Views and voices from civil society
The formal Beijing+25 review process does not include the submission of civil society reports given that Member States are encouraged to meaningfully engage civil society in all their diversity as part of the Beijing+25 review. Notwithstanding, civil society reports have been developed voluntarily, often with the purpose of complementing, informing, and/or strengthening the formal Beijing+25 and Generation Equality Forum processes.
The structure and content of civil society reports often follows the “NGO guidance for national parallel reports” prepared by NGO CSW/NY, aimed at providing a common template to prepare civil society reports according to the context.
At the same time, Beijing+25 regional and sub-regional civil society consultations, meetings, and forums are taking place across the world producing outcome declarations, reports, or calls for action that outline the priorities and concerns of those consulted.
These civil society inputs aim at informing the Beijing+25 review processes and the Generation Equality Forum. Both Beijing+25 civil society reports and Beijing+25 regional civil society outcome documents can be accessed below:
Note: The views expressed in the following documents are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of UN Women, the United Nations, or any of its affiliated organizations. The contents and names shown do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.
Global/regional civil society reports
- Africa – Beijing+25: Africa Civil Society Organizations Forum, Africa Civil Society Statement
This statement identifies key recommendations to help ensure the full realization of women’s rights and protection. It highlights how the status of women remains largely unequal across the African continent, despite the progress that has occurred, especially in the legal domain. State actors are recommended to accelerate the implementation of the various legal frameworks; promote the transformation of negative social norms and harmful beliefs; achieve gender parity in political representation; end armed conflict; support structural transformation of African economies; refrain from restricting civic spaces; strengthen national frameworks for women and girls with disabilities; address and mitigate climate change and environmental degradation; strengthen disaggregated data systems; and increase support for the most marginalized groups of women.
- Africa – Youth Call to Action Beijing+25
This call to action highlights the structural barriers hindering gender equality and, particularly, the neoliberal, neo-colonial and extractivist models of development. It identifies the prevailing issues within and across African countries, namely, the persistent norms that perpetuate stigmatization and discrimination; gender-based violence; migration, displacement and human trafficking; the climate crisis; the lack of sexual education; and the lack of universal health coverage. The recommendations focus on actions to be taken by governmental actors to ensure inclusive development, shared prosperity and decent work; poverty eradication, social protection and social services; freedom from violence, stigma and stereotypes; participation, accountability and gender responsive institutions; peaceful and inclusive societies; environmental conservation, protection and rehabilitation.
- Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) Civil Society Report
This comprehensive report identifies the structural barriers to realizing women’s human rights, pathways for resistance and solutions, and offers specific recommendations. The report analytically dissects the devastating impact of the neoliberal order, patriarchy, violence and the crisis of democracy on women’s human rights. It then considers how the current climate crisis emerged as a result of these developments. The pathways for resistance and potential solutions are discussed through a series of existing initiatives seeking to advance accountability for women’s human rights. The report concludes with a set of key policy recommendations for (inter)governmental actors in several Critical Areas of Concern.
- Europe – NGO Committee on the Status of Women Vienna
This statement highlights the gap between multilateral commitments towards gender equality and their actual implementation. It focuses on the issue of violence against women and girls; limited access to education and health services; conflict, climate change, migration, corruption, inequality and poverty; and harnessing the benefits of information technology and innovation. The recommendations identify specific actions for governmental actors like promoting gender equality in development efforts; reallocating funding from war to peace efforts; ensuring women’s inclusion in all decision-making levels; and promoting women-led initiatives in climate-related projects. The statement concludes with a call for inclusive global financial and economic systems that will promote a more equitable distribution of wealth and income.
- Global Africana Women Working at the UN
This report discusses key initiatives in African countries supporting the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. It recognizes how these normative frameworks helped advance women’s inclusion and participation in development efforts. The report offers recommendations to enhance gender equality through enhancing social protection and women’s participation in decision-making; promoting inclusive development and shared prosperity; supporting gender-specific development efforts; ensuring inclusive support and empowerment of women irrespective of their social and health status; and encouraging the design of a holistic model for civil society support.
