The United States and The Generation Equality Forum

Publication Subtitle

Advancing Commitments to Gender Equality and Women’s Rights Globally

Publication year


Publication Author

Spogmay Ahmed

After years of debate as to whether or not to host a Fifth World Conference on Women, UN Women and leading progressive nations wishing to mark the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action at the Fourth World Conference on Women have created a champions-only space outside the United Nations (UN) system: the Generation Equality Forum (GEF).

For the Biden-Harris administration, the GEF offers among its first and best opportunities to demonstrate its renewed and unwavering commitment to these issues on the world stage. By making strong commitments to achieve gender equality and protect women’s human rights across all six of the priority themes—organized in what are known as Action Coalitions—the United States can advance gender equality and women’s rights both globally and domestically, in line with the Biden-Harris administration’s priorities: an equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the advancement of racial justice and equity and a robust response to the global climate crisis.

Key Findings & Recommendations

  1. GENDER BASED VIOLENCE (GBV): Led by the governments of Iceland, Kenya, the United Kingdom and Uruguay
    President Biden has identified ending gender-based violence in the U.S. and worldwide among his key priorities. As part of the GBV Action Coalition, the U.S. government should:

    • Dedicate at least 2 percent of official development assistance (ODA) to GBV prevention, mitigation and response;
    • Announce commitments to develop a National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence and update; and
      the 2016 U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally, and
    • Ratify ILO Convention 190
  2. ECONOMIC JUSTICE AND RIGHTS (EJR): Led by the governments of Germany, Mexico, South Africa, Spain and Sweden
    As part of the EJR Action Coalition, the U.S. government should:

    • Join the Global Alliance for Care and increase investments in the care economy;
    • Ensure intersectional gender analysis in all COVID-19 response and recovery plans; and
    • Ensure women’s job security and enact protections to prevent exploitation.
  3. BODILY AUTONOMY AND SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS (SRHR): Led by the governments of Argentina, Burkina Faso, Denmark, France and North Macedonia
    As part of the Bodily Autonomy and SRHR Action Coalition, the U.S. government should:

    • Recommit to promoting SRHR in the U.S. and worldwide;
    • End restrictions on funding for abortion internationally and domestically; and
    • Fully fund comprehensive SRHR programs.
  4. FEMINIST ACTION FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE: Led by the governments of Costa Rica and the Maldives
    As part of the Feminist Action for Climate Justice Action Coalition, the U.S. government should:

    • Commit to 100 percent gender-responsive climate finance;
    • Integrate intersectional gender analysis into all climate change plans and policies;
    • Commit to a gender-just transition; and
    • Support the collection and use of comprehensive and intersectional gender and sex-disaggregated data and analysis.
  5. TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION FOR GENDER EQUALITY: Led by the governments of Armenia, Chile, Finland, Rwanda and Tunisia
    As part of the Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality Action Coalition, the U.S. government should:

    • Support countries in ending technology-facilitated GBV;
    • Commit to ending the gender digital divide; and
    • Promote gender-responsive innovation.
  6. FEMINIST MOVEMENTS AND LEADERSHIP: Led by the governments of Canada, Malawi and the Netherlands As part of the Feminist Movements and Leadership Action Coalition, the U.S. Government should:
    • Announce intentions to draft the world’s next feminist foreign policy;
    • Ensure that 100 percent of foreign policy funding considers how policies and initiatives supported will either promote or hinder gender equality;
    • Promote and expand civic space in the U.S., at the UN, and worldwide; and
    • Join the Group of Friends for Gender Equality.