The Generation Equality Forum in Paris, last 30 June – 2 July, 2021, marked a major inflection point on the international agenda for gender equality. Stakeholders as governments, including local and regional, private sector, NGOs, trade unions, young feminist movements and many other, have got together over the past couple years and the result is a collective 5-year journey to accelerate equality, leadership and opportunity for women and girls everywhere.
At the occasion of the Forum in Paris, UCLG facilitated the Local and Regional Governments Day on July 1st, convening the voice of local feminist leaders and their commitments to attain gender equality through inclusive cities and territories.
During this opportunity, it was launched the publication "The transformative commitment of cities and territories to Generation Equality - A Global Feminist Municipal Movement”, which presents the roadmap for the municipal movement, for both men and women leaders alike, built from true experiences from leadership; built around the stories of women leaders.
This publication is an invitation to travel together along a path of democratic construction, towards a Feminist Municipal Movement, from which to achieve the effective recognition of the rights of women and diverse groups already enshrined in multiple international human rights instruments. But not only that; it also aims to deepen and improve local democracies for men and women, for society as a whole.
The publication was led by a team headed by Ana Falu, UCLG-UBUNTU Advisor on Gender, who mentioned at the launch “The importance and strength of conviction is unshakable, to consolidate women's leadership. Witnessing women's change in governance. How we have an impact on improving the quality of democracy.”
The commitment of the municipal movement departs from the principle that women can bring new policy-making and municipalism to the table in international, national, regional and local arenas. The local level can be a catalyst for women's participation and feminist policy-making.
Through interviews with local leaders, the document emphasizes the underrepresentation of women in leadership and decision-making positions and how the personal experiences mutually define and influence the political world, especially the essentials of leadership. Furthermore, it sets the premise of placing care for the people and the planet at the center of our agendas.
This is the purpose of the global feminist municipal movement: the transformation of our cities and territories, through a new social pact, based on solidarity and empathy. Cities and regions, societies that care and seek to enhance local public services on health, water and sanitation, the access to vaccines, for women and girls in all their diversity. Better services and conditions for LGBTIQA+ people, people with disabilities, young and older, boys and men, all people, leaving no one and no place behind. Cities and territories will need to redesigned, so all people may live with dignity, and are capable of realizing their hopes and aspirations.
On July 2nd took place the dedicated session of the Action Coalition of Feminist Movements and Leadership. As one of the leader organizations, Emilia Saiz, Secretary General of UCLG, presented the commitment Global Feminist Municipal Movement, mobilizing the equality-driven constituency of local and regional governments for the localization of the Global Acceleration Plan for Gender Equality, including by:
- increasing meaningful participation and decision-making power of women and feminist leaders at the local level
- promoting new leadership and governing models, based on empathy, proximity and the collaboration with communities and neighbors.
- fostering additional local leaders to place care at the heart of the agenda and public policies
- advocating for stronger local public service provision and valuing care workers, with particular attention to women and girls in their diversity, and vulnerable communities
- enhancing women, girls and non-binary people public life experience and access to rights, towards closing the digital gap, addressing informality and gender-responsive recovery and resilience
The Secretary General explained "Equality is not enough anymore. Feminism needs to be at the core of a new social contract, for people, planet and government. Feminism that involves women, men, boys, girls, non-binary and all people”.
Internally, UCLG is committed to the All-Gender Equality Strategy, promoting inclusive practices, women leadership and, for the first time, assigning specific budget to gender equality, including indicators to monitor progress. This strategy includes both political and institutional commitments, aiming to enhance our internal practices, as well as to increase women visibility and enhance leadership.
UCLG also joined additional collective commitments as the Global Alliance for Care, the Co-Creation of the Global Alliance for Sustainable Feminist Movements, Implement Feminist Practices, and to Advance Women’s Human Rights Defenders.