Five-hundred feminists from 55 different countries are gathering in Geneva, 28 October 2019, for an entire day of movement building, advocacy strategising and solidarity action. On this day we want to share our rage and address the structural barriers in the region that are still stopping us from realising our full rights. We will build hope, and map out successes, such as progressive legal frameworks, and make sure they are implemented on the ground. We want to inspire to action, by outlining our common recommendations to our decision-makers. These demands will be shared at the official intergovernmental meeting, Beijing+25 Regional Review Meeting, 29-30 Oct, Geneva, following our civil society forum.

Our core framing principles are gender equality and justice, women’s human rights, respect for planetary boundaries, and social, economic and environmental sustainability. We will work together to overcome structural economic, social and environmental crises that disproportionately impact women, girls and non-binary persons.

We work to tackle intersecting inequalities and multiple forms of discrimination based on gender, age, class, caste, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and sex characteristics, disabilities, and other status.

We are coming together to ensure government accountability to commitments of gender equity and empowerment that was set out in CEDAW and in the Beijing Platform for Action. All this, we will do, while striving to create diverse, vibrant, equal and just societies for all people.

We speak with a collective voice. It means that we will strive to reflect all the diverse intersecting experiences of our region and not focus on single issues. Even if you cannot attend the forum in person, you can still feed into our common positions. There has also been several preparatory sub-regional meetings to ensure as many as possible can feed into this process.

Women’s Major Group has been asked to facilitate the organisation of this civil society forum ahead of the UNECE regional review meeting. We will building on our inclusive approach, as used in other United Nations processes, to create a space for our diverse civil society, in particular for marginalised groups. We will also coordinate closely with our feminist colleagues who are organising regional forum’s in Bangkok, Addis Ababa, Lebanon and Santiago de Chile.