Forum to generate action for the rapid advancement of gender justice held from June 30 to July 2
The three-day Generation Equality Forum Paris concluded on July 2, announcing USD 40 billion of confirmed investments and the launch of a Global Acceleration Plan to advance gender equality by 2026.
UN Women said the monumental conclusion of the forum 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 rebuilds.
The USD 40-billion investments confirmed at the Forum’s close was seen to represent a major step-change in resourcing for women’s and girls’ rights. Lack of financing was thought 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.
The financial commitments that make up the USD 40 billion are as follows:
- USD 21 billion in gender equality investments from governments and public sector institutions had committed
- USD 13 billion from the private sector
- USD 4.5 billion from Philanthropy
- USD 1.3 billion from UN entities, international and regional organizations.
Many organizations made strong policy and program commitments, including 440 civil society organizations and 94 youth-led organizations. More are expected to make commitments over the next five years and follow in the footsteps of the approximately 1,000 commitment-makers confirmed to date.
“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.
UN Women will play a critical role in overseeing the implementation of commitments to ensure accountability and progress over the next five years.
“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,” Ambassador and Secretary-General of the Generation Equality Forum Delphine O said.
Speaking to mark the close of the Forum for the Government of France, the host of the Paris Forum, she said, “We succeeded in raising the largest amount of investment to advance gender equality and women’s rights ever.”
Some examples of a wide range of commitments from every sector:
- The Government of Burkina Faso’s work with Benin, Guinea, Mali, Niger, and Togo to develop shared commitments related to family life education; free care for pregnant women and children under five years; and pursuing legal and social change to end gender-based violence, including FGM and child marriage
- The United States Government’s commitment to a range of significant policies and investment requests including an investment of USD 1 billion to support programmes to end violence against women, and USD 175 million to prevent and respond to gender-based violence globally
- The expansion of the Global Alliance for Care, initiated by the Government of Mexico and UN Women. This now includes over 39 countries; for example, the Government of Canada’s commitment of USD 100 million to address inequalities in the care economy globally, as a parallel to significant investment in its own care system
- The Malala Fund’s commitment to provide at least USD 20 million in feminist funding to girls education activists
- P&G’s commitment to advance women’s economic justice and rights through its global value chain by spending USD 10 billion with women-owned and women-led businesses through 2025
- The Government of Bangladesh’s pledge to increase women’s participation in the ICT sector, including the tech start-up and e-commerce sector, to 25 per cent by 2026 and 50 per cent by 2041.
- PayPal’s commitment of USD 100 million to advance women’s economic empowerment
- Raise Your Voice Saint Lucia’s commitment to collaborate with Caribbean NGOs to advocate for the recognition of the LGBTQI+ community and to undertake region-wide legislative reform to minimize discrimination and victimization
- Open Society Foundation’s commitment of at least USD 100 million over five years to fund feminist political mobilization and leadership
The Forum in Paris engaged nearly 50,000 people in a mainly virtual format.
Source: UN Women