PARIS, July 2, 2021
PARIS, July 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 $40 Billion of confirmed investments as well as ambitious policy and program 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 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.
Speaking to mark the close of the Forum for the Government of France, the host of the Paris Forum, Ambassador and Secretary General of the Generation Equality Forum 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."
The $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. By the close of the Forum, governments and public sector institutions had committed to $21 Billion in gender equality investments, the private sector $13 Billion, and Philanthropy $4.5 Billion. UN entities and international or regional organizations committed an aggregate of $1.3 Billion. In addition to these bold investments, 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 5 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. The Forum also launched a Compact on Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action, and announced new gender equality initiatives focused on health, sports, culture, and education.
Reflecting on the Forum, African Union Goodwill Ambassador on Ending Child Marriage Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, said, "This week, I relived the experience of 1995, when I was a young women's rights activist at the Beijing Conference. The COVID-19 context and other barriers are now an even greater inspiration for innovation, solidarity and inclusion. I am grateful for the commitments made this week. Now it's time to invest in girls and young women even more – for resources to reach rural and marginalized communities, for technology for public good and available to all, and for member states greater accountability to human rights of women and girls."