The Generation Equality Forum (GEF) is a global gathering convened by UN Women and co-hosted by the governments of Mexico and France, centered on civil-society and aimed at building new momentum to advance gender equality worldwide. Kicking off in Mexico City from March 29 to 31, 2021, and culminating in Paris from June 30 to July 2, 2021.

The forum will launch Action Coalitions – multi-stakeholder partnerships that will mobilise governments, the private sector, civil society, and international organisations to catalyse collective action, increase public & private investment, spark conversations, and deliver concrete, game-changing results for women and girls.

The selected themes of the Generation Equality Action Coalitions are:

  • Gender-Based Violence
  • Economic justice and rights
  • Bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)
  • Feminist action for climate justice
  • Technology and innovation for Gender Equality
  • Feminist movements and leadership

A focus on young women and girls 

It’s exciting to see the forum put adolescent girls and young women at its heart. Young people are raising their voices and driving change in their local communities and on the global stage. A new generation of activists, decision-makers, community champions, and all-around change-makers are reimagining their futures, to build communities, economies, and systems that leave no one behind. It’s great to see that one of the concrete actions in each Action Coalition will focus on the rights of adolescent girls and young women.

But in order to succeed in delivering tangible results for women and girls everywhere, we believe all Action Coalitions must consider SRHR. Gender equality and the empowerment of girls and women will not be possible without the full realisation of SRHR, which is central to women and girls being able to lead healthy lives, to address violence and power relations in their lives, to be free to participate in social, economic, and political life, and to freely make decisions governing their bodies. 

SRHR crucial across all Action Coalitions

From tackling climate change to achieving an inclusive and equal digital transformation, SRHR plays a key role in all thematic areas of the Action Coalitions. Watch this short video that helps to explain why SRHR should be considered for example in the Action Coalition on Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality: 

This video is based on one of three factsheets recently developed by DSW together with IPPF EN linking SRHR to digitalisation, climate change, and economic justice. 

Women around the world face unique barriers to fully benefiting from the internet; from digital skills and education gaps to affordability barriers and online harassment. Gender inequalities lie at the root of many of these challenges. While the digital transformation offers amazing opportunities for health and empowerment around the world, gender-transformative development policies, including supporting SRHR will be required to ensure equitable access that leaves no one behind.

Collaboration is key

As we enter into the SDGs decade of action, the GEF is a pivotal moment that offers an opportunity to drive and deliver real change. But to succeed in their mission, the Action Coalitions must work in a way that complements one another, interlinking the thematic areas with a focus on SRHR throughout. An inclusive and integrated approach can deliver real change for women and girls worldwide, and help to achieve gender equality. 

More in this series of factsheets developed by Countdown 2030 Europe and IPPF EN. 

Photo: Zacharia Kawahi, Lucy Arunga, Pauline Wanjiru, Grace Akinyi Okello, Githurai Youth Empowerment Centre. Brian Otieno (@storitellah)


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