Media Advisory: UN Women at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly: putting women’s leadership at the centre of the COVID-19 recovery


The 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 76), opening on 14 September, will feature the High-level General Debate from 21 to 27 September under the theme “Building resilience through hope - to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalize the United Nations".

As COVID-19 continues to disrupt lives and economies around the world, it is critical to include women’s voices and leadership in all efforts to build back better, restore balance with nature, tackle the climate emergency, and get ahead of the pollution crisis, while ensuring no one is left behind. This year must be the beginning of new and accelerated action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal 5 on gender equality. On the sidelines of UNGA 76, UN Women is launching a Feminist Plan for Sustainability and Social Justice, outlining how to use the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis to shape a better, more gender equal and sustainable world.

Through side-events, intergenerational and intergovernmental conversations, UN Women is building upon the momentum of the Generation Equality Forum and celebrating the Generation Equality Action Coalitions as they take urgent action towards gender equality.

Members of the Media are invited to attend the following events [unless otherwise stated, all events are virtual]:

Celebration of the International Equal Pay Day 2021

17 September, 2021 – 9 AM (ET)

The Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC) is organizing a virtual event to mark the occasion of the International Equal Pay Day 2021. This year’s celebration will focus on the efforts of key labour market actors to ensure that equal pay remains central to pandemic responses worldwide and to fully recognize the contributions of women to COVID-19 recovery. The event aims to achieve a reinvigorated commitment to closing the gender pay gap across regions and sectors to build forward better from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Acting Executive Director of UN Women Pramila Patten will be participating in this event.

How to join: Registration link

Photo Exhibition: In their hands: Women Taking Ownership of Peace

18 September, 2021 – 7 PM (ET)

A photo exhibition highlighting the work of women peace activists as seen through the eyes of women photographers will premiere at the New York Photoville festival. The exhibition profiles 14 women from around the world who have mediated with armed groups, participated in peace talks, advanced political solutions and advocated for women’s rights and participation. Their stories come from the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, South Sudan, Sudan, Lebanon, Yemen and Colombia. Organised by the United Nations Department of Peace Operations, in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs , UN Women and in partnership with New York City’s flagship photography festival, Photoville.

The exhibition is on view from 18 September until 1 December 2021 at the Photoville Festival, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1, New York City.

Find out more:

SDG Moment 2021 : Achieving gender equality – Women Powering the Economic Recovery

20 September, 2021 – 11:10 AM (ET)

A moderated virtual dialogue between Ms. Sima Sami Bahous, Executive Director-Designate of UN Women and Ms. Melinda French Gates, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will take place as part of the UN Secretary-General’s annual ‘SDG Moment’ meeting. This year’s ‘Moment’ provides a check-in on the status of the Sustainable Development Goals in the context of the deeply uneven response to the COVID-19 pandemic and highlights the urgent actions needed to accelerate progress. The discussion will highlight the specific impacts that the pandemic has had on women and girls, with reflection on the opportunity to reimagine and reshape policy in ways that maximize SDG progress between now and 2030.

How to join:

High-level event of the Group of Friends for the elimination of violence against women and girls ‘Women in Conflict’

21 September, 2021 – 4 PM (ET)

This event will bring the voices and experiences of women in conflict to the forefront of the international arena. Women are often at the front lines, whether it is in the role of human rights defender, political activist, health worker, reporter or peacebuilder: women contribute substantially to conflict prevention and resolution. There is evidence suggesting that women’s participation in peace processes contributes to more durable and resilient peace after conflict. Yet, women remain largely excluded from matters related to peace and security. Co-sponsored by the European Union, UN Women and Dr. Denis Mukwege Foundation, the event will outline the positive roles and contributions of women, including leaders and survivors, in conflict situations, highlight the specific challenges and threats they encounter in order to identify appropriate measures to ensure their participation and protection, including access to holistic services and mobilise action and resources through commitments by world leaders. The Acting Executive Director of UN Women Pramila Patten will be partaking in this event.

