Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing


Press conference during the Fourth World Conference on Women, September 1995The United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women (FWCW or Beijing), held in Beijing, China, from 4 till 15 September 1995, was the largest and most influential of all the World Conferences on Women. Nearly 180 government delegations and 2.500 nongovernmental organizations met to discuss a broad range of issues concerning women. They drew on and moved beyond language agreed upon at earlier international conferences, including the International Conference on Population and Development in 1994. The Beijing Conference was a turning point in the world's understanding of women's human rights.


The Declaration and Platform for Action which were adopted at the close of the conference set out the strategic objectives and actions which must be pursued in order to overcome the obstacles to the advancement of women.


Twelve areas have been identified which constitute obstacles to the advancement of women and therefore require specific action: women and poverty; education and training of women; women and health; violence against women; women and armed conflict; women and the economy; women in power and decision-making; institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women; the human rights of women; women and the media; women and the environment; the girl child.


The Beijing Conference also highlighted the concept of gender and the need to incorporate gender equality in all institutions, policies and actions of the United Nations' Member States.


The Secretaries-General of the four United Nations Conferences on WomenA special session of the United Nations in 2000, entitled "Women 2000:Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the 21st Century" (Beijing + 5), was a follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women.


During the conference, the Secretaries-General of the four United Nations Conferences on Women met. From the left: Mrs. Helvi Sipila, Finland, Secretary-General of the first conference held in Mexico City in 1975; Mrs. Lucille Mair, Jamaica, Secretary-General of the second conference in Copenhagen in 1980; Mrs. Leticia Shahani, Philippines, Secretary-General of the third conference in Nairobi in 1985; and Mrs. Gertrude Mongella of the United Republic of Tanzania, Secretary-General of the Fourth Conference in Beijing. (Photo: UN/DPI 051620 by Chen Kai Xing)





The official web page of the conference with all documents, statements and a photo gallery.



Stamp catalogue


Tunisia                        6 September 1995









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last revised: 15 February 2008