Civil society reflections on Beijing+25 in the UNECE Region: Opening Statement, Art Exhibition, and Livestreams

Opening statement: civil society reflections on Beijing+25 in the UNECE Region

Opening session: intervention
Beijing+25 – UNECE Regional Review Meeting
29 October 2019

“My name is İlayda Eskitaşçıoğlu and I am a 26 year old lawyer and a PhD student at Koç University in İstanbul researching International Human Rights Law. I am also a member of the Beijing+25 Global Youth Task Force, and today I am speaking on behalf of the Women’s Major Group.

This opening speech has been prepared collectively with other young feminists like myself, and informed by more than 410 civil society members from 45 countries in the region.

I am grateful that they have given me, a young feminist, the floor to deliver this message. I was a 2 year-old baby when the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was adopted, yet it continues to be the most progressive blueprint for achieving gender equality and advancing the rights of all women to date. However, almost 25 years have passed and we are still miles away from fully realizing the commitments made in 1995.

In fact, we face critical challenges today that threaten to roll-back the many achievements we have gained and continue to live in a world in which patriarchy, sexism, capitalism, ageism, racism, heteronormativity, and xenophobia drive women’s oppression and inequality. We face a climate crisis that, if not dealt with right now, will leave us all with no future to speak of.

Having said this I would like to share with you some of the key messages that we retained from the Civil Society Forum that took place yesterday. (28 October 2019)”


You can endorse the statement up until 29 November 2019. We will publish the endorsing organisation on this page on 30 November 2019. Endorse the statement here.


İlayda Eskitaşçıoğlu (Beijing +25 Global Youth Task Force), Emma Rainey (Young Feminist Europe), Xenia Kellner (Young Feminist Europe), Luíza Drummond Veado (OutRight Action International), Rashima Kwatra (RFSL – The Swedish Federation for LGBTIQ Rights), Pip Gardner (Beijing +25 Global Youth Task Force), Elisabeth Keuten (Beijing +25 Global Youth Task Force), Hanna Gunnarsson (Women Engage for a Common Future), Sanne Van de Voort (Women Engage for a Common Future)


Photo: Antoine Tardy/UN Women.

Photo: Antoine Tardy/UN Women.

Photo: Antoine Tardy/UN Women.