Tunis Forum on Gender Equality 2019

In partnership with the Government of Tunisia and the Swedish International Development Agency, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) are organizing the Tunis Forum on Gender Equality that will take place April 24-26 2019.

The Tunis Forum will take place one year before the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, as well as one year before the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 which set the standard for women, peace and security. The Tunis Forum will also take place before the first Global Sustainable Development Report, which will be presented to the autumn summit on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and will be an opportunity to integrate and connect the key elements of these processes and highlight the important role that civil society can play.

The Tunis Forum will explore the role of women participating in local government, working towards more sustainable and inclusive cities.

The Forum will also explore the role of innovation and technology in encouraging women’s economic empowerment.

The Tunis Forum is a follow up to the Stockholm Forum held in April 2018. The agenda for the Forum has been built in a similar spirit of co-creation, as a result of an open online discussion. The results of this discussion can be found below.

About the Consultation

The Tunis Forum on Gender Equality will focus on 4 main themes

Beijing to Beijing +25

Beijing to Beijing +25

What has worked, what was missing, what should the next 25 years be about?

The Beijing Platform for Action: inspiration then and now

Gender equality for local governance transformation

Gender equality for local governance transformation

Can increasing numbers of women mayors in the world change the nature of our cities, how can their power be used to help create sustainable cities/ more equitable resource distribution?

Women, Peace and Security

Women, Peace and Security

Has UNSCR 1325 delivered? What can be done to integrate the WPS agenda better with CEDAW? What could help give civil society more ownership of the WPS agenda?

Innovation and technology for women’s economic empowerment

Innovation and technology for women’s economic empowerment

How can the 4th industrial revolution be harnessed for gender equality and women’s empowerment? Haciendo el caso empresarial para la igualdad de género

The Tunis Forum on Gender Equality will focus on 4 main themes

The Forum will gather around 500 participants nominated from countries all over the world including women activists and representatives and male champions from national, regional and local governments, civil society, private sector, academia, and international organizations including UN agencies.
A separate programme will also include about 40 side events open to the public.

be part of the change
for more gender equality!

The Tunis Forum on Gender EqualityENSURING INCLUSIVITY AND EQUALITY: Making international commitments a reality on the groundProgrammeVENUE : PALAIS DES CONGRÈS

08:00 - 08:45

Registration of participants

9:00 - 11:00

Plenary Opening Session

Live Available
  • Master of ceremonies – Ahlem Nasraoui
  • Opening – cultural performance « Ikaa Tounssi »
  • Welcome by H.E. Neziha Labidi, Minister of Women, Family, Childhood and Elders, Tunisia
  • Keynote inspirational speech by Dhaffer El Abbedine, Gender Equality Champion
  • Intervention by H.E. Margot Wallström, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sweden
  • Intervention by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director UN Women
  • Intervention by Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, Assistant Secretary-General, Director of the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP
  • Keynote address – Violet Shivutse, Chair of the Huairou Commission, Kenya
  • Address by H.E. Youssef Chahed, Prime Minister of Tunisia
11:00 - 11:30

Coffee Break

11:30 - 13:00

Three parallel sessions: Round A

Live Available

A1:(Beijing +25)

The transformative demands of Beijing: How they changed the way the world looked

Moderator Lina Abu Habib, Women’s Learning Partnership, Lebanon

  • Vivek Rai, Deputy Civil Society Division, UN Women
  • Leila Hussaini, Global Fund for Women
  • Deema Kaedbey, The Knowledge Workshop,Lebanon
  • Sofía Barahona Mena, spokesperson of student movement,Chile

A2: (Local Governance)

What is a gender-responsive city? Intersections between the Beijing Platform for Action and the New Urban Agenda

Moderator: Soon-Young Yoon, Chair of the Board, Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), Women Mayors’ Network (WoM=N)

  • Sri Husnaini Sofjan, Senior Policy Advisor & Strategist, Huairou Commission, Malaysia
  • Souad Abderrahim, Mayor of Tunis, Tunisia
  • Alma Bonilla, Secretaria-General de ANDRYSAS (Asociacion Nacional de Regidoras Sindicas y Alcaldesas Salvadorenas) El Salvador
  • Esther Sackie, Activist, Liberia
  • Manju Dhimal, Secretary, National Indigenous Women’s Federation, Nepal
  • Isabelle Miron, Councillor at the City of Gatineau, Quebec, Canada

A3: (Women, Peace and Security)

What is a feminist Peace?

