g7+ Forum on Women: Promoting Leadership and Political Participation of Women

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g7+ Forum on Women: Promoting Leadership and Political Participation of Women

The g7+ Women Forum: Promoting Leadership and Political Participation of Women –

The launching of the Bi-Annual g7+ Forum on Women, Resilience and Development was held on 30th November 2021 at the Lisbon Hub of the Permanent Delegation of the g7+ and online. This report summarizes the main issues presented and debated in the first forum, dedicated to “Promoting Leadership and Political Participation of Women”.
The speakers highlighted that gender equality and the empowerment of women are primarily a matter of human rights and social justice for all. It is also a prerequisite for equitable, fair and inclusive development processes, without which the fulfilment of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda is impossible. In fact, beyond the Sustainable Development Goal dedicated to women and girls (SDG 5), most SDGs include targets specifically relating to women and girls. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that none of the 17 SDGs will be achieved without robust and solid improvements in gender equality.

Progress in implementing the New Deal

In general, challenges to gender equality are common to most countries in the world, even some of the most developed ones, as many aspects of gender equality have not been attained and are still in progress globally.

Abie Kamara, Satu Suikkari-Kleven and Monica Ferro mentioned that these challenges range from equal participation in decision-making to labour rights and equal pay, from gender-based violence to sexual and reproductive health and rights, from access to quality education to balanced legal frameworks that ensure women’s rights. Fragile, conflict-affected and most vulnerable countries lag behind in many of these issues and face specific challenges that require tailored approaches.

Increased communication between members

Participants in the Forum stressed that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these challenges, as it is causing setbacks and having disproportionate impacts on women, particularly on women in fragile and conflict-affected countries.

With the global pandemic, many more women have lost their jobs with service sector jobs most affected; healthcare access for women and girls has been badly compromised; lockdowns have shockingly increased gender-based violence; caring responsibilities of women have dramatically increased with children at home and family members becoming sick; and girls have been marginalized across the world. The world also witnessed with perplexity and sadness the setback in women’s and girls’ rights in Afghanistan – a reminder of the security-development interlinkages and of the non-linearity of state-building processes. And yet, women are at the forefront of the pandemic response, making up about 70% of health professionals. Furthermore, while we see a growing number of displaced persons and refugees seeking asylum and protection, women and girls are the ones who suffer the most in refugee camps but are also the driving force for defending human rights and refugees’ rights.

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