PIP: The World Conference on Women was held in August and September 1995 in Beijing, 20 years after the first such conference was held in Mexico in 1975. 30,000 women took part at this third conference in Beijing and at the forum of the nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) held 60 km away. The experiences during those days reinforced the idea that questions of equality are connected to questions of development. Another notion was that the rights of women are also associated with major issues of society. The Platform of Action approved 12 primary areas of interest: poverty, education, health, violence, armed conflicts, economic inequality, inequality in power and in making decisions, mechanisms for equality, human rights, means of social communication, environment and development, and children and young girls. The issue of health, including reproductive rights, was debated between the Vatican and Islamic countries on the one side and the European Union on the other. Some problems surfaced about reproductive rights even during the preparatory meetings on the part of Ireland and Austria. At the NGO forum, however, Irish women demonstrated for the right to abortion and divorce. In the last days of the conference, the Vatican and Islamic countries tried to block the addition of wording concerning sexual and reproductive rights to the Platform of Action. After hours of negotiations, the wording was not included in the Declaration of Principles, but it was incorporated in Article 97 of the Platform. The Vatican, during the final part of the conference, insisted on its representation as a state with equal status relative to other UN member states; yet it is incapable of accepting social change and transforming its dogmas. Its positions against contraception and abortion demonstrated that the hierarchy of the Catholic Church persists in its regressive views.