UN Conference “Generation Equality Forum” begins in Paris

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The “Generation Equality Forum”, the most important international conference on this topic since 1995, begins Wednesday in Paris. The event should make it possible to launch concrete actions in favor of girls’ education or the fight against sexual violence.

Rebuild a “more egalitarian economy”, fight violence against women, support activists: Emmanuel Macron gives the kick-off of a long-awaited UN conference on gender equality on Wednesday June 30 in Paris by NGOs, which ask States for concrete commitments, particularly financial ones.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres and United States Vice President Kamala Harris (via video conference) are also due to take part in the opening ceremony of this “Generation Equality Forum”.

“In a context of increasing inequalities, accentuated by the pandemic, and the decline in women’s rights on a global scale”, this meeting, organized in part “at a distance”, will bring together politicians, non-governmental organizations and philanthropic foundations for ” give a decisive boost “to gender equality,” explained the Élysée.

The forum should lead to a “global acceleration plan” towards equality, around several themes such as violence against women, the right to dispose of one’s body, girls’ education or even economic equality.

Each theme will be tackled by “action coalitions” bringing together States, international organizations, civil society and the private sector to draw up a “road map” whose implementation must be evaluated within five years.

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The three days of this “feminist gathering” will unveil a “catalog of all the commitments” made by the participants, underlined Wednesday Delphine O, ambassador and secretary general of the forum.

Anxious to avoid that the participants make “beautiful speeches” not followed by effects, the organizers of the event “put a ticket of entry, by saying: ‘if you want to participate in the forum, you have to take a concrete and ambitious commitment, which will be transparent, known to all ‘”, explained Delphine O.

President Macron “will announce substantial commitments, in particular on access to contraception everywhere in the world, on the education of girls” and “the protection of women human rights defenders, who are threatened or imprisoned in their country”, further detailed Delphine O.

Less talk, more money

Several heads of state and government are due to speak at the opening ceremony on Wednesday afternoon at the Carrousel du Louvre, some of them from a distance. The German Angela Merkel, the Canadian Justin Trudeau, the Mexican Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, the South African Cyril Ramaphosa or the Kenyan Uhuru Kenyatta are thus announced.

Civil society will also be represented, with the Iraqi Nobel Prize winner Nadia Mourad, the American philanthropist Melinda Gates, or women’s rights activists from several continents, committed to the defense of access to abortion in Poland, of the movement LGBT in Turkey or women’s political rights in Afghanistan.

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Several feminist NGOs have planned to make their voices heard at this UN conference. The anti-poverty organization Oxfam thus pleaded, ahead of the event, for France to put in place a “feminist recovery plan” and thus give an impetus that would serve as an example for other States.

This plan is all the more necessary since women were the main victims of the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, insists the NGO. It is therefore urgent, according to her, to “promote public policies that relieve women of domestic work”, increase the wages of predominantly female occupations, make the allocation of public funds conditional on respect for equality in the world of work. , or even “significantly increase” development aid dedicated to equality.

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All the States of the world should “allocate 0.1% of their GDP to the fight against gender-based violence”, also explained during a press point Marie Véron, of the “Collective generations feminists”, which launched a campaign called “Stop Talking, Start Funding”

“Feminists around the world are looking towards Paris and Emmanuel Macron”, and expect “financial commitments”, she insisted.

With AFP

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