Moderator: Vanessa Farr, WILPF

  • Margot Wallström, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sweden
  • Begona Lasagabaster, Representative, UN Women, Tunisia and Libya
  • Samira Ibrahim, Neem Foundation, Nigeria
  • Mary Constantino Bii Bakuyo, YWCA, South Sudan
  • Maysoun Qawasmi Miftah, Palestine
  • Khedija Arfaoui, feminist researcher, Tunisia
  • Amal Kabashi, Iraqi Al-Amal Association, Iraq
13:00 - 14:15


14:15 - 15:30

Three Parallel Sessions: Round B

Live Available

B1:(Innovation and Technology)

Doing Business Differently: Empowering Women through Inclusive Business

Moderator:Sahba Sobhani, Acting Head, Business Call to Action, UNDP Istanbul


  • Gamze Cizreli, Founder, Big Chefs, Turkey
  • Aslı Aksoy, Asparagus producer and founder, Elibelinde Tarim, Turkey
  • Nida Shehzad, Digital Innovation Lead and member of the founding team, Sehat Kahani, Pakistan
  • Sara Zia, Sehat Kahani partner, Pakistan
  • Meher Khlifi, Founder Ahmini, Tunisia

B2: (Beijing +25)

Better Gender Data for Better Decisions

Raquel Alcega, DEVEX development data team, Spain
Opening remarks:Janneke Kukler, deputy regional director, Arab states, UN Women

  • Eva Johansson, Senior Policy Advisor, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) Sweden
  • Fridah Githuku, Executive Director, GROOTS Kenya
  • Sandra Schilen, Executive Director, Huairou Commission
  • Soon-Young Yoon, Chair of the Board, Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO)
  • Bassima Hakkaoui, Minister of Family, Equality, Solidarity and Social development Morocco

B3: (Women Peace and Security)

Why Gender Equality is essential to sustain peace

Moderator: Petra Tötterman Andorff, Secretary General Kvinna till Kvinna

  • Juliana Suescún Gomez, Corporación de Investigación y Acción Social y Económica (CIASE), Colombia
  • Buthainah Mahmoud, Hawa Organisation for Relief and Development, Iraq
  • Maya al-Rahabi, Musawa – Women’s Studies Center, Syria
  • Amani Arouri, WCLAC, Palestine
  • Amina Rasul, President of Philippines Centre for Islam and Democracy (PCID), Philippines
15:30 – 16:00

Coffee Break

16:00 – 17:15

Three Parallel Sessions: Round C

Live Available

C1: (Beijing +25)

Advancing Reproductive rights as human rights, ensuring legal frameworks, listening to the needs of young people

Moderator: Karin Nilsson, Senior Manager Government Partnerships, Centre for Reproductive Rights, Sweden

  • Prabina Bajracharya, Center for Reproductive Rights, Nepal
  • Rafla Dellagi, President Director General of the National Family and Population Board, Tunisia
  • Catherine Nyambura, ATHENA Initiative, Kenya
  • Rym Fayala, Assistant representative UNFPA Tunisia

C2: (Local Governance)

Women breaking into politics 1: Empowering candidates, what works? An exploration of how to empower women candidates

Moderator: : Sascha Gabizon, Executive Director, Women in Europe for a Common Future

  • Sarah ben Said – Aswat Nissa, Tunisia
  • Nada Ibraheem al-Joubouri – Iraqi Organization for Women and Future, Iraq
  • Marija Blagojevic – Women’s Political Network, Montenegro
  • Sushila Mishra Bhatta, Deputy Mayor, Dhangadi Sub-Metropolitan City, Nepal
  • Karin Strandås, State Secretary for Gender Equality, Sweden
  • Isabelle Miron, Councillor at the City of Gatineau, Quebec, Canada

