Joint letter – Calling on Generation Equality Action Coalition on GBV to ensure that no girl is left behind

On 27 November 2020, 625 civil society organisations and 75 activists from across 79 countries signed the joint letter campaign to call on Generation Equality Action Coalition on gender-based violence to ensure that no girl is left behind & prioritise ending child marriage and FGM. GAMS Belgium was one of them.

Read the letter 

“To the Leaders of the Generation Equality Action Coalition on Gender-Based Violence,

25 years after the Beijing Platform for Action was adopted, the Generation Equality process marks a pivotal opportunity to reaffirm the global prioritisation of gender equality by all and to accelerate putting in place concrete actions to finally bring an end to gender-based violence (GBV). We recognise the important role that you have played in accelerating an end to the harmful practices of child, early and forced marriage (CEFM) and female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) through commitments, resources and political will. We share the belief that ending CEFM and FGM/C sits at the heart of achieving gender equality.

Each year, 4.1 million girls are subjected to FGM/C1 and 12 million girls are married before the age of 18.2 In certain contexts, these practices are interlinked, where FGM/C is a precursor to CEFM. Both of these harmful practices violate girls’ and women’s rights, denying them the capacity to realise the full range of their entitlements and aspirations. They are internationally recognised as forms of GBV with life-long economic, social and physical consequences affecting not just the girl, but her family, her community and her nation.

Gender equality cannot be achieved while these harmful practices persist, which is why we, the undersigned 625 civil society organisations and 75 activists from across 79 countries, urge you to make ending CEFM and FGM/C a priority action of the Action Coalition on GBV, including by:

  • Investing in evidence-based, community-led and gender-responsive programmes and research in all areas affected by CEFM and/or FGM/C;
  • Supporting strengthened legal frameworks and comprehensive, multisectoral policy interventions to prevent and protect women and girls from CEFM and FGM/C, including in humanitarian settings and marginalised communities;
  • Explicitly referencing harmful practices, including CEFM and FGM/C, as forms of GBV, and ensuring they are mainstreamed into all crisis response and recovery programmes;
  • Including in the Action Coalition Blueprint an accountability mechanism which effectively monitors progress on CEFM and FGM/C and holds Action Coalition leaders accountable for change;
  • Promoting the meaningful participation of girls and women, including survivors, within the discussion and design of the Action Coalitions, to ensure that the voices of those most affected by harmful practices have a say in the solutions.

As members and supporters of the Global Platform for Action to End FGM/C3 and Girls Not Brides: the Global Partnership to End Child Marriage, we represent organisations from every region who are advocating for girls to be free from all forms of violence and discrimination.

With 10 years remaining to achieve the 2030 Agenda, the Generation Equality Forum provides a moment to take stock of progress made on harmful practices and to make a renewed push for accelerated action on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5.3.4Current rates of progress to end child marriage by 2030 must be 12 times faster than current efforts, and 13 times faster to end FGM/C by 2030. Furthermore, the impact of COVID-19 means that an addition two million cases of FGM/C and 13 million cases of child marriage will also need to be averted to meet the SDGs. Without ending CEFM and FGM/C, we will not only fall short on achieving gender equality by 2030, but also on development goals linked to poverty, health and education among others.

By standing together to address CEFM and FGM/C we can work towards a shared goal of gender equality in a world where women and girls can live in a world free from violence and are able to achieve their full potential.

Yours faithfully,

  • Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage
  • Orchid Project
  • Sahiyo
  • There Is No Limit Foundation
  • Equality Now Tostan
  • The U.S. End FGM/C Network
  • Amref Health Africa
  • The Asia Network to End FGM/C
  • End FGM EU
  • End FGM Canada”

 


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