ISSJ - N° 184 - Women's Empowerment Ten Years after Beijing

June 2005

Editorial adviser: Valentine M. Moghadam

The UN conferences of the 1990s established that women’s rights are human rights, that gender equality is central to progress in development and democracy, and that women’s empowerment, long a demand of the women’s movement, would be supported by governments and international organizations. The 1995 Beijing Platform for Action was heralded as a referendum on the human rights of women in twelve critical areas of concern, ranging from women’s socio-economic rights (such as equality in education, access to employment and income, elimination of poverty) to women’s political participation and combating violence against women.

This special issue of the International Social Science Journal is devoted to a stock-taking of women’s social, economic, cultural, and political situation and rights across the globe, ten years after the Beijing Conference. Contributions have been grouped into three broad themes: analyses of political and economic developments affecting women in Asia and Africa; transnational processes; and legal instruments, gender indicators, and measurement of women’s empowerment. This conceptual, methodological, and political stock-taking of the past ten years shows the progress that has been made – and the work still to be done by governments, international organizations, and women’s groups.

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