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Bangkok, 19 November – The first day of the Asian and Pacific Conference on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Beijing+20 Review in Bangkok began with stocktaking  on achievements made towards gender equality thus far, as well as emphasizing challenges that the region still faces in light of the 20-year anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action , known as the blueprint for women’s rights and signed by 189 governmental representatives in 1995 as...
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Radha Bai, started as a self-help group member of the Narmada Mahila Sangh, a federation of women’s self-help groups spread over 217 villages fighting violence against women in rural areas, and providing safe spaces to earn income and learn new skills. At the Beijing+20 India Civil Society National Consultation from 11-12 August, she voiced the experiences of thousands of grass-roots women from her home state of Madhya Pradesh. "After receiving gender training and understanding about what gender inequality entails, I would go back home and count the number of times that I was discriminated against. It was eye-opening, and I realized how much women suffer in a patriarchal society." She now works as a community mobilizer, training women on issues of patriarchy, their rights and entitlements, and the damaging effects of discrimination.
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“A nation cannot be fully thriving if women are not given their due space and their rights are not ensured,” said the President of Nepal, Dr. Ram Baran Yadav at the three-day consultation in Nepal’s capital to discuss progress on the landmark Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The meeting, held from 21-23 August, was organized in the lead up to the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, which will be commemorated in 2015.