Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Gender Equality attend meeting on international gender equality work in the wake of COVID-19

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Some 70 participants from civil society organisations, the social partners and government agencies took part in a digital meeting on 26 August hosted by Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde and Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Lindhagen. Discussions covered the international coalition to work for financial gender equality, of which Sweden is one of the leaders, and international gender equality work in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Lindhagen is sitting in a conference room looking at a computer.

    During the meeting, the ministers said that two major international gender equality forums had been postponed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and that the focus was now on starting work in six global Action Coalitions to advance gender equality.

    Photo: Magnus Liljegren/Government Offices

  • Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde during the meeting. She is sitting by a table and looking into a computer.

    Sweden is part of the leadership of the Action Coalition working on economic justice and rights, together with four other countries and a number of civil society and multilateral organisations.

    Photo: Magnus Liljegren/Government Offices

“All over the world and at all levels, the Swedish Foreign Service has consistently stressed the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on gender equality and human rights and worked to ensure a response and building back that lead to improvements, including in the form of more influence for women and girls,” says Ms Linde.

To support advocacy work, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has developed targeted support for the Foreign Service and ensured that important status reports and impact analyses have been disseminated widely, both within the Foreign Service and among external actors and partners.

“Spring 2020 should have marked the start of a ‘super year’ of anniversaries, mobilisation and progress for global gender equality work. Instead, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the risk of women being subjected to men’s violence and to discrimination and marginalisation, and has led to additional challenges in efforts to advance gender equality,” says Ms Lindhagen.

During Wednesday’s meeting, the ministers said that two major international gender equality forums had been postponed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and that the focus was now on starting work in six global Action Coalitions to advance gender equality.

On 1 July, UN Women announced who would be included in the leadership teams of the Action Coalitions; Sweden is part of the leadership of the Action Coalition working on economic justice and rights, together with four other countries and a number of civil society and multilateral organisations. The next stage of this work is for the Action Coalitions to enter into dialogue and consultation with a view to developing concrete action plans to be launched in 2021.