Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland, participated in a virtual intergenerational dialogueof high-level female leaders with activists and young leaders from different parts of the world to focus on the importance of inclusive leadership and the change it can bring for all girls and women.
The event was co-hosted by UN Women, the Government of Mexico and the Council of Women World Leaders in collaboration with the Generation Equality Forum. Among the participants, in addition to Prime Minister Jakobsdóttir, were Phumzile Mlambo-Nqucka, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and UN Women Executive Director, Olga Sanchez Cordero, Minister of the Interior of Mexico and Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement.
The importance of diverse leadership and the participation of women in politics and the economy was on the top of the agenda. The impact of gender balance on measures aimed at increasing equality and the empowerment of women and girls was also discussed.
Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister:
"Unfortunately, we have witnessed a backlash in gender equality world wide due to the impact of COVID-19. To counteract even further setbacks, the measures taken by governments to address the effects of the pandemic need to be gender responsive. Dialogue between nations, national leaders, international institutions and organizations have never been more important. The hard-earned progress made on gender equality and human rights of women and girls around the world must be protected. It is crucial to work together and learn from each other during this monumental task of building back better."
The meeting yesterday was part of the UN Women Generation of Equality Forum launched on the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing and the adoption of the Platform for Action on Gender Equality. Iceland is one of the leaders in the campaign and sits on the board of the Action Coalition on Gender-Based Violence. The forum is the largest UN Women project to date and one of the main priorities of the UN Secretary General, António Guterres.
The title of the Generation Equality campaign refers to the aim of intergenerational dialogue on gender equality. The goal is to seek improvements in areas where women and girls are still disadvantaged.
Five years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, it is clear that goal No. 5, ensuring gender equality, is the goal most countries are furthest from reaching. There are growing concerns that the COVID-19 pandemic could further hamper efforts of the member states to advance the SDGs. In fact, the COVID-19 crisis is enabling a backlash in women’s rights as reports of gender-based violence against women have increased significantly this year.