The Fourth World Conference on Women took place in Beijing in 1995. Representatives from civil society and governments around the globe assembled and they approved a Platform for Action to serve as a blueprint for efforts to enable women to participate fully as citizens in societies everywhere.

The conference agenda was expansive, including many aspects of women’s lives and addressing the varied family, social, political and professional roles of women. Although those attending represented virtually every cultural and political system on earth, a remarkable consensus emerged around a number of basic principles, including the following: Violence against women must stop; Girls must be valued equally with boys; Women must have equal access to education, health care and the levers of economic and political power; Family responsibilities should be shared; and Freedom of expression is a prerequisite to human rights, which include women’s rights.

Click here to view the official website for the Fourth World Conference on Women

Click here for one woman’s personal and detailed account of the Conference

Mrs. Bella Abzug, Co-Chair, Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), an NGO, addresses the plenary meeting of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China on 12 September 1995.Credit: UN/DPI 121602/M. Grant

In Beijing, conference Chair Gertrude Mongella (R) with (L-R) WEDO’s Bella Abzug and Madeline Albright, then U.S. Secreatary of State

UN Conference in Beijing. 1995 (From left to right: Wangari Maathai, Devaki Jain, and Susan Davis with a wheelchair bound Bella Abzug) (c) Joan Roth

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