Beijing Platform for Action

The Beijing Platform for Action, adopted at the UN’s Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, China, 1995), at which Ireland participated, addresses, in particular, 12 critical areas of concern to women globally.

The Beijing Platform for Action is an agenda for women’s empowerment. It aims at removing all the obstacles to women’s active participation in all spheres of public and private life through ensuring women a full and equal share in economic, social, cultural and political decision-making. This means that the principle of shared power and responsibility should be established between women and men at home, in the workplace, and in the wider national and international communities.

Equality between women and men is a matter of human rights and a condition for social justice. It is also a necessary and fundamental prerequisite for equality, development and peace. To this end, governments, the international community and civil society, including non-governmental organisations and the private sector, are called upon to take strategic action in the following twelve critical areas of concern identified in the Platform for 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 
  • Human rights of women 
  • Women and the media 
  • Women and the environment 
  • The girl-child

Reports prepared by Ireland in response to Beijing

The Department of Justice and Equality has published the following reports in relation to these commitments:

European Union and Beijing Platform for Action

The EU support of the Beijing Platform for Action was affirmed at the highest political level by heads of government at the European Council Summit in Madrid in December 1995. This visible political support has framed the implementation and follow-up of the Beijing Platform for Action since then and continues to provide the impetus for progress.

Since 1999, the EPSCO Council has – each year – adopted conclusions on indicators and benchmarks, thus making the annual monitoring process more focused and structured. Sets of quantitative and qualitative indicators have been developed by subsequent presidencies, based on material supplied by member states including Ireland, in some of the 12 critical areas of concern in the Beijing Platform for Action.

EU Indicators for the Beijing Platform for Action

In 1995, the Fourth World Conference on Women adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action for Equality, Development and Peace (BPfA). The BPfA is an agenda for women’s empowerment. It reaffirms the fundamental principle whereby the human rights of women and the girl child are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights. As an agenda for action, the BPfA seeks to promote and protect the full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by women throughout their lives.