Fourth World Conference on Women

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The United Nations convened the Fourth World Conference on Women: Action for Equality, Development and Peace on 4–15 September 1995 in Beijing, China. Delegates had prepared a Declaration and Platform for Action aimed at achieving greater equality and opportunity for women.

In fallout from pre-conference meetings, the Holy See publicly disagreed with positions outlined by the United States and other nations concerning abortion, reproductive rights, and other sensitive issues.[1]

Aung San Suu Kyi delivered the keynote address at the conference.[2]

Beijing Declaration of Indigenous Women[edit]

A major result of the conference was the Beijing Declaration of Indigenous Women, signed at the NGO Forum in the Indigenous Women's Tent.[3] This document seeks, in part, to reconcile the tension felt by Aboriginal women activists between (primarily white) feminism and Aboriginal movements dominated by men.[4]

The 50-point declaration provides rationale and a clear call to action for governments navigating Aboriginal issues across the globe. The demands in the document are "that all governments and international non-governmental and governmental organizations recognize the right of Indigenous peoples to self-determination, and enshrine the historical, political, social, cultural, economic, and religious rights of the Indigenous peoples in their constitutions and legal systems."[3] From that premise, the declaration goes on to specify areas for action including self-determination; development, education and health; human rights violations and violence against Indigenous women; intellectual and cultural heritage; and political participation.

The document addresses the unique problems Aboriginal women suffer in addition to those suffered by Aboriginal men, which include erosion of culture (and gender roles therein), loss of traditional land, and compromised identity and status in the spaces they inhabit.[5]

As its bases, the declaration cites the "UN Declaration of the International Decade of the World's Indigenous peoples, the Draft Declaration of the Rights of the Indigenous peoples, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Nairobi Forward Looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, Agenda 21 and the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, the Cairo Declaration, and the Copenhagen Social Summit Declaration."[6]


  1. ^ Tagliabue, John (August 26, 1995). "Vatican Attacks U.S.-Backed Draft for Women's Conference". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-04-29. 
  2. ^ "". Retrieved 12 October 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Beijing Declaration of Indigenous Women". Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism. 
  4. ^ Green, Joyce (2007). "Balancing Strategies: Aboriginal Women and Constitutional Rights in Canada". Making Space for Indigenous Feminism. 
  5. ^ Sayers, Judith F.; Kelly A. MacDonald (2001). "A Strong and Meaningful Role for First Nations Women in Governance". First Nations Women, Governance and the Indian Act: A Collection of Policy Research Reports: 11. 
  6. ^ "Beijing Declaration of Indigenous Women". Third World Network. 

External links[edit]