Generation Equality: Next to COVID lies an “equally horrific pandemic” that threatens women |
On Wednesday, leaders from around the world will meet in Paris and online, in a massive effort for gender equality.
In the first months of the pandemic, the UN predicted that quarantines and closures could result in a shocking 15 million additional cases of gender-based violence every three months.
“Unfortunately, these predictions seem to be coming true,” Secretary-General António Guterres said in an opinion piece for the British Independent newspaper.
Violence during confinement
One in three women experience violence in her lifetime, said the World Health Organization (WHO), and according to the Spotlight Initiative’s global annual report, violence increased by 83% from 2019 to 2020 , while cases reported to police increased by 64%. percent.
“From domestic violence to sexual exploitation, trafficking, child marriage, female genital mutilation and online harassment, violent misogyny has flourished in the shadow of the pandemic,” the chief said. of ONU.
The COVID pandemic has added to an “existing epidemic of violence against women and girls,” he added.
The pervasiveness of violence against women and girls has led some to believe that it will continue forever.
“It is as outrageous and doomed to fail as it is utterly false,” said the UN chief, noting that the organization, supported by its partnerships, had demonstrated that “change is possible “.
At the Generation Equality Forum, the senior UN official said he would call on states, businesses and individuals to join a global initiative “to end the fear and insecurity that threaten health , the rights, dignity and lives of so many women and girls ”. .
The Forum is a global movement organized by UN Women and co-organized by the governments of Mexico and France to accelerate equality between women and men, girls and boys.
To prepare for the discussions, the organizers shared some statistics highlighting where action is most needed.
Although women make up half of the population, they hold only 20 percent of its leadership, according to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
This underscores the importance of feminist movements in advancing women, including in leadership roles.
And compared to men, women are 24% more likely to lose their jobs and can expect their incomes to drop by 50% more, making economic justice and rights imperative.
At the same time, women are 10% less likely than men to have access to the Internet, leaving 433 million women in the world “dumb”.
Steps must be taken to ensure their equal access to technology and education so that their voices can be heard.
When it comes to the climate crisis, women’s environmental activism receives only three percent of philanthropic environmental funding – a tiny amount for a huge challenge.
Organizers argue that gender-equitable climate action must be in place and that women who are disproportionately affected by climate change must be heard.
From governments to businesses and youth-led groups to foundations, forum participants aim to secure concrete, ambitious and transformative commitments to gender equality, have shaped coalitions for action, offer the world a roadmap for gender equality.