Beijing +25

25 years of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995-2020): THE TIME TO DELIVER IS NOW!

[Brussels, 6 March 2020] In welcoming the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA), and ahead of International Women’s Day, the European Women’s Lobby is pleased to present its report “25 years of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995-2020): THE TIME TO DELIVER IS NOW!

In 1995, the BPfA was adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing and put forward a visionary blueprint for women’s and girls’ rights globally, identified across 12 critical areas of concern. This built on the stepping-stones laid out by the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and is the backbone for emerging international frameworks including the UN 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development (SDGs). Through these building blocks, equality between women and men as a lived reality is a vision that transcends all generations, regions and countries.

Yet in 2020, we have yet to see its full implementation and the transformative change in the European Union (EU). Our report thus thus looks back at progress made in the EU in the last five years in relation to some of the BPfA’s critical areas of concern. This report highlights key actions of EWL and its invaluable members, and identifies remaining obstacles, to which we present our demands. We confirm that the BPfA remains valid today as it did a quarter of a century ago.

This report comes in light of the new European Commission’s five-year Gender Equality Strategy, which we see as a pivotal building block with the potential to accelerate change. Our recommendations call on the EU and its Member States to reaffirm their commitment to the BPfA through their political leadership and strengthening the institutional mechanisms which are needed to secure this commitment.

Looking back on the progress made to date, we highlight areas where there is still unfinished business in the BPfA’s implementation: women in decision-making; institutional mechanisms and gender mainstreaming; eliminating male violence against women and girls; and a feminist economy. We also look ahead at ongoing and emerging challenges beyond 2020: shrinking political space and funding for women’s civil society; the impact of digitalisation and climate change; and the challenges faced by migrant women and girls.

As we celebrate the BPfA and welcome in a dynamic new generation of feminists to the women’s movement, we also celebrate the invaluable work of our members, many of whom remain resilient in the face of volatile and challenging political contexts. Together, we call on the EU to:

  • Adopt binding-legislation on preventing and combatting all forms of violence against women and girls, online and offline, including sexual exploitation;
  • Adopt a “Care Deal for Europe” to address women’s enduring social and economic inequalities and put forward binding measures to tackle the gender pay, pension and poverty gaps; and
  • Apply gender mainstreaming in all EU policies, funded projects and programmes and increase resources and sustainable funding to women’s organisations both in and outside the EU.

The time to deliver is NOW! Read our report here!

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EWL event "Progress towards a Europe free from all forms of male violence" to mark the 10th aniversary of the Istanbul Convention, 12 May 2021.

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