What we do

In 1995, 17,000 delegates and 30,000 activists from across the globe, streamed to Beijing to attend the fourth World Women’s Conference. This was one of the largest meetings to promote women’s rights ever held. Our first big project, as an organisation, was to organise a delegation of women to attend the civil society forum in Beijing ahead of the conference with the aim to bring in the intersectional dimension between gender and the environment. We organised events and demonstrations during the Huairou civil society forum with partners from, amongst others, Brazil, India, Kenya, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. The outcome, the Beijing Platform for Action, remains one of the strongest commitments to women’s human rights and a sustainable, just and peaceful world.

Resisting the roll-back

Now, more than 25 years later, we are appalled by a roll-back on women’s rights in many countries in the world, and attacks against women’s human rights and environmental defenders. In 2021, 26 years after the promise of Beijing, we will still not have achieved equality. Instead, inequalities are growing and the the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified this. Whilst in 2020 we achieved the 5-year mark of the Sustainable Development Goals and its goal 5 on achieving gender quality and the empowerment of all women and girls, we need to hold high the commitments of Beijing.

Generation Equality Forums

The Generation Equality Forums will be held in 2021. The Mexico Forum takes place from March 29 until March 31. At this first Forum, the Action Coalition leaders will finetune the draft blueprints for five years of transformative action to achieve gender equality . The Paris Forum, from June 30 until July 2, will be the official launch of the Action Coalitions. Governments, civil society and all other stakeholders will then present their commitments to take action. Our director, Sascha Gabizon, is part of the Civil Society Advisory Group to the forums.

UNECE Region

Roadmap

Civil society forum (28 Oct, Geneva)  – As the regional organising partner for Women’s Major Group, we co-facilitated the Civil Society Forum prior to the UNECE regional review meeting on Beijing+25. The outcome document is a compilation report of various feminist priorities from the European, North American, Caucasus and the Central Asian regions.

Beijing+25 Regional Review Meeting (29-30 Oct, Geneva) – The UN Member States meet to review progress by governments on their Beijing commitments. Each UN region had their own meeting, and the official meeting for European, North American, Caucasus and the Central Asian regions was held on 29-30 October 2019 in the Palais des Nations, Geneva. It was jointly organised by UNECE and the UN Women Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia. You can read all the interventions delivered by civil society at the official meeting here.

Commission on the Status of Women (CSW64) (March 2019, suspended due to COVID-19) – The main focus of CSW meeting was to review  of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcomes of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly. The review was intended to include an assessment of current challenges that affect the implementation of the Platform for Action and the full realisation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Sub-regional virtual consultations (June – December 2020) – Together with UN Women Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, we hosted a series of online consultations on Beijing+25 and Generation Equality, starting June and running to December 2020. Together with local feminists and human rights activists, we explored what still needs to happen to achieve gender equality in the Balkans, Caucasus, Central Asia, Eastern and Central European regions. Around 400 feminists took part in the sessions, of which almost half was youth. Find out more about the demands from Central Asia and Eastern Europe, Caucasus & Russia in the policy briefs. Illustrator Leyla Aliyeva made the demands into beautiful illustrations. They are free to download for all here. We invite you to use them and share your own feminist demands for system change!

Commission on the Status of Women (CSW65) – 15 – 26 March 2021
This year’s CSW theme was “Women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”. The session this year was mostly virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Generation Equality Forums – are civil society-centred, global gatherings for gender equality, convened by UN Women and co-hosted by the governments of Mexico and France. UN Women has announced several “Action Coalitions” were civil society will come together with decision-makers and other stakeholder to set concrete, ambitious and transformative actions to achieve immediate and irreversible progress towards gender equality. These will be drafted, based on consultations, and finalised at the forums to finally be presented to Heads of States at the United Nations General Assembly. Once finalised, there will be 5 years to achieve these ambitions actions. The first Mexico Forum will take place virtually from March 29th until March 31st. The second Paris Forum will take place virtually from June 30th until July 2nd.

Civil society forum

More than 400 feminists and activists from 45 different countries came together for the regional review of the Beijing Platform for Action in Geneva 28-30 October 2019. Together we wanted to map out and build feminist principles for the future we want.

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Sub-regional

Together with UN Women Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, we will be hosting a series of online consultations on Beijing+25, starting June and running to December 2020. Together with local feminists and human rights activists, we will be exploring what still needs to happen to achieve gender equality in the Balkans, Caucasus, Central Asia, Eastern and Central European regions? These online consultations will engage decision-makers and give guidance to the Action Coalition leaders about the demands from the region.

Western Balkans & Turkey Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, North-Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Kosovo
Eastern Europe Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, Russia
Central Asia Kyrgyzstan, Kazakstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
Learn more

Compilation report

This report is a compilation of the perspectives of feminist and civil society organisations from more than 45 countries in the region that participated in the preparations and during the civil society forum itself, on the 28th of October 2019 in Geneva.

Download

Shadow reports

UN Women has collected civil society’s shadow reports regarding the Beijing+25 process on their website called”views and voices from civil society”. While there is no formal process for shadow reports, they have been inviting civil society to submit reports voluntarily.

View reports