IGC Annual Report & Champions Meeting
To start a dynamic week's worth of events during newly named International Women’s Week in Geneva, the International Gender Champions published its 2017 Annual Report, greeted Champions for a working lunch, and feted IGC Focal Points in an evening Reception. The day's program featured analysis of the key movements forward on the IGC baseline Panel Parity Pledge, evaluation of the impact of Champion commitments, and discussion of expansion of the IGC network as a whole.
Sixty Geneva Champions from the Heads of United Nations Office at Geneva, the World Health Organization, the International Labour Organization, the International Organization on Migration, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the Basel, Rotterdam, Stockholm Conventions, and Ambassadors from Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Canada, Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Fiji, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Chile, Mexico, Iceland, Namibia, Finland, New Zealand, Israel, Denmark, Malta, and the heads of Interpeace, GCERF, Center for Humanitarian DeMining, the DiploFoundation, the World YWCA, GEO, heads of the Geneva offices of UNFPA, Plan, UNICEF, UN Women and the World Bank Group attended the event which included a working lunch focused on how to create an environment free from sexual harassment and casual sexism.
Caitlin Kraft-Buchman, Founder of Women@theTable and Co-Founder of the International Gender Champions presented the 2017 Annual Report and its key messages highlighting the rapid growth of the network in 2017 which now unites over 200 Gender Champions and has welcomed new groups in Vienna and Nairobi, in addition to Geneva and New York.
Throughout the IGC Network was a significant decline in all-male panels from 2016 to 2017.
The Panel Parity Pledge's impact in Geneva, New York, and Vienna taken together with the game changing nature of some of the Champions’ commitments has begun to reflect the significant contribution the IGC network is making in breaking down gender barriers in specific sectors and spheres of influence.
Achievements such as the historic Buenos Aires Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment endorsed by 120 Member States and Observes at the WTO Ministerial Conference in December, and a direct product of the IGC Trade Impact Working Group's work from January to December made 2017 a tremendously impactful year for the IGC network. That said, we remain hyper-aware that so much more remains to be accomplished, and we have only begun.
Following the presentation, Champions engaged in vivid discussion over the main challenges and best practices at their organizations to address sexual harassment and create positive environments that have zero tolerance for casual sexism as well as harassment. Champions highlighted the importance of leadership, as well as the concrete actions such as staff surveys to address trust in organizations and accountability of leadership when they reported back to the room on their individual table discussions.
In the evening, IGC Focal Points gathered at Women@theTable to celebrate the launch of the 2017 Annual Report to celebrate their work, discuss the findings, and forge action plans on the way forward.