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UN rights body commemorates historic Beijing conference on women
update:February 27,2020
GENEVA, Feb.27,2020 -- The United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council held a high-level panel discussion on Tuesday to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the "Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action," adopted at the 4th World Conference on Women held in the Chinese capital in 1995.
In her keynote address, Michelle Bachelet, UN high commissioner for human rights, described the Beijing World Conference on Women as a historic step forward.
The conference "was a reminder that women were not requesting any special rights. They were not asking for any concessions, privileges or entitlements .. (what they wanted was) the same rights as men. They were calling for an end of pervasive and centuries-old gender-based discrimination," she said.
For Bachelet, the Beijing Declaration was a rejection of traditional notions, such as that violence against women should be dealt with within the family and that women should be kept away from classrooms.
Although the world was still far from achieving full gender equality, "the percentage of women in paid jobs has increased," and "over 140 countries guarantee gender equality in their constitutions," she noted.
"I am happy to be here with you to cherish this progress," she said, adding that "the Beijing agenda is unfinished."
"We are seeing pushbacks and the resurgence of narratives against gender equality based on centuries-long discrimination," she said, stressing that "we will not tear apart the women's rights agenda" and that "we must resist all challenges to the hard-won affirmation of what we know: that women's rights are human rights."
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