OECD Forum on Gender Equality

Message from the Minister of State for Community Development, Integration and Charities of Ireland

Despite significant advances in gender equality in recent decades, our global community is still some distance from achieving even legal equality between women and men, let alone equality in practice. Moreover, the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rapid growth of a well-funded global anti-gender movement remind us that gains are fragile and must be actively defended. Co-facilitating negotiations on Agenda 2030, Ireland worked to ensure consensus on both a stand-alone goal on gender equality (SDG 5), and the integration of gender equality across all of the SDGs, in recognition that it is an enabler of progress and transformation across the whole Agenda. If we are to future-proof our efforts towards inclusive and sustainable societies, we must prioritise addressing long-standing and emerging challenges to gender equality, particularly in the context of global climate, energy and digital transitions. We need to take an intersectional approach and focus on diversification, not limitation, of societal roles. This will benefit broader inclusion and integration, including for LGBTI+ communities. 

As Ireland's Minister of State for Community, Development, Integration and Charities, I am honoured to co-chair the first-ever OECD Forum on Gender Equality 2024: Navigating Global Transitions. The new Forum aims to facilitate exchange and collaboration across sectors and borders on gender equality in the context of global transitions. Convening a wide range of partners in Paris – governments, civil society, academics, business and trade unions - recognises their important contributions and that this is whole-of-society effort. In my role, I know first hand the critical role played by civil society, including women-led civil society and women human rights defenders, in driving progress at local, national and global levels. Its outcomes will provide us with concrete policy recommendations to strengthen existing gender equality initiatives and to design and implement innovative ones. They will also help set the strategic direction for the OECD's continued work on gender equality, such as strengthening gender and intersectional data. We hope that the discussions over the two days will point the way forward to harness the unprecedented global changes for the benefit of all members of society. I look forward to seeing each and every one of you at the Forum. 

Joe O'Brien 
Minister of State for Community, Development, Integration and Charities 
Co-chair of the inaugural OECD Forum on Gender Equality 2024  

Message from the Minister of Culture and Equality of Norway

In a rapidly changing world marked by major transformations such as green growth, sustainable energy transition and digitalisation, gender inequality remains a pressing challenge. New technologies and the green economy offer unprecedented opportunities to enhance the role of women and girls in economic and political life and to close long-standing gaps in access to resources and opportunities. For example, while climate change, environmental degradation and biodiversity loss disproportionately affect women and girls in many countries, they are often on the margins of decision-making bodies responsible for addressing these issues. This underscores the need for policies that take into account the different needs and key barriers faced by individuals in the midst of green, energy and digital transitions to ensure that these global transitions benefit everyone equally, regardless of gender. 

The OECD 2024 Forum on Gender Equality, which I am honoured to co-chair, aims to advance gender equality in the green, energy and digital transitions. Discussions will highlight the impact and potential exacerbation of inequalities, especially for vulnerable groups and future generations. As the Norwegian Minister of Culture and Gender Equality, I look forward to exploring opportunities, innovative strategies and policies, including through development cooperation, to ensure gender equality in the digital age and in sustainability efforts. 

I invite you to join me in Paris on 10 and 11 June. 
Best regards, 
Lubna Jaffery  

Message from the Swedish Ambassador to the OECD and UNESCO

As the Permanent Representative of Sweden to the OECD, I am pleased to invite you to the inaugural OECD Forum on Gender Equality. The Forum comes at an opportune time to renew cross-border and cross-sectoral cooperation for gender equality in the context of ongoing global transitions. Recognising the importance of community, the Forum will bring together ministers, high-level representatives from the public and private sectors, civil society and academia from all OECD member countries and beyond. Participants will represent a wide range of sectors and disciplines, including environment, energy, digital, statistical and social policy, development cooperation, finance, transport, infrastructure and many others. The Forum is convened by the OECD Working Party on Gender Mainstreaming and Governance (GMG), in consultation with a wide range of OECD bodies. This means that discussions will be enriched by the OECD's large body of empirical evidence and comparative data, with the aim of promoting innovative, collaborative and intersectional approaches. We will soon welcome insightful, evidence-based discussions and collective calls to action to adopt inclusive and transformative policies to promote just, equitable and inclusive global transitions in areas such as digital, energy and environmental sustainability.  

Our joint work is important as ever before, in light of the growing resistance to women’s and girls’ rights, to gender equality and to the rights of LGBTI persons. Gender equality is not only a goal in itself but also a prerequisite for sustainable growth and development, and an essential part of the solution to many of the challenges we face in our time, nationally as well as globally. 

Helena Sångeland

Message from the Federal Councillor of Switzerland 

As co-chair of the inaugural OECD Forum on Gender Equality, I am delighted to welcome participants from around the world to Paris for what promises to be a pivotal moment in our shared journey towards gender equality. 

Our world is undergoing transformative changes, driven by global climate, energy and digital transitions. These changes present both challenges and opportunities, and it is imperative that we use innovative government tools and robust gender-disaggregated and intersectional data to ensure that gender equality is at their heart. By leveraging new government policies and practices, we can advance gender equality and create a more resilient and sustainable future for all. But the task ahead is not one that governments can achieve in isolation. We must take a whole-of-society approach, integrating efforts across the public, private and civil society sectors. Gender equality must be woven into the fabric of our societies and economies, as the foundation of a broad movement towards inclusiveness. 

By providing a platform for dialogue, research and collaboration, the OECD has a critical role to play in facilitating this collective effort. This inaugural Forum is an excellent opportunity for us to share insights, exchange best practices, and forge new partnerships to advance our mission. I look forward to fruitful discussions with experts from a wide range of countries and sectors. I am particularly looking forward to sharing the Co-Chairs' summary with you at the closing ceremony on 11 June. This summary will include the main ideas discussed and identify concrete ways forward, serving as a roadmap for our future efforts. 

I hope to see you at the Forum on Gender Equality as we discuss innovative solutions and strengthen our commitment to gender equality. 

Best regards, 
Elisabeth Baume-Schneider 
Co-chair of the inaugural OECD Forum on Gender Equality 2024