Arab States region looks ahead to 25th Anniversary of Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action
Date: Friday, December 6, 2019
Following a comprehensive and inclusive regional review process that has spanned nearly 12 months, on 28 November governments, civil society organizations, and youth representatives from across the Arab States region met to agree on a set of priorities and strategies to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in light of the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
The regional review process culminated in the Arab States High-Level Conference on the Beijing+25 Review hosted in Amman, Jordan, by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and UN Women Regional Office for the Arab States, in partnership with the League of Arab States (LAS), and the Arab Women Organization (AWO). The conference was preceded by a parallel civil society and youth meeting which also discussed and reviewed the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in the region.
Attended by over 150 participants representing Member States from across the region, the meeting adopted an outcome declaration based on the findings of the consolidated regional report.
The “Arab Declaration on Progress in the Implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action after 25 years” reaffirmed commitments on 11 key actions to achieve the goals of the Beijing Declaration and Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development:
- Continue legislative reform to address discrimination against women and girls, including legislative and policy frameworks to address violence against women and girls (VAWG);
- Strengthen implementation of UN Security Council resolutions pertaining to women and girls affected by conflict, and develop national plans and strategies accordingly;
- Address negative social norms and stereotypes concerning the role of women;
- Review social protection policies for greater inclusion;
- Provide essential services to the survivors of VAWG;
- Ensure rural and urban women benefit equally from development programmes;
- Ensure women’s access to leadership positions in the public and private sectors, including as members of the judiciary;
- Develop the work of national women’s machineries and equip them with the necessary tools and resources;
- Develop gender-disaggregated data and data systems for national strategies;
- Continue joint action, regional partnerships and programmes to improve the status of women;
- Continue effective monitoring of progress in the implementation of the Beijing Platform.
Voices of the Beijing+25 Review
“This regional review plays a pivotal role in the global Beijing+25 process. It brings the findings of the individual national reports into a broader context and represents a timely opportunity to highlight pressing issues, assess regional trends in implementation, and feed into our global actions.”
Executive Director, UN Women
“Women's full participation in the economy on an equal footing with men could increase global GDP by $28 trillion, and Arab GDP by $1.5 trillion by 2025. Gender equity in wages could increase global wealth by an estimated $160 trillion in absolute terms, and Arab wealth by $8.5 trillion.”
Ms. Rola Dashti
Executive Secretary, ESCWA
“The Beijing Declaration is an important pillar for the empowerment of women at the global and regional level. The League of Arab States is committed to accelerating progress on all priority areas of action of the Beijing Declaration, promoting a unified Arab position on women's empowerment.”
Amb. Haifa Abu Ghazaleh
Asst. Secretary-General, League of Arab States
“We are looking back at 25 years of significant changes in the Arab States. Now is the time to multiply efforts to support women at all levels, especially those affected by armed conflict.”
Ms. Fadia Kiwan
Director, Arab Women Organization
"We see the Beijing+25 review process as an opportunity to share our rage and to address structural barriers in the region that are still stopping us from realizing our full rights."
Ms. Hayat Mirshad
Young feminist advocate, Lebanon
Read the full text of the Arab Declaration here.
All photos: UN Women/Lauren Rooney