15 years after Peking
15 years after Peking
“There is a shared opinion that one of the most significant revolutions of our era – without any bloodshed, but still very costly – was the one carried out by women who have changed the face of the family and of society.” (Di Nicola - Danish).
We want to look at what this statement means on the occasion of World Women's Day and in the light of the 15th anniversary of the World Conference on Women held in Peking in 1995. This event, called Peching+15, reminds us of a world programme for the promotion women defined during the above-mentioned Conference. We look back on the twelve areas of attention: women and poverty, the education and formation of women, women and health, violence against women, women and armed conflict, women and the economy, women in power and in decision making processes, institutional mechanisms for the promotion of women, the human rights of women, women and the media, women and the environment, the girl child.
The programme has great potential for the transformation of life for all. In practice, women hold the trump card for overcoming poverty, improving the quality of life, guaranteeing a good education for boys and girls, health care, defending human rights especially those of young children, promoting peace ... Unfortunately however, violations still exist. It is said that, in the area of violence and discrimination against women, there are no developed countries. One hears of ever more conflictual relations between men and women, which have a strong influence on the breakdown of many marriages. Taking a closer look at our charismatic inheritance, it could be said that too little is being done in the field of education. Yet it is a process that is capable of changing the stereotyped masculine and feminine symbolic references, in order to establish relationships based on reciprocity between man and woman from earliest childhood.
Faced with these conflictual situations, and referring back to the words of Di Nicola, cited above, what courageous steps are needed to continue the journey towards change? What choices need to be made in our formation and in our educational mission in favour of women and girls, in the area of reciprocity between men and women?