the Fourth World Conference on Women]