The Road to Generation Equality Forum Paris: An Opportunity to Accelerate Progress with Adolescents and Young People

Women Deliver in partnership with Adolescent Girls Investment Plan (AGIP)

Thubelihle Nkiwane speaking atan event during the International Day of the Girl Child, where she addressed girls on taking up careers in STEM.
Thubelihle Nkiwane speaking at an event during the International Day of the Girl Child, where she addressed girls on taking up careers in STEM.
Young gender equality advocates share their demands for progress with world leaders at the panel ‘Generation Equality: Girls’ and adolescents’ participation in building a more equal world.’
Young advocates join the stage with world leaders to share their demands for progress for gender equality at the Generation Equality Forum in Mexico City in March.

Paris provides us an opportunity to rethink the rules of engagement

Over 13,000 participants from 85 countries, 46 percent of whom were under the age of 34, converged virtually for the Forum in Mexico City, according to organizers. AGIP, with the support and leadership of the Generation Equality Youth Task Force, helped elevate 30 adolescents and young people to share their expertise, experiences, and calls to action with this global audience. “The Generation Equality Forum Mexico City not only gave me a platform to share my ideas and thoughts on gender inequality, but it also gave me an opportunity to connect with other young advocates around the world and learn about their ideas and thoughts,” said 16-year-old Darshana Rijal, a gender equality advocate from Nepal and a Women Deliver Young Leader.

Darshana Rijal calling for an end to child marriage in Nepal.
Darshana Rijal calling for an end to child marriage in Nepal.
Oindrila holding a sign that reads “Cool kids for the hot planet” while striking for climate justice policy reform in New Delhi, India.
Oindrila holding a sign that reads “Cool kids for the hot planet” while striking for climate justice policy reform in New Delhi, India.

We need bigger, bolder commitments — and accountability

The Forum in Mexico City resulted in a wave of catalytic commitments designed to inspire and mobilize the larger commitment-making efforts that will take center stage at Paris. Mexico’s National Institute for Women (INMUJERES) in partnership with UN Women launched an initiative for an Alliance for Care Work, in a bold effort to confront the care burden that impedes women’s economic opportunity, and which has risen due to the pandemic. Women Moving Millions –a global network of individual women philanthropists –made a commitment to raise USD 100 Million by Paris to support the entirety of the Action Coalition agenda. A partnership between the Ford Foundation, the Equality Fund, and the Government of Canada announced a commitment highlighting the importance of feminist funding in achieving gender equality including: a USD 15 Million commitment from Ford Foundation to the Equality Fund; plans to initiate a multistakeholder Global Alliance for Sustainable Feminist Movements; and a USD 10 Million commitment from Canada to the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced a USD 500,000 investment in youth-led organizations to support inter-generational voices in developing the gender equality agenda.

Virginia Maria Barchiesi hosting a fundraising table at a UNICEF event in Ancona, Italy.
Virginia Maria Barchiesi hosting a fundraising table at a UNICEF event in Ancona, Italy.

It is time to move from dialogue to action

“Heading into GEF Paris, I really hope that young advocates will be heard and brought into action,” said Darshana.

Yande Banda speaking on the climate crisis as a youth expert on Zambia’s largest national broadcaster.
Yande Banda speaking on the climate crisis as a youth expert on Zambia’s largest national broadcaster.
Kalpa Garg, along with members of Gender Sensitivity Club, organizing group discussions on ‘Flaunt Your Flaws,” a photography exhibition and a fundraiser promoting body positivity.
Kalpa Garg, along with members of Gender Sensitivity Club, organizing group discussions on ‘Flaunt Your Flaws,” a photography exhibition and a fundraiser promoting body positivity.

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