Gender equality needs to be prioritized: Gender@International Bonn calls for stronger women’s political participation on all levels

© by Gender@International Bonn

Bonn, 08 March 2018 – On International Women’s Day, Gender@International Bonn, a network of organizations active in the field of international cooperation, underlines the need to press for progress on women’s political participation. 2018 marks 100 years since the adoption of women’s voting rights in Germany. While much has been achieved since then, Germany performs poorly on some indicators for women’s political participation. With currently just under 31 percent, women’s representation in parliament has dropped compared to previous years.

“Women are underrepresented in parliament, as well as in leading positions, whether in the civil service, the private sector or academia. This occurs despite their proven abilities as leaders and agents of change, and their right to participate equally in democratic governance. In the upcoming legislative term, gender equality needs to be prioritized - to the benefit of society at large”, affirms Karin Nordmeyer, President of UN Women National Committee Germany.

There is broad agreement that sustainable development will only be achieved through inclusive partnerships. A full and equal integration of women at all levels is thus part and parcel for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and its promise “to leave no one behind.”

During his first year in office, UN Secretary-General António Guterres put forward a roadmap towards gender parity at all levels of the UN. Leading by example, he pushed for full gender parity in senior management. And since January this year, 50 percent of the most senior positions in the UN system are held by women: A milestone in UN history. Guterres has further requested that all UN reforms clearly outline how they intend to strengthen the organization’s capacity to deliver on gender equality. In the context of UN Peace & Security pillar reforms, implementation by UN Member States of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace & Security is imperative to enable women’s full participation.

In New York from 12 to 23 March 2018, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will hold its annual meeting to discuss progress and gaps in the implementation of global policies and agreements on gender equality, and to assess emerging issues that affect the empowerment of women.

A lot more needs to be done to ensure equal participation of women at all levels. Therefore, Gender@International Bonn network members are expanding their activities to raise awareness and engage diverse audiences through events and social media.

On 09 March, Bonn Mayor Ashok Sridharan is inviting local women and their organizations to an informal 100th anniversary celebration of the female right to vote in cooperation with Frauenmuseum Bonn, the oldest women’s museum in the world. The event is linking to the global implementation of SDG 5 and thereby gender equality worldwide in light of the upcoming Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the UN.

Earlier this week, on 07 March, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development,  held an event on “Women, Peace and Security: Preventing war and sustaining peace” in Bonn, to emphasize the relevance of the women, peace and security agenda for development cooperation and point out the need for increased actions for women’s equal participation and leadership in crisis prevention and peacebuilding, as well as improved protection from sexualized and gender-based violence.

From income inequality to sexism, the digital divide and unequal political and economic power relations: inequality is widespread. Under the theme Global Inequalities, participants of the Deutsche Welle (DW) Global Media Forum on June 11-13, 2018 will discuss the potential of media and digital developments to provide equal access to knowledge, power and participation.

Gender@International Bonn calls on everyone to build on the momentum for gender equality and awareness - generated amongst others by the #metoo-campaign - and to further #PressforProgress on all levels in 2018 and beyond.

About: Since 2015, Gender@International Bonn network pursues gender equality by bringing together key actors within International Bonn. Network members include the UN Women National Committee for Germany e.V., the State Chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Deutsche Welle (DW), UN Bonn and the City of Bonn.