A blog by SI UN Representative, Marie-Christine Gries, following her attendance at the Women 7 forum in Paris.
“The objective of the forum was to call on G7 governments to make political and financial commitments to advance the status of women worldwide and to push for gender equality. The event was piloted by CARE France and Équilibres et Populations in partnership with the French government. The event was attended by the French Minister for Gender Equality, Marlène Schiappa, with many of her European counterparts and celebrities. The panel of speakers had a wide regional diversity, beyond the Nationals of the G7 countries, including women from local NGOs, heads of public institutions and trade unions from various countries.
It was acknowledged that the cause of women had advanced in recent years, but nowhere was gender equality achieved. Discriminatory laws and stereotypes persist in many countries and women’s rights are threatened with regression in the current international political context. The W7 recommendations call for a comprehensive overhaul of the G7 countries ‘policies for gender equality, including a significant budgetary effort by the richest states for the cause of gender equality, stressing that currently budgets are insufficient for the implementation of the strategic guidelines set out for this goal of equality.
The recommendations that will be presented to the G7:
- increase women’s participation in decision-making bodies, particularly in national administrations and governments,
- increased budgets for women’s rights, especially in development aid,
- improve financial autonomy and, in particular, access to banking services, the right to own property and to inherit alone,
- provide a global response to violence against women by reinforcing laws and security measures for women,
- governments must provide equal access to employment and equal pay,
- inclusion and participation of women in research for solutions in climate change and active participation of women in the making of policies relating to environment and climate change as women are differently affected than men by this issue,
- inclusive education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathmatics (STEM),
- developing women’s leadership and women’s expertise in decision of government,
These recommendations will be presented in a manifesto to governments at the G7 Summit to be held in August, Biarritz.