Decisions of the UCLG Standing Committee on Gender Equality meeting in Lyon on 6 June


The UCLG Standing Committee on Gender Equality met on 6 June 2013 in Lyon, on occasion of the Executive Bureau held on 5-7 June at the invitation of City of Lyon and Rhône-Alpes Region. This article provides an extract of the main decisions adopted by the Standing Committee.

1. The meeting was chaired by Pierre Schapira, Deputy Mayor of Paris, in representation of the Chair of the Standing Committee Anne Hidalgo. Unfortunately Ms. Hidalgo could not participate due to a last minute dramatic incident that, on her way to Lyon, obliged her to return to Paris to fulfill her tasks as 1st Deputy Mayor of the city.

2. It saw the participation of the following local and regional government members: Istanbul, Madrid, Rabat, Sao Paulo, Rhône-Alpes Region, UCLG-ASPAC, Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), UCLG-MEWA, United Cities France (CUF), Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP), Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), National League of Cities (NLC) and International Association of Francophone Mayors (AIMF).  

MOBILIZATION AND CONTRIBUTION TO THE IV UCLG WORLD CONGRESS ON 1-4 OCTOBER IN RABAT

3. The 2nd World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders in Rabat will have a whole session dedicated to gender equality in the morning of 1 October. This will be essential to push the gender agenda in UCLG and to ensure that women leaders meet each other and are active in the new period.  

4. More women leaders in UCLG: Inspired in the UCLG electoral rules, efforts will be made to ensure at least 20% representation of female speakers in each session of Rabat Congress. These representatives will intervene in all the topics and not only on those related to gender equality.

PROMOTION OF GENDER EQUALITY IN THE 2013 UCLG CALL FOR CANDIDATURES TO THE PRESIDENCY AND ELECTORAL PROCESS FOR THE GOVERNING BODIES

5. An important part of the UCLG electoral process is carried out at regional level and lead by the Sections. The Committee on Statutory Affairs recommended to the Executive Bureau to postpone the deadline for the nominations from 22 June to 31 July in order to ensure the finalization of all the electoral processes at regional level. The lack of gender balance in the Governing Bodies of UCLG is a great source of concern and members emphasized the need to undertake concrete and more extensive actions. 

6. Members of the Standing Committee are invited to send letters to the Secretaries General of the Sections calling for applying the Rule 5 of the Electoral Procedure Rules and having 20% of gender represented in the elections on 2013.

7. The members of the Standing Committee on Gender Equality brought up two proposals to ensure a greater presence of women.

8. Councillor Berry Vrbanovic, Vice President of the Standing Committee and on behalf of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), carried a motion to ensure that the Chair of the Standing Committee on Gender Equality becomes member of the UCLG Presidency. 

- The Lyon Executive Bureau decided that for the period 2013-2016, and regardless of the presence of another female candidate for the Presidency, the Chair of the Standing Committee should be able to exercise full functions in the UCLG Presidency.

9. Peter Woods, on behalf of the UCLG-ASPAC Section, carried a motion aiming at accelerating the presence and enhancing the visibility of women in the UCLG decision-making bodies. Commissions and Working Groups of the World Organization should include two Co-Chairs – one female and one male representative – and chairing of meetings should be equally divided among female and male representatives. This proposal should be effective as from the new mandate of the World Organization.

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN UCLG AND UN WOMEN

10. On occasion of the Global Conference of Local Elected Women held on 31 January-1 February 2013 in Paris, UCLG and UN Women signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen their collaboration. Building on the successful experience of CEMR around the Observatory on the European Charter for Equality of Women and Men in Local Life and based on the initiative launched by the Inter-Parliamentary Union on “Women in politics”, UCLG will gather and systematize data on elected women at local level to contribute to the yearly report that UN Women publishes on the state of women. UCLG will develop this study in 60 countries around the world.

11. This study will further contribute to provide inputs to feed the advocacy initiatives that UCLG and its members are undertaking worldwide to promote gender equality in local decision-making.

OTHER ISSUES

12. The Standing Committee agreed to carry on additional efforts to promote the implementation of the Paris Local and Regional Governments’ Global Agenda for Equality of Women and Men in Local Life.

13. UCLG informed on a working collaboration with Huairou Commission, the worldwide grassroots women’s association partner of the Standing Committee. The agreement will allow working in 6 countries to promote women leadership in local decision-making.

14. The Standing Committee emphasized the importance of developing advocacy actions, rather than limiting to project management.

15. The Standing Committee informed on the latest developments regarding the use of social media and internet tools to promote the activities of the network and in general the initiatives on local governments and gender equality. It further invited the members to contribute to the “UCLG Women” Blog with any news or content they might want to share.