A week of action, a generation for equality
Date: Friday, June 18, 2021
The Generation Equality Forum is just around the corner. Taking place from 30 June to 2 July in Paris, France, the Forum will bring together governments, feminist leaders, youth, and change makers from every sector, to confront the gender equality crisis and spur major investments, policy and programmes to advance gender equality and women’s rights.
Leading up to the landmark event, young leaders from around the world shared their activism during the #ActForEqual Week of Action. From addressing inequalities for women and girls living with HIV, to furthering feminist action for climate change, young people spoke out about the issues they are passionate about and shared how they are engaging in this critical moment for gender equality.
Hear from five young activists about why the Generation Equality Forum is important for all generations, how they #ActForEqual, and how you, too, can commit to change.
Selin Özünaldım, from Istanbul, Turkey is an advocate for girls in STEM and equal access to education.
“I’m passionate about this because in order to prepare girls for the jobs of today and tomorrow, it is essential for governments to provide girls with digital and ICT skills through prioritizing education,” she says.
Özünaldım and hundreds of passionate youth activists from around the world are working to bring local views, voices, work and knowledge to the global stage and support local mobilization of the upcoming Generation Equality Forum.
Özünaldım hopes that the Forum will generate commitments to clear procedures for youth decisions in policy-making processes.
“There should be full disclosure on creation of these decision-making procedures for us to ensure that our work is part of the new policies to come,” she says.
“We cannot leave change up to the world leaders.”
Pip Gardner, from the United Kingdom, is a gender equality and human rights activist and a member of the UN Women’s Generation Equality Youth Task Force since 2019.
“Over these last two years I’ve been working alongside fellow colleagues in the Youth Task Force to ensure that the perspectives of LGBTQI youth, myself being a trans and queer person, are really taken into consideration,” shares Gardner.
“I think the biggest thing we can do at the Forum is to reframe the conversation about gender equality for all genders and not just equality between men and women.”
At the global level, Gardner hopes that world leaders include LGBTQ+ people in their actions coming out of the Forum, and they encourage each of us to #ActForEqual at a local level.
“Why not find out about local Pride activities or LGBTQ+ actions taking place in your community this month?”
Doreen Moraa Moracha
Doreen Moraa Moracha, from Kenya, is an advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender-based violence.
She aims to create hope, raise awareness and bring encouragement for people living with HIV.
“I joined the Generation Equality Youth Task Force because I believe I bring the voice of young women and girls who are living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, where the burden of the HIV epidemic is still felt to date,” says Moracha.
“We need to address the inequality when it comes to women and girls living with HIV.
At the Forum, Moracha wants to see leaders commit to removing laws and policies that undermine the achievement of gender equality and oppress women and girls.
“Your voice matters, no matter how small you think it is, it’s going to bring the change we need in order to achieve gender equality,” she says.
“I believe we can.”
Julieta Amara Martínez
Julieta Amara Martínez, from Chile, is a climate justice activist with a gender perspective.
“In a world where women represent 70 per cent of the world’s most vulnerable people, 80 per cent of climate refugees, and only 38 per cent of national delegations at COP25, it is essential to give girls the tools and spaces to become agents of change,” she says.
For Martínez, the Forum is significant because it will be an intersectional, inter-generational opportunity to dialogue and act with the purpose of achieving gender equality.
She would like to see leaders commit to concrete actions and deadlines in favor of gender equality and encourages everyone to play a role and #ActForEqual.
“We all have to build the change...The strength is in the community.”
Kehkashan Basu is an environmental and human rights activist.
She works with people affected by climate disasters, focuses on education for sustainable development, and is a Youth Leader of the Generation Equality Forum Action Coalition on Feminist Action for Climate Justice.
At the Generation Equality Forum, Basu hopes commitments are made to localizing the Sustainable Development Goals, localizing solutions, and recognizing the unique challenges that girls and women face across the world.
She’s also pushing for more and better gender-disaggregated data to inform climate action policies.
“I would also like leaders to commit to having sex and gender-disaggregated data in place that does not brush women’s issues under the rug, but actually highlights them and recognizes how we can bring about solutions.”
How can you #ActForEqual?
2021 can be a landmark year for gender equality if we #ActForEqual and step up for gender equality. Use #ActForEqual on social media to share your activism and the topics you are passionate about.
Register for the Generation Equality Forum by 27 June 2021 to join the multi-actor and inter-generational gathering and follow UN Women on social media to stay up to date with Forum news.