Gender Equality discussed at the Arab Forum for Sustainable Development 2021


The Arab Forum for Sustainable Development (AFSD), the primary regional mechanism for the follow up and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Arab States region, was hosted virtually from 29 to 31 March 2021.

Organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), in collaboration with the League of Arab States and other United Nations entities, including UN Women Regional Office for the Arab States, the event held for the first time a full plenary session dedicated to Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG5) on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The session, entitled “The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on women and girls in the Arab region” was co-hosted by UN Women and UNFPA and presented a snapshot of key interventions for the promotion of women’s participation and leadership, to accelerate inclusive and sustainable knowledge-based economies to build back better from COVID-19 and get back on track for the achievement of SDG 5 and Agenda 2030.

The virtual event was moderated by Dr. Khaled Mahdi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development of Kuwait and included the following panelists: Mr. Magued Osman, Member of the National Council for Women of Egypt; Ms. Amani Arury, Member of the Arab States Civil Society Organizations and Feminists Network, from Palestine; Ms. Jennifer Suleiman, Chief Sustainability Officer of Zain Group in Kuwait; and Ms. Martine Najem, Instructor of Public Health Practice at the American University of Beirut’s Center for Public Health Practice in Lebanon.

Opening the SDG 5 plenary session, Dr. Khaled Mahdi noted that this discussion came at an unprecedented time due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and highlighted the importance of multi-stakeholder solutions to advance implementation of SDG 5.

Highlights of the session

The background note of the session, prepared jointly by UN Women, UNFPA, UNICEF, ESCWA, UNEP, UN-Habitat is available in this link.

Watch the full recording of the session here.