C3: (Innovation and Technology)

From online violence to safe spaces

Moderator: Salma Belhassine, Youth Leadership Programme, Tunisia

  • Sonali Vyas, SafetiPIn, India
  • Njeri Mathenge, Flone initiative, Kenya
  • Katarina Björkgren, Senior Advisor on Violence against Women at the Swedish Gender Equality Agency, Sweden

Troupe Nationale Tunisienne des Arts Populaires Cité de la Culture

9:00 - 10:30

Plenary Session: Beijing +25 expectations

Live Available

A poem for Beijing – Elvis M.D. Browne, Liberia

An exploration of how to respond to the rights, needs and aspirations of young people: intergenerational dialogue between key policy makers and implementers and young activists

  • Karin Strandås, State Secretary for Gender Equality, Sweden
  • Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, Assistant Secretary General, Director of the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP
  • Bassima Hakkaoui, Minister of Family, Equality, Solidarity and Social Development, Morocco
  • Patrick Mwesigye, Ugandan Youth Forum, Uganda
  • Moneera Yassein, Inspirational young Sudanese advocate, Sudan
  • Hayfa Sdiri , Founder of Entr@crush, Tunisia
10:30 - 11:00

Coffee Break

11:00- 12:15

Three parallel sessions: Round D

Live Available
D1: (Beijing +25)

The strategic dialogue on Next Generation Gender Equality

Moderator: Yakin Erturk, Former UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, Turkey

  • Sonja Lokar, Executive Director of the Central and Eastern European Network for Gender Issues, Slovenia
  • Fatima Outaleb, Director, Union for Feminist Action, Morocco
  • Lana Louise Finikin, Executive Director, Sistren Theatre Collective and Community Facilitator, Jamaica
  • Passy Mubalama, Founder and Executive Director, AIDPROFEN, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Ruby Kholifah, Country Representative, Asian Muslim Action Network, Indonesia

D2: (Local Governance)

Breaking into politics 2: Local communities supporting women candidates; alternative means of support

Moderator: Ani Zonneveld, President and Founder of Muslims for Progressive Values, Malaysia/US

  • Larisa Voloh, Mayor of Palanca, Moldova, and Chairperson, Women Mayors Network of the Congress of Local Authorities, Moldova
  • Janet Ricks, Visionary Young Women in Leadership, Liberia
  • Sabra Bano, Director Gender Concerns International, Head of Gender Election Observation Mission, Netherlands
  • Nadia Rahmani, Rabat, Women’s organisation of local councillors

D3:(Women, Peace and Security)

How does Civil society do Women, Peace and Security? Recognizing the need for practical tools to guide governments and multilateral institutions, and to inform civil society, this interactive session will review what tools and practical guidance exist to guide civil society engagement in the WPS agenda.

Moderator : Melinda Holmes, International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN), International

  • Hana Faidi, Libyan Women’s Forum, Libya
  • Abir Hajibrahim, Mobaderoon-Active Citizens in Syria, Syria
  • Stacey Schamber, International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN), International
12:15 - 13:30


13:30 - 14:45

Three parallel sessions: Round E

Live Available

E1: (Beijing +25)

Taking forward gender equality in the Arab states region: what are the points of entry? What are the priorities for action?

