Every International Women’s Day the world’s attention swings to gender equality and to women’s rights. We celebrate the gains we have made and we imagine a better future where all girls and women have full voice, choice and opportunity in a green, equitable and inclusive world.
This past year has been a year like no other and this International Women’s Day must be like no other. We must be bolder and more ambitious. 2021 must be when we stop accepting small and incremental actions for women’s rights and decide to make gender equality a reality, for once and for all. The Generation Equality Forum, a milestone global event convened by UN Women with young people and civil society – and co-hosted by the governments of Mexico and France – will be a critical catalyst for the change we all know is overdue and that so many want to see.
COVID-19 has shown us that women’s rights are fragile, and progress in realizing them is easily rolled back. Violence against women is rising, with reports of domestic abuse increasing by upwards of 33% in some countries. Women have also faced more acute economic consequences, with UN Women estimating that the pandemic will push another 47 million more women into extreme poverty. As we re-build post COVID we must eradicate the enduring inequalities that the pandemic exacerbated. We must create a gender-equal world. The Generation Equality Forum offers a route to the investments and bold solutions we need to get there.
Held virtually across two dates and ‘locations’ – Mexico from 29-31 March and France in June – the Forum will be a global inflection point on gender equality. Change-makers from every sector will come together to design and implement the change that is needed. In June we hope that every trailblazing government, company, organization and philanthropist will step up to announce investments, policies and programmes that will make gender equality a lasting reality.
Your participation matters. Your organization can join a Generation Equality Forum Action Coalition – focused on critical themes from economic justice to stopping violence against women – and become a commitment maker for gender equality. You can be an advocate to make sure your government, and the companies and organizations you support, do the same. This International Women’s Day, make it your resolution to take the bold steps that are needed to make a lasting difference.
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InfluencHER: Moving Gender Equality Forward: The Charge from UN Women