Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action

The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action is a global commitment to achieving equality, development and peace for women worldwide. It was adopted in September 1995 at the Fourth World Conference on Women. It builds upon consensus and progress made at earlier UN conferences, particularly the Conference on Women in Nairobi in 1985.

Among the critical areas of concern that need to be addressed for the achievement of equality are the rights of the girl child. Article 39 and 93 describes female genital mutilation as a form of harmful practice affecting young girls. The declaration also classifies FGM as a form of violence against women and a grave risk to women and girls. Governments are urged to promote awareness programmes that aim to change harmful attitudes and practices like FGM and in addition, make it punishable by law.