- Red Elephant Foundation
This report offers recommendations to ensure the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action is well-equipped to address contemporary issues. It notes that the declaration has a strong heteronormative lens, thereby excluding non-heterosexual, queer and transwomen, and depicts stereotypical constructions of women’s health. The declaration’s goals and indicators can be improved by drawing attention to gender equity (not only gender equality) and the structural barriers to women’s participation (not only gender quotas) and introducing gender-sensitive education to counter the prevalence of patriarchy. The report advocates for a stronger stance against armed conflict which is considered by itself, an antithesis to feminist foreign policy. It concludes by drawing attention to the adverse impacts of structures and structural violence against women.
- UNECE Regional Review Civil Society Forum
This report identifies the key messages of the UNECE Regional Review Civil Society Forum. It identifies the rise of anti-women’s rights groups, neoconservatism and the shrinking space for civil society as the most critical issues. The recommendations call for substantive protection frameworks and resources to hold perpetrators of gender-based crimes accountable; mainstreaming sexuality education in school curricula; improving access to health services, social protection, and free quality education; more effective systems of early warning, conflict prevention and mitigation; and a redistribution of wealth through raising tax revenues. The report concludes with a call for the collection and usage of disaggregated data and funding to support the implementation of legislative frameworks.
National civil society reports
- Albania – Report of Civil Society Organizations for Implementation of The Beijing Platform for Action in Albania
This report describes achievements of the Government of Albania in the 12 Critical Areas of Concern of the Beijing Platform for Action, while identifying significant areas of pushback and regression. Despite progress in the area of maternal and child nutrition, disparities exist in terms of women’s healthcare depending their age, mentality, socio-economic level, gender identity, geographic area and place of residence. The limited access to sexual and reproductive health services for marginalized and vulnerable groups of women is particularly concerning. The prevalence of domestic violence is high (despite the enhanced legal framework) and the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking in persons haven’t been met. The report also notes that attacks against women journalists have increased over the last two years. It concludes with an acknowledgement of civil society organizations’ capacity building efforts among marginalized groups of women, seeking to fill the Government’s gaps.
- Australia – Working Together for Equality: NGO Beijing+25 Review 2019
This report presents a situational review of and recommendations for the 12 Critical Areas of Concern in Australia. It then identifies new and emerging contemporary issues, such as the pressure on social housing and rent assistance systems; the welfare conditionality and reduction of social protections for single mothers; and different types of harmful traditional practices and complex forms of violence. The following eight cross-cutting issues are identified across the report: the need for intersectional policy review and development; the need to increase civil society space in an environment of shrinking space and push-back on human rights; the need to broaden the concept of Violence Against Women to ensure women’s rights are legally enshrined; the increasing feminization of poverty; women’s unequal access to and participation in education and decent work; the need to enhance sexual and reproductive health and rights; reproductive coercion; and the need for more intersectional and disaggregated data.
- Benin – Examen National Approfondi de la Société Civile sur le Theme: Les Femmes et Les Enjeux de Pouvoir et de Prise de Decisions au Benin
This report highlights the progressive national policies, legislative measures and plans for gender equality and women’s empowerment adopted in Benin between 2015-2019. Despite the resulting progress in the areas of health, security, economic empowerment, the violation of women’s human rights continues to be a grave concern. In particular, the persistent violence, discriminatory and harmful practices; the lack of women rights’ awareness; the trafficking of girls; illiteracy; early and non-desired pregnancies. Recommendations identified include the need to harmonize the national legal frameworks with international gender equality instruments; adopt a feminist foreign policy and special temporary measures to promote women’s participation and representation; adopt measures to promote women’s economic empowerment; address harmful traditional and socio-cultural norms; improve national capacities and gender statistics; and ensure the integration of gender equality in public policies including in the national budget.