How to join: Registration link

Gender Day

23 September, 2021 – 8 AM (ET)

UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Anne Hathaway will address the Opening Plenary of the SDG Action Zone 2021 during the session on ‘The Big Picture’ that sets the stage of where we stand with respect to gender equality, and proposes transformative solutions that will push this agenda forward. She joins Jacinda Adern, Prime Minister of New Zealand along with activists and business leaders from across the world to discuss changing mindsets, discriminatory policies, and power structures.  The three-day SDG Action Zone at the UN General Assembly will highlight the ecosystem-wide solutions, plans, and investments needed to positively impact people’s lives and the future of our planet. See the full programme here.

How to join: Registration link

Pandemic, Patriarchy and Family Law: Accelerating Equality and Justice

23 September, 2021 – 10 AM (ET)

This interactive panel discussion aims to mobilize global action on the urgent necessity of family law reform to end discrimination against women and accelerate women’s empowerment. Equality in family law allows women to have better economic and financial opportunities, empowering them to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. This event will serve as an opportunity to identify opportunities and challenges and showcase strategies to accelerate progressive family law reforms in the current context. Organised by the Global Campaign for Equality in Family Law, in partnership with the World Bank Group’s Women, Business and the Law project and the Government of Sri Lanka. The Acting Executive Director of UN Women Pramila Patten will be participating in this event.

How to join: Registration link

HeForShe Summit

23 September, 2021 – 10 AM (ET)

Working towards a more equal world has never been more important than it is right now. Tune in on September 23rd as we launch the new HeForShe Alliance: a unique group of leaders across government, business and non-profit who are standing up and taking action for gender equality. Join the conversation online with #HeForSheSummit. The Deputy Executive Director of UN Women Åsa Regnér will open the event and the Deputy Executive Director Anita Bhatia will share closing remarks of the Summit.

How to join: Registration link

Young Feminist Leadership in Policy and Public Advocacy

24 September, 2021 – 8:30AM (ET) / 6:00PM (IST)

Over the past decade, a new generation of young women have become actively involved in different issues that affect their lives personally, from equal pay to ending violence against women. The event provides insights into strategies to strengthen young feminist jurisprudence through partnership and collaboration between feminist organizations. Bringing together the next generation of gender equality activists, it aims  to contribute to a stronger feminist movement and youth engagement in intergovernmental processes and policy advocacy. Organized by UN Women India and National Alliance of Women’s Organization (NAWO).

How to join: Link to join the event

2nd Anniversary of Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator (WEA)

28 September, 2021 – 1 PM (ET)

The 2nd Anniversary of Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator (WEA) held on the 28th of September, organized by ILO, ITC, UNDP, UNGC, UN Women and Mary Kay will celebrate the anniversary and highlight the strategic priorities and welcoming new partners. The Acting Executive Director of UN Women Pramila Patten will be participating in this event.

How to join: Registration link

Convening on the Action Coalitions Future and Accountability Framework

29 September, 2021 – 8:30 AM (ET)

To celebrate the historic success of the Generation Equality Forum, which mobilized more than US$40 billion of financial commitments to support key actions for gender equality, a convening of Action Coalition Leaders and commitment makers – a diverse group of Member States, private sector, youth and civil society organisations and international organisations will showcase more than 1,000 commitments pledged in Paris and the ambitious plan ahead to ensure robust execution and global accountability. The Action Coalitions are a set of global, innovative, multi-stakeholder partnerships mobilizing the world to catalyze collective action; spark global and local conversations among generations; drive increased public and private investment; and deliver concrete, game-changing results for girls and women. The Deputy Executive Director of UN Women Åsa Regnér will be speaking in this event.

How to join: Registration link

Launch of the Revised Global Gender Equality Constitutional Database and Guidance Note on Gender Equality Constitutional Reforms

30 September, 2021 – 10 AM (ET)

UN Women’s Global Gender Equality Constitutional Database is a repository of gender equality-related provisions in 194 constitutions from around the world, that serves to reflect any progress or regression in gender equality language in each constitution over time. A comprehensive review of the database was undertaken in 2021 in close partnership with International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute, and this event will aim to discuss the importance of such tool, along with the guidance note that complements it. The Acting Executive Director of UN Women Pramila Patten will participate in this event along with other expected speakers include Baroness Helena Kennedy (IBA’s Human Rights Institute), Dr Aili Mari Tripp (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Beatrice Duncan (UN Women), Nanaku Tamaru (CDA Collaborative Learning), Adjaratu Ndiyae (UN Women) and Sumit Bisarya (DPA).

How to join: Registration link