ONE calls on G7 leaders to turn the tide on gender equality at Biarritz

Biarritz – As world leaders prepare to travel to Biarritz for the G7 Summit, they are being urged to accelerate action on gender equality.

Coordinated by The ONE Campaign, more than 50 of the world’s leading NGOs have written to the G7 leaders this week, warning that despite promises to do more for women and girls, the world is dangerously off-track on gender equality. The letter calls on the leaders attending the summit to take real action and agree to independent reporting of their commitments when they meet in Biarritz.

At a moment when the future of multilateralism is in doubt, this year’s G7 summit presents an unprecedented opportunity for leaders to show they can make a difference. Reducing inequality is the central theme of this year’s summit and yet gender inequality remains one of the most pervasive barriers to growth and prosperity.

Whether through a lack of access to healthcare, economic opportunities or new technologies, women are hit harder than men, especially in the world’s poorest countries. This burning injustice inhibits the world’s ability to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals. These goals will not be realised unless progress on women’s and girls’ rights is accelerated significantly.

Gayle Smith, President and CEO of ONE, said: “It is beyond belief that we will have to wait another 108 years to achieve gender equality across the world. Until this changes, leaders are ignoring the power and potential of half the world’s population. But they have an unprecedented opportunity to start to turn the tide by coming together at Biarritz and agreeing to support new laws, policies and funding that will help to advance women’s rights and economic empowerment.”

Friederike Röder, EU and France director of ONE, said: “Each of the leaders attending this summit has made promises to support and empower women and girls. But if words alone had the power to deliver gender equality we would not still be waiting. Now we need to see real action. That’s why it’s so important that they commit to The Biarritz Partnership.”

Throughout the G7 Summit, ONE campaigners and activists will remind leaders of the promises they have made and press them to sign up to the Biarritz Partnership.

A copy of the open letter is attached with this press release.

Notes to Editors:

About the Biarritz Partnership:

According to the World Economic Forum, at the current rate of change, it is going to take 108 years to achieve gender equality, and even longer in the world’s poorest countries (135 years in sub-Saharan Africa). Equal Measures 2030’s report shows that not a single country is set to achieve gender equality related SDGs by 2030.

A lack of progress on gender equality will threaten progress on the whole SDG agenda, hence the need for an ambitious partnership fast tracking progress. This G7 summit should and can turn the tide on gender inequality worldwide. To deliver long-lasting change for girls and women – including in the poorest countries – we need a combination of legislative and policy change, financial commitments and a robust accountability scheme. ONE’s specific proposal for a concrete, ambitious Biarritz Partnership can be found here.