This coming week at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris, governments and partners across sectors will come together to make concrete commitments to move the needle on gender equity and inclusion. The timing cannot be more vital, especially as the pandemic has unveiled the many systemic inequalities and services that are failing to meet women’s needs, hindering our collective ability to build back better and renew our societies.
CGD Policy Blogs
The Generation Equality Action Coalitions’ Blueprints identify intersectionality as a core principle, alongside feminist leadership and transformation. But translating this principle into action will require that intersectionality is fully integrated within the advancement of each theme as well as in the definition of the Generation Equality Forum outcomes.
How Can We Hold Commitment Makers Accountable? Reflections Ahead of the Paris Generation Equality Forum
As the Paris convening of the Generation Equality Forum draws near, I revisit the key takeaways of that note and draw out implications for the Forum’s commitment makers, both in the immediate term and in the long run. I propose that a robust accountability mechanism for global gender equality should include the following.
On March 20, President Tayyip Erdogan announced Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention, aimed at preventing and combatting violence against women and domestic violence. The first binding treaty on the topic, the Istanbul Convention seeks to promote governments’ accountability in preventing violence and ending legal impunity for perpetrators. Turkey’s announcement was met with immediate criticism; Turkish citizens took to the streets in protest, and world leaders, including US President Joseph Biden, issued public statements opposing the decision.
While the previous US administration sought to elevate some elements of women’s economic empowerment within development policy, a recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) suggests there is considerable room for improvement, specifically in USAID’s support to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment (WEEE) Act, signed into law in early 2019, mandates that half of USAID’s investments in MSMEs target women-owned, managed, or controlled business and the very poor. But the GAO uncovered several issues that undermine USAID’s ability to determine how it has fared relative to this ambition.
Government leaders worldwide are trumpeting the need for greater equality in the workplace. That’s the correct thing to do on the grounds of both rights and efficiency, but those leaders might want to start by looking within their own organizations. Today we publish a new policy paper that studies the choices governments have made in their own hiring and compensation decisions.
In March, the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) held its first board meeting of the Biden-Harris administration. At that meeting board members voted to approve just one project—a $300 million loan to expand a Brazilian bank’s lending portfolio to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The loan is notably focused on increasing lending to women borrowers, as well as those in underdeveloped regions of the country, making the new administration’s first board-approved DFC investment a 2X Initiative project—a promising starting point.
Women’s History Month came to a close last week with the first virtual convening of the Generation Equality Forum in Mexico City. Originally scheduled for 2020, the Forum commemorates the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, while bringing urgent attention to global leaders falling short of their stated objectives to achieve gender equality. Over the course of the three-day session, Forum participants heard from leaders of six Action Coalitions, each of which presented a blueprint of actions that coalition members will take to achieve their stated goals by 2026. Here we examine these newly announced goals, assess their scope and scale of ambition, and propose some next steps.
The evidence to date suggests that the pandemic and resulting global recession have exacerbated pre-existing gender inequalities in economic standing and broader well-being in low- and middle-income countries. Now, the question is: are donors like the World Bank and other regional development banks doing enough to close the gender gaps exacerbated by the pandemic?
"Through increased policy attention and financial investment, childcare can move from a problem to an opportunity. It is an opportunity to promote gender equality and education, support families, & build communities and new economies. The time for bold action is now."