The Generation Equality Forum brings together governments, the United Nations, civil society and the private sector in shared governance in order to mobilize unprecedented financial investments, enable a genuine shift in mentalities and achieve gender equality.
The first part of the Forum was held in Mexico City from 29 to 31 March 2021. The second part will take place in Paris from 30 June to 2 July 2021.
Speaking at the inaugural session in Mexico City, the Mexican President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, expressed his support for the event by declaring that the time for impunity was over and that “hate crimes and femicides [must be] punished. ” Because progress on women’s rights has been too slow, as highlighted by the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres: “In many places, the very idea of gender equality has come under attack. Regressive laws are back, and violence against women is increasing. And now, the seismic shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic have shattered the lives of millions of women and girls and destroyed many of our gains.” His words were echoed by Elvira Pablo, an indigenous rights activist from Mexico and a member of the Generation Equality Youth Task Force, who said that “now is the moment for action”.
Meanwhile, the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, pointed out that “women’s rights are human and universal rights: by no relativism or justification can they be allowed to regress”. As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that progress remains fragile and can be abruptly overturned, the President reaffirmed that “no crisis or obstacle should hinder our fight for the full enjoyment of the rights of every woman in the world”.
At the closing ceremony, the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, welcomed the “start of a major new international mobilization” and recalled that it is urgent to “make new commitments to progress for women and girls”.
The event in Mexico City marked the start of the Generation Equality Forum, which will conclude in Paris from 30 June to 2 July.
At the Forum, the participants will take stock of progress made as regards women’s rights since the historic Beijing Conference in 1995. They will see the recommendations issued by the Forum’s Action Coalitions, with the aim of identifying the most effective actions in order to accelerate progress for women’s rights, by describing the main goals, potential commitments and accountability framework to be deployed over five years.
The Forum will address several themes:
- Economic justice and rights,
- Gender-Based Violence,
- Bodily autonomy,
- Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR),
- Feminist action for climate justice,
- Technology and innovation for Gender Equality,
- Feminist movements and leadership.