- Canada – Unfinished Business: A Parallel Report on Canada´s Implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action
This report describes the achievements, challenges and setbacks of gender equality efforts by the Government of Canada between 2015-2019. The report identifies gaps across a range of areas: from the challenges faced by women with disabilities to issues encountered by migrant workers, and from food insecurity in female-headed households to online hatred and cyberviolence. It describes actions taken by the Government of Canada to address women’s inadequate access to legal aid and housing; the poor record of pay equity legislation; the fragmented system of child-care and reproductive health services; and the mistreatment of women in detention. The report indicates that progress will depend on tackling negative social norms and stereotypes, as well as increased participation of women-led (preferably grassroots) organizations in policymaking processes. It concludes by advocating for a strengthened legal framework and the adoption of a feminist intersectional lens in all programs, services, funding and research.
- France – Contre-rapport de l’ONG Femmes solidaires dans le cadre de pékin+25
This report highlights the progress, challenges and setbacks experienced in France between 2014-2019. In terms of progress, it highlights the adoption of national gender equality legislation, the increased protection of non-heterosexual women against discrimination, the criminalization of sexism, and the newly introduced law providing support for prostituted persons. It discusses concerns in relation to, among other, women’s employment, professional parity and the pay gap; the impact of austerity measures on women’s rights; the dismantling of public services; women’s social protection and health; access to education and training; the role of the media. The identified priorities include the elimination of all forms of violence, including cyber-sexism and cyber-violence, violence in educational facilities and in the context of intra-family and partner relations. The report concludes with a set of general and specific recommendations for action.
- Georgia – National Parallel Report of the Implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action Beijing+25
This report largely focuses on sexual and reproductive health rights of women and vulnerable groups in Georgia. Despite legal and institutional reforms, significant challenges exist in the areas of accessing information on SRHR, data collection, integration of SRHR services into the primary health care system, knowledge of health care providers on SRHR, and comprehensive education on SRHR. The report recognizes significant gaps in the legal framework which does not prohibit intimate partner violence. A national study even identifies intimate partner violence as one of the most pervasive forms of violence affecting Georgian women, and especially lesbian women and trans persons. Women with disabilities and rural women are particularly vulnerable, especially in terms of domestic violence and their limited access to services and economic opportunities. Early child marriage remains prevalent in the Georgia due to negative social norms and the lack of information on family planning and contraceptives.
- Georgia – Parallel National Report for Beijing+25; Rights of LB women and Trans persons living in Georgia
This report focuses on the rights of lesbian, bisexual and trans women and the challenges they face in Georgia. Despite legislative progress, the report identifies severe infringements of freedom and safety stemming from negative social norms and gender stereotypes, further consolidated by a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as the union between a woman and man. Severe LBT rights violations such as unlawful detention (particularly of transgender women) and intense psycho-emotional, sexual and physical violence have been documented. The report also discusses LBT women’s disadvantaged position in accessing healthcare services, the lack of knowledge among healthcare workers regarding sexual orientation and gender identity, and the lack of regulation on gender reassignment surgery. In response to these challenges, the Gender Equality Council of the Parliament of Georgia recommends incorporating the specific needs and rights of LBT women as a vulnerable group in the national strategy on healthcare.
- Indonesia – Review and appraisal of civil society organisations on 25-year implementation of Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPFA+25) in Indonesia 1995-2020
This report examines progress, challenges and recommendations in the 12 Critical Areas of Concern of the Beijing Platform for Action since its adoption in Indonesia. It identifies three major emerging priorities that require special attention: the elimination of child marriage and the protection of sexual and reproductive rights and health; freedom from the various forms of violence, stigma, stereotypes and harmful social norms; and the elimination of the feminization of poverty, trafficking of women and the protection of women migrant workers, victims of natural resources conflicts, and indigenous women. The report provides an overview of the situation under each these priority areas, highlighting key progress and achievements, obstacles, challenges, and key recommendations. Each of areas of concern is then analyzed in detail with an overview of the situation, progress achieved, challenges, emerging priorities and specific recommendations.
