LPSA Thematic Working Group on Gender Equity & Women’s Empowerment – Open Meeting – November 2023

November 29, 2023 (07:00 EST / 13:00 CET / 15:00 EAT)

LPSA’s Women’s Empowerment & Gender Equality Thematic Working Group was launched with an Open Meeting that occurred on November 29, 2023 (07:00 EST / 13:00 CET / 15:00 EAT).

The meeting was opened by the LPSA’s Executive Director Jamie Boex, who gave a background on the alliance’s ambition to elevate the debate on decentralization and localization by informing, connecting and expanding the global Community of Practice, and by shifting the focus of the Community of Practice from the global level to the country level. Jamie presented the case for effective multi-level governance as an opportunity for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development.

Jacqueline Muthura, co-chair and coordinator for the working group, presented the ambitions of the Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality working group. She highlighted key questions in the five areas of interest for the working group to explore in the next year which should culminate in a white paper. Participants in the meeting had an opportunity to share critical priorities that they would like the working group to focus on.

Dr. Jennifer Obado-Joel, Program Fellow – Gender Equity & Governance at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, then followed up with insights into the Gender Equality Strategy of the foundation which seeks to address the missing link between research, policy and practice. The strategy has three key goals: promoting the adoption, funding and implementation of gender, responsive macroeconomic policies in East and West Africa, actively addressing and combating patriarchal basis, colonial and new liberal power structures and imbalances, and supporting feminist movements at the local level.

Anil Chandrika presented a case study on women in politics focusing on the representation of marginalized citizens in Nepali local governments through the newly-elected Dalit women leaders. The research found that increased representation did not necessarily lead to increased influence in decision-making and that social and financial capital were more critical factors than education on the leadership skills of women leaders.

Jacqueline Moustache-Belle then gave an overview of the Local Authorities’ Charter for Gender Equality in Africa and how to give concrete form to the charter. She highlighted five critical areas of implementation: 1) Professional Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment, 2) Partnership and Cooperation for Gender Equality, 3) Leadership and Local Governance, 4) Protection of Women, Girls and Children Against Violence and 5) Communication and Awareness-raising for Gender Equality.

Julia Munroe concluded the panel session with an overview of UCLG’s work in the Feminist Municipal Movement and Promoting Gender Equality in a Transformative manner.

A question-and-answer session followed the plenary. Jacqueline Muthura concluded the meeting with an invitation for co-chairs and scheduled the next meeting, which will be on February 28, 2024.

video of the meeting is available on YouTube. The links below provide access to the video segments of the different agenda items.

No.Agenda ItemContributor
1.Welcome Remarks & Working Group LaunchJamie Boex
2.Local Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment: Ambitions of the Working GroupJacqueline Muthura
3.A View from the Hewlett FoundationJennifer Joel
4.Local Women’s Representation in NepalAnil Chandrika
5.Africa’s Local Gender CharterJacqueline Moustache Belle
6.UCLG’s Efforts on Gender EqualityJulia Munroe
7.Q&AJacqueline Muthura
8.Closing Remarks & Next StepsJacqueline Muthura

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