Beijing Platform for Action at 25: Progress, Retreat and the Future of Women’s Rights

Thursday 3 December 2020
9:00 am - 6:00 pm AEDT

The Fourth World Conference on Women was held in Beijing in September 1995. The Conference adopted a Declaration and a Platform for Action, which identified 12 ‘critical areas of concern’: poverty, access to education; access to healthcare; violence against women; armed conflict; economic inequality; inequality in power and decision-making; promotion of the advancement of women; women’s human rights; media stereotyping of women; the environment; the girl child.

Poster from United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women,
held September 4-15, 1995 in Beijing, China.

While the Beijing Conference and its outcome documents were regarded as an ambivalent success by some contemporary observers, 25 years later it seems a very progressive moment in the history of women’s rights.

Global politics have changed to the point that it is difficult to imagine that the Declaration or Platform could be negotiated in the same terms today.

To mark the occasion of Beijing +25 and to consider the influence of the conference and outcome documents, the Institute for International Law and the Humanities together with the Australian Human Rights Institute, UNSW Sydney, are co-hosting a conference to consider the advances, and retreats, in the situation of women internationally over the past 25 years. It will also identify possible avenues for responding to gender inequality and women’s rights now and into the future.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • the Hon Dr Carmen Lawrence, former WA Premier and Emeritus Professor at University of Western Australia
  • Kate Jenkins, Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission
  • Anne Marie Goetz, Clinical Professor, Center for Global Affairs, NYU
  • Christine Chinkin, Professor of International Law and founding Director of the Centre for Women, Peace and Security at the London School of Economics and Political Science and the William W. Cook Global Law Professor at the University of Michigan.
  • Rosemary Kayess, Senior Research Fellow at UNSW, member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

More information will be announced in the coming days. For further details, conference program and registration information, please visit the conference website.