Statement by Vice President Joe Biden on the 25th Anniversary of the Beijing Conference

Twenty-five years ago today, the world closed out the historic United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. It brought together 189 nations to recognize that women’s rights are human rights and to advance the “full and equal participation of women in political, civil, economic, social and cultural life.” It was a landmark moment for the worldwide recognition of women’s essential role in advancing our shared progress as a society. Since then, countries have criminalized domestic violence, narrowed the gender gap in primary schooling, cut maternal mortality almost in half, and increased women’s leadership in government, business, and civil society. It’s progress worth celebrating. At the same time, we all recognize that we aren’t moving fast enough. Twenty-five years after Beijing, there isn’t a single country where women are truly equal.

But rather than fighting to honor and build on this legacy and continue to lift up the status of women and girls around the world, the Trump Administration has completely abdicated U.S. leadership on women’s rights globally and sought to roll back protections for women here at home.

The United States must champion gender equality, at home and abroad. We must accelerate our progress. Women’s leadership is critical. Working alongside Senator Kamala Harris as my Vice President, our administration will leverage women’s expertise, networks, and skills. We will advance women’s economic empowerment and work to prevent and respond to gender-based violence. We will work with nations around the world to invest in critical data collection to better inform policy, and to create a path to COVID-19 recovery that maintains a focus on women and girls. And, we will restore U.S. global leadership advancing the human rights of women and girls around the world.

The 25th anniversary of the Beijing conference is an opportunity to take stock of all that has been accomplished and renew our commitment to all that remains to be done. As President, I will work tirelessly to continue advancing global progress towards the goals set forth at the Beijing Conference, so that women and girls in every country on earth can imagine their futures, full of promise and opportunity.

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