14 March 2019
Heads of State and Government Issue Call to Action for Women’s Participation and Leadership
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
story highlights

The Call to Action notes that “we are far from accomplishing” SDG target 5.5 on ensuring women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making.

The Call to Action stresses the need to "lead by example" to build young women's capacity to participate in politics, develop and promote measures to prevent discrimination and violence against women in politics, adopt shared parental leave, and prioritize girls’ education, among other actions.

Several female political leaders signed the Call to Action following the UNGA's high-level event on Women in Power.

13 March 2019: Six female heads of state and government and several other women political leaders issued a Call to Action on eight areas of gender equality, and for enhancing women’s participation in power and leadership. The Call to Action was released following the UN General Assembly’s high-level event on ‘Women in Power’ convened by the UNGA President.

The Women in Power event took place on 12 March 2019, concomitantly with the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63). An SDG Knowledge Hub summary of the event is available here.

According to the Call to Action, the past decade’s progress in the political participation of women has been reversed, and we are now “far from accomplishing” SDG target 5.5 on ensuring women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making.

The eight action points of the Call to Action stress the need to:

  1. Lead by example by mentoring young women to strengthen their capacity to participate in politics;
  2. Identify and work with champions all over the world to push for national actions required to empower women and give the opportunity to participate as leaders in politics;
  3. Create synergies and strengthen networks that encourage women to participate in politics and support the sharing of knowledge and experience;
  4. Promote legal frameworks including laws and policies to ensure the full participation of women in politics without discrimination;
  5. Develop specific measures to address violence against women in politics, in all its forms and manifestations;
  6. Adopt policies that ensure women’s equal participation in the economy and in society at large, including shared parental leave and access to quality child care, as investments that create a better future “for all of us;”
  7. Give priority to girls’ education and the economic empowerment of women as key ingredients for women to achieve their full potential; and
  8. Create an environment where gender equality is respected, and inclusion is part of the organizational culture in all spheres of society.

The Call to Action was signed by: Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, President of Croatia; Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia; Dalia Grybauskaitė, President of Lithuania; Bidya Devi Bhandari, President of Nepal; Paula-Mae Weekes, President of Trinidad and Tobago; Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland; Marta Lucía Ramírez, Vice-President of Colombia; Marina Pendeš, Minister of Defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Diene Keita, Minister for Cooperation and African Integration, Guinea; Alenka Ermenc, Chief of General Staff of the Slovenian Arm Forces; María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, UNGA President; Federica Mogherini, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums; Mary Robinson, President of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice and Chair of the Elders; and Muniba Mazari, National Ambassador for UN Women Pakistan. [Women in Power Call to Action]

related events