The World We Want, has launched an inspiring call to action to break the silence around menstruation.

As we begin to heal from the pandemic, the Generation Equality Forum put gender equality at the heart of recovery.

A global champion for women’s rights, UN Women was formed in 2010 with the overarching goal of eliminating gender inequality. The organisation supports UN member states in generating global standards of gender equality and collaborates with civil society organisations and governments to construct policies, laws and services that benefit women. Gender equality, however, is yet to be achieved, and the setbacks of Covid-19 have perpetuated a damaging gender-regressive scenario. To build the world we want, it is imperative that we break down these barriers to achieving gender equality, and recognise the campaigns that are ardently pushing for change.

The Generation Equality Forum (30th June to 2nd July), held by UN Women and co-hosted by the governments of France and Mexico, was a landmark moment in the acceleration of action for gender equality. Above all, it offered hope at a particularly critical post-pandemic juncture. Covid-19 has disproportionately hit women and magnified existing inequalities, with issues such as the burden of unpaid care coming back into the fore. A McKinsey analysis revealed that women’s jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable during the Covid-19 pandemic than men’s jobs. Moreover, according to the World Economic Forum, it is estimated that 47 million more women will descend into abject poverty as a result of Covid. At a time where the pandemic seems to have rolled back years of progress, we celebrate the efforts of the Forum to reverse rising inequalities and encourage women’s equal participation in all aspects of life.

The Forum symbolised a chance to push beyond the agenda of the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and put its specified roadmap into motion. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngucka, executive director of UN Women, said the forum was a reaction to the feeble efforts towards achieving both the Beijing action plan and the UN’s sustainable development goals, “Beijing was not financed and we’ve struggled in the last 25 years to implement it”, she said. The first half of the Forum kicked off in Mexico City and launched a public call for action on gender equality. Leaders inaugurated a vision for 2026 and projected the pathway for a feminist agenda. Several commitments were also announced and the final day of the conference revealed the Generation Equality Action Coalitions, a proposal for multi-stakeholder partnerships to accelerate the path towards gender equality.

The Paris Generation Equality Forum continued to fuel these remarkable efforts, and brought together governments, activists, corporations, feminist organisations, and allies to enact transformative change. It featured 100 discussion panels, over 700 speakers and delegates from 150 countries. The roundtable topics were centred around: economic justice, sexual and reproductive rights, gender violence and how to defend women’s rights. Here are some key takeaways from the momentous event:

    1. The Bill & Melina Gates Foundation committed over £1.5bn to eliminating gender equality. Their new commitment will target economic empowerment, health and family planning, and accelerating women in leadership. “The world has been fighting for gender equality for decades, but progress has been slow. Now is the chance to reignite a movement and deliver real change”, said Melina French Fates, “the beauty of our right for gender equality is that every human being will gain from it”.


    1. The Global Fund for Women’s launched the “System Reboot” campaign. To overcome the digital inequalities that have been aggravated by the pandemic, the Global Fund for Women will launch its System Reboot campaign to endorse feminist technology innovators in the third world. Additionally, it will work to propel technology as an unwavering force for gender justice.


    1. The Forum launched a Global Acceleration Plan for Gender Equality. The Plan was constructed by six Action Coalitions, multi-stakeholder partnerships, that have diagnosed the most imperative actions necessitated to accomplish gender equality, ranging from gender-based violence and technology to economic and climate justice.


    1. The Forum finally put into motion a Compact on Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action. This was a pivotal outcome of the event, and acts as an inter-generational, inclusive movement, for action on women, peace, security and gender equality in humanitarian action. The Compact will concentrate on the implementation of commitments such as the strengthening coordination across WPS-HA mechanisms, and promoting financing and visibility of the women, peace and security agenda. Given the stagnant progress of the Beijing action plan in this area, such an effort is wholly welcomed.


    1. The World Health Organisation (WHO) pledged extensive commitments with respect to women’s empowerment and health. WHO announced several commitments to help close the persistent gender gap. Given the pandemic’s devastating toll on women, WHO deeply recognised that the health sector assumes a crucial role in preventing and responding to gender inequality. It thus committed to increasing the number of countries with clinical protocols for women, collaborating with partners to produce evidence-based prevention of violence against women in 25 countries, developing and supporting the uptake by health providers and policy makers, amongst other initiatives.


    1. Four global tech giants committed to making their platforms safe for women and girls. Four of the world’s largest tech companies – Facebook, Google, TikTok, and Twitter – publicly committed to making their platforms safer for women. Their promise comes in a bid to overcome online abuse against women, and an overarching effort to promote gender equality. The outcome of these actions would hopefully comprise of the introduction of new systems to make reporting abuse seamless, and to improve the online experience of women and girls.


There is no doubt that the UN has achieved considerable advances in gender equality, at a time where it cannot afford to be a neglected concern. For the first time, the above commitments will be supervised by an annual accountability mechanism. Moreover, the Forum saw commitments of over $40 billion pledged for gender equality, representing the “largest ever effective infusion of resources into global gender equality” – a groundbreaking feat. Given the pressing deadline of achieving gender equality by 2030, we hope to see these pledges materialised and implemented soon enough for concrete action to take place.

At The World We Want we firmly believe that any individual alone can inspire change. Speaking up is a power, and we encourage you to join Generation Equality’s movement to #ActForEqual.

Here are some ways to get involved:



Ask your government or major companies to act & sign the Global Citizen petition summoning world leaders to make significant commitments in Paris.



Influence the Generation Equality Forum – participate in discussions on their Public Conversations platform.



Make sure caregiving is equally distributed in your family. Check out this unpaid care calculator to assist in the re-balancing of roles at home.



Action Coalitions have discovered that a fundamental gap in advancing gender equality lies in the lack of funding for grassroots women’s rights organisations and movements. Research and invest in these organisations, or in women’s funds that exist to fuel them. The World We Want’s own #MarchAhead campaign is a great place to start, which spotlights incredible trailblazing women and their respective organisations.