UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous was on her first official visit to Brussels, Belgium, on 19–20 May 2022. The visit was intended to continue strengthening partnerships with the European Union and the Government of Belgium, as well as with civil society, to accelerate progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment, both at home and abroad.
Ms. Bahous was invited to deliver the keynote speech at the She Decides +5 Conference, hosted by Prime Minister of Belgium Alexander De Croo (19 May). In her keynote, Ms. Bahous reminded attendees why women’s and girls’ bodily autonomy and decision-making around their health is central to achieving gender equality.
Ms. Bahous met Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo in this context, and they jointly visited the exhibition in Palais d’Egmont of the Generation Equality: Picture It! competition, launched in 2021 in the context of the Generation Equality campaign.
Marking ten years of an engaged partnership, this visit to Brussels reaffirmed the commitment of the European Union and UN Women to the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2012—recommitted to in 2016—to jointly strive for gender equality.
During her visit, Ms. Bahous was also invited for exchanges with the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Mr. Josep Borrell, European Commissioner for International Partnerships Ms. Jutta Urpilainen, and European Commissioner for Equality Ms Helena Dalli.
She was also invited for an exchange with European Parliament Vice President Mr. Dimitrios Papadimoulis and FEMM Committee Chair Mr Robert Biedroń.
Thank you to @Europarl_EN Vice President @papadimoulis and @EP_GenderEqual Chair @RobertBiedron🇪🇺 for our productive, practical and inspirational discussions.— Sima Bahous (@unwomenchief) May 19, 2022
We greatly value our cooperation with the @EU and look forward to building on this partnership for #GenderEquality. pic.twitter.com/vsta3mKmy5