Since those early years, International Women's
Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed
and developing countries alike.
1977 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming
a United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International
Peace. Four global United Nations women's conferences have
helped make the demand for women's rights and participation
in the political and economic process a growing reality.
In 1975 the
UN drew global attention to women's concerns by calling for
an International Women's year and convening the first conference
on women in Mexico City. Another convention was held in Copenhagen,
Denmark in 1980.
In 1985, the
UN convened a third conference on women in Nairobi, Kenya,
to look at what had been achieved at the end of the decade.
1995, Beijing hosted the Fourth World Conference on Women.
Representatives from 189 different countries agreed that inequalities
between women and men has serious consequences for the well-being
of all people. The conference declared a set of goals for
progress of women in various areas including politics, health,
and education. The final document issued by the conference
(called the "Platform for Action") had this to say: "The advancement
of women and the achievement of equality between women and
men are a matter of human rights and a condition for social
justice and should not be seen in isolation as a women's issue."
Five years later,
in a 23rd special session of the United Nations General Assembly,
"Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the
21st Century" reviewed the progress the world has made towards
achieving the goals set out by the Beijing conference. This
conference has come to be known as the "Beijing +5"
conference. Delegates found both progress and perservering
obstacles. The delegates made further agreements to continue
carrying out the initiatives of the 1995 women's conference.