“They Went to Beijing”: Reflections on Then, Now and the Future

The 20th anniversary of the 4th United Nations Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995 is a watershed year globally and for Zimbabwe. As part of ZWRCN and UN Women’s contribution towards the commemoration of this 20th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, we jointly convened an intergenerational dialogue platform for mature and young women. The women who kick started the discussion comprised those that had been involved in preparing for participation in Beijing, or went to China to make their input on behalf of Zimbabwe in different capacities (either as government or NGO delegates). This was followed by a response by young women that are involved in the women’s movement either in a leadership capacity or making their entry into the movement. The discussion was both reminiscent of the dreams of Beijing, what has transpired since then, and a focus on what would need to be done to keep the Beijing spirit alive. There was also a general consensus that more is required to rejuvenate the Beijing spirit in the women’s movement, and foster regular intergenerational dialogues, mutual support and learning.