Did leaders deliver progress, not promises at the G7 Summit?

World leaders gathered in Biarritz for the G7 Summit, and our team was on the ground with them. Did you miss our last call to action for progress on gender equality? Catch up on all the exciting action here!

After months of activism, thousands of actions taken, and the end of the Summit, where did we end up? In short, not quite where we wanted.

Incredible Progress

France’s leadership remained bold and ambitious to the very end. The nation has made commitments to gender equality, education, and connectivity in Africa. On top of that, they are launching an independent way to monitor the progress they make on those commitments.

As a whole, the G7 also made financial commitments towards digital inclusion, women’s economic empowerment, and combatting sexual violence. For the first time, leaders took legislative and policy commitments to support gender equality.

Crucially, President Macron announced the formation of an accountability mechanism on gender equality. That means that France is not only committed to achieving equality, but they are holding themselves accountable to make change happen.

Plus, Canada, the EU, Germany, and Italy committed US $2.6B in total towards the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria ahead of the replenishment in October.

Unfulfilled Promises

While all of these are important victories, they are not enough to ensure the vital progress required to end inequality. Although leaders made legislative and policy commitments, it is unclear what countries are heading the charge to implement them.

Financial commitments also fell short. No new money is going towards the Africa Partnership, which is a crucial development partnership. The US also did not make a single financial commitment at the G7.

“Declarations are great, but they’re just declarations absent (of) the resources needed to realise their aims,” says Gayle Smith. “We welcome the progress the Summit has made, but we know that the G7 can do more, and we expect it to do more. The challenge now is to build on the steps that have been taken to secure bold action at scale at key events later this year and throughout 2020.”

The fight for gender equality will continue after this year’s G7 Summit. In fact, the fight will continue until we achieve equality for everyone, everywhere.

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Take action for women everywhere

Dear World Leaders,

We are the women at the frontlines of the fight against gender inequality and global poverty.

Every day we see the determination and dignity of girls and women facing down the toughest challenges. We see real advances and the power of people to achieve change. We won’t surrender this fight, but we need you to play your part.

You promised to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030, but at the current rate of progress, this will take 108 years. This is unacceptable. We need genuine progress, not grand promises.

We want implementation and accountability at every level - from this year’s G7 Summit to the Global Fund Replenishment; from our African Union leaders to our community leaders. We will be looking for your actions not your words; for funding to follow promises; and policy to turn into practice. It’s both the right and the smart thing to do for everyone.

To accelerate progress men must demand change with us so that we rise united not divided. And women must have a seat at the decision-making table – because you can’t change what you don’t see.

We’re not looking for your sympathy, we’re demanding your action. Because none of us are equal until all of us are equal.


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