Call for Papers: Beijing Platform for Action at 25: progress, retreat and the future of women’s rights

Conference: Melbourne Law School | 2-3 December 2020

The Fourth World Conference on Women was held in Beijing in September 1995. The Conference adopted a Declaration and a Platform for Action, which identified 12 ‘critical areas of concern’: poverty, access to education; access to healthcare; violence against women; armed conflict; economic inequality; inequality in power and decision-making; promotion of the advancement of women; women’s human rights; media stereotyping of women; the environment; the girl child.

While the Beijing Conference and its outcome documents were regarded as an ambivalent success by some contemporary observers, 25 years later it seems a very progressive moment in the history of women’s rights. Global politics have changed to the point that it is difficult to imagine that the Declaration or Platform could be negotiated in the same terms today.

To mark the occasion of Beijing +25 and to consider the influence of the conference and outcome documents, the Institute for International Law and the Humanities, Melbourne Law School together with the Australian Human Rights Institute, UNSW Sydney, are co-hosting a conference to consider the advances, and retreats, in the situation of women internationally over the past 25 years. It will also identify possible avenues for responding to gender inequality and women’s rights now and into the future.

We invite abstracts (up to 300 words) for papers that address any aspect of the Beijing Conference, Declaration or Platform for Action including issues related to the impact of the conference, implementation of the Platform and future relevance.

We particularly encourage abstracts from early career researchers and are accepting papers from Australian and overseas-based researchers.

The format of the event will depend on the prevailing COVID-19 restrictions and will definitely include the opportunity for remote presentations.

Limited funding may be available for travel expenses for ECRs who have been selected to present a paper should we be able to meet in person.

Abstracts should be submitted to:

Deadline for abstracts: Monday 13 July.

Submission outcomes will be announced: Monday 17 August.


General view of the Main Committee of the Fourth World Conference on Women, at its first meeting, held on 5 September 1995 in Beijing. Credit: UN/DPI 051114/Zhang Yan Hu

PDF icon Call for Papers Beijing Platform for Action at 25.pdf148.9 KB




Beyond ANU

Date posted

Friday, 26 June 2020

Updated:  7 November 2012/Responsible Officer:  Convenor, Gender Institute/Page Contact:  Web manager, Gender Institute