- Indonesia – National Human Rights Institution Independent Report on 25 Years of Implementing the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA+25) in Indonesia
This report examines the achievements and challenges since the 1995 adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in Indonesia. Following an overview of the political and legislative reforms that drove progress, it identifies the following key challenges: impunity of human rights violations and the lack of victim support; lack of guarantees for non-repetition of rights violations; insufficient legal reforms and enforcement to eliminate violence against women; growing fundamentalism and radicalism; inadequate protection of migrant workers; criminalization and stigmatization of women human rights defenders (especially in relation to natural resource conflicts). It subsequently discusses the progress regarding the 12 Critical Areas of Concern of the Platform for Action since 2014 and offers specific recommendations for each critical area. The report concludes with general recommendations emphasizing the need to establish a mechanism to prevent violence against women; for the state to conduct stronger (human rights) due diligence; and to strengthen the women’s machinery.
- Liberia – Liberian NGO Women Parallel Report for Beijing +25 Platform for Action
This report discusses the progress and challenges of addressing the 12 Critical Areas of Concern of the Beijing Platform for Action in Liberia between 2014-2019. Areas of progress include the adoption a new labour law (strengthening workers’ rights) and the affirmative action law (reserving parliamentary seats for women, youth and persons with disabilities). Practical measures have been taken to eliminate violence against women, such as the establishment of a gender-based violence crimes unit; women and children protection sections in police stations; and gender desk officers in ministries. The report then lists specific recommendations for all critical areas, such as increasing the amount of health workers in primary health care to reduce the high maternal and new-born mortality rates; amending gender discriminatory laws to improve women’s access, usage and ownership of land; and funding basic investigatory tools for the police to address human trafficking and violence against women in politics.
- Malaysia – The Beijing +25 CSO Parallel Report Malaysia
This report thoroughly describes what actions have been taken across the 12 Critical Areas of Concern of the Beijing Platform for Action in Malaysia between 2014-2019. Specific indicators of progress include women’s increased participation in the labour force; better access to childcare services and flexible work arrangements; increased support for women entrepreneurs; and strengthened social protection mechanisms. Nevertheless, the structures enabling discrimination against women have been left unaddressed, limiting women’s decision-making in public life (and broader social and political empowerment) despite their improved economic position. Another serious concern is the politicization of ethnicity and religion, potentially fuelling intolerance and hatred. The report lists five priorities areas: a national economic system that advances the interests of women; women’s health and social security; a national education system; a legal system that protects women’s rights and dignity; and a democratized political system that allows more Malay female leaders.
- Moldova – Statement of the Gender Equality Platform form the Republic of Moldova regarding the implementation of the commitments of the Beijing Declaration +25
This report highlights how a series of national legislative measures have improved the situation of women in Moldova between 2014-2019. These measures introduced a prohibition of sexist language and advertising; a gender quota in electoral and decision-making processes; a national strategy and action plan for preventing and combating violence against women; increased paternal leave; and better protection mechanisms for victims of violence. The report identifies women’s heightened vulnerabilities in eleven areas such as women’s underrepresentation in the media. It highlights that women in rural and remote areas are disproportionally affected by unemployment, environmental degradation and restricted access to health care. The report offers recommendations to tackle those vulnerabilities like increasing support for female entrepreneurship in rural areas; improving social assistance programs; and promoting gender parity in media and advertising through a gender quota for the Moldovan broadcasting council.
- Morocco – Fédération des Ligues des Droits des Femmes
(Report in Arabic; summary not available.)
- Morocco – Rapport parallèle des ONG marocaines Sur la mise en oeuvre de la Déclaration et de la Plateforme de Beijing 1995–2020
This report indicates that progress has taken place in the past two decades in Morocco following the adoption of constitutional measures on women’s rights and gender equality in an effort to adopt international normative frameworks. It specifically describes the progressive institutional, legislative and policy reforms and measures that have been introduced over the past five years, as well as the continued failure to achieve harmonization with international human rights standards. It then elaborately analyses the 12 Critical Areas of Concern of the Beijing Platform for Action, identifying the progress, challenges and proposals for improvement. This is followed by a description of the national processes and institutions for gender equality and women’s rights and concludes with a note on the limited availability and access to national gender disaggregated data and statistics.
