The Local and Regional Governments’ Day: Feminist Municipal Movement was held online by United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) Women on Thursday, 1st July 2021 with focus topic on the generation equality. This forum aimed to make sure that the voices of local and regional government women leaders are heard loud and clear.
This forum also brought out a publication titled The Transformative Commitment of Cities and Territories to Generation Equality. It was written on the Preface by UCLG Secretary General, Emilia Saiz; a declaration that “UCLG, our global equality-driven movement, has unequivocally championed the path towards gender equality as a human right with implications for the whole-of-society.
The Feminist Municipal Movement, as initiated by UCLG back in March 2021 is a movement that is equality-driven, but the term ‘equality’ itself is not enough. What the movement needs is a higher quality equality that can be reached through the involvement, accompaniment and also empowerment of more women to be present in local decision making, as said by Emilia Saiz. By taking the step in the movement, it could be a critical trigger of change in terms of gender equality, especially on the quality of policies that the leaders make.
UCLG ASPAC Secretary General, Dr. Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi, was also there to provide insights and messages about the feminist municipal movement in the Asia-Pacific countries, especially about the advocacy and capacity building for the women leaders of the Asia-Pacific. Dr. Bernadia stated that transformations on gender issues can be seen in Asia-Pacific countries, such as the statistic of 50% of women leaders in Nepal, highlighting how representation is important. She also added how moving beyond leadership, such increasing the role of men in the conversation about feminism can trigger much bigger changes. “This movement should continue and we need to have very strong advocacy. We need to have the combination of advocacy, capacity building, and knowledge transfer, but the most important thing is we have to motivate ourselves, others and the men so we can make a difference together.” On her closing remarks, Dr. Bernadia congratulated the women in the forum and invited others to keep working towards a 50:50 approach on gender equality.
The 50:50 Gender Equality that was mentioned by UCLG ASPAC Secretary General, was part of the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with SDG 5 which is on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls. The number 50:50 is about the participation of women, especially in decision-making. One of UCLG ASPAC’s scope of work is advocacy and supporting local governments in attaining SDGs is one of UCLG ASPAC’s focus on advocacy work.
The discussion continued as women city leaders on the forum talked about human rights, also about their experiences, initiatives, ideas, and thoughts on the feminist municipal movement, which also goes beyond leadership. Ms. Abigail Binay, Mayor of Makati City of the Philippines shared her initiatives on establishing a help desk of gender-based violence for women in the city, counseling, and temporary shelter despite the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
The Local and Regional Governments’ Day: Feminist Municipal Movement came to an end as Emilia Saiz, UCLG Secretary General, give her goodbye with encouragement to the leaders about continuing the commitments to the feminist transformation and gratitude of their leaderships.
By KM Team