Statement by Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka on the outcome of the summit of G7 nations.
The meeting of the G7 group of nations, representatives from the European Union, as well as invited guest countries including Australia, India, and the Republic of Korea, in Carbis Bay, Cornwall from 11 to 13 June 2021, presented a timely opportunity to agree multilateral action on many of the issues of international global concern that deeply affect the lives and futures of women and girls, including building forward from the
COVID-19 pandemic, equitable access to vaccines and medicines, and addressing climate change.
Beyond public health, the pandemic has had far-reaching social and economic consequences for women and girls, exacerbating already high levels of violence against women, dramatically increasing the unpaid care burden on women, and, through rapid and lasting job losses, exposing the deep vulnerabilities of women’s engagement in the labour market. Overall, it has had a regressive impact on the ability of women and girls globally to claim and exercise their rights.
This is the moment therefore to ensure that women are set at the heart of recovery decisions and processes that ensure their rights, meet their needs, and recognize their contributions. In that regard, UN Women supports the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council’s recommendations and the call for renewed commitments to the target of 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income for Official Development Assistance. The impact of COVID-19 on women and girls is particularly acute in less developed countries, where debt alleviation and financing initiatives will be particularly important alongside national budgets in order to support aspects like education for all, ending gender-based violence including online harassment, strengthened domestic and international social care infrastructure, efforts to ensure women’s equal access to capital and labour markets, and a gender-responsive approach to climate financing, investment, and policies.
The COVID-19 crisis has underlined the complexities of our interconnected global ecosystem and the imperative for multilateral action and global cooperation in pursuit of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We urge G7 leaders to continue championing gender equality and women’s empowerment, including by demonstrating the representation and leadership of women in delegations, and encouraging them to secure their commitments on gender equality through funding and concrete action.
The G7 outcomes precede the Generation Equality Forum in Paris, to be held 30 June to 2 July 2021, and from which it is expected that a five-year, consolidated set of ambitious, transformative, and well funded commitments to achieving gender equality will result. The Forum, convened by UN Women and co-hosted by the governments of Mexico and France, in partnership with youth and civil society, will be attended by Heads of State and will bring together a wide range of stakeholders in gender equality from across the world.
It aims to spur new action that accelerates progress in the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action adopted by world leaders in 1995 and achieve immediate and irreversible progress towards gender equality. The commitments of the G7 group of nations are an influential aspect of such new action, and we urge them to join us in Generation Equality, and to draw on upon the specific recommendations of the Gender Equality Advisory Council for their actions both domestically and globally.