The Generation Equality Forum is a civil society-centered global movement for gender equality that aims to drive ambitious and transformative action towards realizing the human rights of women and girls everywhere.
Despite some progress, real change has been agonizingly slow for the majority of women and girls around the world. Today, not a single country can claim to have achieved true gender equality.
Kicking off in Mexico City in March 2021 and culminating in Paris in June 2021, the Forum sought to address the unfinished business of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action set 25 years ago. Bringing together generations of activists, advocates and visionaries to define and mobilize a bold and ambitious agenda, the Forum saw numerous discussions take place regarding the methods by which change-makers can rebuild these agendas better and differently following the COVID-19 crisis in order to achieve an equal future for all.
Tackling women's struggles during COVID-19
With women’s rights now further at risk as a result of the pandemic, the Forum fueled a powerful and enduring coalition of governments, civil society, private sector, entrepreneurs, trade unions, artists, academia and social influencers to drive urgent action and accountability for gender equality.
In support of GEF, UN Women Asia Pacific organized a series of online meetings, webinars and dialogues as part of the GEF “Journey” with the goal of informing the global agenda as well as strengthening the advocacy, networking and organizing capacities of the next generations of activists, advocates and visionaries in the region.
Sidekick helped UN Women set up a page dedicated to the conference (https://asiapacific.unwomen.org/en/get-involved/beijing-plus-25) to host all the sign up links and schedules, information about each activity, including the sessions and speakers, as well as on demand videos and articles. This page is part of the UN Women Asia-Pacific website, created for public broadcasting and greater public engagement.
A second landing site: (youthactivist.org) also was crafted to engage directly with youth ahead of/during/after the youth activism acceleration sessions
Hosting a Virtual Forum
With a diverse set of audiences convening from various countries, demographics, age groups and level of digital knowledge and understanding from across the region, the goal was to not only engage but also to make the engagement as simple, straightforward and user-friendly as possible.
With each GEF session focusing on facilitating the dialogues and the mobilization of young digital savvy activists and grassroots communities, Zoom formed the core of this experience. This tool was chosen due to its built-in event management capabilities (registration and outreach), unmatched engagement features and familiarity among participants within this region.
Through using Mentimeter, the forum was made much more engaging and interactive whereby partipants had the chance to respond to given prompts and have them displayed, along with all their peers', to visually present the complexity and diversity of social issues.
For the virtual ‘workshop-type’ accelerator sessions aimed at younger audiences, Sidekick used Gather.town to create a fun, exciting and engaging experience. For the Generation Equality event, the use of 'Gather.town' enabled attendees to interact with fellow change-makers and expand their networking bubbles with the fluid video chat feature provided on the platform.
Using the collaborative platform 'Mural', attendees had the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas and have them discussed and displayed through this virtual mural.
Poetry reading by Madison Mehta
During the Gender-Based Violence session, Mehta shared her poetry which discussed the nature of sexual harassment and the burden of women.
Guest speaker Khadeeja Naseem
Naseem is the Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Environment in the Maldives. In her talk, Naseem underscores the environmental politics of gender and the disproportionate impact of the causes and consequences of climate
change on inequality.
Following Up on the Event
Serving as the UN Women ROAP's digital marketing support service for the Generation Equality event, the Sidekick team also helped create 'graphic recordings' that summarise the discussions during the virtual conference through visually stimulating means.
More can be found on the UN Women's Generation Equality site: https://asiapacific.unwomen.org/en/get-involved/beijing-plus-25/generation-equality-forum-ap-regional-journey