Equal Rights – Women’s Conferences (1994)

In September 1995, the Fourth World Conference on Women will be convened in Beijing, China, where a Platform for Action will be adopted to analyze obstacles to women’s advancement and to recommend steps to overcome those obstacles.

The Platform of Action, as well as preparatory meetings leading up to the Conference, is intended to mobilize society on national and regional levels to meet the demands and challenges of the next century. Delegates to the Conference will assess the advances and/or setbacks since the 1985 Third Women’s Conference held in Nairobi. At that time, Forward-Looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women were formulated, with goals for the year 2000. Those strategies were an appeal to governments to address the impact on women in areas such as employment, education, health, housing, human rights and environment. Delegates from UN member nations will now review how women have fared in these areas since then.

Unlike the Nairobi Conference where divisive political issues such as questions on Palestine, the Cold War and South African apartheid dominated discussions and decisions, it is hoped that now there is new opportunity to focus on gender issues, empowering women to achieve legitimate advancement.

Women’s League for Conservative Judaism urges its affiliates to:

  1. Provide information and education about the goals of the Conference.
  2. Engage in active dialogue with other responsible organizations, Jewish and non-Jewish, to foster understanding of mutual interests and differences in the advancement of the status of women.
  3. Translate the age-old Jewish concern to justice, equality and peace into an expression of solidarity with women around the world.

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (1988)

On December 18, 1979, the General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which sets out, in legally binding form, internationally accepted principles and measures to achieve equal rights for women everywhere.

The Comprehensive Convention calls for equal rights for women, regardless of their marital status, in all fields—political, economic, social, cultural and civil. It calls for national legislation to ban discrimination; recommends temporary special measures to speed equality between men and women and action to modify social and cultural patterns that perpetuate discrimination.

Women’s League for Conservative Judaism urges its affiliates to:

  1. Develop educational programs to make members aware of existing inequalities between the sexes, locally or nationally, in the schools, workplace or community and synagogue.
  2. Support legislation which promotes non-discrimination in employment, equal pay for equal work and job security.
  3. Support quality childcare facilities.
  4. Work for full participation in public life.
  5. Support health services for women.
  6. Support full legal capacity and empowerment of women.
  7. Encourage appropriate sharing of responsibility by men and women in the context of family life.