Report | 2020

Executive Summary

Beijing+25: Accelerating Progress for Women and Girls is a roadmap to advance global gender equality authored by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security (GIWPS), with support from The Rockefeller Foundation and in collaboration with Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Marking the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, which took place in Beijing, China in 1995, the new report builds upon the original Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

Since 1995, there have been some important gains for women and girls, including parity in education in many countries, far fewer deaths in childbirth, more women elected to parliament and leadership positions in government and business, and reduced discrimination under the law. Yet major inequalities have persisted, only to be exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Part I of the report documents serious challenges such as the stagnation of women’s income and wages, discrimination depriving women of fair wages, and how women still carry the burden of unpaid work at home. Violence against women also remains a global scourge, and women remain largely excluded from decision-making in governments (from local to the highest levels), in peace negotiations, and in corporate leadership.

With this as the backdrop, Part II provides a deeper dive into five key areas for progress including: (1) changing problematic gender norms; (2) enforcing and resourcing policies that promote equality; (3) countering growing backlash to gender equality; (4) fostering inclusive democracy and climate justice; and (5) harnessing technology as a means to promote women’s economic empowerment and protection from violence.

Part III proposes a course of action to leverage multiple actors—from civil society and youth, male allies and traditional authorities, through to the business community and multilateral agencies. When taken together, they not only accelerate progress for women and girls, but also build a better world for all.

The report was written by a GIWPS team led by Dr. Jeni Klugman, Managing Director of GIWPS.

Watch a recording of our conversation with Hillary Rodham Clinton and Madeleine Albright about the Beijing+25 anniversary in September 2020.

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