Words and Deeds: Holding Governments Accountable in the Beijing +15 Review Process

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Tony award-winning Sarah Jones performs Women Can't Wait! Watch the performance At the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, governments pledged to repeal all discriminatory laws. In June 2000, a Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly reviewed implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and governments pledged to review domestic legislation “with a view to striving to remove discriminatory provisions as soon as possible, preferably by 2005…” The 2005 deadline was not met and laws that explicitly discriminate against women remain in force in many countries.

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To highlight the gap between women’s realities in countries around the world and the commitments made by governments ten years ago, Equality Now has issued Words and Deeds: Holding Governments Accountable in the Beijing +15 Review Process, an updated version of the Beijing +5 report published by Equality Now in 1999 in preparation for the 2000 Special Session of the General Assembly and the Beijing +10 report, published in 2004 in anticipation of the 10th anniversary of Beijing. The report highlights a representative sampling of discriminatory laws in countries around the world and calls on their governments to rescind these laws in accordance with the commitment made in the Beijing Platform for Action.

See the interactive map or summary of laws for an overview of the laws highlighted in the report. For a synopsis of Equality Now's Beijing +15 report, see Unequal Under the Law.

Equality Now called for the creation of a United Nations Special Mechanism on equality before the law, and convened a coalition of non-governmental organizations around the world to support this initiative. On 1 October 2010 at the 15th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC), member states adopted by consensus a resolution to create this new mechanism to accelerate the elimination of discrimination against women in law and practice. (Read our  statement to the United Nations' 2010 Annual ministerial review (PDF, 31K)).

See the media coverage on this campaign.

To see older versions of Words and Deeds:
Beijing +5 report
Beijing +10 report (PDF, 196K)