Making sure that women lead equally is a priority for UN Women. Women’s leadership and participation in decision-making is also enshrined in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, adopted in 1995.
Decades later, evidence shows that progress on women’s leadership has been slow. From the local to the global level, women’s leadership is limited, they are still underrepresented in all leading positions, whether in politics, the civil service, or the private sector. In many parts of the world, leaders are still perceived and imagined as male.
This must change. The world’s leadership must reflect the world population—50 per cent of which are women and girls—but also, more women in leadership makes for more equal and prosperous societies.
To fulfil the vision of the Beijing Platform for Action and to accelerate progress on gender equality, the number of women in leadership must go up and the norms and stereotypes around leadership must change.
Starting at the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly on 25 September 2019 and lasting until the Generation Equality Forum in Paris in July 2021, UN Women is introducing 282 women Leaders for Generation Equality. The leaders, from different sectors of leadership, countries, and age groups, will lend their voice, impact, and power to advocating for Generation Equality.
Leaders for Generation Equality was launched in cooperation with the Council of Women World Leaders, a network of more than 75 current and former women Presidents and Prime Ministers. While members of the Council of Women World Leaders constitute part of this group of leaders, the others are generational representatives from various sectors such as business, civil society, youth groups, arts, and entertainment.