Action Coalitions

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Announcement on Action Coalition Themes

Feminist activists, together with the governments of Mexico, France and UN Women, are thrilled to announce the Action Coalition themes for Generation Equality.

The Process for Leadership of Generation Equality Action Coalitions

Following the announcement of the Action Coalition themes on the 15th of January, this communique outlines the leadership criteria, process and timeline for the Generation Equality Action Coalitions. Read more►

What are Action Coalitions?

Action Coalitions are global, innovative, multi-stakeholder partnerships that will mobilize governments, civil society, international organizations, and the private sector to:

  • catalyze collective action
  • spark global and local conversations among generations,
  • drive increased public & private investment,
  • deliver concrete, game-changing results across generations for girls and women.

Based on human rights principles, and through a data-driven process of consultation with international feminist groups, grassroots activist organizations, governments and other partners, the selected themes of the Generation Equality Action Coalitions are:

2020: A transformative year for gender equality

2020 marks 25 years since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration & Platform for Action, the most comprehensive global agenda for girls and women in all areas of life. Despite some progress, real change has been slow and to date, not a single country has achieved gender equality. Now the world is facing an unprecedented set of challenges that threaten progress for girls’ and women’s rights.

The Generation Equality Forum is a civil society-led, global gathering for gender equality, convened by UN Women and co-hosted by the governments of Mexico and France. This global gathering will bring actors together, especially young people, to chart forward a fresh and bold feminist agenda, one of the central objectives of the Forum. Similarly, the Forum seeks to bring together a group of Allied Countries to create a multilateral gender-progressive partnership.

Action Coalitions reflect another objective of the Generation Equality Forum: to achieve tangible results on gender equality during the UN Decade of Action (2020-2030) to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals. Generation Equality seeks to advance an extraordinary agenda, both in approach and level of ambition, to accelerate progress on gender equality across the world.

  1. Gender-Based Violence
  2. Economic justice and rights
  3. Bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)
  4. Feminist action for climate justice
  5. Technology and innovation for Gender Equality
  6. Feminist movements and leadership

Each Action Coalition will launch a targeted set of concrete, ambitious and immediate actions within the period of 2020-2025 to deliver tangible impact on gender equality and girls’ and women’s human rights.Financing for results will be a core part of this agenda, to address systemic resource gaps that have so far hampered impact. To serve these goals, Generation Equality Action Coalitions will advance new partnerships, implement targeted solutions, and report annually on progress towards collectively envisaged change, especially for girls and women left behind due to poverty or marginalization.

How will Action Coalitions accelerate a transformative agenda of generational change?

This accelerated action agenda will take on the following cross-cutting issues, in order to deliver tangible results: 

  • Financing
  • Transforming Gender Norms (including by engaging men and boys)
  • Law and Policy Reform
  • Education
  • Gender Data and Accountability
  • Addressing intersectional discrimination
  • Focusing on systemic change by addressing structural inequalities

Further, fragile and conflict-affected contexts will be intentionally addressed through explicit actions.For example, the context of conflict could be incorporated within the theme on Gender-Based Violence.

Centrality of adolescent girls and young women: At the heart of this groundbreaking, multi-generational campaign are adolescent girls and young women.Young women (together with young men) are mobilizing and making their voices heard, lifting up those who have been silenced, stigmatized and shamed far too long and driving transformative change.This new generation of advocates are seizing the moment to reimagine their lives, societies, economies and systems to uphold human rights, achieve gender equality and ensure that no one is left behind.That is why one of the concrete actions in each Action Coalition will specifically and intentionally focus on the rights of adolescent girls as well as that of young women.Adolescent girls and young women will actively engage in setting priorities and will be intentionally involved in monitoring for results.Throughout the UN Decade for Action to deliver the SDGs, the culmination of these actions will form a holistic agenda of change for adolescent girls and young women-placing their priorities, voices and rights at the center of inter-generational change. 

How will the Action Coalitions be developed?

Each Action Coalition will have an individual blueprint which includes: 

(a) Rationale for why the theme was selected;

(b) A focused set of concrete actions that will unite diverse efforts and deliver game-changing results;

(c) Design principles to inform and guide how actions are undertaken;

(d) A financing analysis which estimates the overall costing needed to deliver results;

(e) A catalogue of commitments (including national commitments) that Action Coalition members must undertake to accelerate progress;

(f) Accountability framework and annual success goalposts which highlight how actions will be measured and assessed; and 

(g) General principles on how results will be reported.

How will the Action Coalitions operate? 

Convener: UN Women, with the support of the whole UN System, will be the global convener of the Action Coalitions with a dedicated secretariat team to guide and support the co-design, implementation, monitoring and oversight.

Leadership: Each Action Coalition will be led by a group of partners:Member States (from the Global South and North), women’s movement and civil society actors (from the Global South and North), and private sector entities. Depending on the theme, UN agencies, other international organizations or expert actors (such as youth leaders) will also be included as Action Coalition leaders. All prospective Action Coalition leaders will be required to make a game-changing commitment in the action area they wish to lead. 

Membership: Action Coalitions are open to all who meet the membership criteria, and will be vital to a strong, vibrant and results-driven Coalition of partners. 

Criteria: The details on the Action Coalitions operating model, including the full leadership and general membership criteria, will be published on the Generation Equality website on January 31st, 2020, after which prospective Action Coalition leaders and members will be invited to submit their proposals.

What are the next steps?

Mobilization of Action Coalition leadership and membership will gather momentum in the coming months, alongside the development of Action Coalition Blueprints.Virtual collaboration tools will be launched as a strategic way for individuals, experts and organizations to engage in a digital public conversation about the Action Coalitions, to crowd-source ideas which, along with available data and evidence, will be used for developing actions and commitments across each theme. 

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 64) will be an important opportunity for partners and subject matter experts to come together.Blueprints will be further honed during the Generation Equality Forum in Mexico from 7-8 May 2020.Action Coalitions will be officially launched by Heads of State, civil society leaders, international organizations & the private sector during the Generation Equality Forum in Paris from 7-10 July 2020, with the announcements of public commitments.At the UN General Assembly in September 2020, the results of the Forum will be presented to the international community at-large. 

Where to find more information: Find more information on the Generation Equality Forum and the Action Coalitions here. Amplify your energy and ambitions for this transformational opportunity in 2020 through online and offline activism by using this social media toolkit here.To request a document detailing the methodology and data analysis undergirding the Action Coalition theme selection, please contact UN Women at[at]