Until girls and women are equal everywhere, our work isn’t done. That’s the message from the United Nations Foundation today as it launches #EqualEverywhere, a campaign to highlight persistent gender inequities and the trailblazing girls and women leading the fight for equality around the world.
From a Jordanian woman running a women-only taxi service to a teen in Malawi tackling gender-based violence to an entrepreneur in Kenya helping create cleaner air, #EqualEverywhere elevates stories of diverse, brave women breaking barriers and making strides towards equality in their own communities and industries.
Despite some progress, there is still no place or part of life where a girl or woman has the same rights and opportunities as a boy or man. And COVID-19 has further exposed and intensified existing inequalities. Not only are women at greater risk because they represent a majority of global healthcare workers, but they also bear the bulk of unpaid work at home. And in what the UN has called a “shadow pandemic”, violence against women has surged during lockdowns.
“This pandemic has dealt a devastating blow to girls and women around the world, unraveling decades of hard-won progress in a matter of months,” said Elizabeth Cousens, President and CEO of the UN Foundation. “It has never been more urgent to accelerate progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, to realize a world where girls and women are – finally – equal everywhere.”
Gender equality is Goal 5 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) unanimously agreed to by 193 countries at the UN, to drive global progress on key issues – and it underpins the entire framework. Research shows that when girls and women are more equal, greater progress is possible on everything from ending poverty and hunger, to improving health and education, to tackling the climate crisis and growing economies.
In 2021, governments will commit to Generation Equality action plans to protect progress made and undone through COVID-19, and commit to meaningful changes to accelerate the pace of change towards equality.
“Progress has been too slow, too fragile, and painfully incremental,” said Michelle Milford Morse, Vice President for Girls and Women Strategy at the UN Foundation. “We need everyone, everywhere to stand up, speak out, and demand faster and greater action on gender equality. Everybody has a stake in this, and everybody can help make a difference – that’s what the #EqualEverywhere Campaign is all about.”
Running until the end of March, #EqualEverywhere uses first-person testimonies, eye-catching visuals, and interactive digital tools to build solidarity between communities of advocates around the world, to feature their stories and invite them to take the pledge with the UN Foundation and partners: to take action for girls and women, starting at school, home, work, or the voting booth.
Now in its second year, the #EqualEverywhere campaign in 2021 is being rolled out worldwide in partnership with AmerisourceBergen, Crocs, H&M Foundation, Stanley Black & Decker, Tom Ford Beauty, and Verizon. More information can be found at www.equaleverywhere.org.
About the UN Foundation
The UN Foundation brings together ideas, people, and resources to help the United Nations drive global progress and tackle urgent problems. Our hallmark is to collaborate for lasting change and innovate to address humanity’s greatest challenges. Learn more at www.unfoundation.org