Posts Tagged ‘Beijing’

Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing – 25 Years Later

September 15, 2020
Revisiting Bella Abzug's Vision Post-Beijing, 25 Years LaterSince Beijing in 1995, feminists have not stopped advocating for gender justice, and in facing current realities, have turned toward each other to build power, speak truth, and renew commitments to the promise of Beijing—to the promise of a just and healthy world. (Wikimedia Commons)

On September 12, 1995, former Congresswoman and WEDO co-chair Bella Abzug took to the podium at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China to ask: “What will we accomplish at the week’s end when the [Beijing] Platform for Action is adopted by the world’s women and its 189 governments?”

Twenty-five years later, feminists and women’s rights organizations find themselves grappling with the legacy of Beijing—recognizing both areas of critical progress made in advancing gender equality, and the harsh reality of our present world—mired by pandemic and interlocking crises of biodiversity loss, environmental degradation and social inequality. The promise of Beijing, so far, goes unfulfilled.

The Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), is one of a broad group of CSOs and feminist organizations engaging in an initiative to renew and advance the commitments made in Beijing called The Generation Equality Forum (GEF).

The Forum was launched as “a civil society-centred, global gathering for gender equality, aimed to launch a set of concrete, ambitious and transformative actions to achieve immediate and irreversible progress towards gender equality.” Six Action Coalitions have been set up, and WEDO is co-leading the Action Coalition for Feminist action on climate justice, with the knowledge that achieving climate justice is integral to any progress towards gender equality.

Following Bella’s lead, we ask ourselves, “What will we accomplish at the end of the Generation Equality Forum next year?”

Our vision: a renewed feminist agenda for a just and healthy planet.

The climate crisis is profoundly reshaping the world and the survival of communities, ecosystems and the biosphere. The struggle for livelihoods in this context is compounded for marginalized women and people, as the impacts of climate change intersect with structural inequalities like gender-based violence and discrimination.

This is particularly acute for those living in small island states, least developed countries, the global South, as well as for Indigenous peoples, urban poor, rural and remote communities, Black people, people with disabilities, migrant communities, LGBTQI+ folks, ethnic minorities, girls and youth, the elderly and many others.

For decades if not centuries, women’s rights and feminist activists and researchers have worked to showcase, to envision and to reframe understanding and metrics in our global world order. These alternatives serve to lift up the vital knowledge of frontline communities from around the world and they follow feminist analyses of money and power, currently working to deeply embed us in an extractive economy, to move us towards regenerative economies that center health, well-being and care.

Revisiting Bella Abzug's Vision Post-Beijing, 25 Years LaterBella Abzug on a panel at the United Nations. (WEDO / UN Women)

In working to define and create actions around these alternatives for advancing feminist action for climate justice, WEDO sees three key areas to make progress in fulfilling the goals of gender justice and planetary health set out 25 years ago:

1. Divest from harm, invest in care. For more details see the full article via rthe link below
2. Catalyze a gender-just transition
3. Protect and foster feminist leadership

In addition, women environmental and human rights defenders face ongoing, multifaceted and often state-sanctioned threats to their and their families’ lives and livelihoods, which are exacerbated by the dynamics of gender-based violence, with a twofold increase in the number of environmental defenders murdered over the last 15 years.

We must resource, invest and support women-led solutions, while safeguarding the environmental defenders who have put these solutions forth for generations. 

Feminists and women’s rights organizations have not stopped advocating for gender justice since Beijing, and in facing current realities, have turned toward each other to build power, speak truth and renew commitments to the promise of Beijing—to the promise of a just and healthy world.

See also:

Revisiting Bella Abzug’s Vision Post-Beijing, 25 Years Later

IOC repeats mistake: Winter Olympics 2022 to China

August 11, 2015

After the IOC awarded the winter olympics 2022 to China, Minky Worden, Human Rights Watch’s Director of Global Initiatives, had this to say on 31 July 2015:…

see earlier:

Xu Zhiyong’s Closing Statement to the Court: a remarkable document

January 24, 2014

This is the full text of Xu Zhiyong’s closing statement to the Court on January 22, 2014, at the end of his trial in China. According to his lawyer, he had only been able to read “about 10 minutes of it before the presiding judge stopped him, saying it was irrelevant to the case.” For historical reason the full text of his long statement (translated by a group of volunteers) “For Freedom, Justice and Love” follows below: Read the rest of this entry »

Chinese prosecutors charge Human Rights Defender Xu Zhiyong with disturbing public order

December 15, 2013

On 15 December the Latin American Herald reported that the founder of a Chinese civil rights group known as the New Citizens’ Movement has been formally charged with disturbing public order and could face trial this month. The charges against Xu Zhiyong, whose group promotes upholding the Chinese constitution and reigning in the power of Communist Party leaders, were filed at the recommendation of the Beijing police, according to the China Human Rights Defenders organization.Dissidents who attempt to mount protests in China are frequently charged with disrupting public order. Xu’s attorney, Zhang Qingfang, said it was suspicious how quickly the prosecutor’s office filed the charges after receiving the police’s recommendation, adding that authorities may want the trial held over the Christmas holidays so there is less international media attention. Beijing police said Xu, who was arrested in August, “used tactics to organize and carry out a series of criminal activities, including distributing prohibited pamphlets in public places and organizing disturbances outside government installations.” The charges against Xu come shortly after another activist from that same movement, high-profile businessman Wang Gongquan, pleaded guilty to “disrupting public order” a few months after his arrest. The former close associate of Xu’s said he would cut ties with the founder of the New Citizens’ Movement, the South China Morning Post reported earlier this month, citing two sources familiar with the case.

via Latin American Herald Tribune – Chinese Prosecutors Charge Activist with Disturbing Public Order.

