Fifteen-year review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in Africa (BPfA) +15: Synthesis Report 1995-2009 (E/ECA/ARCW/8/5)
16 - 20 November 2009
Banjul, The Gambia
1. In March 2010, Governments will assemble in New York to review progress made in implementing the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA), fifteen (15) years after its adoption. In this context, Africa, supported by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), is reviewing its performance in delivering the outcomes agreed upon in 2004 in Addis Ababa at the Seventh Africa Regional Conference on Women (Beijing +10). During that review meeting, member States "renewed their commitment to gender equality, equity and empowerment of women and suggested concrete steps to address the gaps between commitment and implementation".1 The African ministers in charge of gender and women's affairs together with other world Governments further reconfirmed and recognized the importance of the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action at the forty-ninth session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York in 2005. They emphasized the need for effective implementation of the BPfA.2
2. The Beijing Plus 15 review takes place against a backdrop of frameworks put in place to accelerate the implementation of the commitments to gender equality, equity and empowerment of women, which are central to the BPfA. At the global level, the United Nations Security Council adopted resolutions 1820 and 1888 in 2009 to strengthen the implementation of its resolution 1325 (2000), which calls on Member States to address the issues of gender, peace and security. At the regional level, the African Union (AU) has a gender policy designed to strengthen national gender policies and to ensure a harmonized delivery framework in order to accelerate the implementation of gender equality commitments. The African Union Summit of January 2009 declared that the decade commencing in 2010 will be the African Decade on Gender. At the subregional level, the regional economic communities (RECs) have complemented the global and regional frameworks by integrating various resolutions and commitments into their policies and programmes of action. For instance, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has adopted a protocol on gender equality, while the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has put in place a gender policy to guide its member States in accelerating delivery.