- Nepal – National Parallel Report Beijing +25: Issues, Achievements, Gaps and Recommendations of LBTQ of Nepal
This report focuses on the achievements, challenges and recommendations for ending violence against LGBTQI and safeguarding LGBTQI human rights in Nepal between 2014-2019. Some progress has followed the court ruling decriminalizing homosexuality and instructing the government to form a committee on same-sex marriages. Still, LGBTQI are commonly targeted, harassed and punished for their sexual orientation with discriminatory practices taking place in health and educational facilities. Legal restrictions exist for LGBTQI in relation to adopting children, owning ancestral property and changing gender identity. There’s no governmental funding available for LGBTQI programs and LGBTQI are not represented in decision-making bodies or the media. The recommendations call for improving LGBTQI’s access to quality health services; (financial) support for advocacy efforts; better protection mechanisms; inclusive policies from local to federal level; legal literacy campaigns, scholarships for LGBTQI students and mainstreaming sexuality education; and collecting more disaggregated data on the LGBTQI community in Nepal.
- Nepal – National Parallel Report Beijing+25 National Review, Accelerating Feminist Movement towards Generation Equality: Plea and Plans of CSOs in Nepal
This report consists of eight chapters covering most of the 12 Areas of Concern of the Beijing Platform for Action and includes separate chapters on ‘The Girl Child’, ‘The Youth’s SRHR & She Decides’ and ‘Position Paper: Feminist Leadership & the Women’s/Feminist Movement in Nepal’. Each area of focus summarizes the current situation, challenges, achievements and a set of recommendations. The report attempts to acknowledge the efforts made towards achieving Gender Equality, Empowerment of Women and Girls (GEEWG) in the last five years and highlights desired actions under every theme of the Beijing +25 review through the “Kathmandu Call for Action”. It is presented as a means to advocate for the achievement of generation equality in all levels of the government in Nepal.
- Nepal – Civil Society Report on Beijing+25 by National Network for Beijing-review
(Summary not available.)
- Nigeria – Sure Smiles Women and Children Advocacy Initiative Federal Capital Territory Abuja
(Summary not available.)
- Pakistan – Beijing – 25 Years On: Parallel Report Pakistan
This report describes the legislative efforts of the Pakistani government to improve the status of women, while recognizing the impact has been underwhelming. Achievements include the nation-wide criminalization of workplace harassment; strengthening of gender-based violence laws; and introduction of a protection act for transgender persons. The 12 Critical Areas of Concern of the Beijing Platform for Action are discussed in terms of both progress and lack thereof, in the areas of poverty eradication, social protection; freedom from violence, stigma and stereotypes; gender responsive institutions; peaceful and inclusive societies; and environmental conservation. The major challenges include inadequate institutional mechanisms for women; vast numbers of women lacking national identity documentation; and high prevalence of violence against women. Further, the report highlights the lack of institutional capacity and national data collection mechanisms. The highlighted data gaps include gender-specific budgeting and spending; women’s labour force participation; gender-based violence; climate related issues; and women’s membership in political parties.
- Peru – Análisis del Informe Nacional de Perú sobre los Avances en la Aplicación de la Plataforma de Acción Beijing+25
(Summary not available.)
- Republic of Korea – National Review of the Implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA)+25
This report discusses the progress made in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, identifying the abolition of abortion laws as a major footstone to securing women’s sexual and reproductive rights, and commends the new administration for achieving 30 percent of women’s ministers in the Cabinet. It then highlights the challenges and recommendations in the thematic areas of education and training of women; women and health; violence against women; women and human rights; women and armed conflict; women and economy; institutional mechanisms; women in power and decision-making; and the media. The report highlights the legislative efforts to eradicate gender-based violence and identifies the #MeToo movement as a catalyst for the growing demand of policy changes. Noteworthy is the report’s incorporation of underrepresented women’s perspectives, including that of migrant women, women with disabilities, single-parent women, LBTI women, and women with HIV/AIDS.
