In 1995, in China, 189 countries adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a comprehensive roadmap to raise the status of women.
Sometimes the thing that is stifling our progress sits right under our nose, in full view. We can sense it but don’t see it for what it really is. We don’t connect the dots.
Anne Summers made me think about this during her speech this week marking 40 years since the publication of her landmark feminist text, Damned Whores and God’s Police. She noted that when women’s activists set up Australia’s first women’s refuge, Elsie, they didn’t talk about violence against women, or domestic violence, or sexual harassment. They didn’t use that terminology because it hadn’t been coined. Instead, their efforts to support women fleeing violent marriages were intuitive, grassroots responses, to a systemic form of abuse against women – that hadn’t yet been named.
Key female figures reflect on the landmark 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing and, 20 years on, focus on the challenges that remain to achieving gender equality.
In 1975 the United Nations held its first World Conference on Women in Mexico City to coincide with International Women’s Year and the United Nations Decade for Women.
Here are some key milestones and flashbacks in the journey to gender equality in Australia since that conference.
Q&A with Julie McKay, Exec Dir UN Women National Committee Australia, on gender equality and her hopes for Australia
I don’t think Tony Abbott or Bill Shorten have met Emma Watson. But this week, ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8, they are both going to be channelling her, or at least trying to do so.
For those driven to improve the parlous state of women around the world, and who care deeply about ending inequality, it can be confronting to find yourself turning to men who – in a perfect world – you wouldn’t normally need to court.