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Vantage Blog

September 30, 2022

Taking inspiration from women leaders at #UNGA77

This post originally appeared in Panorama's bi-monthly newsletter. Sign up here to get updates.

While the week of the UN General Assembly is generally a three-ring circus, this year’s circus was on steroids, filled from early morning to late at night with meetings, panels, and cocktail parties to fill the gap since the last full-scale UNGA week in 2019. It was a rewarding (and exhausting!) week, with more conversations than I can count with longtime colleagues, new friends, and many people who I had only previously seen on Zoom.

A personal highlight for me was seeing women leaders of nations and non-governmental organizations taking center-stage on critical issues. Whether it was New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaking with wisdom and compassion on the importance of preparing for the next pandemic and the urgent health risks of climate change, or Panorama’s own Abbie Hodgson reminding us why it’s so important for women to be at political tables, each conveyed brilliance and leadership we need more of on a global stage.

While it is wonderful to see those leaders, the data about getting to gender parity for women across all types of leadership and earning power is discouraging, and sadly getting worse. Panorama’s partner, Equal Measures 2030, crunched the numbers that appeared in the annual Goalkeepers report, and found that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly set back women’s progress (more below).

I was also fortunate to see Liberia’s former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf speak and I share her impatience with the pace of change on pandemic preparedness, gender parity, action on climate, and so many other things:

“We are tired of meetings. We are tired of conversations. We need to be guided by the science, we need to listen to people, and we need action!”

Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Former President of Liberia

Here are five actions Panorama and our partners have taken in recent weeks, whether at #UNGA77 or around the world.

  1. Powering pandemic action at UNGA
    Pandemic Action Network, powered by Panorama, convened some of the world's foremost political leaders and thinkers on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to call for high-level political leadership to pandemic-proof the present and future. Speakers included New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, former President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and former Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark.
  2. Reimagining leadership for the 21st century
    The Ascend Fund was represented by Dr. Abbie Hodgson in this important discussion hosted by Apolitical Foundation, Chandler Foundation, and others at the Ford Foundation’s offices. The event explored how we might work towards a future with diverse, ethical, trusted, and courageous politicians – a vision that we share at Ascend in our work to accelerate the pace of change toward gender parity in politics.
  3. Sharing insights from windfall grant recipients
    What can the philanthropic sector learn from grant recipients as they chart new terrain thanks to Mackenzie Scott’s transformational levels of giving? We convened a peer-learning cohort of 22 recipient organizations working in global development to share knowledge and learn from their experiences. Download our initial insights for funders with 7 key takeaways from this first group of organizations.
  4. Convening lived experience experts
    Earlier this month, Panorama’s Image-Based Abuse Initiative convened a group of 20 lived experience experts from around the world with firsthand knowledge of the increasingly common act of technology-facilitated gender-based violence. The knowledge shared will help inform our work to elevate, accelerate, and unify the global response to the nonconsensual creation and distribution of intimate imagery.
  5. Moving the needle on Type 1 diabetes
    In a new guest blog post, our partners at the Helmsley Charitable Trust talked about the crucial role community-based organizations play in low-and middle-income countries and why Helmsley decided to provide seed funding for The T1D Community Fund. Stay tuned for updates as we announce the first round of Fund recipients later this year.

Program and partner spotlights

Equal Measures 2030 worked with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to analyze the latest gender equality data. They now estimate the world won’t reach gender equality until at least 2108. Dig into the data >

Two of The Upswing Fund’s advisors recently hosted a learning session on integrated care models. This webinar was designed to share knowledge across the field of adolescent mental health. Watch the recording >

Senators Kirstin Gilibrand and Marsha Blackburn wrote an op-ed in The Hill elevating the Speak Out Act and Lift Our Voice's work to end the use of NDAs to silence survivors of workplace abuses. Read their op-ed >

The International Society for Urban Health is hosting their annual international conference on October 24-27 in Valencia, Spain. Registration closes October 2nd. Learn more >

Photo credit: Jenny Ottenhoff

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