The Generation Equality Forum Paris concluded today with the announcement of bold gender equality commitments and launch of a global 5-year action journey to accelerate gender equality by 2026.
The Forum’s bold, action-oriented agenda will be under-written by nearly USD 40 Billion of confirmed investments as well as ambitious policy and programme commitments from governments, philanthropy, civil society, youth organizations and the private sector.
The monumental conclusion comes at a critical moment as the world assesses the disproportionate and negative impact that COVID-19 has had on women and girls. Gender equality advocates have pressed for gender-responsive stimulus and recovery plans to ensure that women and girls are not left behind as the world re-builds. “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.”
UN Women will maintain a critical role driving the Forum’s 5-year action journey, overseeing the implementation of commitments to ensure accountability and progress over the next five years. The USD 40 Billion of investments confirmed at the Forum’s close represent a major step-change in resourcing for women’s and girls’ rights. Lack of financing is widely understood to be a major reason for slow progress in advancing gender equality and in enacting the women’s rights agenda of the milestone 1995 Beijing Conference.
Many organizations made strong policy and program commitments, including 440 civil society organizations and 94 youth-led organizations. Forum organizers expect that the approximately 1,000 commitment-makers confirmed to date will be joined by many others over the next five years. In addition to the significant commitments unveiled at the opening ceremony, the final two days of the Forum saw the unveiling of a wide range of commitments from every sector, with examples including:
The Forum in Paris, held 30 June – 2 July, engaged nearly 50,000 people in a mainly virtual format to generate action for the rapid advancement of gender justice. The convening launched a Global Acceleration Plan for Gender Equality designed by six Action Coalitions – multi-stakeholder partnerships that have identified the most critical actions required to achieve gender equality in areas from gender-based violence and technology to economic and climate justice.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.