| 2023 High-level political forum week |
GWL Voices representatives were in New York for the High-level political forum on Sustainable Development, an opportunity focused on accelerating recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and fully implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels. This was an opportunity for the organization to continue raising awareness and advocating for gender equality as a central component of reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These were GWL Voice’s main takeaways:
1. Numbers matter everywhere and in all languages:
GWL Voices President Susana Malcorra, and Executive Director, María Fernanda Espinosa, presented our flagship report, “Numbers Matter,” to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the High-level Political Forum 2023. This unprecedented report sheds light on the inequality in gender representation in the multilateral system. As GWL Voices continues working on raising awareness about this crucial issue, it made the report available in Arabic, Chinese, Russian, and Spanish. The objective is to ensure that this information is more accessible to everyone. You can download the report here:
2. Access to water and sanitation is a gender issue as well:
Executive director, Commissioner of Global Commission on the Economics of Water, and former President of the General Assembly, María Fernanda Espinosa, participated in the “SDG 6 and interlinkages with other SDGs – Clean water and sanitation” panel during the High-level Political Forum 2023. Water and sanitation are fundamental human rights. However, almost a third of the population still does not have access to it. Moreover, among communities without access to water, women are mainly responsible for getting these resources for their families, which affects their time to study, work and develop in other areas. Finally, access to water and sanitation is vital to achieving all of the 2030 SDGs; it is impossible to achieve the others without this goal, so an essential call to action was for everyone to work on it collectively.
3. A new financial architecture for more inclusion is needed:
An essential component of inclusion and equality is having access to the same opportunities. However, when it comes to financial inclusion, “more than 60 countries are currently in debt distress. It has become one of the main obstacles for these countries to achieve the SDGs”, said María Fernanda Espinosa during her participation at the High-level Political Forum 2023. Moreover, there are still critical gender gaps in financial inclusion. Women have less access to financial resources. A profound transformation of financial institutions with and for women is needed; that is why GWL Voices co-hosted “Gender Sensitive International Financial Architecture,” a panel to discuss a financial system that works for all, including women and girls.
4. Technologies must be inclusive and developed without gender biases:
Another critical topic raised by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, during the High-level Political Forum 2023 was gender biases in new technologies. New innovations and technologies bring advantages but also challenges when it comes to gender biases. Several studies have already proven that AI has gender biases, and this is an issue that needs to be addressed to avoid developing technologies that exclude women and feed gender stereotypes.