Mercy Global Action Participates in Generation Equality Forum
This week, Mercy Global Action is participating in the Generation Equality Forum, a global gathering for gender equality, convened by UN Women and co-hosted by the Governments of Mexico and France with the leadership and partnership of civil society and youth. After a year of postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Forum kicked off virtually in Mexico City, Mexico from 29 to 31 March 2021 and will culminate in Paris, France from 30 June to 2 July 2021.
The year 2020 marked the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the most comprehensive global agenda to achieve the empowerment of women and girls in all aspects of life, as well as the achievement of gender equality. Twenty-five years after its adoption, public rhetoric on gender equality has not been matched by action and implementation. While there has been important progress, real change has been slow and, so far, no country has achieved gender equality. Today, the world faces an unprecedented set of challenges that threaten the advancement of girls’ and women’s rights, including the rising gender inequality caused by COVID-19.
The Generation Equality Forum is a multi-stakeholder gathering designed to propel ambitious new global commitments to advance gender equality and energize movement building. It brings together governments, international organizations, the private sector, civil society, and youth to examine the structural and systemic obstacles that prevent the achievement of true gender equality. The Forum also aims to confront and respond to the gender equality crisis by spurring financial and political commitments for gender equality and taking ambitious steps towards the full implementation of the critical Beijing+25 framework, to guarantee the exercise of human rights for women and girls on the global level.
The Forum in Mexico included three days of in-depth thematic dialogues, ‘Action Coalition’ sessions, cultural moments, and other speaker networking opportunities, organized with a civil society lens. It issued a global call to action to accelerate gender equality implementation, and energized civil society and feminist movements in the drive towards securing commitments to propel acceleration in the gender equality agenda. The program was designed around four critical themes:
- Power: The focus of the opening plenary emphasized the power and voice of feminism, diverse civil society, grassroots women, and youth. This session also stressed the importance of public engagement and multi-stakeholder partnerships to achieving gender equality within the context of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Crisis and Hope: Structured in breakout sessions, including:
- Thematic Dialogue sessions focused on the structural inequalities and crises that underlie the implementation gaps of the Beijing Platform for Action and its critical areas of concern. Among the themes closely linked to Mercy priority issues are: Feminism in the context of the environmental crisis and climate emergency, The crisis of gender-based violence against women and girls in the context of COVID 19, and The Crisis of the human rights of women and girls, including in the COVID-19 context, and the issues of migration, social and racial justice.
- Resilience and healing spaces for intergenerational and intersectional inspirational dialogue on transformative power.
- Networking spaces to showcase and learn from good practices, advocacy tools, and mobilization experiences and challenges across the world.
- Cultural and creative spaces to promote inclusive citizen engagement.
- Action: Spaces for the leaders of each of the six Action Coalitions and the Board and catalytic Members of the Compact on Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action to share their vision, present the Action Coalition Blueprints, and enhance international mobilization in the drive for global commitments.
The Action Coalitions will continue to drive the Generation Equality Forum’s agenda for accelerated implementation. These innovative, multi-stakeholder global partnerships bring diverse actors from different sectors together on equal standing to catalyze collective action, spark global and local conversations among generations, drive increased public and private investment, and deliver concrete and transformative results for girls and women. Based on human rights principles and through a data-driven process of consultation with international feminist groups, grassroots activist organizations, governments and other stakeholders, the themes chosen for the Generation Equality Action Coalitions are:
- Gender-Based violence
- Economic Justice rights
- Bodily Autonomy and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)
- Feminist action for Climate Justice
- Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality
- Feminist Movements and Leadership
The Forum also presented the global Compact on Women, Peace and Security, and Humanitarian Action (WPS-HA Compact). The WPS-HA Compact brings together key supporters and champions of the Women, Peace & Security and humanitarian action agendas to focus on monitoring and accountability, coordination and financing to implement global commitments. The WPS-HA Compact aims to harness the existing extensive normative framework and accompanying institutional and coordinating mechanisms in an innovative, global, multi-stakeholder partnership to address conflict and humanitarian needs caused by violence, climate change, natural disasters and pandemics, among others.
The Generation Equality Forum will continue virtually in Paris, France from 30 June to 2 July 2021. This portion of the Forum is expected to be attended by Heads of State, and will further reaffirm the value of multilateralism and bring together the leadership and participation of various stakeholders - civil society, governments, business, cities, parliaments, trade unions, media and more. This is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to advance women’s rights and to ensure that gender is at the center of the post-COVID agenda.
Get involved: Gender equality requires actions from every person and across all sectors. You can participate by sharing your thoughts and experiences using the #GenerationEqualityForum and #ActForEqual hashtags. You can also follow the social media accounts with official information about the Generation Equality Forum:
Generation Equality Forum in France: https://twitter.com/GenEgaliteFR
Generation Equality Youth Task Force: https://twitter.com/Beijing25Youth
Use your voice: Share the campaign placards and help draw attention to the issue.
Write: Ask your government or major companies to act - download an example letter you can use here.
Join the conversation: Influence the Generation Equality Forum through the Public Conversations platform.
Read more: Understand the extent of the problem and learn how we can fix it:
Messages to: Cecilie Kern - Global Policy & Research Advocate MIA-MGA