A little over a week ago I sat in on two days’ worth of empowerment activities beginning with Women’s Intercultural Network’s annual meeting on Saturday and a film festival appearance hosted by Futures Without Violence and Women Make Movies.
2015 marks the 20 year anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, an agenda created at the United Nations 4th World Conference on Women that took place in Beijing in 1995. As a defining framework for change, the Platform for Action made comprehensive commitments under 12 critical areas of concern. Even 20 years later, it remains a powerful source of guidance and inspiration. Our last session at UN headquarters centered around discussing Beijing Plus 20 to benchmark progress the BPFA has made for women and girls globally under the 12 critical areas of concern and how far we still have left to go to improve existing conditions.
On day one of the meetings I spoke on a panel about the CEDAW ordnance and the Cities for CEDAW campaign to encourage mayors from around the country to adopt the treaty into practice. CEDAW, adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly, is often described as an international bill of rights for women. Consisting of a preamble and 30 articles, it defines what constitutes discrimination against women and sets up an agenda for national action to end such discrimination.
The following day I had the honor of being a featured speaker at the Women Make Movies film festival about 50 Women, Book One and the upcoming Book Two (November 2015) and the importance of first – person narrative in the media.