Gender Equality at the heart of UCLG Work

Gender Equality at the heart of UCLG Work

On Wednesday 3rd of July, members of UCLG, met in Paris within the context of the annual meeting of United Cities France in order to discuss further development of gender equality activities for 2019 and beyond.

On the occasion of the 10th edition of the annual international meetings of United Cities France [Cités Unies France], entitled “Meetings on International Action of Local Governments”, held on 2-3 July 2019 in Paris, France, UCLG convened a working session on gender equality.

The special session gathered approximately 30 participants and provided the opportunity to discuss: the All-UCLG gender equality strategy and its action plan, the gender equality dimension of the Durban Congress, and the preparations of UCLG contribution to the Beijing+25 meetings to be held in 2020. 

The meeting started with a brief introduction from Emilia Saiz, UCLG Secretary General, who recalled the importance of taking into account the diversity of realities and perspectives of the membership when shaping UCLG strategic priorities, including the process of building a vision on gender equality. She stressed the commitment to include members from all the world regions in this process and confirmed that the Sections were also involved in the development of the policy.

The working session was the opportunity to exchange on the All-UCLG gender equality strategy, which is being developed around two main pillars: an institutional pillar, aiming at developing gender mainstreaming and promoting gender equality activities within our network and among its different areas; and a political pillar, aiming at raising the participation of women in governing and decision-making bodies at the local level.  

The meeting counted with the presence of the Chair of the CEMR Gender Equality Committee that welcomed the development of the strategy and emphasized the need to involve men in the action plan as well as the need to align the strategy with existing international agreements that UCLG had previously committed to.

Participants discussed the action plan for 2020 which should put the strategy into practice and provide a monitoring framework that would allow evaluating progress.

The members recalled the necessity to ensure the alignment of the work plans of the global organization with the Beijing+25 meetings that will be organized in March 2020.

The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) stressed the need to ensure that the local government perspective is taken into account in the Beijing +25 review and welcomed the opportunity to organize a Special Event in New York as well as a Special Session in Durban.

Finally, the session allowed the participants to be informed about the gender friendly measures that were being put in place for the upcoming UCLG World Congress, organized in Durban (South Africa) on 11-15 November 2019.  The Secretary General stressed that it was the first time that a Congress of UCLG would be organized through a gender perspective, from its contents and debates to its overall structure.

The session also introduced the work to be carried out on the development of the African Charter on Gender Equality, building on the European Charter and the global declaration. The work lead by the Federation of Local Elected Women of Africa REFELA and supported by the UCLG African and European Section as well as the UCLG World Secretariat kicked off in Paris with a first drafting support committee that defined the key lines of the Charter and the work methodology.  

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