What was the Beijing Conference? Why is it important? Why does it still matter? The Beijing generation – the women who attended the Fourth World Conference – give their take on women’s rights, the road travelled and what remains to be done, while providing personal reflections on the Conference and its impact, while young people – the post-Beijing generation – discuss the relevance of the landmark women’s rights agenda adopted in 1995 and what it means for them today.
Lessons from Beijing shaped my life
Peace Kyamureku attended the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing as Deputy Secretary-General of the National Association of Women Organizations in Uganda. She had quit her job and took a steep salary cut to start working for the Association where she spent 17 years after the Conference championing women’s rights. Today she is a volunteer Technical Advisor through VSO International, an organization that places volunteers where they are needed. Her current placement is with at UN Women Tanzania supporting the work to advance gender equality and the women’s movement.
The power in us and of us
Zeliha Ünaldi, a long-standing gender advocate who attended the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995, speaks on the impact of the meeting on her life. She now works as a Gender Officer in the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Turkey.
The impact of Beijing: Gender equality as a political issue
Edelfride Barbosa Almeida is an economist and founding member of one of the first NGOs in Cabo Verde to promote gender equality, Morabi. She participated in the parallel forum of the Fourth World Conference on Women, held specifically for NGOs, in Huairou, China and is the current President of the Cabo Verdian Association for Family Protection, VerdeFam.
Commitments made twenty years ago have not been achieved yet
Wanda Nowicka raised issues faced by the women of the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region at the Beijing Conference in 1995. Since then she has been working tirelessly towards the implementation of the Conference’s outcomes. She is a Member of Polish Parliament and Deputy Speaker of the Sejm – the main chamber of the Polish Parliament.
In Beijing, we connected, collaborated and united to effect social change
Making the international journey to Beijing in 1995 for the first time, Kathie Bolognese, attended the Fourth World Conference on Women, the birthplace of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, as part of an industry delegation. Today, an international strategic communications specialist, she is a current Board Member of the US National Committee for UN Women-Metro NY Chapter, an independent NGO that supports the mission of UN Women for gender equality and women’s empowerment.
From local to global
Teresa Oleszczuk is a women’s rights activist who took part in the Beijing Conference in 1995. She is one of the founders of the La Strada Foundation against Trafficking in Persons and Slavery, an organization that works to combat human trafficking in Poland and in several countries across Europe.
Say yes to gender democracy
Delphine Nana Mekounte, 60, was Cameroon’s National Coordinator for NGOs at the time of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. She is now the Director General of CEFEPROD (Women’s Centre for Promoting Development), a nongovernmental organization that promotes the economic, social and cultural development of women and youth.
Yiping Cai attended the NGO Forum of the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing as a journalist and youth participant. Today she lives in Beijing, China, and is an Executive Committee member of the international feminist network DAWN.
The differences between being a girl and being a woman
Christina is a 17-year-old living in New York who is about to graduate from high school. She has been a Girl Advocate for the Working Group on Girls for three years and works on the Girls Participation Task Force and Steering Committee.
Let's empower our language too!
Nuria Felipe Soria is a communications specialist for UN Women. She was a member of the Spanish delegation at the Beijing Conference, carrying out functions involving communications and liaison with civil society organizations.
Relevant yesterday, relevant today
Mtisunge Kachingwe is a 23-year-old young woman from Malawi working as a doctor at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital. She is also an active member of the YWCA.
Fulfil the promises that we made to our daughters
Ranjana Kumari was 42 years old when she attended the Beijing Conference in 1995 as Convener of the South Asian Network for Women in Politics. She was also the Director of the Centre for Social Research in India at the time, a position she still holds today.
It is not a dream, it is a duty
Fatou Lo attended the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing as a teenaged youth delegate. Today, she is the Deputy Representative of UN Women in Sudan.
Towards Beijing+20: The time is now
Hibaaq Osman is a global political strategist who attended the Beijing Conference in 1995. Today, she heads Karama, an international organization based in Cairo that is working to end violence against women in the Arab region.
We want to be actors in our own futures with full rights
Tarcila Rivera Zea took part in the Beijing Conference in 1995. Today, this indigenous activist is President of the Centre for Indigenous Cultures of Peru (CHIRAPAQ) and a member of the UN Women Global Civil Society Advisory Group.
Picture it: The day the Declaration becomes irrelevant
Nive Sharat Chandran is a 23-year-old From New Zealand who has served as the Vice-President and on the Board of Directors of the YWCA in Auckland.
Beijing+20, I know my grandmother would be proud
Scott Taylor is a Policy Analyst and Graduate Research Fellow at the Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership in New York, where he is pursuing an MA/PhD in International Relations. He is currently interning within UN Women.