Tales from the UN Archive: Beijing, and Hillary Clinton’s audacious stance

The UN Commission on the Status of Women has been operating under the motto “Women’s rights are human rights” for decades. This is evident at its current session, which is being held at UN Headquarters from March 11 to 22.

On this #ThrowbackThursday, we’re going back to 1995, to the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, where US First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton received a standing ovation.

On September 5, 1995, guests from 189 countries and many more throughout the world watched Ms. Clinton’s speech.

She was met with tremendous ovation from the attendees in the conference room when she said, “If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights, once and for all.”

“Women’s rights are human rights” was a statement that had never been spoken to such a large worldwide audience and was quickly adopted as a global call to action for gender equality.

This production examines how UN media covered the momentous Beijing meeting using material from the UN archive.

Watch the full speech by Ms. Clinton here.

Watch and read our companion series here. Immerse yourself in historic moments from the UN’s history with episodes from UN Video’s Stories from the UN Archive playlist, which is curated from the 49,400 hours of video and 18,000 hours of audio recordings in the UN Audiovisual Library. Come take another look at history with us on Thursday.