Women’s Rights in 2020
Across the globe, world leaders, civil societies and the private sector are set to make Women’s Rights in 2020 a priority.
2020 is a milestone year for Women’s Rights for several reasons. It marks 100 years since U.S. women won the right to vote, 25 years since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, 10 years since UN Women was established and 5 years since the Sustainable Development Goals were adopted. The anniversaries of these landmark events causes us to consider how far we’ve come.
Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action
The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action is a declaration aimed at achieving greater equality and opportunity for women, which was unanimously adopted by 189 countries at the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China, in 1995. While a lot has changed in the 25 years since, the 12 actionable areas outlined in the document, such as ending violence against women, securing girls’ rights and equal pay for work of equal value, are still just as relevant today. Many countries have already submitted reports on the progress they have made and obstacles they have faced regarding the declaration. While headway has been made, not a single country has achieved gender equality:
- More women and girls have access to education yet the gender pay gap remains
- While global poverty has declined, women aged 25–34 are 25 per cent more likely than men to live in extreme poverty
- Over three quarters of countries have laws against domestic violence yet it is estimated that 35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual violence and 1 in 10 women in the European Union report having experienced cyber-harassment since the age of 15
Advancements in technology over the last quarter of a century mean that approaches to activism for women’s rights in 2020 have changed. The advent of social media in the current day provides millions with a platform to make their voice heard. Online campaigns such as such as #MeToo, have gained traction and dominated headlines in recent years, bringing gender equality and women’s rights back into the forefront.
What we can do for Women’s Rights in 2020
It is important to remember that any way in which an individual can advocate for gender equality makes a difference. This doesn’t require joining feminist groups or going on marches – teach your children about gender equality, defy gender stereotypes at home by sharing care responsibilities, and do not participant in, condone, or ignore sexist language. Expect 2020 to be a massive year for Women’s Rights across the sector and beyond.