Generation Equality Forum Action Coalitions launch transformative commitments for gender equality

Date: Friday, July 2, 2021

At launch events of the Generation Equality Forum Action Coalitions on 2 July 2021, Leaders and Commitments Makers showcased their catalytic commitments to make irreversible gender equality progress by 2026.

The powerful commitments and investments announced by the Action Coalitions mark the beginning of a five-year action journey to foster action and renew movements for gender equality and women’s rights.

Following the Action Coalition launch events on 1 July 2021, Leaders and Commitment Makers, including governments, private sector, civil society, youth, philanthropy, and international organizations, from the Action Coalitions on Bodily Autonomy and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), Feminist Action for Climate Justice and Feminist Movements and Leadership showcased their commitments.

Some highlights from the commitments include:

  • USD 1.4 billion in family planning over the next five years by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • USD 420 million to the Action Coalitions on Gender-based Violence, Economic Justice, Tech and Innovation, Bodily Autonomy and SRHR, and Feminist Movements and Leadership by the Ford Foundation
  • Double core contributions to the United Nations Population Fund to support flexible funding for sexual and reproductive health services to survivors and USD one million to UN Women to engage men and boys in gender equality by the Government of Iceland

Supporting feminist movements and leadership

At the launch event for the Action Coalition on Feminist Movements and Leadership, commitments were made by governments, women’s, feminist and youth-led organizations, international organizations, foundations and the private sector. Together, these commitments aim to ensure that, by 2026, feminist leaders, movements, and organizations, including those led by trans, intersex and nonbinary people, indigenous women, young feminists and other historically excluded people, are supported to become sustainable, can carry out their work without fear of reprisal, and advance gender equality, peace and human rights for all.

Action Coalition Leaders presented commitments—both live and through pre-recorded video statements—that will catalyze long-term change for women and girls around the world.

Karina Gould, Minister of International Development at the Government of Canada, announced a commitment to mobilize a minimum of CAD 110 million in funding and other direct support for feminist organizations, women’s funds, and movements over the next 5 years. “We are dedicated to supporting diverse feminist movements,” said Minister Gould.

Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of Chile, announced that, “Together with other UN leaders of Generation Equality, my office has committed to actively promoting a safe and inclusive civic space. We will take concrete progressive steps for the meaningful participation of feminist movements and women human rights defenders of all ages and in all their diversity, online and offline.”

A third example of the far-reaching commitments made for feminist movements and leadership was announced by Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Martin Chungong. “The IPU commits to promote gender-sensitive parliaments that drive the feminist agenda and are sexism free and family-friendly,” Chungong said in his remarks. “This starts with review and reform processes.”

Ensuring bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights

Transformative, multi-stakeholder commitments were also announced at the launch event of the Action Coalition on Bodily Autonomy and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) to empower women and girls, in all their diversity, to exercise their SRHR and make autonomous decisions about their bodies.

We are focused on developing new and improved contraceptive technologies that meet the needs of more women and girls, investing in innovative strategies to fully inform women and girls about their contraceptive options,” said Melinda Gates, Co-Founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in a video segment that announced the organization’s commitment of USD 1.4 billion in family planning over the next five years.

Among commitments from Member States, private sector, civil society, youth, philanthropy and international organizations, Alvaro Bermejo, Director General of International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), stated that Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands have agreed to work together with IPPF in realizing universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights and to comprehensive sexuality education. "IPPF commits to accelerate universal access to safe abortion care, centred on three principles: Rights based, reproductive justice, and gender transformative,” Bermejo said.

Furthermore, commitments to increasing the delivery of comprehensive sexuality education, increasing the scope of contraception and access to abortion as a fundamental women’s right, reducing the number of child marriages and increasing support for autonomous feminist women's organizations were announced by President of North Macedonia Stevo Pendarovski in a video segment. “It is our obligation to show political will and do continuous joint activities to provide conditions for empowerment of women and girls on a global level,” said President Pendarovski.

Furthering feminist action for climate justice

Concluding the Action Coalition launch events, speakers at the Action Coalition on Feminist Action for Climate Justice outlined commitments that increase financing for gender-just climate solutions, enable women and girls to lead a transition to a green economy, and build the resilience of women and girls to climate impacts and disaster risk, including through land rights and tenure security.

“It’s important that we find ways to look forward and commit to action, and this Generation Equality Action Coalition is grounded in hope and optimism for a future that builds on collective action with women and girls in their full diversity at the centre,” said Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland and Moderator of the event.

Carlos Alvarado Quesada, President of Costa Rica, stated that, with support of FLASCO Costa Rica and the United Nations Development Programme, Costa Rica will, “By 2022, have a National Action Plan for gender and climate change covering tourism, energy, infrastructure, agriculture, forestry, mobility and transport,” among other commitments to Improve women’s access to funding schemes for climate and environmental change, develop toolkits for capacity-building in lead entities for gender mainstreaming in climate action, and promote gender-sensitive education that enables the inclusion and retention of girls and young women in science and technology for the environment.

Gilbert Houngbo, President of the International Fund For Agricultural Development, announced a commitment ensure that, by 2024, ensure that at least 35 per cent of IFAD’s new projects will be gender transformative. “The nexus between climate change and gender equality is at the core of the Sustainable Development Agenda,” said President Houngbo.

This story has been updated with corrected figures on 8 July.