SDG 5 is at the heart of Agenda 2030. Without it, the Goals cannot be realised. Eradicating structural inequalities (SDG 1 and 10), ensuring access to quality education (SDG 4), or guaranteeing dignified livelihoods (SDG 8) requires dismantling discriminatory gender norms and patriarchal values. Committing to sustainable, healthy cities (SDGs 3 and 11) requires recognising the essential role of care workers – predominantly women and local public service providers. The actions of indigenous women continue to be essential for safeguarding ecological systems (SDGs 6, 13 and 15).
The role of local and regional governments in achieving the Goals, and in ensuring that the voices of women and girls are heard cannot be understated. The Feminist Municipal Movement, which embraces care and wellbeing as the building blocks of policymaking, is led by women, gender diverse and feminist leaders across the planet, and aims to promote equitable gender representation in politics, recognising this as one of many key elements.
Feminist municipalism is about placing our communities at the centre, emphasising governance of proximity, peaceful collaboration, and delivering services in a way that cares for those who provide them. The Feminist Municipal Movement aims to be a way forward in how we govern ourselves and how we safeguard our ecological systems and the wellness of people and planet.
For this reason, we are proud to announce the launch of ‘From Making Commitments to Realizing Change: Local and Regional Governments’ Progress on Gender Equality’, a report to the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on the localisation of SDG 5. The publication was developed with Associate Professor Jennifer Piscopo as lead author, in consultation with members of the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments (GTF), UCLG Regional sections, UCLG Women politicians and technical representatives and with UCLG’s Ubuntu Advisor on Gender and lead researcher for the concept of the Feminist Municipal Movement, Ana Falu.
This SDG 5 localisation report provides a comprehensive synthesis of trends and best practices of local and regional governments’ efforts around the world to systematically localise gender equality. It highlights municipalities’ approaches to gender-sensitive planning, budgeting, disaggregated data, and participation in decision-making. Furthermore, with nearly 55% of the global population represented by urban governments, it is encouraging to witness an increasing number of municipalities’ pioneering approaches, such as visibilising LGBTQIA+ communities, the use of intersectional lenses, engendering caring cultures of masculinity, and recognising the interconnection between planetary and societal wellness.
The launch of the report took place in New York, on 11 July 2022, as part of the Local and Regional Governments Day of the HLPF, organised by the GTF. Secretary General of UCLG, Emilia Saiz, shared her conviction that this publication provides concrete actions of governments at the local level, moving towards more caring and empathetic policies, and showcasing a shift in leadership exemplified by the Feminist Municipal Movement. Irací Hassler, Mayor of Santiago de Chile shared that the feminist movement in Chile has played an important role in promoting access to rights for the most marginalized and that feminism has the power to unite people across borders.
Pilar Diaz, Mayor of Esplugues de Llobregat stated that the feminist movement is simple: about ensuring all people have equal opportunities and all voices are heard. Reports on the localization of SDG 5 are therefore key, to show the transformative power of the movement. Hannah-Lea Braun, Member of Maichingen Council emphasized that local and regional governments are crucial for promoting gender equality across local communities, as the governments closest to the people. She highlighted municipalities’ key role in countering backlashes against progress on SDG 5.
Sabine Gimbrère, Director International Relations, Amsterdam emphasized that the role of women is crucial is realizing all the SDGs, not just SDG5, for the wellbeing of all humans and the planet. Lucy Slack, Secretary General of CLGF shared her support for the report’s strength in highlighting a diversity of practical examples of what local leaders are doing to empower women, girls and diverse gender groups, and to respond to the needs of communities.
The launch of the report at the High Level Political Forum, and its overwhelming support only further highlighted the commitment of local and regional governments to foster policies that ensure care and the sustainability of all life is placed at the center, and that a new type of leadership, exemplified by the Feminist Municipal Movement, is key to pioneering this transformation.
- ‘From Making Commitments to Realizing Change: Local and Regional Governments’ Progress on Gender Equality’ can be accessed here.