As the world’s political leaders come together in Paris this week for the Generation Equality Forum, Criterion Institute is proud to be joining our partners UNICEF and Ford Foundation in making a catalytic commitment to catapult progress on gender equality. Together we are committing to equipping feminist movements to better engage and influence financial systems to address gender-based violence.
Global systems of public and private finance and investments have the potential to advance the vision laid out by Generation Equality’s Gender-Based Violence Action Coalition. Feminist movements—especially grassroots women and girls’ rights organizations—have a vital role in engaging and mobilizing these systems, as yet another lever to reduce and ultimately eliminate, gender-based violence, including in humanitarian settings.
By engaging a diverse and inclusive network of feminist movement actors, finance industry, and others, we seek to:
- Recognize gender-based violence as a material investment risk;
- Support gender-based violence prevention innovations developed by women’s and girls’ rights organizations’;
- Utilize finance vehicles to support accountability on gender-based violence prevention in workplaces and supply chains; and
- Advance fairer financing structures and tools for organizations on the frontlines of addressing gender-based violence.
Criterion, together with a range of partners across civil society, finance, and government, has spent years demonstrating that finance can be a tool to address gender-based violence. There is no more critical time than now to address this issue and for finance to step up as a core stakeholder in the broader work of preventing and responding to gender-based violence.
While our collective commitment will be officially announced at this week’s Generation Equality Forum, other parties will still be able to sign onto the commitment over the coming months and years and join in our efforts to catalyze systemic and transformative change.
As UNICEF’s Deputy Executive Director Fayaz King noted in his announcement about the commitment, “ The vision for Generation Equality is ambitious, but it is attainable.” This is the time for collaborative approaches to designing new cross-sector solutions. This is the moment to move from ideas and intent to action. We hope you will join us.