Women, Leadership and Development

On the 6th of December, on occasion of COP 21, the Chair of the UCLG Standing Committee on Gender Equality and Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo hosted a meeting on “Women Leadership and Development.”


The meeting gathered local elected representatives and associations from all over the world in the city hall of Paris and provided a unique opportunity to discuss the vital role of local gender equality policies as a prerequisite for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), tackling climate change and shaping sustainable urban policies. As women leaders I encourage us all to take development challenges into our own hands,” said Anne Hidalgo, during her intervention.


Below follows some contributions to the discussion:


Lydia Dietrich, City Councillor Munich (Germany) and member of the CEMR Standing Committee for Equality stressed that gender equality is far from being achieved despite significant progress during the last decades. At European level for instance, only 15 % of the Mayors are women. She welcomed the fact that the new SDGs are universal covering also European countries. She underlined that one of the main challenges in gender equality policies is the aspect of sustainability and stressed that European Charter for equality and its indicators are important tools to follow-up and ensure this.


David Lucas Parrón, Mayor of Móstoles, (Spain) said that there is a need to mobilize our efforts further to advance gender equality and called for more men to get engaged. He stressed that it is important that gender equality is not seen as a “women’s issue” only but that it involves everyone both women and men.


Carolina Tohá, Mayor of Santiago (Chile) said that although it appears as different phenomena, terrorism and climate change are both results of bad governance generating exclusive societies. To change this, she called for innovative inclusive policies considering the needs of both citizens and the environment. Finally, she stressed the need for a “the female voice” putting care-issues in the centre of public policy.


Mildred Crawford, President, Jamaica Network of Rural Women Producers, Vice President, Caribbean Network of Rural Women, representing the Huairou Commission underlined the links between urban and rural development but also between production, social and economic development. She called for the need to improve infrastructures, sanitary conditions and waste management and said that if conditions in the rural areas are not improved, more people will get forced to move to urban areas generating additional problems of housing etc.


Fatimetou Abdel Malick, Mayor of Tevragh Zeina, (Mauritania) stressed the issue of poverty and said that 60% of the poorest people in Africa are women, due to lack of credits etc. She underlined that women are not vulnerable and should not be treated as such and that local governments must take their responsibility to support women to allow them to actively contribute to societies on equal basis.


  • For more information about the session please consult link.


  • For more information about UCLG Standing Committee on Gender Equality please consult link.