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Gender equality network: Gender@International Bonn launched

On the eve of international women’s day, key players in Bonn today have launched the Gender@International Bonn network. The network promotes gender equality as a goal in its own right and as an enabler of sustainable development. It aims at mutual exchange and cooperation in the field of gender equality, in particular by offering a platform for internationally active stakeholders in Bonn. Hence, members of the network are organizations with an international profile and commitment to the international venue of Bonn.

The founding members of the network include: United Nations Organizations in Bonn, North-Rhine Westphalia, City of Bonn, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Deutsche Welle (DW) and the UN Women National Committee Germany. Right after being founded, Gender@International Bonn is already walking the talk. In spring it will host workshops at the Bonn Conference on Global Transformation (12 -13 May 2015 in Bonn) as well at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum (22- 24 June 2015 in Bonn).

Bradnee Chambers, current Chair of the Heads of Agencies of the United Nations Organizations in Bonn (UNBonn) and Executive Secretary of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), expresses his gratitude to the founding organizations for their commitment to gender equality, right here in Bonn, from where the UN is aiming to shape a sustainable future for all. “Gender equality is an issue which lies at the heart of the United Nations. It is part of the vision of equality found in the UN Charter and is part of the mandates and everyday work of all the 18 UN Organizations in Bonn. It is now also widely recognized that gender equality and equity are in fact, a pre-condition for sustainable development.

As UNBonn, we are pleased that we have been invited to contribute with our expertise to this highly valuable initiative.” The immense social, economic and environmental consequences due to climate change and loss of essential ecosystems are becoming more evident by the day. Especially women and girls are among those most affected, for example, by floods, droughts, devastated landscapes and livelihoods, given the precariousness of their livelihoods and the burden of securing shelter, food, water and fuel – tasks that largely fall to them.

Beyond the United Nations, Bonn is also home to many other organizations that are working intensively towards the resolution of these challenges. Ms. Angelica Schwall-Düren, Minister for Federal Affairs, Europe and the Media of North Rhine- Westphalia, stresses her appreciation for the network. “The promotion of gender equality is a top priority on the international agenda – and rightfully so. It is essential to our quest to master the challenges of sustainable development. The network is an excellent opportunity to pool the resources of the vibrant international community in addressing this issue.”

Ms. Tanja Gönner, Chair of the Management Board of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), underlines, “Gender equality is a human right, a key factor for sustainable development and feature that defines the quality of our work, all of which serve as fundamental principles to guide us. For this reason, GIZ will become the eighth German company to sign the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles. We hope that many other companies will join us.” “The new network shows again the wealth of the sustainability cluster in Bonn, allowing for a variety of concrete actions towards sustainable development. The city is pleased to be part of the initiative and to thereby add a strong gender accent to the portfolio of the international Bonn”, emphasizes Jürgen Nimptsch, Mayor of the City of Bonn. Deutsche Welle Director General, Peter Limbourg underscores the role of media, “Gender equality and sustainable development are among the key issues in DW’s programming and its commitment to media development worldwide.

As Germany’s international broadcaster and a media organization with its headquarters in Bonn, Deutsche Welle is a natural partner for this initiative that aims to enhance Bonn as a platform for gender topics on a global scale.”

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