“Promoting gender equality in an age of uncertainty”

Press release: http://www.dw.com

Bonn, 7 March 2017 – International Women’s Day – “Gender@International Bonn”, a network of organizations active in the field of international cooperation, highlights the need to celebrate the successes made on the road to gender equality.

Members of the network include UN Bonn, the State Chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Deutsche Welle, UN Women National Committee for Germany e.V. and the City of Bonn. Over the past two years the network has pursued gender equality as an important, stand-alone objective by bringing together key stakeholders from International Bonn.

“The great diversity of expertise and resources of the members of the network Gender@International Bonn have been key to its success. These resources are already being put to use in many areas of gender equality. An example of this is the critical debate on the image of women in the media and on the career opportunities of women through the regionally funded project ‘Women in the Media NRW’, of the Grimme-Institute”, according to Franz-Josef Lersch-Mense, Minister for Federal Affairs, Europe and the Media of the German Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and Head of the State Chancellery.

Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right; it is also a motor for sustainable development. Much progress has been made on the road to gender equality: there is a growing body of international, regional and local policy mechanisms designed to firmly anchor gender equality in the public sphere, the educational system and the labor market. Women of all ages are receiving better access to education; their representation in decision-making positions is increasing. At the global level, Goal 5 of the United Nation’s Agenda 2030 has given a boost to the efforts to advance gender equality. Core demands of the agenda are the elimination of all forms of discrimination and gender based violence, greater access to sexual and reproductive health and paid employment under fair conditions.

The realization of gender equality has, in spite of these many achievements, nonetheless been slow. The ravages of climate change, populism, extremism, economic crises, gender-based violence, and of sustained and escalating conflict continues to limit the ability of girls and women to fully realize their economic, social and political potential. Economic participation, the media and the impact of climate change on gender equity are at the focus of many other of the network’s mutual projects. “Empowerment”, improving the economic, social and political strength of women and mutual engagement for the greatest possible equality amongst genders are the guiding principles these activities.


Step it up for gender equality

As Karin Nordmeyer, President of UN Women National Committee Germany puts it: „The year 2017 is important for gender equality and the empowerment of women. For International Women’s Day on March 8 and for the 61st Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) UN Women is concentrating on women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work and its significant implications for women. Globalization, technological and digital revolutions, climate change, large movements of migrants and refugees, political unrest, economic recessions and austerity measures around the globe continue to transform the world of work in ways that often do not benefit or protect men and women equally. UN Women is convinced that sustainable development can only be achieved with the full participation of women. Therefore, it is important that chancellor Angela Merkel has put the economic empowerment of women on the agenda of the G20 summit. One objective is to reduce the gender pay gap to less than 25 percent by 2025. This vision of UN Women is clear: Planet 50:50 by 2030, Step it up for gender equality.”

“Bonn will be the venue of COP 23 this November”, stated Mayor Ashok Sridharan. „The 23rd Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Climate Change will bring together both parties and a huge variety of other actors. Gender@International Bonn“, according to Sridharan, “will use this opportunity to raise awareness for the impact and potential of women in combatting climate change.”

The media is crucial to our understanding of gender equality and its relevance for the global sustainability agenda. DW Director of Programming Gerda Meuer: „As Germany’s international broadcaster, Deutsche Welle takes a stance by providing independent, reliable and unbiased information to our audiences and users worldwide. Raising awareness on issues of global importance such as the Sustainable Development Goals is one of our key commitments in our programming as well as our media development projects.“

Gender@International Bonn calls upon all actors to strengthen their engagement for gender equality, to do their part in defending and advancing women’s rights worldwide, and commit to the comprehensive implementation of Goal 5 of Agenda 2030.


Media Contacts

Minister for Federal Affairs, Europe and the Media and Head of the State Chancellery, State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Nina Heil, nina.heil@stk.nrw.de; +49 (0)211-837-1399.

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, Pressestelle, presse@giz.de; +49 (0)6196-794-4466.

City of Bonn, Markus Schmitz, presseamt@bonn.de;  +49 (0)228-772-464.

Deutsche Welle, Christoph Jumpelt, Christoph.jumpelt@dw.com;

+49 (0)228-429-2041