Beijing Platform for Action: a Regional Review Skip to main content

Beijing Platform for Action: a Regional Review

11
November
2014

On 22 and 23 October 2014 ESCWA Centre for Women (ECW) organized an expert group meeting, to review the progress realized on the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, 20 years after its adoption in the Arab region. ECW Director Samira Atallah chaired the meeting, alongside Head of the Arab League's Department for Women, Family and Childhood Inas Mekawy and UN Women Deputy Regional Director for Arab States Mohammad Naciri. Attendees were representatives of public administrations and national women machineries in Arab countries, together with regional experts. The meeting meant to present, discuss, and validate the "Regional Review Report on the Implementation of Beijing Platform for Action in the Arab Region". In her opening remarks, Atallah stressed that as the world moves closer to 2015, it needs to secure women representation at each step of the way, through involving women in all phases of development, right from envisioning the problem, until phrasing policies that offer solutions to this predicament. For her part, Mekkawy shed light on the influence of security, instability and armed conflicts, on the disparity in-between Arab States' capabilities, and concerns for women's issues in general in the Arab region. As for the political empowerment of women, Mekkawy asserted that the Arab region is experiencing drastic changes and new reforms in governance following many uprisings that demanded dignity, freedom and equality; uprisings during which women were pioneers, but whose role was not reflected in the rights of women in legislation and empowerment mechanisms. As for Naciri, he illustrated the gains of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action for girls, and commended it as an important starting point and a tool to highlight serious concerns. However, Naciri added that work should be exerted to ensure the representation of women each step of the way and to include women in all development phases, starting with the identification of problems and leading up to the conception of policies and solutions. In this regard, he especially noted the importance of the presence of women's voices in making economic and poverty-alleviation policies.