In 1995 Beijing hosted the Fourth World Conference on Women. Nearly 50,000 people took part in an event that delivered the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action: a global blueprint for achieving gender equality. Many of the actions, which fall under 12 critical areas of concern, including women and the economy, women in power and decision-making, and women and health, have since been integrated by governments worldwide. But there is still a long way to go, as no country today can say it is a land or island of gender equality.
Twenty years after the Beijing Declaration, the UN Global Goals were introduced, with number five calling for gender equality by 2030. Two international promises that must be kept. It is now up to governments, institutions and employers worldwide to show that the inactions and mistakes of the past will not be repeated. To mark International Women’s Day yesterday the European Parliament made clear it intends to do that, and reaffirmed its commitment to the Beijing Declaration.
“Altogether, we have to lead by example and join forces to achieve genuine gender equality. We must double our efforts to implement Agenda 2030 and all Sustainable Development Goals, to ensure that no woman or girl is subject to discrimination, violence or exclusion, and that all women and girls have access to health, food, education and job opportunities,” said David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament. “Europe is at the crossroads of transitions: green, industrial and digital. We must lead the transition to a green economy for a healthy planet and a new digital world, while leaving no one behind. All women in the world need to be actors of change. Now it is time to move from words to deeds.”