Generation Equality is the most significant ongoing global effort to advance gender equality. A 5-year initiative, it brings together governments, international and United Nations agencies, NGOs, philanthropic organizations, and the private sector to accelerate progress towards gender equality by 2026.
Since the process began in 2020, WEI has been at the forefront, promoting the rights, priorities, inclusion, and leadership of feminists with disabilities in the movement.
Now as we approach the midpoint of Generation Equality, it is time to reflect both on our progress to date and what more we need to do to ensure that women, girls, and gender-diverse persons with disabilities lead, participate, and are valued in feminist spaces.
As an active leader of the Generation Equality Action Coalition on Feminist Movements and Leadership, WEI helped shape a Blueprint under which States, UN agencies, and others would commit to advancing gender equality, including key principles like intersectionality and sharing power with those most excluded from the feminist movement. We are also working with other Action Coalition leaders — including new partners like Global Affairs Canada, United Cities and Local Governments, and Gucci, as well as old friends like CREA, Open Society Foundations, and UN Women — to turn the Action Coalition’s Blueprint into a reality.
Generation Equality has become a galvanizing force for the growing global movement of feminists with disabilities, including through the creation of the Inclusive Generation Equality Collective, a global group of feminists with disabilities and allies that was first convened by WEI in 2021. After many feminists with disabilities could not access one of Generation Equality’s key moments — a virtual Paris Forum hosted by France in 2021 – WEI and the Collective strategized to ensure that we would no longer be excluded from the spaces where decisions were made about our rights and well-being.
Through the Collective’s advocacy and communications, we made the inaccessibility of feminist spaces a key theme emerging from the Paris Forum and created momentum for a shift in how gender equality spaces operate.
Building on that momentum and with WEI’s support, in December 2022 the Collective launched the Feminist Accessibility Protocol, a groundbreaking set of 13 accessibility-related commitments that serves as a call for States, UN agencies, feminist civil society, and other feminist actors to #CommitToAccess in the spaces where gender equality is discussed and decisions are made.
Over 150 feminist actors have signed onto the Protocol to date, and the Collective has effectively used the Protocol to advocate for access, inclusion, and leadership at key gender equality spaces in 2023, most notably at Women Deliver and the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
As we move forward into the second half of the Generation Equality process, we will continue to strongly advocate for the inclusion and leadership of feminists with disabilities in global gender equality spaces and also to partner with women-led organizations of persons with disabilities on country-level advocacy projects to make gender equality a lived reality.