Today, not a single country can claim to have achieved gender equality. Even before the onslaught of COVID-19, 1 in 3 women and girls reported experiencing sexual and physical violence, and half of women and girls live in situations where they are denied decision-making and choice about their own bodies and health. Nearly 1 in 5 girls were married before age 18, and 132 million girls are currently out of school. And on the current course, it will take us another 136 years to close the global gender gap. These statistics are shocking and they have only been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In September 1995, tens of thousands of activists from across the globe met in Beijing for the Fourth World Conference on Women with a purpose — to achieve a world where every woman and girl can live free from violence, go to school and learn, control her future, and earn equal pay for equal work. A world where they are equal.
Significant progress has been made over the last decades, but the pace of change has been too slow. The COVID-19 pandemic is increasing gender and other inequalities, disproportionately affecting women’s and girls’ safety, access to education, economic well-being and the opportunity to thrive.
The Government of France, in partnership with the government of Mexico, UN Women and youth and feminist organizations, is hosting the Generation Equality Forum this June. Governments, philanthropists and private sector leaders must use this opportunity to deliver on their commitments to gender equality and fulfill the promises made in the Beijing Declaration for all women and girls by announcing bold new commitments — for girls’ and womens’ legal rights, education, employment, health, and that ensure a global recovery from COVID-19 is transformative for women and girls.
As Global Citizens, we can send a powerful message to world leaders: don’t miss this opportunity to catalyze change and tackle the unfinished business needed to achieve gender equality so we can recover better together.
Sign the petition now, and join us in calling on governments and stakeholders to make big, bold commitments at the Generation Equality Forum and beyond.