Locally elected women gather for unique forum on gender equality at the UCLG Congress in Bogotá

The Forum of Locally Elected Women on Friday 14th October looks set to be one of the highlights of the UCLG World Congress, the triennial global gathering of local and regional leaders

On Friday 14 October 2016, some of the world's foremost locally elected women leaders will gather at the UCLG World Congress in Bogota to share the unique challenges and experiencies of female leadership in our cities and territories. 

One of UCLG's most valuable functions as a global network is its ability to bring together locally elected leaders from across the world to share their challenges, experiences and knowledge. This is particularly true in the case of women, who are still vastly underrepresented; it is estimated that women make up fewer than 20% of councillors and just 5% of mayors worldwide. UCLG hopes the 2016-2019 mandate will be a tipping point for women's presence in the organization and to our work fostering women's participation across the world.

The Forum of Locally Elected Women is one of a series of Commuity Forums at the congress designed to bring together leaders who face similar experiences and challenges; other community forums at the Congress include those for local government associations, metropolitan governments, intermediary cities, and regions.

At the Locally Elected Women's Forum, organized by the UCLG Standing Committee for Gender Equality, local leaders will discuss their policy priorities for the coming the years and the partnerships necessary to implement the New Urban Agenda with a strong gender perspective. 


11:00-12:30, Sala 2, Coferias Centre, Bogotá, Colombia

Chair: Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris and President of the UCLG Standing Committee on Gender Equality

First panel
  • Manuela Carmena, Mayor of Madrid, Spain, @ManuelaCarmena
  • Sally A. Lee, Mayor of Sorsogon city, Philippines,
  • Fatimetou Abdel Malick, Mayor of Tevragh Zeina, Mauritania, @ABDELMALICKf
  • Cristina Vélez, Secretary for Women, City of Bogotá, @CristinaVelezV
  • Fatma Şahin, Mayor of Gaziantep, Turkey and President of UCLG-MEWA, @fatmasahin
Second panel
  • Raisa Banfield, Deputy Mayor of Panamá, Panamá, @raisabanfield
  • Celestine Ketcha Courtès, Mayor of Bangangté, Cameroon, and President of REFELA
  • Sylvie Goneau, Councillor of Gatineau, Québec and 2nd Vice-President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, @sylvie_goneau
  • Ibon Uribe, Mayor of Galdakao, Spain and President of the CEMR Equality Committee @IbonUribeGdko, @CEMR_Equality 
Follow the event on social media at 11am on 14th October using via the #UCLGCongress hashtag.

Local governments Step It Up for gender equality on international women’s day

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8, is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”. The day will be an opportunity for everyone, including local governments, to reflect on how to achieve SDG5 of the 2030 Agenda.
Local governments’ commitment to SDG5, “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”, forms part of our long tradition of working internationally for gender equality. UCLG’s Standing Committee on Gender Equality, which brings together locally elected women from around the globe, recently published “From SDG5 to Habitat III: the role of local governments in promoting gender equality for sustainability” to highlight the role that gender equality at local level will play in the achievement of the major international development and sustainability agendas.

Aware of our responsibility

SDG5 is directly related to many of the responsibilities of local governments. Local governments can have a significant impact on reducing discrimination and increasing opportunities for women by raising awareness and by mainstreaming a gender perspective across their policy-making, from urban planning to service provision and employment practices.
1. A change in the laws that affect the condition of women and for the efficient implementation of laws;
2. Women to be involved in the development, management and monitoring of public services. Their needs must be made visible and taken into account at all times in planning and budgeting;
3. Public services to avoid perpetuating stereotypes of women and men;
4. Local governments to make additional efforts to provide employment to women and provide adequate training;
5. Local governments to play an important role in providing local, professional and safe care services for children, older people and people with specific needs contributing to alleviate the heavy workload of women preventing them to play a full role in society;
6. Innovative financial mechanisms to be developed to stimulate the independence of women and their active participation in the economic life;
7. Mainstreaming a gender approach in the design and implementation of local and regional policies.
Local governments are aware of our responsibility for achieving a 50-50 Planet and commit to work to increase the proportion of women in locally elected institutions. Currently, fewer than 5% of mayors and 20% of councilors worldwide are women, and local governments and their associations can play a decisive role in supporting women to stand for elected office (as shown, for example, by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Diverse Voices for Changeprogramme, or the Welcome Guide for Locally Elected Women of the Basque Association of Municipalities.
We invite our members to use International Womens Day as a platform to draw focus to the issues that affect women and girls around the world and push to change perceptions, practices and policies.
#IWD2016 #Planet5050