World Conference on Women in Beijing 1995


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"Equality, development and peace" is the motto of the fourth World Conference on Women which will take place in China. The objective of this conference is to evaluate the global process of emancipation on the one hand and to highlight measures to stimulate this process on the other hand.

The period from 1975 to 1985 was declared the Decade of the Advancement of Women by the United Nations. This decade was marked by the World Conferences on Women in Mexico (1975), Copenhagen (1980) and Nairobi (1985). During these conferences women from all over the world gathered to talk about their emancipation and the obstacles hindering this process.

The Nairobi conference was a breakthrough. Women from the South and the North agreed on the final document: the Forward Looking Strategies (FLS). With the acceptance of the FLS the woman's decade was finished. The document which contains 372 paragraphs should remove the obstacles to the process of emancipation of women before the year 2000; 150 governments - amongst which the Dutch - signed the document.

Five years later the global process of emancipation appeared to stagnate. The realization of the FLS appeared to be extremely difficult. A decline in the position of women was even observed. To change this development the United Nations decided to call for a fourth World Conference on Women. This conference will take place in Bejing (China) in September 1995. During this conference the participants will work on a new action document which is called: "Platform for Action". This document consists of ten main fields, the so-called 'critical areas'. These are:


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