Moderator: Frances Guy – Gender Advisor, Regional Bureau for Arab States, UNDP

  • Bouchra Belhage, Tunisian feminist and MP (head of COLIBE)
  • Asma Khader, Solidarity is Global, Jordan
  • Nehad Maaeteq, Chair, For You Libya
  • Amani Aruri, WCLAC, Palestine
  • Samar Khaled, AMNA initiative, Sudan
  • Khaled A. Mahdi, Secretary-General of the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development, Kuwait

E2: (Local Governance)

Breaking into politics (3) enabling frameworks: quotas, funding, media, party legislation and guidance

Moderator: Anupama Ray, The Gender Lab, India

  • Hasna Ben Slimane, spokesperson for ISIE, Tunis
  • Sherif Alaa, IDEA Programme Manager Africa and West Asia, Egypt
  • Vicky-May Hamm, President Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Canada
  • Emad ElSayed Omar, former sub-editor, Reuters
  • Wafa Bani Mustapha, MP, Jordan
E3: (Beijing +25 )

The role of Parliamentarians in the lead up to the Beijing + 25

Moderator: Annika Ojala, Green party, Finland

  • Sonja Lokar, Executive Director of the Central and Eastern European Network for Gender Issues, Slovenia
  • Anna Falk, Swedish Gender Equality Agency, Sweden
  • Nicolette Bryan, Women’s Empowerment for Change, Jamaica
  • Kalthoum Badreddine, MP, Tunisia
  • Mariam Jashi, MP, Georgia
  • Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya, MP, former Minister of Family and Social Affairs of the Republic of Turkey
14:45 - 15:15

Coffee Break

15:15 - 16:30

Three parallel sessions: Round F

Live Available

F1: (Beijing +25)

Challenging traditional masculinities and changing power relations

Moderator: Eva Johansson, Co-chair, OECD- DAC Network on Gender Equality (GenderNet)

  • Rasha Abouelazm, Programme Manager, Regional Office for Arab States, UNWomen
  • Cecilia Khouma, Policy Analyst, Gender Equality Development Cooperation Directorate, OECD
  • Shereen El Feki, Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa, Promundo
  • Fidèle Rutayisire, Founder and Executive Director, Rwanda Men’s Resource Center
  • Hadeel Abdo, Programme Coordinator, Men and Women for Gender Equality Programme, Palestine
  • Imam Elie Bukuru Khalfan, Vice Secretary, Alliance of Inclusive Muslims

F2: (Beijing +25)

Transformative approaches to women’s leadership / for collective feminist leadership.

Moderator: Hadeel Qazzaz, Oxfam MENA Regional Gender Justice Coordinator

  • Soukeina Bouraoui, Centre of Arab Women for Training and Research (CAWTAR)
  • Rania Eghnatios and Samah El Hamaoui, RootsLab
  • Katia Uriona Gamarra, Bolivian feminist activist
  • Haneen Zeidan- RWDS, OPT
  • Violet Shivutse, Chair of the Huairou Commission

F3: (Women, Peace and security)

Women’s participation from peace-building to reconstruction to sustainable development

Moderator : Tatyana Jiteneva, Peace and Security specialist, UN Women

  • Ann Bernes, Ambassador for Gender Equality and coordinator of feminist foreign policy, Sweden
  • Mavic Cabrera Balleza, CEO, Global Network of Women Peacebuilders
  • Ayham Ahsan Al Maleh, United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office/Department of Peacebuilding and Political Affairs
  • Laila Alodaat, MENA Director, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
  • Sanna Kaskeala, European Union Integrated Border Assistance Mission in Libya
  • Randi Davis, Director Gender Team, UNDP

PERIOD. : END OF SENTENCE’ Short Film from India. (26 Minutes) Cité de la Culture

9:00 - 11:30

Plenary session – Facilitated discussion on recommendations from parallel sessions on the four main themes: Beijing to Beijing +25; Gender equality for local governance transformation; Women, Peace and Security: Innovation and technology for economic empowerment.

Live Available

Facilitated by Lina Abu Habib (Women’s Learning Partnership) and one young feminist

11:30 - 12:00

Coffee break

12:00 - 13:00

Plenary Closing Session

  • Representatives of feminist movements, feminist youth movements
  • Diego Zorilla, Resident Coordinator, UN, Tunisia
  • Ann Bernes, Ambassador of gender equality and coordinator of feminist foreign policy, Sweden
  • Taieb Baccouche, Secretary General, The Arab Maghreb Union
  • H.E. Neziha Labidi, Minister of Women, Family, Childhood and Elders, Tunisia