On Tuesday 16 February 2021, the Paris Hub of the International Gender Champions network proudly held its inaugural Champion-Level Event. This virtual meeting united members of the highest level of civil and diplomatic leadership in Paris, hosted by the Hub Steering Group International Gender Champions Ms. Louise Mushikiwabo, Secretary-General of the OIF, Mr. Ángel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD, H.E. Ms. Patricia O’Brien, Ambassador of Ireland to France and Ms. Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO (via recorded message).
During the event, Champions of the Paris hub reinforced their personal commitments for 2021 and expressed the shared vision that to scale up efforts to achieve gender equality worldwide a thematic focus on and commitment to specific issues such as the education of girls and women, the deconstruction of gender biases and showcasing strong female leadership as an inspiration to girls and boys is essential.
The event opened with remarks by Ms. Louise Mushikiwabo, Member of IGC Global Board and co-founder of the Hub, Mr. Martin Chungong, Chair of the IGC Global Board and Ambassador Delphine O, Secretary-General of the Generation Equality Forum. It featured a panel discussion with the Hub Steering Group International Gender Champions who presented their vision for the Paris Hub:
“In order to achieve equality between women and men, it is imperative to attain structural change by tackling the root of the problem. It is necessary to fight against gender stereotypes and to sensitize both men and women of all ages. The cultural dimension is critical.”
– Ms. Louise Mushikiwabo, Secretary-General of the OIF, IGC Global Board Member and Hub Co-Founder
“Creating the space for conversations like this one is a critical step. I look forward to discussing with you how we can leverage Paris’ unique position within this global agenda to create a vision for this IGC Hub, and in particular, build momentum towards the Generation Equality Forum.”
– Mr. Martin Chungong, Secretary-General of the IPU and Chair of the IGC Global Board
“The multi-actor partnership model is the only one that will lead to real and concrete progress for gender equality in all spheres of society at local, national and international level.”
– Ambassador Delphine O, Secretary-General of the Generation Equality Forum 2021
The debate on the Vision for Paris amongst the Champion-level attendees, moderated by Ms. Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences of UNESCO, generated significant momentum and potential for collaborations among top-level leadership in the Parisian diplomatic and civil society scenes.
The official launch of the Paris Hub will take place this coming June, in parallel with the Generation Equality Forum in Paris.