Celebrating blueprint for women's rights

UN Photo/Milton Grant

The Good News of the Week: A quarter of those sitting in national parliaments around the world are women. Twice the share as in 1995.

PublishedSep 11, 2020
AuthorIngvill Bryn Rambøl
Nobel Peace Center


This week marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and platform for action – an international blueprint for the advancement of gender equality and empowerment of women and girls. We mark the anniversary by celebrating the important progress that has been made: a quarter of those sitting in national parliaments around the world are now women. Twice as many as in 1995.

"Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights. "
- Hillary Clinton in Beijing for the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, 1995.

The famous words of the First Lady of the United States Hillary Clinton made the UN Conference on Women in Beijing historic. 30,000 activists, politicians and gender equality workers, from all over the world, was gathered in China to set the course for the work on women's rights. Together, they developed the Beijing Platform - an action plan for equality that all countries should work towards, with goals and measures to strengthen women's economic, social and political rights. But 25 years later – not a single country has achieved the goals of full equality between women and men.

90% of the world's income goes into the pockets of men. They hold 73 per cent of all management positions, and they take up over 70 per cent of the seats around tables where climate and peace agreements are negotiated.

But in some areas, progress for gender equality and women's rights has been evident and measurable, and one of them is the proportion of women in the world's national parliaments. When the Beijing Platform was adopted, less than 12 percent of the world's parliamentarians were women. Now the share has doubled to almost 25 percent. And if you believe that it is the Nordic countries that are at the top of this statistic, you must think again. Rwanda is the world champion on female MPs, with over 60 percent. Both Cuba, Bolivia and the United Arab Emirates have over 50. Norway is in 16th place with 41 percent.

On Friday 11 September Åslaug Sem-Jacobsen, MP and ambassador to the network Women Political Leaders, released a peace dove from the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, to mark the 25th anniversary.

Graphic: Nobel Peace Center


Every Friday at noon, the Nobel Peace Center will release a peace dove together with “The good news of the week.”The dove is released from a window at the Nobel Peace Center, situated on the City Hall Square. As the dove crosses the square, the John Lennon song Give Peace a Chance will play from the bell towers.


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