The Generation Equality Forum held last week in Paris concluded with the announcement of bold commitments towards gender equality and the launch of the Global Five-Year Action Plan to achieve gender equality by 2026, UN Women reports. The bold and action-oriented agenda of the Forum is backed by nearly $40 billion in confirmed investments, as well as ambitious political and programmatic commitments by governments, civil society, and public and private sector organizations. This monumental conclusion comes at a critical time as the whole world witnesses the disproportionate and negative impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on women. Proponents of gender equality call for gender-responsive incentives and recovery plans to ensure that women are not neglected and left behind in the post-pandemic world renewal process.
The Genderation Equality Forum is a global gathering for gender equality organized by UN Women, hosted by the governments of Mexico and France, in partnership with youth and civil society. The three-day Forum brought together heads of state and government, heads of international organizations, civil society activists and youth-led organizations, philanthropists and CEOs of private sector companies. In addition to the Global Acceleration Plan for Gender Equality, the Forum launched the Agreement on Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action, with the aim of accelerating gender equality over the next five years and addressing the growing risks to women’s rights posed by Covid-19. The $40 billion investment, which was confirmed at the closing of the Forum, is an important step in the change in investment in women’s rights. It is generally accepted that the lack of funding is the main reason for the slow progress in the fight for gender equality and the implementation of the groundbreaking Agenda for Women’s Rights adopted in Beijing in 1995.
At the end of this year’s Forum, governments and public sector institutions have committed a total of $21 billion to gender equality, the private sector $13 billion, philanthropic organizations $4.5 billion and UN units, international and regional organizations have invested a total of $21 billion. $1.3 billion. Furthermore, many organizations are committed to implementing strong policies and programs, including 440 civil society organizations and 94 youth-led organizations. Thus, among others, the Gates Foundation has committed to $2.1 billion for the global advancement of gender equality in various areas, among which an important part is the inclusion of women in leading roles, primarily in health, law and economics.
“The Generation Equality Forum marks a positive, historic shift in power and perspective. Together we have mobilized across different sectors of society, from south to north, to become a formidable force, ready to open a new chapter in gender equality,” said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women. “The Forum’s ecosystem of partners – and the investments, commitments and energy they are bringing to confront the greatest barriers to gender equality – will ensure faster progress for the world’s women and girls than we have seen before.”
While marking the closing of the Forum in France, its Ambassador and Secretary-General, Delphine O, said: “After two years of collective work with Member States, civil society and philanthropic and private organizations, we succeeded in raising the largest amount of investment to advance gender equality and women’s rights ever. By implementing a new way of tackling global issues through efficient multilateralism, the Generation Equality Forum reversed the priorities on the international agenda and made gender equality, for too long underestimated, a long-term issue for the international community, along with climate, education and health. France will continue to be at the forefront to accelerate gender equality progress.”
In addition to the significant commitments presented at the opening ceremony, a wide range of activities carried out by all sectors to achieve gender equality were presented in the last two days of the Forum.
MAMFORCE works to achieve gender equality by leading companies towards sustainable development goals in the field of gender equality. With a science-based method, it helps companies create an organizational culture of support and trust that provides equal conditions for development and advancement for all, regardless of diversity and living circumstances. This significantly affects gender equality with an emphasis on the advancement of women to leadership positions, which is one of the goals of greater investment in gender equality.
“The results of the Generation Equality Forum are extremely important for further progress in the field of gender equality. I believe that further investment in the advancement of women to leading positions in the economy and politics will bear fruit and that companies will become even more aware of the importance of fair opportunities in the workplace and the changes that need to be made to make this possible. With the MAMFORCE method, we will continue to support organizations that want to make their work environment fairer, employees more engaged and thus increase innovation and productivity“, said Diana Kobas Deskovic, author of the MAMFORCE standard.