In 1995, a group of ILO staff watched in awe as the World Conference on Women adopted a new roadmap for achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment in the years to come. This was the fourth global women’s conference in 20 years, following Mexico City in 1975, Copenhagen in 1980 and Nairobi in 1985. The roadmap called for actions to be completed five, 10, 20 years down the road.
At one point, a colleague, whose career had spanned those years turned to me and said, “why do we have to wait another 20 years?”
Twenty years on, I find myself asking the same question. It’s certainly time to assess what we’ve achieved, what needs to be done and how much longer we will have to wait.