Chinese HRD Cao Shunli finally seen by lawyer

October 31, 2013

Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - croppedreports that on 30 October human rights lawyer, Ms Wang Yu, was finally permitted access to Chaoyang Detention Centre in Beijing in order to see Cao Shunli, who had reportedly been detained since 14 September 2013.

Wang Yu reported that Cao Shunli is extremely thin and has not received any medical attention in the detention centre. According to Wang Yu, Cao Shunli has been detained on charges of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”.

[On 14 September 2013, two security agents prevented Cao Shunli from boarding a flight from Beijing Capital Airport to Geneva. She was flying to take part in a training on UN mechanisms]

[In the months leading up to China’s Univeral Period Review (UPR) on 22 October 2013, Cao Shunli had been campaigning for greater civil society involvement in the UPR process]


Chinese Human Rights Defenders: “None of us is safe, and any one of us could be next”

October 4, 2013

Authorities in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou are continuing to hold human rights lawyer Yang Maodong, better known as Guo Feixiong,  without criminal activists said on 3 October. He was criminally detained on 8 August on charges of “incitement to disturb public order,” after being involved in anti-censorship and anti-corruption protests. “The authorities have made one arrest after the other in recent months, and this is still going on,” said Beijing-based fellow activist and poet Wang Zang, Read the rest of this entry »

China Detains Activists trying to reach UN

September 19, 2013

While Iran has started to free some of its political prisoners, China does the opposite by detaining two prominent rights activists who were en route to Geneva ahead of a U.N. review of Beijing’s rights record. Beijing-based activist Cao Shunli was stopped at Beijing’s airport on 14 September and questioned by state security police, the overseas-based China Human Rights Defenders [CHRD] said in an emailed statement. On the same day, Guangdong rights activist Chen Jianfang was also intercepted at Guangzhou’s  International Airport.The activists, who have been incommunicado since, had been en-route to Geneva to attend a training course at the invitation of a Geneva-based rights group ahead of the U.N. Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of China on 22 October. Chen, a farmer-turned-petitioner who has been repeatedly detained in illegal “black jails” and who served a 15-month term in labor camp in March 2010, said she was threatened with violence by airport police, who also tore up her plane ticket. Both women had been active in transparency campaigns around the U.N. review process, sending information requests, suing the foreign ministry, and staging demonstrations outside its gates in a bid to be included in China’s submission to the U.N. “In recent weeks, police in several Chinese cities have interrogated other activists and lawyers about the same training program and warned them about serious consequences,” CHRD said.

(Reported by Wei Ling for RFA’s Cantonese Service, and by Xin Yu for the Mandarin Service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie).

via RFA’s China Detains Activists Over UN Campaign.


China continues harsh line on dissent but one jailed HRD smuggles out video

August 11, 2013

Reuters reports that China has arrested an activist on a charge of subversion and the latest sign that the authorities are hardening their stance toward dissent. Yang Lin, 45, Read the rest of this entry »

Tiananmen remembrance doesn’t stop in spite of Government’s efforts

June 5, 2013

Twenty-four years after the bloodshed of Tiananmen, China’s Communist Party is exercising its traditional response to the unwelcome anniversary: detaining and silencing dissidents and blocking bereaved families who hope to observe the day with mourning from the graveyards; mobilizing extra police officers to ensure that no protests break out around Tiananmen Square; and scrubbing Chinese Internet sites of any references and images that refer to or even hint at the upheavals of 1989.

English: Tiananmen (front) 1901 中文: 1901年的天安门(正面)

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On 4 June the police in China blocked the gate of a cemetery housing victims of the Tiananmen crackdown on its 24th anniversary. More than a dozen security officials deployed outside the stone gate at the Wanan graveyard near the hills of western Beijing, which mothers of the victims visit each year, and told AFP journalists to leave the area. Read the rest of this entry »

Human Rights Watch urges EU to stand up for human rights in China during Ashton’s visit today

April 25, 2013

(EU) High Representative Catherine Ashton should publicly raise concerns over ongoing and persistent human rights violations in China when she visits Beijing, said Human Rights Watch. “As EU’s top foreign policy official, Ashton cannot ignore the deteriorating human rights environment in China,” said Lotte Leicht, European Union advocacy director. “She needs to make it a central part of her agenda in Beijing.” Ashton should also urge top Chinese officials to stop obstructing Security Council action on Syria, including humanitarian access to all civilians in need, and referring  jurisdiction over war crimes and crimes against humanity to the International Criminal Court.HRW_logo

In recent months the EU has issued strong statements, including ones at the United Nations Human Rights Council, on China’s use of the death penalty and the crisis of self-immolations in Tibet, among other issues.

The EU also provides some support to human rights defenders in China…..Yet, the EU’s engagement on human rights in China has been extremely weak since Ashton was nominated as the EU’s first foreign policy chief. The more than thirty rounds of the official EU-China dialogue on human rights have had little discernible positive effect for those standing up for human rights in China, and at other levels of political dialogue the EU has failed to give human rights and the rule of law a degree of public attention commensurate with the importance of these issues in China…

…Although the new Chinese leadership has expressed rhetorical support for reform on some key human rights concerns, such as re-education through labor, abuses remain rampant throughout the country. The Chinese government denies people the full exercise of basic rights such as freedom of expression, association, and religion, and systematically suppresses dissidents and human rights activists…

Ashton should be prepared to tell her Chinese government interlocutors who speak of the need for reform that a good start would be freeing Liu Xiaobo and lifting the appalling and abusive house arrest imposed on Liu Xia,” said Leicht.

Even the new leadership’s commitment to robustly grappling with rampant corruption – identified as a high priority – is already being called into question. In early April, eight activists were arrested for their involvement in a grass-roots anti-corruption campaign.

China: EU Commitments Demand Tough Response | Human Rights Watch.