From left: Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Lindhagen, Ambassador for Gender Equality Ann Bernes and Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde.
Sweden wants to lead the global Action Coalition for Economic Gender Equality. This was announced as Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde and Minister for Gender Equality, with responsibility for anti-discrimination and anti-segregation, Åsa Lindhagen hosted a meeting for Swedish gender equality stakeholders. The Action Coalition for Economic Gender Equality is part of the Generation Equality campaign that will both highlight and accelerate implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2020.
Representatives of various women’s rights organisations and other stakeholder groups gathered on 4 March for a stakeholder meeting on economic justice and rights. Ambassador for Gender Equality and Feminist Foreign Policy Coordinator Ann Bernes opened the meeting, after which Ms Linde and Ms Lindhagen spoke about Sweden’s action for economic equality, both in Sweden and around the world. Following a question-and-answer session, Tea Trumbic from the World Bank and Joanna Lilja from Act Church of Sweden held presentations on gender discriminatory legislation.
A milestone year for gender equality
This year, 2020, is a milestone year for international gender equality efforts. UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and UN Women are all commemorating significant anniversaries. The most significant anniversary is the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
“The Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 established once and for all that ‘women’s rights are human rights’. Unfortunately, still today this is not yet self-evident,” said Ms Linde.
Sweden wants to lead the global Action Coalition for Economic Gender Equality
Ms Linde and Ms Lindhagen both noted that despite gratifying achievements, much still remains to be done, both internationally and nationally.
“It goes without saying that Sweden will continue to be a strong voice for gender equality in the world. We must continue to push for gender equality in our own country, too. We have a lot left to do to make Sweden gender equal,” said Ms Lindhagen.
Because of the continued need for gender equality efforts around the world, Ms Linde and Ms Lindhagen announced that Sweden had submitted a letter of intent to UN Women to lead the global Generation Equality Action Coalition for Economic Gender Equality in 2020–2025.
“The deteriorating global situation for gender equality means that Sweden and like-minded countries and actors must scale up their strategic and intensive efforts and shoulder more responsibility,” said Ms Linde.
Forums in France and Mexico to strengthen international gender equality action
The Action Coalition for Economic Gender Equality is one of six action coalitions covering different aspects of the work to advance women’s and girls’ rights under the Generation Equality campaign, which is led by UN Women, France and Mexico. The Generation Equality campaign also includes two major forums that are scheduled to be held in Mexico in May and in France in June. The two forums and the six action coalitions aim to strengthen efforts and strategies internationally to accelerate gender equality actions and the achievement of women’s and girls’ rights in light of the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action.
“We must stand up against the forces that seek to roll back our progress. Because gender equality must move forward, not backward,” said Ms Lindhagen.