Twenty-five years ago, the World Conference on Women in Beijing immortalised the notion that human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights. The Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law has integrated this notion in our work. The aim is to strengthen institutions and networks for the promotion and protection of human rights around the world. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, we are pleased to share research papers on women’s human rights and the legal empowerment of women.
In gathering this, we have brought together Chinese and international experts to reflect on progress and challenges since the 1995 landmark conference, by reviewing the critical areas of concern stated in the Beijing Platform for Action.
Contributors and Experts
The Human Rights of Women by Liu Xiaonan
Abstract: The human rights of women and girls are an inalienable and integral part of universal human rights. In their capacity as a core principle, the human rights of women run through the Platform for Action adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995, and are one of its critical areas of concern. Over the past 25 years since this Conference, and especially in the last five years, China has made great progress in improving women’s rights, more specifically in protecting women’s rights and pursuing the three strategic objectives put forward by the Platform for Action.
However, the following measures still need to be taken to eliminate the remaining shortcomings: strict implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and other human rights instruments, guarantee gender equality in both law and practice, and reinforce social awareness of the relevant laws.
About Liu Xiaonan
Liu Xiaonan is Professor of China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL) Institute for Human Rights and Director of the Constitutionalism Research Institute of CUPL where she teaches anti-discrimination law, gender and human rights, and jurisprudence. Liu has undertaken projects on equality and non-discrimination with a number of international academic institutions in the past two decades.
Since 2017, she has been engaged in human rights and gender teaching capacity building for Chinese university teachers with support from the Raoul Wallenberg Institute and the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights. Professor Liu is the author of “Hong Kong and Taiwan Gender Equality and Legislation and Case Studies”, “20 Years On: How Far Have We Progressed? – The Development of Chinese Women’s Rights in the last 20 years following the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women”, editor of a textbook on discrimination law, and chief editor and author of the first Gender and Human Rights Textbook in China.
My Journey as a Public Interest Lawyer for the Rights of Women: Passion, Dream, Responsibility, Action and Thinking by Guo Jianmei
About Guo Jianmei
Guo Jianmei is a public interest lawyer and Founder and director of Beijing Qianqian Law Firm. In 1995, she founded the Center for Women’s Law Studies and Legal Services of Peking University, which was the first public interest NGO specifically aimed at offering free legal aid to women.
To date, Guo Jianmei and her team of lawyers has provided free legal counselling to over 50,000 women in questions related to marriage law, property rights, labour rights, gender discrimination in the workplace, land rights, and many other important legal fields, represented more than 100,000 women in over 1500 court cases all over China, organized more than 250 training and seminars on women’s rights and interests, published 16 professional books and more than 300 articles, submitted over 110 legal opinions, research reports, and legislative proposals.
Their persistent advocacy for women’s legal rights has made a significant contribution to the improvement of several relevant pieces of legislation in China.
A Conversation with Margot Wallström on Women’s Human Rights and Feminist Foreign Policy
In light of International Women’s Day and 25 year mark since the World Conference on Women in Beijing we held a conversation with former Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs on feminist foreign policy and women’s human rights.
Margot Wallström is a Swedish politician of the Social Democratic Party who served as Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2014 until 2019. In 2014, as newly-appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs, Margot Wallström launched Sweden’s feminist foreign policy. Wallström served as the first United Nations Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict from 2010 to 2012, and as European Commissioner from 1999 to 2010. From 1988 to 1998, she held several Minister posts in different departments of the Swedish Government.
An Interview with Göran Melander
An interview with Göran Melander on the evolution of women’s rights and the remaining challenges since the 1995 Beijing Declaration. Göran Melander is one of the founders, former Director, former Chairperson and Professor Emeritus of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute. He was a member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women 2001-2004.
Due to circumstances beyond our control, we unfortunately have to cancel our planned event “Accelerating the Realisation of Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women” scheduled for March 8, 2021.
Instead, to mark International Women’s Day and commemorate the 25th anniversary of the World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 with us, we encourage you to re-visit this page, where we will post interviews and articles by some of the experts and speakers we had lined up for the event.
We greatly appreciate the great interest in this event from all around the world and look forward to inviting you to our future activities on gender equality and the human rights of women.