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The Beijing Platform of Action (BPFA) was the outcome of the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China in mid-1995, two decades after the Mexico Declaration issued at the First Conference in 1975, and a decade after the Third World Conference in 1985. The BPFA reiterated the  vision of the earlier Conferences to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women. Progress in the implementation of the Platform for Action was reviewed in 2000 and 2005 at international level but a comprehensive review is scheduled two decades after the Beijing Conference at an International meeting in 2015.

This external review by CENWOR supported by United Nations in Sri Lanka is intended to be a national input into the on-going international review in 2014 and 2015. The Centre for Women’s Research (CENWOR) established in 1984 has had as one of its major objectives to use any window of opportunity to review progress in the implementation of International Instruments and Action Plans, particularly in Sri Lanka. CENWOR carried out a study of gender as a cross cutting issue in all eight Millennium Development Goals in 2006 and a national review of progress in the implementation of major Articles in CEDAW in 2011. It was felt that it was important to review developments in Sri Lanka over the two decades in the twelve Critical Areas of Concern identified in the Beijing Platform for Action from a rights based perspective as a contribution to the UN Beijing + 20 programme as well as to formulating policy and programmes in Sri Lanka.