Ask an activist: Twenty-five years since the adoption of Beijing Platform for Action, how far have we come, and is the Platform relevant for young people?


About the author

Hana Faidi. Photo: UN Women/Emad Karim

Hana Faidi, 23, is a project consultant for an economic empowerment project at the Libyan Women’s Forum based in Tripoli, Libya. She also hones women’s negotiation and mediation skills. She is among the 500 participants of theTunis Forum on Gender Equality(24 – 26 April) to take stock of the progress made in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration, nearly 25 years on

Now more than ever, we need to revisit the Beijing Platform for Action and remind ourselves of its importance and why it came about.

The Beijing Platform is one of the most progressive blueprints for advancing women’s rights and it provided global visibility, which the women’s movement really needed. It also empowered an entire generation of women to fight openly for their basic rights. Look no further than the Women’s March to see the effects of the Beijing Platform. We are not afraid to fight for our rights and we have made a great amount of progress.

But there is still the need for improvement— women still face discrimination in the work force, but also in school, and even in sports! Our credibility is continuously questioned, our expertise second-guessed.

The political climate today is attacking the progress that we have made in our fight towards equality.

The 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action is important for young people because we are the future. It provides us with a strategy to continue our fight. It [reaffirms] that the fight is not over, and it is still attainable.

I think our generation [youth] over the past several years has also proven its ability to take things into our hands, [such as] the Arab Spring, our commitment to reversing climate change. Championing gender equality and protecting women’s rights wouldn’t be any different.