Every year, U.N. Women engages with several private sector leaders for short- and long-term plans to empower women and girls across the world. This year's partners include the luxury fashion house, Microsoft, and Paypal as well as youth-led organizations from around the world to propel a dramatic acceleration in gender equality at the upcoming Generation Equality Forum.
The executive director of U.N. Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, spoke about the importance and urgency of the forum at 2021's opening session this week. "COVID-19 has exacerbated existing inequalities across all aspects of life for women, girls, and their communities. The impact of lost education for children, especially girls, is likely to have permanent effects for many."
Across many industries, most of the Covid-related job losses have affected women. In the midst of this global emergency, the U.N. is calling on its partners from diverse sectors to tackle the inequality.
“This broad spread of diverse partners in the action coalitions brings new strength and energy. In combination across ages and sectors, these are forces that can crack open the age-old limitations women have struggled against for far too long," Mlambo-Ngcuka explained.
Coalition topics include feminist movements and leadership (where Gucci is a private-sector lead) and gender-based violence, which will be Kering’s focus. Each focus area will announce “blueprints” for actions to deliver a tangible impact on gender equality within the time frame of 2021 to 2026.
In 2013, Gucci launched its Chime for Change initiative to support and promote gender equality. So far, it has raised over $17.5 million to support hundreds of women-led projects across the globe.
“Every person is created equal. We all have the power to use our voices to stand up for what we believe in,” Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele said about the project in 2019. “When we gather together across generations and communities, we have the opportunity to create real change. The fearlessness of this generation to express themselves gives me hope that a future of freedom and equality is possible.”
This year’s Generation Equality Forum will take place in Mexico City from March 29 to 31, with plans to launch bold commitments at the forum in France in June.