Local governance key to achieving gender equality and social equity: Let’s make it happen!

International Women's Day 2015

On 8 March 2015, the day that marks International Women’s Day, we will also celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Declaration and Platform for Actionfor Beijing (Beijing+20). On this occasion, UCLG would like to recall that no state has achieved gender equality in all areas of public and private life, and that significant inequalities continue to prevent the appropriate development of our societies.

On this day, we celebrate the men and women that fight for equality on a daily basis. Our thoughts are with the women who are victims of abuse as well as those in conflict zones.

Even today, women continue to be under-represented in decision-making bodies of all kinds around the world, and commitments to achieve gender equality in leadership positions have still not been reached: just 16% of mayors of capital cities are women, and a mere 7.8% of government leadership positions are held by women.

In view of this, local and regional governments united under the aegis of our World Organization emphasize that participation and good local governance are fundamental concepts for the progress of local democracy; and that without achieving the full participation of women in political decision-making processes, we will not be able to achieve social justice.

In celebrating the 20th anniversary of the pioneering 1995 Conference, UCLG takes advantage of this important time to reaffirm that: 

  • Communities that give their citizens the opportunity to participate in political, social and economic life are the drivers of change in terms of eradicating poverty.
  • Sustainable development cannot be achieved without gender‑responsive local governance. The development agenda must address gender equality in local governance and sustainable development, in order to meet the expectations of citizens around the world.
  • It is imperative to contribute to encouraging the participation of women in local decision-making processes, since a greater presence of women in local governance will inspire future generations to build a more equal world.

Members of UCLG, in particular, local elected women, call on men worldwide to get involved in this call to action to improve collective well-being.

The rights of women and their empowerment must be clear objectives within all aspects of the new Post-2015 development agenda. In order to make progress in this respect, and towards achieving equality, it is crucial to strengthen our partnerships with grassroots organizations.

UCLG also reaffirms its commitment to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and at the same time, advocates for ambitious commitments in the new Sustainable Development Goals.

Locally elected women that drive gender equality within UCLG Women, and within networks of women from Africa (REFELA) and Latin-America (REDAMUGOL), as well as from UCLG’s Regional Sections UCLG-ASPAC, UCLG EURASIA,CEMRUCLG-MEWANORAM and major cities Metropolisstress that the time to act is now!

"We have waited long enough!"




The HeForShe Campaign has been launched by UN Women, aiming at raising awareness related to the responsibility that should be taken by men in order to overcome any kind of discrimination and violence against girls and women. 

Kadir TOPBAŞ, Mayor of İstanbul and President of UCLG, supports HeForShe Campaign. Click here to see how UCLG-MEWA support the #HeForShe Campaign launched by UN_Women



Please, follow: #IWD2015 /  #Beijing20 / #MakeItHappen / #HeForShe

Read UCLG Communiqué.