Written for the ten-year review of the Beijing Platform for Action and Conference on Women held at the United Nations Headquarters in 2005, the WYA Statement on Woman asks the question “Who is woman?” Equal in dignity and therefore equal in rights, woman brings a unique quality to human existence through her creativity and gift of self.
For circulation at the Review and Appraisal of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the Outcome Document of the 23rd Special Session of the General Assembly, from February 28 to March 11, 2005.
Who is woman? Daughter, mother, wife, patriot, policy-maker, sister, thinker, worker? The challenge of this changing world asks this question and every woman is called upon to answer.
We young people of different nations, cultures, religions, and ethnicities believe that every person is endowed with intrinsic and inalienable dignity that begins at conception and extends to natural death. This dignity is inviolable and does not change regardless of the circumstances of one’s life. It is the basis for human rights.
We believe that the freedom of the human person is most fully and rightly lived in the gift of ourselves to others. In the act of self-gift, the human person answers the question, “Who am I?” through the experience of love.
Equal in dignity, and in a way that is complementary to man, woman is unique in her capacity for love and so can experience freedom in a radical way through her gift of self.
In motherhood, which is a continual invitation to self-gift, woman develops society through the transmission of life.
Woman recalls to humankind its humanity in a profound recognition of the dignity of each person. Woman is the architect of authentic peace from the most basic cell of society to the highest levels of policy and decision making, constructing conditions in which persons are given the chance to live in accordance with their dignity.
The talents of woman foster and preserve the beauty of each culture. When woman exercises a key role in building, designing and protecting societies, her participation enriches and sustains the culture for herself, her family and community and for all generations to follow.
Through her gift of self, every aspect of woman’s life is enriched and transformed and society in turn is transformed on every level.