More than 200 local elected women will gather at the International Women Conference in Paris

Bertrand Delanoë, Mayor of Paris, and Anne Hidalgo, 1st Deputy Mayor of Paris and Chair of the UCLG Standing Committee on Gender Equality, would like to extend a warm invitation to participate in the Global Conference of Local Elected Women that will take place from Wednesday 30 January to Friday 1 February 2013 at Paris City Hall. This Conference is organised jointly by the women’s networks of UCLG, UN-Women, Metropolis, UCLGA (NLEWA), FLACMA (RedLamugol) and CEMR, and will allow us to debate on three main working areas of the Standing Committee:
  • The participation of women in local decision-making;
  • The role of women in innovative financing and access to basic services;
  • Safer cities for women.
This Conference, entitled “Gender Equality, a Priority for Global Development” will aim at proposing ideas for reflection and a roadmap to ensure that the participation of women in decision making in all fields (politics, economy, financial and human development) becomes a priority to the Global Agenda Post-2015.
A number of high-level speakers have confirmed their participation: Daysi Torres, Mayor of Managua (Nicaragua); Yordanka Fandakova, Mayor of  Sofia (Bulgaria) ; Annemarie Jorritsma, Mayor of Almere (Netherlands) ; Carolina Tohà, Mayor of Santiago (Chili) ; Animata Ndiaye, minister from Senegal and Mayor of Louga (Senegal) ; Maria Sol Corral, Deputy Mayor of Quito (Ecuador) ; Maria Eugenia Vidal, Deputy Mayor of Buenos Aires (Argentina); Angela Brown-Burke, Mayor of Kingston (Jamaica) ; Gunn Marit Helgesen, President of the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (NALRA) ; Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO; Elisabeth Guigou, President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the French National Assembly ; Suhair Atassi, activist of the Syrian opposition ; Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, French Minister for Women Rights ; Maria Arnholm, Swedish Secretary of State to the Minister of Gender Equality ; Souhayr Belhassen, President of the International Federation of Human Rights ; Ramzia Aleryani, Secretary General of the Arab Women Union. Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN-Habitat, has confirmed his attendance. The President of UCLG, Dr. Kadir Topbas, Mayor of Istanbul, and Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of UN-Women, will give a video message. 
The World Organisation of United Cities and Local Governments approved during its World Council in Florence in 2011 the creation of a Standing Committee on Gender Equality. The Standing Committee is currently chaired by Anne Hidalgo, 1st Deputy Mayor of Paris.
The Standing Committee is deeply convinced that gender equality is a fundamental right and an essential value. Not only are these rights to be firmly recognized by law, but they must be applied in aspects of every daily life: political, economic, social and cultural. This equality is essential for the existence of democracy.
The commitment of political officials is crucial in order to implement gender equality. In view of this, promoting decision-making by women is one of the Millennium Development Goals, an issue to which UCLG is wholly committed.