A CSW Side Event hosted during the 65th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, where speakers shared their experiences, challenges and potential solutions for working as / or with religious actors to further gender equality and empowerment (SDG5).

On March 17, 2021, a round table discussion hosted by the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (Gender Equality and Empowerment work-stream) unpacked how Member States, intergovernmental organisations and civil society are contributing to the Beijing Platform for Action.

Keynote speaker Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro followed by interventions from government, inter-governmental and civil society members, who shared their experiences, journeys, challenges and potential solutions for working as / or with religious actors to progress the gender equality agenda. As each participant exchanged their contribution,  meaningful lessons were derived for future engagement and learning.


The Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action, adopted unanimously by 189 countries, is an agenda for women’s empowerment and considered the key global policy document on gender equality. It sets strategic objectives and actions for the advancement of women and the achievement of gender equality. In 2021, the global community marks the twentysixth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995), and six years since the Sustainable Development Goals were adopted.

With eightyfour per cent of the world’s population identifying with a faith, religious actors are key stakeholders in achieving gender equality and empowerment, Sustainable Development Goal 5. At a time where there are a number of persisting challenges and structural barriers affecting the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, it is vital that strategic partnerships for gender justice are strengthened. 2021 is a critical year to measure progress towards our universal commitment to gender equality and empowerment around the world. COVID19 is showing how interconnected our lives are and calls for intersectional approaches to tackling gender inequality.


  1. Learn from religious actors, as well as new research on how religious actors are working to advance human rights and gender justice and contributing to more inclusive societies as well as constructively address remaining challenges.
  2. Identify where faith and secular, as well as civil society and government partnerships, are enabling progress towards Sustainable Goal 5, and what is required to achieve Agenda 2030.
  3. Exchange on current best practices that can contribute to accelerate action on SDGs in the context of the Decade of Action and Delivery.

View list of speakers

Click here for the PaRD event page