Last year marked the 25th anniversary of the fourth United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing, regarded as a turning point for the global agenda on gender equality. The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA) adopted at the conference is considered the international ‘Bill of Rights’ for women, defining women’s rights as human rights and setting goals across a range of issues affecting women and girls. Under the BPfA, the EU and its Member States committed to achieving concrete targets in twelve critical areas. This 25-year review was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, which is now also having substantive impacts on gender equality per se. The European Commission and Council are expected to report on Europe’s progress on the BPfA and future challenges, during the European Parliament’s plenary session in February 2021.
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