Local and regional governments celebrate Women's Day 2018

Women's Day Statement 2018

We celebrate women’s grassroots activism and call for a partnership between activist and elected women. UCLG believes that the time is now for equality and wants to acknowledge the work done by all activists, as well as by grassroots women’s organizations, that have driven change worldwide. During these times of transformation, we would like to acknowledge not just women leaders all over the world but also those which may not be political leaders but have been key pillars of our society. Each and every one of them counts and their contributions must be remembered.

Activists and local elected women are communicating vessels in achieving the Global Goals

Grassroots movements, however, are but one part of the equation. Activists need to bring women’s perspectives, voices and actions to the attention of political representatives in order to shape policies and hold them accountable. Only through close collaboration between said activists and politicians will we be able to ensure equal pay and equal opportunities for men and women and design and carry out policies that foster equality.

It is thanks to the joint efforts of activists and leaders that we are on our way to achieving SDG5: gender equality and empowering women and girls, and especially SDG 5.5: “ensuring women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making”.

We also believe that the Global Goals tie in with each other and that working towards ensuring gender equality in all spheres contributes to the achievement of other SDGs, such as putting an end towards poverty (SDG1), ensuring quality education (SDG4) -two of the issues which affect women predominantly- decent work for everyone (SDG8) and sustainable cities and communities (SDG11).

Local to local collaboration is an opportunity to learn from more inclusive cities

Local and regional governments have a key role to play in fostering equality, since they are the closest authority to the citizens and first in line when meeting their demands.  Local to local collaboration is the way to learn from other governments’ experiences and to design and implement policies centered on equality thanks to the inputs from those which already lead the way.

#BeCounted one year later is still essential for the achievement of SDG5

According to UCLG estimates, only 5% of the world’s mayors and 20% of councilors are women, but these numbers are not final, and the data on representation of women in local councils is lacking. We rely on the efforts the international community to include this data in the national and international statistics to fulfill SDG indicator 5.5.1 on the representation of women in local government.

UCLG and our members reaffirm our commitment to the Paris Local and Regional Government Global Agenda for Equality of Women and Men in Local Life, signed by hundreds of local elected women and men in 2013, and to putting the goal of gender equality at the centre of our agenda.

More information: