The Women Deliver Conference, a flagship event advocating for gender equality and women's rights, took center stage in Kigali, Rwanda, gathering over 6,000 activists, policymakers, and changemakers from around the world from 17-20 July 2023. The Conference, officially opened by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, provided an opportunity to call key stakeholders, opening a space for an exchange of good high-impact practices and renewing collective commitments on the Generation Equality agenda.
The Generation Equality Impact Fest held at Women Deliver gathered Action Coalition leaders, commitment makers, champions and gender advocates to showcase examples of how multi-stakeholder and intergenerational coalitions can disrupt the status quo and energize collective action for gender equality.
This year marks the midway point of Generation Equality, which aims to achieve transformative change in the lives of women and girls by 2026. The Midpoint Summit in September, co-hosted by the Governments of Tanzania and Iceland, will be a moment to reflect on achievements and chart a way forward to realize the initiative’s ambitious commitments by 2026.
Opened by UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous, the Generation Equality Impact Fest high-level opening event provided an overview of the current state of global affairs and an understanding of today’s anti-rights actors and their tools in pushing back against the gender equality agenda.
“Generation Equality has indeed mobilized political will. The fruits of agreements and commitments made in both Mexico City and Paris are increasingly apparent. We have seen more investment in the things that matter to women and girls. Strengthened national systems, the creation of regional and global cooperation mechanisms and centers, and powerful partnerships with youth and civil society,” Ms. Bahous said.
H.E. Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, Canada; and Maryangel García-Ramos Guadiana, Director of Women Enabled energized the audience by emphasizing the urgency of galvanizing progress and pushing forward against the pushback on gender equality. The Impact Fest created a platform to share how innovative multi-stakeholder, intergenerational models can counter anti-rights movements through collective action. Representatives of the Action Coalition, the United States of America, Rwanda, Ford Foundation and Adolescent Girl Investment Plan shared how Action Coalitions can influence norms and stereotypes and how collective commitments are being used as vehicles to amplify voices from across stakeholder groups.
Concluding the session, the UN Women Executive Director and Minister for Gender for Tanzania, Hon. Dorothy Gwajima, called for strengthened global commitment and collective action across the six Generation Equality Action Coalitions and Women, Peace & Security and Humanitarian Action (WPS-HA) Compact, and increased investments to deliver game-changing results that improve the lives of women and girls.
“We owe every woman and girl, boy and man, to every person, to devote our unreserved energies to the cause of equality today and now. And we owe our planet a gender equal future,” said Ms. Bahous.
A high-level session on accountability unveiled the continued commitment towards Generation Equality, showcased through the doubled response rate to an annual commitments reporting survey, and allowed for an insightful conversation about the importance of feminist accountability mechanisms and the opportunities it provides to make a meaningful difference in the implementation of commitments and in achieving the results set forth in the Global Acceleration Plan.
A TED talk-style interactive event to raise awareness on the Generation Equality journey and how to join the initiative was also held at the Women Deliver Conference, gathering the Generation Equality community – members states, civil society organizations, UN agencies, the philanthropy and the private sector.
Other Generation Equality events included:
- A UN Women and WHO “Preventing Violence against Women: From Evidence to Action” session, where speakers and panelists shared their experiences and insights on how to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls using evidence-based strategies and tools. The session provided a platform to launch the RESPECT Women website, a new online one-stop platform that aims to drive concrete policy and programmatic actionto prevent and respond to violence against women and girls.
- A Technology and Innovation Action Coalition session that brought together stakeholders and experts to share evidence and recommendations on how to bridge the gender digital divide and leverage tech and innovation to accelerate progress towards gender equality.
- The largest gathering of the Action Coalition on Bodily Autonomy and SRHR since its inception, which brought together leaders, commitment makers and prospective members to draw attention to emerging stories of impact and promote feminist good practices and approaches for up-scaling and establishing supportive partnerships.
- At "Trust, Power& Resources to Girls& Movements" event, organized by Plan International and partners, Ms. Maria-Noel Vaeza, ad interim Generation Equality Project Executive, reasserted the commitment of Generation Equality to fostering an environment where girls are empowered to participate.
- A panel discussion on ‘Advancing Feminist Climate Justice through the Rule of Law’ , where panelists discussed the utilization of legal and justice interventions to achieve gender-transformative climate action, including their potential to promote women’s environmental rights, build their resilience to climate impacts and strengthen women’s leadership in climate decision-making processes. The event was organized by the Generation Equality Action Coalition on Feminist Action on Climate Justice, IDLO, IGAD and Rights and Resources Initiative.
“Climate change is a man-made problem that requires feminist solutions. When women lead, action follows," said Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders and Former President of Ireland.
Generation Equality is the world’s leading initiative to accelerate investment and implementation of gender equality. It brings together organizations from every part of society to catalyze progress, advocate for change and take bold actions together.
Learn more about Generation Equality here: https://forum.generationequality.org/
Explore more commitments like this one using the Commitments Dashboard: https://dashboard.commitments.generationequality.org/