Sida Kicks Off Super-Year for Gender Equality

In the lead-up to International Women’s Day 2020 (8 March), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency Sida has kicked off what they refer to as a super-year for gender equality. This was announced at a seminar on 5 March at the Sida headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, under the theme “Generation Equality: Adolescents, Gender Equality and SRHR”.

Sida* supports UN Women’s global Generation Equality campaign, and during 2020 a series of events will be held, presenting innovative and new findings on gender while reviewing progress and challenges. This was the first event in the series, held in conjunction with International Women’s Day 2020. The year also marks the 25-year commemoration of the Beijing Declaration and Platform Action for gender equality and women’s rights.

Åsa Andersson, Sida Lead Policy Specialist for Health and SRHR (Sexual Reproductivity and Health and Rights), spoke about the empowerment of women, stressing that “to have control over your own health and fertility is key”. She also highlighted the importance of including young people in the decision-making processes.

Sweden’s Youth Representative to the United Nations General Assembly, Katja Hollböll echoed the call for young people to be included but said there is still a long road ahead for youth to be included in a meaningful way. She shared a personal experience from when she participated in a UN event in New York, where the topic was on youth – however, while youth were invited to attend the event, they were not allowed to speak.

Hollböll pointed out that 42% of the world’s population is part of the youth generation, but they are rarely offered opportunities to meaningfully take part in key discussions or decisions.

Gender and youth are anchor areas of the GWP Strategy 2020-2025 - which states clear commitments to “promoting gender equality beyond statements of intent”, and “engaging youth on decisions, employment, and innovation”.

*Sida is one of GWP’s Founding Partners.

Photo: Q&A at the Sida event on 5 March 2020.