The Beijing Platform Turns 20: Deon Haywood, One of 12 Women Honored For Their Fight for Justice

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 3.03.07 PMWomen With a Vision, Inc. is honored that our Executive Director Deon Haywood was included on the Front Line Defenders list of 12 Women Fighting for the 12 Goals established in the Beijing Platform for Action on this 20th anniversary of the platform. Front Line Defenders is the international foundation for the protection of human rights defenders.

Deon received recognition for her work to develop institutions and mechanisms for women’s advancement: work to stop violence against women; work to advance policies and programs for gender and sexual equality; and work to support the human rights of women and marginalized communities locally and nationally.

It was 20 years ago that an unprecedented 17,000 participants and 30,000 activists came together for the opening of the Fourth World Conference on Women in September 1995 in Beijing, China. Attendees were remarkably diverse, coming from around the globe, but they had a single purpose in mind: gender equality and the empowerment of all women, everywhere. By the time the conference closed, it had produced the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the most progressive blueprint ever for advancing women’s rights. As a defining framework for change, the Platform for Action made comprehensive commitments under 12 strategic objectives for women’s empowerment, ranging from the impact of conflict on women to the participation of women in decision-making processes. These critical areas of concern articulated a vision for women and girls to have equal rights, freedom and opportunities in all spheres of society, and to live their lives free from want, fear, and violence. In the 20 years since Beijing, women have remained on the front lines of the struggle for rights around the world. Women human rights defenders fight not only for their own rights to education, health care, justice, freedom of expression and assembly, but for the rights of their communities.

The Beijing Platform for Action continues to offer an important rallying point for gender equality and women’s rights. Women With a Vision is honored to have Deon recognized by Front Line Defenders and placed in such amazing company alongside the other 11 women tirelessly fighting for each of the 12 goals established in the Beijing platform.

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