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Words and Deeds: Holding Governments Accountable in the Beijing+20 Review Process

In 1995, at the historic United Nations 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing, governments from around the world agreed on one of the most progressive plans to advance women’s rights and achieve gender equality – the Beijing Platform for Action.

In it States committed to “revoke any remaining laws that discriminate on the basis of sex.”

The fourth edition report of Equality Now’s ongoing global advocacy campaign to hold governments accountable to the pledge made at the historic UN 4th World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995) to end sex discrimination in the law.

At the conference, 189 governments agreed on a comprehensive roadmap – the Beijing Platform for Action – to advance women’s rights and achieve gender equality.

In this Beijing+20 edition of our report, and in the previous editions, a geographic sampling of explicitly sex discriminatory laws relating to marital status, personal status, economic status, and in addressing violence against women are highlighted to plainly show the unequal treatment of women and girls in the law.

More than half of the laws highlighted in our 1999, 2004, and 2010 reports have been fully or partially repealed or amended.