After becoming the Capital of Arab Women in 2018/2019, Tunis will host the Forum on Gender Equality in less than two weeks, from April 24 to April 26. Around 500 participants from all over the world will gather at this event organized by the Government of Tunisia, the United Nations Development Program and UN Women. Arranging this in Tunisia certainly speaks volumes on all efforts provided by the country since the 2011 Revolution!
It can be argued that Europe was a pioneer in deliberating this topic: in 2015, Ms Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, organized the Forum on the Future of Gender Equality in the European Union. Its goal was to examine gender equality issues in the EU and to find practical solutions through discussion among participants. In 2018, the Stockholm Forum on Gender Equality widened the focus from an EU-focused debate to a more global one, albeit using the same interaction method. Following the practice laid by the conference in Stockholm, the Tunis Forum on Gender Equality will be a platform for interaction and discussion on global gender (in)equality. Civil society activists, government officials, businessmen, media correspondents, and members of regional and international organizations will meet to share their experiences, questions, and advice. The Forum’s goals are practical in nature: to apply in practice what international commitments formally express, and develop additional pertinent ideas for future policies. Unfortunately, reality and theory do not always coincide when it comes to the implementation of gender equality. Having activists from all corners of the world address this discrepancy in their own country will assuredly help to bridge the gap.
All efforts for women’s rights and equality are seen as indispensable to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals. In particular, participants will discuss how to further include women in peace-making and peace-keeping mechanisms, and women’s role in local governments. The variety of topics creates a great opportunity for those of us familiar with one topic but not so much with others, to get acquainted and involved with the rest!
If this sounds like something you are interested in knowing more about, do not hesitate to follow the Tunis conference livestream between April 24-26 or to read the final report once it is published. You can already learn about the outcome of the Stockholm conference here.