Last Sunday, 27 September, took place at the United Nations Headquarters of New York a historic gathering to promote the political, social, and economic empowerment of women at the global level. The meeting was co-hosted by the People’s Republic of China and by UN-Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The gathering was a follow-up of the “Fourth World Conference on Women”, celebrated in Beijing twenty years ago, and was initiated after opening remarks by H.E. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, and by Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Under the title "Global Leaders' Meeting on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment: A Commitment to Action", a group of top level representatives of 85 countries and regional organizations, together with authorities of the private sector and representatives of the civil society, discussed the difficulties to achieve a world free from gender discrimination. All participants were invited to publicly assume commitments with the objective of eliminating gender inequality; the result can be considered as a historic boost in the process of creating a society free from discrimination against women. In this sense, 85 member states assumed new and specific commitments that can be consulted here. In addition, the meeting produced also new commitments by regional organizations, civil society, and the private sector, which can be consulted here. The nature of these new commitments includes economic investments, specific legislation efforts, and political compromises, always creating a synergy with other ongoing projects and efforts envisioning gender equality, namely the recently approved Sustainable Development Goals, and UN Women's initiative 'Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step it Up for Gender Equality'. The gathering was closed by UN Women Executive Director, Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, who stated: "Now the world looks up to them to lead the game-changing actions that secure and sustain implementation. Today we take the first step towards 25 September, 2030" (her full speech can be accessed here).