Beijing Platform for Action: 25-year review and future priorities

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Series Details PE 646.194
Publication Date February 2020
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Governments across the world, including the European Union (EU) Member States and the EU itself, committed to working towards gender equality and empowering all women and girls at the 1995 fourth United Nations (UN) World Conference on Women in Beijing. The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA) adopted at the conference is considered the international 'Bill of Rights' for women, defining women's rights as human rights and setting goals and concrete measures across a range of issues affecting women and girls.

In-depth national, regional and global reviews of its implementation and a set of priorities for future action will mark this 25th anniversary. The review concerning the EU and its Member States shows that efforts to improve gender equality have had some results, but persistent inequalities and gender gaps remain across all the areas of action covered in the BPfA. The collection and use of gender equality data has improved, but it is still uneven, making it difficult to measure the impacts of action and to identify the most disadvantaged groups of women. Gender mainstreaming is not yet applied systematically across all policy areas and funding programmes. Already present in 1995, political and cultural tensions around some areas of women's rights, such as bodily autonomy and control of fertility, have been exacerbated in recent years. In addition, emerging challenges such as climate change have gender dimensions that need to be taken into account.

Looking forward, the EU and its Member States have the potential structures, actors and tools to advance gender equality. The European Parliament and women's organisations are urging the EU and national governments to demonstrate a high-level of political commitment in this area, defend the vision and commitments set out in the BPfA, and deliver an ambitious new agenda for the coming years.

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A more detailed statistical picture of the current situation in the EU and its Member States, in selected fields, is available in a separately published infographic.

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