- Senegal – Rapport parallèle de la Société civile sénégalaise sur la mise en oeuvre de la Déclaration et du Programme d’Actions de Beijing +25
This report highlights the delays in harmonizing the national legal frameworks of Senegal with international gender equality instruments. The National Plan is commended for reflecting the state’s commitment to end gender-based violence, while other national plans are applauded for their holistic and multisectoral approach. Despite the progress made in poverty eradication, poverty continues to disproportionately affect women given their higher rates of illiteracy, sub-employment and discrimination. Women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights continue to lag, and female genital cutting continues take place in some regions. Women have less access to education than men, particularly in rural areas. An issue particularly affecting girls is the discontinuation of education due to pregnancy or early marriage. The report calls for a recognition of unpaid domestic work; eliminating practices negatively impacting women´s empowerment in rural areas; and ensuring civil society involvement in conflict resolution processes for the southern region of Senegal.
- Spain – Aportaciones de ONG al informe de España a la ONU sobre la Aplicación 2014-2019 de la Plataforma de Acción de la 4ª Conferencia Mundial de la Mujer “Beijing+25”
This report highlights several areas where despite some progress, the measures implemented have been inadequate or insufficient, like in the area of poverty reduction. Women are overrepresented in terms of unemployment, part-time and domestic work. More specifically, the recent job creation efforts, the increased minimum salary and improved social protection measures have not equality benefited women. Similarly, the reduction in public spending, particularly in education, health and social services, have disproportionately affected women. Further, the report draws attention to the high levels of sexual harassment (of especially women migrants) in work settings, as well as the increased cases of sexual abuse and rape in recent years. It stresses the insufficiency, inaccessibility and inadequacy of the judicial protection and victim support services. A recognition, reduction and redistribution of care and domestic work together with the promotion of healthier life work balance is also recommended to take place.
- Sri Lanka – NGO Parallel Report
This report notes that structural challenges and newly emerged issues hamper the progress proposed by the adopted national legislation, policies, action plans and other initiatives addressing gender inequality. A number of recommendations are identified, namely, introducing accountability mechanisms to guarantee democratic processes in local governance; de-criminalizing homosexuality; safeguarding the rights of the LBT community; revising labor force definitions to include unpaid care workers and to value their contribution to the GDP; safe and regular public transport for women; safe and accessible childcare services (in both the public and private sector); gender- and conflict-sensitive legislative provisions; stronger protection mechanisms of internally displaced persons; and addressing gender equality in environmental and social impact assessments.
- Switzerland – Beijing +25: Women’s rights and gender equality in Switzerland
This report indicates that despite the progress in national legislative reforms, gender-based disadvantages and discrimination continue to cause legal and structural problems. It highlights the issues of gender role stereotyping; social norms influencing girls’ career choices; gender discrimination in work settings (in the form of pay gaps, part-time employment, low-wage or insecure employment) and unequal participation in politics. In terms of gender-based violence much is said to have been achieved at the judicial level, but the practical implementation is lacking. Migrant women and women with disabilities experience discrimination and exclusion in several areas. Similarly, trans gender persons and gender identify issues are left unacknowledged. The following four actions are recommended: awareness-raising on critical issues; shifting from voluntary measures towards formal measures; increased financial resources and institutional strengthening; a national action plan against domestic and gender-based violence.
- Tajikistan – Shadow Report of the Coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations of the Republic of Tajikistan “From Equality de jure to Equality de facto” on the Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action+25
(Report also available in Russian.)
In the past five years, the Government of Tajikistan has adopted specific measures to improve new national legislation to enhance women’s empowerment. However, a comprehensive and cross-sectoral approach is lacking in the development efforts, which impedes the actual policy implementation. The report discusses the achievements, challenges and offering recommendations in the following Critical Areas of Concern of the Beijing Platform for Action: women and poverty; education and training; women and health; women and armed conflict; women and the economy; women and the media; women and the environment; the girl child. Subsequently, the report draws specific attention to women’s participation in decision-making. It underlines the importance of involving different groups of women, including rural women, women with disabilities, HIV–positive women. The report concludes with comments on how to achieve a society free from violence against women and girls.
- Trinidad and Tobago
This report discusses the progress and challenges encountered in addressing the Critical Areas of Concern of the Beijing Platform for Action in Trinidad and Tobago between 2014-2019. The new National Policy on Gender and Development ranks highest among the achievements, providing a framework for increasing gender awareness in national development efforts. The report suggests national efforts increasingly focused on the provision of free quality education, political participation and representation, women entrepreneurship and enterprise in the past five years. However, limited progress has taken place in the areas of women’s access to health and education facilities, and women’s participation in decision-making remains restricted. Women are underrepresented in media, conflict prevention, resolution, peace building, humanitarian action and crisis response. Finally, the report highlights the need to strengthen state actor’s capacity, install accountability mechanisms, and promote socio-cultural change to eliminate violence against women.
