The year 1995 was a turning point for the women’s movement in Africa and the world at large with the unanimous adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA) by 189 countries. This agenda has been defined as the most progressive blueprint ever for advancing women’s rights and the key global policy document with historic commitments to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment. The agenda is one of the few women’s rights instruments that has received high praise for ushering in enormous improvements in the lives of women and girls across the globe. More women and girls than at any previous point in time serve in political offices, are protected by laws and policies against violence against women and live under constitutions that guarantee gender equality and equity.
The commemoration of 25 years of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action accorded Akina Mama wa Afrika an opportunity to document and amplify the voices of African women as they critiqued progress in achievement of the aspirations of the framework, from a feminist perspective. AMwA invited African women to harness the power of the Beijing platform to imagine a world where each woman and girl can exercise their freedoms, choices and enjoy all their rights by assessing the changes over the last 25 years in the pursuit of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
The Dispatch features critical analyses that examine progress, identify challenges and seek better ways to fulfill promises made in the Beijing Platform for Action specific to the African continent.