Convened by UN Women, co-hosted by the governments of Mexico and France in partnership with youth and civil society, and ongoing since March, the forum was a global gathering to launch a powerful agenda of actions. While we have seen progress toward gender equality around the world over the past 26 years, more is needed from everyone — us included. At this crucial moment, this is why Canada and the Ford Foundation are proud to join together to push for greater support and resources for gender equality.
Despite these challenges, women, girls and non-binary people remain organized, active and resilient in pushing for change. In fact, strong, autonomous feminist movements are one of the world’s most powerful drivers of lasting progress towards multiple forms of equality and justice.
In Canada, the government has responded to the advocacy of Canadian women’s rights organizations by committing this year to building a country-wide early learning and childcare system.
These initiatives represent necessary, meaningful progress. But together, and as a global community, we all must do more.
This needs to change — now.
And so, in Paris, we joined together with civil society, government, business corporations, philanthropic and multilateral stakeholders to leverage this historic moment. Along with others, we are forging the Global Alliance for Sustainable Feminist Movements — a cross-sector network rallying the resources of the world’s most powerful institutions around the goals of women, girls and non-binary people.
With strong feminist policy and sustained, unified, multi-sector collaboration, global institutions can put money and power in the hands of the feminist organizations already fighting every form of gender-based inequality and injustice. When guided closely by feminist insights and influence, these collaborations can be transformational. We already know that courageous feminist action can scale local solutions for global change.
As partners in this work, we are united by a firm belief in the power of women in all their diversity to be agents of change in their communities and our world — and by a shared conviction in our collective obligation to fund their work, now and into the future.
All of us have a unique role to play in the fight for gender equality. When we follow the lead of feminist visionaries, we can do our part to dismantle the systems of patriarchy that continue to hold women back. Leaders in government, philanthropy, civil society and the private sector are no exception — us included.
Many existing mechanisms — the Equality Fund, women’s funds and consortia such as Leading from the South and the Women’s Funds Collaborative — offer opportunities to leverage greater resources for feminist movements and make sure the money goes directly to those driving the change women, girls and non-binary people need.
Now is the time for all of us to imagine new partnerships and commit to action — including new and increased funding — not just this past week in Paris but for decades to come. Together, let’s put women’s rights organizations and feminist movements at the center of the global agenda by ensuring that meaningful resources — and power — flow to them wherever they are.