At a time when the world is grappling with the urgent consequences of crises like climate change and the global COVID-19 pandemic, gender equality advocates say we need more women in leadership than ever.

That’s why, on July 2, the Generation Equality Forum Paris, hosted by UN Women, concluded with historic commitments – including nearly $40 billion of confirmed investments – from governments, philanthropies, corporations, civil society, and youth organizations to accelerate gender equality over the next five years. It’s an effort to put concrete action behind the intentions that were set in 1995 at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing and the goals that were specified by Sustainable Development Goal 5.

“The Generation Equality Forum marks a positive, historic shift in power and perspective,” said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women in a press release. “Together we have mobilized across different sectors of society, from south to north, to become a formidable force, ready to open a new chapter in gender equality.”

The Paris event was preceded in March by a two-week-long kickoff gathering in Mexico City, where UN Member States adopted a set of Agreed Conclusions that recognized the need to significantly increase women’s full participation and leadership at all levels of decision-making in government and the public sector. It recommended, for example, setting targets and timelines to achieve gender balance in government through quotas, appointments and training, changing laws and policies that hinder women’s equal participation in public service, measures to eliminate, prevent and respond to all forms of violence against women and girls, measures to support young women’s participation in public life, and reinforcing women’s presence and leadership in all places where climate change-related decisions are made.

Read the full article about gender equality by Joanne Lu at Global Washington.