- 18 July 2023
Just over a year since the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the Women Deliver Conference in Kigali this week has never felt more timely or more necessary. The Conference themes are urgent in the face of a growing, sustained and coordinated attack on the rights and freedoms of women and girls and the LGBTQI+ community – and, ultimately, of all of us who believe in an open, plural and inclusive society.
The gains made over decades are being driven back in several areas, from reproductive rights to gender-based violence, LGBTQI+ equality and women’s place in politics. Progress in sexist social norms has stalled over the last decade as the global consensus around gender justice fractures.
The proportion of women heads of state has remained stuck at around 10% worldwide since 1995. Almost 50% of people think men make better politicians than women, and a quarter still think it’s acceptable for a man to beat his wife for failing to deliver domestic work.
What is behind this lack of progress, and what’s driving these sustained attacks on individual freedoms?