Beijing Platform for Action
The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, or BPfA is a landmark document for advancing women’s rights and gender equality worldwide, agreed upon during the 4th World Conference on women in 1995. The international community came to a consensus and agreed to a comprehensive blueprint of commitments supporting the full development of women and their equality with men in 12 areas of concern: (1) women and poverty; (2) education and training of women; (3) women and health; (4) violence against women; (5) women and armed conflict; (6) women and the economy; (7) women in power and decision-making; (8) institutional mechanisms; (9) human rights of women; (10) women and media; (11) women and the environment; (12) the girl child.
The BPfA affirmed the principles that would govern future actions and strategies for women and firmly established an agenda for empowering women by integrating their concerns into national plans and policies. Governments and the UN agreed to promote gender mainstreaming as a strategy to ensure that a gender perspective is reflected in all policies and programs at the national, regional, and international levels.
For the Philippines, the Beijing Conference broadened the discussions on women’s rights to include violence against women, women’s leadership and political participation, and economic concerns. It connected what was previously regarded as women’s issues with other pressing concerns on the environment, human rights, population, and armed conflict. The country also adopted gender mainstreaming as a strategy to advance women’s rights in the country.
The country submitted its Philippine Progress Report on implementing the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action and the Outcomes of the 23rd Special Session of the General Assembly (2000), or BPfA+20, in 2015. It provided an overview of the major achievements and challenges since the passage of the BPfA in 1995, updates on the 12 BPfA areas of concern covering the period 2009-2013, as well as the emerging issues to inform the future process of selecting the post-2015 development agenda and successors to the Millennium Development Goals.
In 2019, the State submitted the BPfA+25 Progress Report, which includes an assessment of current challenges that affect the implementation of the agreements enshrined in the BPfA. It also highlighted major achievements on gender equality and women empowerment and its contribution towards the full realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through a gender perspective. The Report was launched officially in August 2019 as part of the 10th-anniversary celebration of the passage of the Magna Carta of Women.
Led by the Philippine Commission on Women, the State again went through a participatory process in developing the BPfA+25 Progress Report. A National Steering Committee was created and chaired by the PCW and technical working groups composed of government agencies and non-government organizations. Meetings, consultations, and other related events/activities have been convened/held to facilitate the drafting and submission of the BPFA+20 Progress Report in accordance with the Guidance Notes produced by the UN Women.
The 12 Areas of Concern