A number of key international conferences were central to global women's rights organizing and often served as spaces where women from around the world could meet, organize, strategize, and hold their governments accountable.

Five years after the fourth UN world conference on women in Beijing, the UN General Assembly held a Special Session in New York City entitled Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the Twenty-First Century. The Special Session reviewed and assessed the progress achieved in the implementation of the Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, adopted in 1985, and the Beijing Platform for Action adopted at the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. It also considered future actions and initiatives for the year 2000 and beyond.

The ICPD + 5 was the first of the 5-year reviews of the implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action. Review discussions took place at an international forum in The Hague, The Netherlands on February 8-12, 1999. Four key areas were identified in Key Actions for the Further Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action: education and literacy, reproductive healthcare, contraception, maternal mortality and HIV and AIDS.

The Women’s Caucus at the historic Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, organized by Women’s Environment and Development Organization won acknowledgement of women’s critical role in sustaining the environment.

The second UN world conference on women gathered 145 Member States in Copenhagen between July 14 to 30, 1980. This conference  reviewed progress made on attaining the goals of the first UN world conference on women in 1975, focused especially on employment, health, and education. A Programme of Action for the Second Half of the United Nations Decade for Women  elaborated on stronger national measures to improve women’s control of property, rights to inheritance, child custody, and nationality, among other things.