Five-hundred feminists from 55 different countries are gathering in Geneva, 28 October 2019, for an entire day of movement building, advocacy strategising and solidarity action. On this day we want to share our rage and address the structural barriers in the region that are still stopping us from realising our full rights. We will build hope, and map out successes, such as progressive legal frameworks, and make sure they are implemented on the ground. We want to inspire to action, by outlining our common recommendations to our decision-makers. These demands will be shared at the official intergovernmental meeting, Beijing+25 Regional Review Meeting, 29-30 Oct, Geneva, following our civil society forum.

Our core framing principles are gender equality and justice, women’s human rights, respect for planetary boundaries, and social, economic and environmental sustainability. We will work together to overcome structural economic, social and environmental crises that disproportionately impact women, girls and non-binary persons.

We work to tackle intersecting inequalities and multiple forms of discrimination based on gender, age, class, caste, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and sex characteristics, disabilities, and other status.

We are coming together to ensure government accountability to commitments of gender equity and empowerment that was set out in CEDAW and in the Beijing Platform for Action. All this, we will do, while striving to create diverse, vibrant, equal and just societies for all people.

We speak with a collective voice. It means that we will strive to reflect all the diverse intersecting experiences of our region and not focus on single issues. Even if you cannot attend the forum in person, you can still feed into our common positions. There has also been several preparatory sub-regional meetings to ensure as many as possible can feed into this process.

Women’s Major Group has been asked to facilitate the organisation of this civil society forum ahead of the UNECE regional review meeting. We will building on our inclusive approach, as used in other United Nations processes, to create a space for our diverse civil society, in particular for marginalised groups. We will also coordinate closely with our feminist colleagues who are organising regional forum’s in Bangkok, Addis Ababa, Lebanon and Santiago de Chile.

What is Beijing+25?

This civil society forum in Geneva is just one stop on the roadmap towards the two Generation Equality forums that will be hosted by UN Women next year. What is the herstory of Beijing Platform for Action and what other events will follow the regional forums:

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International Conference Centre Geneva
Rue de Varembé 17
Geneva, 1211 Switzerland

Please note: you must be registered to attend this forum.
Deadline for registration was 22 August 2019.

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How do I engage?

We are using Women’s Major Group regional mailing list as our main avenue for communication, as it ensures a safe space for feminists and activists to strategise around Beijing+25. We have a master spreadsheet with links to all our position papers and interventions, which you get access to if you are part of the mailing list. Everyone who signs up, confirms that they have read and agreed to our principles & values. Read the statement sent to the UN ECE on our decision to exclude one person from the civil society forum.

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Principles & values

We are self-organised and open to all interested organisations (e.g. diverse women’s and feminist groups, civil society organisations, social movements and women from indigenous and other communities) working jointly and in solidarity to promote human rights-based sustainable development with a focus on women’s human rights, women’s empowerment, gender justice, and gender equality in these international policy processes.

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Safe space protocol

We speak with a collective voice, we will build on our inclusive approach, as used in other United Nations processes, to ensure that this is a space for our diverse civil society, in particular for representatives from marginalized groups.

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Key priorities

Civil society organisation have identified priorities and prepared statements from their regional and thematic perspectives. These statements were prepared in the 3 months prior to the conference by all who had joined the listserve, as input for the discussions in the break out groups during the CSO forum. They laid the foundation for our common interventions at the Beijing+25 Regional Review Meeting. The input from the CSO forum is still being added and when ready, the final statements are uploaded onto the website. We greatly value all the input given! Disclaimer: the statements reflect the perspectives of the authors and contributors as stated at the top of each factsheet. These are not negotiated consensus positions, but give an overview of priorities and diverse views of the women’s and feminist movement in the UNECE region.

Regional position papers

Central Asia Download
Caucasus Download
Eastern Europe Download
European Union (and Norway, Switzerland) Download
North America Download
Western Balkans (and Turkey) Download

Thematic position papers

2.1. Engaging young feminists coming soon
2.2. Addressing anti-women’s rights groups, shrinking spaces, neoconervatism and women human rigths defenders coming soon
2.3. Structural economic barriers coming soon
2.4. Rights of LBTI and GNC women and people coming soon
2.5. Climate, environment & women’s rights coming soon
2.6. Violence against women & girls (VAWG) coming soon
2.6.a Sub-group: human trafficking and sexual exploitation and abuse coming soon
2.6.b. Sub-group: special focus on (non-state) torture and other ill treatment of women and girls coming soon
2.7. Women migrant rights coming soon
2.8. Indigenous peoples’ rights coming soon
2.9. Accountability and monitoring coming soon
2.10. SRHR sexual reproductive rights coming soon
2.10.a. Sub-group: SRHR with specific focus on sex work coming soon
2.11. Rural women & economic empowerment coming soon
2.12. Peace & security, and displaced women coming soon
2.13. Widows coming soon
2.14. Women labour movements coming soon
2.15. Older Women coming soon
2.16. Financing for implementation of BPfA coming soon
2.17. Women’s political participation coming soon
2.18. Education: knowledge transfer and access to technologies coming soon
2.19. Women with disabilities coming soon
2.20. Corporate and institutional accountability to the Beijing+25 process coming soon
2.21. Tax justice coming soon
2.22. Women in the Media coming soon


For gender equality – these 25 art pieces celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the most visionary agenda for women’s rights and empowerment everywhere. This exhibition was displayed at the regional Civil Society Forum (410 participants) and official Regional Review Meeting (867 participants) in Geneva, Switzerland, on 28-30 October 2019.

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