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Fourth International Forum on the Role of Women in Fighting Poverty

The fourth edition of the International Forum of NGOs, in partnership with UNESCO focused on “The Role of Women in Fighting Poverty.” The Forum took place on 29 and 30 June 2015 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris and included presentations from key-note speakers, thematic sessions and panels showcasing the best practices for NGOs to combat poverty with a view to ensure gender equality in society.

The forum brought together over 300 people from international organizations and delegates from UNESCO’s Member States to discuss gender equality issues on the eve of the Post-2015 Agenda for sustainable development and to honor the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Conference (Beijing+20).

Eric Falt, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for External Relations and Public Information, gave the opening remarks. He stated that it is the responsibility of organizations to come together and combat gendered poverty, noting women’s wellbeing is imperative to the health of humanity and for sustainable development.

Saniye Gülser Corat, Director of the Division for Gender Equality at UNESCO, gave a presentation on UNESCO’s Priority Gender Equality and highlighted UNESCO’s actions in fighting gendered poverty through its work in its domains, and particularly in education.

Other speakers offered data and facts from different regions where women are the primary victims of poverty and also the first ones to find survival strategies, thanks to their resilience in extreme situations like war, famine, natural disasters and systematic discrimination. Throughout the forum, the audience listened to testimonials from NGOs around the world and watched short videos about the work being done in many countries. In addition, speakers brought awareness to global issues impacting women and provided insights and strategies for future policy and program development. The audience engaged in lively discussions about how to target women as agents of change and what actions need to take place to change policies that discriminate against women and girls.

The Forum concluded with several recommendations and strategies as means to end the remaining challenges which still prevent women from exercising their full rights and deprive them from contributing to local and global development. 

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