March 14, 2005
YORK (UMNS)—The Beijing Platform for Action, adopted by 189 U.N. member
states at the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995, established a
global agenda to promote equality and empowerment for women.
to that agenda was reaffirmed five years later during a special session
of the U.N. General Assembly titled, “Women 2000: Gender Equality,
Development and Peace for the Twenty-First Century.”
the same time, the U.N.’s Millennium Declaration in 2000 set goals for
development and the reduction of poverty by 2015. The eight goals are to
eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary
education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child
mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other
diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and develop a global
partnership for development.
platform for action was reaffirmed in the 10-year review of progress
since Beijing, held during the Feb. 28-March 11 meeting of the
Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations.
the need for governments to do more to achieve gender equality and the
advancement of women also was affirmed, along with the push for
recognition that the Beijing goals are tied to the Millennium
Women 2000, a coalition of women of faith that includes United
Methodists and Methodists, made that point in a statement before the
Commission on the Status of Women.
would like to stress that gender equality, protection of women’s human
rights and empowerment of women are essential in achieving the
internationally agreed development goals contained in the Millennium
Declaration,” the statement said.
Beijing Platform as a general framework and the Millennium Development
goals as a strategy offer hope and help us to move forward in empowering
the most vulnerable women and girls in all regions.”
The “critical areas of concern” in the Beijing Platform for Action are:
• The persistent and increasing burden of poverty on women.
• Inequalities and inadequacies in and unequal access to education and training.
• Inequalities and inadequacies in and unequal access to health care and related services.
• Violence against women.
• The effects of armed or other kinds of conflict on women, including those living under foreign occupation.
• Inequality in economic structures and policies, in all forms of productive activities and in access to resources.
• Inequality between men and women in the sharing of power and decision-making at all levels.
• Insufficient mechanisms at all levels to promote the advancement of women.
• Lack of respect for and inadequate promotion and protection of the human rights of women.
of women and inequality in women’s access to and participation in all
communication systems, especially in the media.
• Gender inequalities in the management of natural resources and in the safeguarding of the environment.
• Persistent discrimination against and violation of the rights of the girl child.
News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or firstname.lastname@example.org.