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Generation Equality Paris Forum: Bold actions for a new generation of gender equality

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A quarter of a century after the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, and in the face of rising inequalities, a global pandemic and a rapidly accelerating climate crisis, the world’s political leaders, young activists, leaders company, development agencies and others recently gathered in Paris for the Generation Equality Forum lay the groundwork for a new agenda to address gender equality. Following the three-day Forum, the global community pledged a staggering $ 40 billion and a five-year global acceleration plan for gender equality. Developed by six action coalitions, the plan is designed to move things forward in areas ranging from gender-based violence and technology to economic and climate justice.

In a week where headlines included potentially deadly temperatures in western North America, torrential rains that sparked a deadly mudslide in Japan and unprecedented locust swarms wreaking havoc on East African farmers, the Feminist Action for Climate Justice Coalition announced a series of commitments to accelerate gender equality in climate and environmental issues. Coalition Action is led by a consortium made up of UNDP, IUCN, UNEP, OECD, UNFCCC and other partners.

At the Coalition launch event on July 2, speakers stated commitments increase funding for equitable climate solutions for women, enable women and girls to lead a transition to a green economy and strengthen the resilience of women and girls to climate impacts and disaster risk, including through land rights and security of tenure.

During the event, UNDP announced that the organization will focus on three main efforts under the Coalition over the next five years. Together with its consortium of partners, UNDP will launch an expansion of the Global Monitoring of the COVID-19 Gender Response later this year to include new data on the gender and environmental dimensions of the pandemic response. By adding this new component, UNDP can begin to identify gender gaps and good practices, as well as mobilize governments to integrate gender and the green lens into their COVID-19 response efforts.

UNDP also plans to unite and intensify current efforts to address gender inequalities in the areas of climate, energy and the environment. This will include leveraging its financial, policy, programmatic and advocacy expertise to support at least 50 countries.

For example, in Ghana, UNDP will launch a new initiative to build a more equitable shea value chain that not only improves forest carbon stocks, but also directly strengthens women’s access and control over natural resources. This work will support the sustainable livelihoods of nearly 80,000 women shea collectors, including through commercial contracts between members of the Global Shea Alliance and women’s cooperatives. In Uzbekistan, UNDP will support the country’s national strategy to transition to a green economy by 2030, including emphasizing gender-sensitive policy and regulatory frameworks and boosting the employment of women in green jobs.

In addition to our work with partners and governments, UNDP will also look inward and strengthen its own gender and climate capacities. This work will be approached in different ways. For example, UNDP will increase its internal technical capacities on gender by improving its integrated, programmatic and strategic approach to ensure gender equality and by supporting more integrated efforts on nature, climate and energy, including included in nine UNDP pilot country offices.

UNDP will also expand its flagship program Gender Seal Program, which builds capacity and supports transformational gender equality results for our country offices. This will include strengthening the climatic and environmental aspects of the Seal program over the coming year in order to strengthen these results.

In addition to participating in this coalition of action, UNDP also joined OHCHR, UNFPA, WHO, UNEP and UN Women to jointly commit to supporting civic space for feminist movements and women. human rights defenders during the Forum.

Convened by UN Women and co-hosted by the governments of Mexico and France, the Forum could not have taken place at a more crucial time, as governments attempt to determine the best path forward in the face of the pandemic, including how to address the gender impacts of the crisis. After more than a year of watching the COVID-19 crisis deepen gender inequalities and threaten progress on hard-earned gender gains, these important commitments are a major step in driving policy reform and putting back the goals of sustainable development, including gender goals, on track. This is all the more vital as the lack of funding and resources is one of the reasons for the slow progress in promoting gender equality.

As countries take urgent action in the COVID-19 recovery, there is an unprecedented opportunity to work together to address the gender dimensions of the crisis and for the world to move towards a more equitable recovery and greener.