The Generation Equality Forum in Paris, France, was a global convening co-hosted by UN Women and the governments of Mexico and France, focused on accelerating the progress of Gender Equality. The event marked the most significant gender equality gathering since the 1995 Women’s Conference in Beijing. The forum met to measure progress and drive solutions and commitments focused on intergenerational and multi-stakeholder partnerships, at a critical moment as we build back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Global Acceleration Plan for Gender Equality was launched at this year’s forum, along with the Compact on Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action, aiming to accelerate gender equality over the course of the next five years and addressing the growing risks to women’s rights due to COVID-19. The event centered on the voices of civil society activists and women’s rights defenders, and showcased concrete commitments from governments, international organizations and the private sector.
Achieving gender equality requires multi-stakeholder commitments. This convening provided an opportunity for the private sector to demonstrate its leadership to employees, investors, consumers, and global governments. The inclusion of private sector investments at the Generation Equality Forum, totaling $40 billion, represents the largest-ever collective infusion of resources into global gender equality.
Learn more about the commitments below:
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Gates Foundation pledged $2.1 billion to gender-equality over five years, amounting to the equivalent of $420 million a year. This funding is intended to help women obtain training and financial services to increase access to contraceptives and to help elevate women into leadership roles in health, law and economics.
The Ford Foundation committed $420 million over the next five years to tackle gender inequality, addressing the growing problem of gender-based violence, reinforcing the need for a care-based economy, increasing workplace equality, and providing critical resources to feminist movements and women’s rights organizations focused on these global challenges.
Proctor and Gamble commit to investing $10 billion in women-owned and women-led businesses by 2025 to advance women empowerment. P&G’s ambition is to grow investment with these women-owned and led businesses to 10% of P&G’s purchasing dollars, which is 10 times the industry average.
PayPal announced a more than $100 million commitment to advance financial inclusion and economic empowerment for women and girls around the world over the next five years. In support of its mission to build a more inclusive economy, PayPal was selected to join the Generation Equality initiative as a private sector lead for the Economic Justice and Rights Action Coalition in November 2020.
Co-Impact announced the development of their second fund – the Gender Fund – which seeks to raise and grant $1 billion over the next decade in efforts to accelerate progress towards gender equality and advance women’s leadership. The fund will be launched later in the year and will support predominately women-led Global South organizations to transform systems to be more just and inclusive, advance women’s power, agency and leadership at all levels, and shift harmful gender norms that prevent progress.
The Open Society Foundations will invest more than $100 million over the next five years in strengthening a range of feminist-led movements and increasing their leadership across a broad range of sectors, from politics and the private sector to civil society and government. The majority of the funding will help strengthen feminist organizations and funds around the world.
CARE’s first commitment is to invest $100 million to support 10 million women and girls as leaders through savings and solidarity groups – or Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) – as part of the Economic Justice and Rights Action Coalition. Secondly, as part of the Feminist Movements and Leadership Action Coalition, CARE will invest an additional $30 million into local woman-led humanitarian organizations, focusing on women’s and girls’ rights.
Kering announced an increase in the Group’s existing support for combating violence against women. The Kering Foundation will provide €5 million over five years to help finance, along with the government, the opening of 15 centers in France to provide shelter, care and support for women who are victims of violence. As a stakeholder in the Generation Equality Forum, Kering is a private sector leader of the action coalition on ‘Gender-based violence’, operating through the ‘OneinThreeWomen’ network which it co-founded, while Gucci, one of the Kering Group’s brands, is the private sector leader of the coalition on ‘Feminist Movements and Leadership’.