Today, on International Women’s Day, we join governments and activists across the world to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference of Women, the conference that produced the most progressive blueprint ever for advancing women’s rights – the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. We take a moment to celebrate the many achievements since then, to take stock of the remaining gaps and challenges, and to focus on the work ahead. We can start to imagine a world with gender equality and the empowerment of all women, everywhere.
From tomorrow, 9 March, representatives of governments, UN entities and non-governmental organisations from all regions of the world will gather in New York to review the progress made in the implementation of this important blueprint for women’s rights, and to renew the global commitment, through Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) political declaration, for the implementation of the Platform for Action. Nepal will also participate in this important global Beijing+20 review.
In Nepal, there has been some significant and welcome progress inaddressing gender inequality and the empowerment of women. However, manyserious challenges and obstacles remain to realising the agenda set out in the Platform for Action.Twenty specific concerns to advance gender equality, women’s rights and the empowerment of women – Dalits, indigenous peoples, ethnic communities, endangered communities, Madheshi, Muslim, Sikh, people with disabilities, victims of armed groups and armed conflict and persons with different gender identities and sexual orientation –were highlighted in the Kathmandu Declaration, adopted as an outcome of Nepal’s national Beijing review conference. The expression of the twenty concerns comes as Nepal continues the drafting of its new constitution, which provides an opportunity to incorporate important gender equality provisions in the legal foundations of the country.
According to a press release issued by UNIC, meanwhile, the post-2015 development agenda needs to challenge the status quo. The unequal distribution of power, resources and opportunities that perpetuate gender inequalities,poverty, vulnerability and environmental degradation must be changed, and peaceful and sustainable societies created.An integrated and universal agenda can only be achieved by ensuring coherence and linkages between social, economic, environmental and health policies and by pro-actively addressing gender inequalities.
“We hope that the 20 concerns raised in the Kathmandu Declaration will guide and inspire all of us in Nepal to translate the Platform for Action’s aspirations into concrete improvements in the lives of all women and girls in Nepal,” says press statement.
As stated by Dr. Ram BaranYadav, President of Nepal, at the Beijing +20 national conference, “A nation cannot be fully thriving if women are not given their space and their rights are not ensured.”