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Belgium is hosting the 4th edition of the UN Women Top Funding Partner Roundtable on 10 and 11 May 2023. UN Women is the United Nations agency in charge of promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls worldwide.
This roundtable is an annual strategic event that gathers the main country donors to UN Women's budget in order to exchange on several topics related to the efficient running of the organization and to the expectations of States towards it. Successively organized in Helsinki, Dublin and Berlin, it is now Brussels' turn to host this event. Minister of Development Cooperation Caroline Gennez and Executive Director of UN Women Sima Bahous are co-chairing this round table organized in Brussels.
Despite the difficulties encountered due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and of the Ukrainian crisis on public finances, Belgium has decided to maintain its core funding to UN Women. The response to these challenges must not be at the expense of women and girls on the other side of the world. Our country calls on all partners around the table to contribute to UN Women's core resources in order to reach the level of resources needed to fulfill its mandate.
For this 2023 edition, the main theme of the UN Women Top Funding Partner Roundtable is "Protecting and Demonstrating the Impact of Core Resources for the Delivery of UN Women's Mandate". The discussion will focus on how the organization is running, its operations, its goals, and its position at the heart of the gender equality global architecture.
The expected outcome of this roundtable is an agreement on the way forward in terms of funding to ensure the sustainable functioning of UN Women and its work.
Minister of Development Cooperation Caroline Gennez: "Gender equality is and remains an absolute priority for Belgium, and this applies to both our domestic and foreign policies. It is a great honor for me to welcome so many inspiring women and leaders here in Brussels to see how together we can continue and strengthen the fight for women's rights”.
UN Women and Belgian priorities
Belgium is a trusted partner of UN Women and a long-time ally for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
Our country supports the work of UN Women in carrying out its mandate and encourages the entity to continue its work in promoting gender integration and joint programming within the UN system.
The under-representation of women in decision-making bodies, the low participation of women in the formal economy, gender-based violence and school dropout, which is predominantly female, are harmful phenomena that can be explained by the existence of toxic masculinities and gender stereotypes.
Belgium encourages UN Women to continue its work on social norms and gender stereotypes and to promote transformative masculinities that enable better access for women and girls to education, the employment opportunities and decision-making roles.
For the period 2021-2024, Belgium's contribution to UN Women amounts to EUR 18.73 million. In addition, Belgium is funding the "African Girls Can Code" initiative with EUR 1.2 million for the period 2021-2023. This initiative aims to train and empower 2,000 girls aged 17 to 20 across Africa to become computer programmers, creators and designers, and to pursue studies and careers in the information and communication technology sector. The five African countries involved in the Belgian funding are Burundi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger and Tanzania.
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