Generation Equality Forum Minister Müller: Germany steps up projects in support of women’s economic participation

Press release 30 June 2021 | At today’s Generation Equality Forum (External link) in Paris Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel announced 140 million euros in fresh funding for the economic empowerment of girls and women worldwide, bringing the total of Germany’s engagement to 240 million euros. Commenting Germany’s commitment, German Development Minister Gerd Müller stated:

Logo: Generation Equality Forum
Logo: Generation Equality Forum

“COVID-19 is a setback for gender equality and the rights of women worldwide. Women were the first to lose their jobs; almost 50 million women worldwide have slipped back into poverty. Estimates are that 13 million girls will be pushed into early and forced marriage. Even before COVID-19 women in developing countries were hit hardest: Many women are paid a pittance for their work – in factories where they produce our clothing, or on fields where they grow our cocoa and coffee. Huge potential is squandered unless we push equality forward.

That is why Germany is working to ensure that women worldwide are enabled to participate more in economic and social life. That is the best way to tackle post-COVID recovery.

The Federal Chancellor’s announcement is an important signal in this regard. Germany will, for instance, support female entrepreneurs in setting up and expanding their businesses – through the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative. This initiative will implement projects in more than 60 countries, supporting more than 130,000 female entrepreneurs. We want to further expand these achievements!

With the supply chain law we are now creating the basis for fair working conditions throughout our supply chains –to enable women to finally take greater control of their lives.”

The Generation Equality Forum is convened by UN Women and co-hosted by France and Mexico in close collaboration with representatives from more than 100 countries and with civil society. It is a multi-stakeholder process that responds to international setbacks concerning women rights. The aim is to achieve gender equality for this generation, i.e. by 2030 at the latest.

The summit on Wednesday is the kick-off event. It pools the efforts of all partners of this multi-actor partnership. The commitments of the participating countries, nongovernmental organisations, foundations and companies for the coming five years will be announced here.