On 8 March 2015, the day that marks International Women’s Day, we will also celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Declaration and Platform for Actionfor Beijing (Beijing+20). On this occasion, UCLG would like to recall that no state has achieved gender equality in all areas of public and private life, and that significant inequalities continue to prevent the appropriate development of our societies.
On this day, we celebrate the men and women that fight for equality on a daily basis. Our thoughts are with the women who are victims of abuse as well as those in conflict zones.
Even today, women continue to be under-represented in decision-making bodies of all kinds around the world, and commitments to achieve gender equality in leadership positions have still not been reached: just 16% of mayors of capital cities are women, and a mere 7.8% of government leadership positions are held by women.
In celebrating the 20th anniversary of the pioneering 1995 Conference, UCLG takes advantage of this important time to reaffirm that:
- Communities that give their citizens the opportunity to participate in political, social and economic life are the drivers of change in terms of eradicating poverty.
- Sustainable development cannot be achieved without gender‑responsive local governance. The development agenda must address gender equality in local governance and sustainable development, in order to meet the expectations of citizens around the world.
- It is imperative to contribute to encouraging the participation of women in local decision-making processes, since a greater presence of women in local governance will inspire future generations to build a more equal world.
Members of UCLG, in particular, local elected women, call on men worldwide to get involved in this call to action to improve collective well-being.
The rights of women and their empowerment must be clear objectives within all aspects of the new Post-2015 development agenda. In order to make progress in this respect, and towards achieving equality, it is crucial to strengthen our partnerships with grassroots organizations.
Locally elected women that drive gender equality within UCLG Women, and within networks of women from Africa (REFELA) and Latin-America (REDAMUGOL), as well as from UCLG’s Regional Sections UCLG-ASPAC, UCLG EURASIA,CEMR, UCLG-MEWA, NORAM and major cities Metropolis, stress that the time to act is now!
The HeForShe Campaign has been launched by UN Women, aiming at raising awareness related to the responsibility that should be taken by men in order to overcome any kind of discrimination and violence against girls and women.
Read UCLG Communiqué.