2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women (FWCW) held in Beijing. Amid the global action to prevent and control the COVID-19 pandemic, Gender Equality for a Better World-International Youth Action·Beijing 2020 (hereinafter referred to as "Beijing Action 2020") was held online to inherit the spirit of the FWCW and give full play to the advantages of Beijing as the host city. Beijing Action 2020 was co-hosted by Beijing Women's Federation and the Foreign Affairs Office of the People's Government of Beijing Municipality, and co-organized by the Beijing Women's International Center and CRI Online.
With the theme of "Beijing +25: Inheriting Torch of Gender Equality", and based on the online activity forms including bilingual feature programs with English and Chinese subtitles and special web page in English, Beijing Action 2020 invited participants of the Fourth World Conference on Women to review their experience of attending the event, and youths around the world to share their thoughts on gender equality. They jointly expressed the determination and expectations for promoting the cause of gender equality. There is also the multilingual promotion programs around the world to further publicize the event.
Participants: holding the "torch" of gender equality together
Li Yingtao, Professor of the School of International Relations and Diplomacy of the Beijing Foreign Studies University
For participants of the Fourth World Conference on Women, the autumn of 2020 in Beijing reminds them of the autumn of 1995. Li Yingtao, professor of the School of International Relations and Diplomacy of the Beijing Foreign Studies University, shared with her students the unforgettable experience of participating in the NGO Forum of the FWCW in Beijing. Li Yingtao clearly remembered that the women participating in the conference displayed the progress China has made in the field of women's liberation and gender equality by showing their own natural feet. After attending the conference, Li Yingtao started continuous and in-depth study on global women's development and gender equality. Thus, in the following 25 years of her academic career, she has been devoted to the study of gender and international relations. Back then, at the opening ceremony of the NGO Forum of FWCW in Beijing, in a warm atmosphere with a band playing "Ode to Joy", torchbearers passed the lighted torch while more than 30,000 Chinese and foreign friends held the spiritual "torch" of gender equality. Professor Li was still excited when recalling these scenes and said that in 2020, she is willing to pass the spiritual "torch" to the younger generation, starting from Beijing and working together with them to strive for gender equality of the world.
Guo Ruixiang, Former Project Coordinator of UN Women
On that grand opening ceremony, Guo Ruixiang, who was a staff member of the China Agricultural University at that time, also witnessed the historic moment in the excited crowd. The conference has a profound impact on the cause of gender equality globally, and also changed the life of Guo Ruixiang. In 1996, Guo Ruixiang chose gender studies as her major field, and went to Thailand to study for a master's degree in gender and development. After returning to China, she joined the UN Women as a project coordinator to help poor rural women apply for micro loans. She also participated in international projects promoting women's participation in politics, and projects aimed for eliminating violence against women. At the special moment of the 25th anniversary of the FWCW, Guo Ruixiang looks forward to actively promoting gender equality together with young people. Guo Ruixiang said that we could build equal gender relations together by sharing obligations and assuming responsibilities, so as to jointly create good environment for our society.
Youth generation around the world: promoting gender equality from Beijing to the world
As the host city of the FWCW, Beijing has been making great efforts in promoting gender equality. In recent years, Beijing has focused more on consolidating the consensus of the youth generation around the world, encouraging them to join the chorus of the youth song of gender equality. Since 2014, the "Beijing Action" has recruited young Chinese and foreign volunteers to come to Beijing to attend thematic seminars, serve as volunteers, and carry out a series of activities to promote the concept of gender equality. Hundreds of Chinese and foreign volunteers and thousands of young people from more than 35 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas have participated in the activity. During the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in 2019, the "Beijing Action" was exhibited at the thematic forum of closer people-to-people ties.
Impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the activity commemorating the 25th anniversary of FWCW was held online. Volunteers who had participated the "Beijing Action" sent videos to share their thoughts on gender equality. Gertrude Mugwe Mongella, the granddaughter of Mrs. Gertrude Mongella, secretary general of the FWCW, sent video from Tanzania to share her thought. She said that her grandmother supported her to be in a career she liked and was good at. She believed that gender equality meant people, regardless of gender or age, could freely choose their professions. Imran Ahmad Khan (Li Yiran) from Nepal called for the coordinated promotion of gender equality in villages and cities. Zhou Yaqin and Zhao Xintong from China urged people to promote gender equality via education. Elizabeth Valverde Loaiza from Costa Rica encouraged people to unite together to tackle challenges facing gender equality.
Over the past 25 years, the spirit of the FWCW has continued to influence the global cause of women's development. On October 1st this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered an important speech via video at the High-level Meeting on the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women. He pointed out that gender equality and women's empowerment are now important goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. He said: "Let us work together and redouble efforts to promote gender equality and advance the global cause of women’s development."
In an interview in this October, Mrs. Gertrude Mongella, secretary general of FWCW, suggested that all countries should strengthen collaboration to continue to improve the status of women and promote gender equality.
To promote gender equality, it is urgent for the younger generation to inherit the torch from the elder generation. The younger generation should pool up the strength, and people with insights should unite and cooperate with each other to form consensus and take actions to build a community with a shared future for mankind in the context of globalization.
Bilingual Feature Program of “Commemorating ‘Beijing +25’: Inheriting Torch of Gender Equality” with English and Chinese subtitles
English Web Page of the Gender Equality for a Better World-International Youth Action·Beijing 2020
Web page address: https://news.cri.cn/chinanews/internationalyouthactionbeijing2020
Copyright ©1997- by CRI Online All rights reserved