The Covid-19 crisis has exacerbated existing inequalities and disproportionately affected girls and women, but it has also demonstrated the capacity of institutional and civil society stakeholders to identify and implement rapid solutions to protect and guarantee women’s rights.
While the Generation Equality Forum, postponed until 2021 due to the health situation, was due to open in Paris on July 7, a digital event, “Our Generation Equality” will celebrate this date, long anticipated by gender equality stakeholders, 25 years after the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in 1995. This digital event marks the launch of a year of mobilization in preparation for the Generation Equality Forum due to take place in Paris in spring 2021. It is being hosted by the General Secretariat of the Generation Equality Forum, under the auspices of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry responsible for Gender Equality, Diversity and Equal Opportunities, attached to the Prime Minister, in partnership with UN Women France and the Embassy of Mexico in France.
The event will highlight women who were at the forefront of the response to the crisis and the initiatives of France and its partners. Some 30 speakers (female crisis responders, representatives of Forum partner countries, international organizations, the private sector and civil society) will address five challenges: women in the aftermath of the crisis, the fight against sexist/sexual violence and cyber violence, access to health and sexual/reproductive rights, economic inequality and the distribution of domestic tasks, and building the “world to come.”
Indeed, in keeping with its feminist-oriented diplomatic efforts, France remains fully mobilized in support of male-female equality and the protection of women’s rights. In May 2020, France and 59 other governments co-signed a statement on the protection of the sexual and reproductive rights and health of women and girls in responses to Covid-19. During the 44th session of the UN Human Rights Council, France introduced an initiative to compile in a guide all the measures taken in support of women during the crisis. 41 nations have already signed on to this initiative.