- Ukraine – Beijing+25 Years on Parallel Report Ukraine 2014–2019
This report discusses the progress and challenges encountered in addressing gender equality in Ukraine between 2014-2019. Notable legislative developments included the approval of national gender equality policies and the adoption of gender-responsive budgeting guidelines. Other achievements included greater representation of women in the legislature and healthcare system reforms. Still, Ukraine continues to have the lowest life expectancy of Europe that disproportionately affects rural communities. Women also experience frequent violations of their rights to paid work and equal pay, as well as discriminatory hiring practices. The report highlights the significant violence against women and particularly against Roma women, LGBTQI women and women with disabilities. Yet, the parliament failed to ratify the Istanbul Convention and concentrated its efforts on eliminating domestic violence, thereby, neglecting other forms of violence by the state or private corporations. Limited sexual and health education is offered, which is particularly concerning given the prevalence of gender-based violence in educational institutions.
- Uzbekistan – Report on Implementation of the Provisions of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, by NGO – Non-governmental Non-profit Organizations of Uzbekistan
This report is dedicated to two specific issues considered to be most relevant for the promotion of gender equality in Uzbekistan: eliminating violence against women and women’s employment. The report considers the progress following the adoption of various legislative measure and civil society-led initiatives to prevent domestic violence and offer victims’ assistance. It also considers the related issues of gender stereotyping; complicated divorce procedures; lack of protocols identifying domestic violence; lack of skills and knowledge among public sector employees; and the absence of an intersectoral approach. The report then discusses the high rate of unemployment particularly in rural areas. The report acknowledges the adoption of regulatory measures but puts forward recommendations to address the lack of women’s vocational training; women’s overrepresentation in the informal sector and low-income professions; women’s financial illiteracy; unequal distribution of taxes; and the importance of technology and innovation.
The report describes progress and challenges in the implementation of the 12 Areas of Concern of the Beijing Platform for Action and their relation to progress in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The patriarchal culture is identified as one of the key structural barriers that continues to impede progress in the fulfilment of the rights of women and girls. Progress is also said to have been hampered by the socio-economic and political context of Venezuela. The creation and strengthening of gender equality institutions, the adoption of key legislation, policies and plans and the implementation of various programmatic initiatives aimed at women’s empowerment in different spheres are considered as some of the areas where progress has been experienced. The report concludes with a set of recommendations.
- Viet Nam – Civil Society report
This report describes the achievements in promoting gender equality and women’s human rights in Viet Nam through the adoption of an action plan for gender equality, legislative reforms to promote women’s rights and the dialoguing with women (led organizations) working on gender equality promotion. It then discusses the challenges in the areas of legislation and state-funded projects; poverty eradication and women’s economic empowerment; violence against women, gender stereotypes and stigmatization; women’s underrepresentation in political and electoral processes; and the specific challenges experienced by rural women and ethnic minority women (such as their limited access to health). The report concludes with a note on the urgency of overcoming these challenges before it negatively affects the economic and political position of young women.
- Viet Nam – Civil Society report on Gender-based Violence
This report focuses on the progress and challenges encountered in eliminating gender-based violence in Viet Nam between 2014-2019. It starts with a general description of women’s position in public and private life. The report then highlights the issues of domestic violence, sexual harassment and abuse, and harmful practices. The latter refers to issues like sex selection at birth; early and forced marriage; consanguine marriage; and human trafficking. Despite the existing legal framework for preventing gender-based violence, the government response has been inadequate in terms of offering access to justice, victim protection, penalties and compensation. The report lists among other the following recommendations: increase awareness raising activities to recognize gender-based violence as a social issue; strengthen victim support; address harmful perceptions and behaviours of men; integrate life skills education in the school curriculum; and develop a comprehensive data collection system.