The United Nation's three-day Generation Equality Forum, delayed from last year because of Covid-19, has opened in Paris. It aims to speed up moves towards gender equality and mobilise millions of dollars to bolster the fight to empower women worldwide.
UN Women’s Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said that the underfunding of women’s programmes and the slow implementation of efforts to achieve gender equality leave "a lot of women in a situation where they will never really realise their true and full potential”.
Opening the three-day Generation Equality Forum in Paris on Wednesday, Mlambo-Ngcuka said she hopes to address those areas in which women have been "short changed", like forced marriage, violence, early school leaving, glass ceilings, failure to profit from technology, having little say on their own sexual and reproductive rights and health.
“Many of the problems that women face in 2021, we know the answers,” Mlambo-Ngcuka said. “The fact that we are not doing what is right by women is a true reflection of people who really don’t care or understand the pain that women go through.”
Delayed from 2020 because of pandemic
The Generation Equality Forum, an initiative of UN Women marking the 25th anniversary of the 1995 Beijing women’s conference, was delayed from last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic and will be mainly virtual because of the continuing global impact of the coronavirus. It is a follow-up to a forum in Mexico City in March and is co-chaired by France and Mexico.
Wednesday’s opening of the Generation Equality Forum at the Elysee Palace was to include remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the presidents of South Africa and Argentina and US Vice President Kamala Harris.
In addition to the UN's 193 member nations, the forum will be attended by civil society representatives and private individuals.