PRESS RELEASE: 450 feminists from Kyrgyzstan to Canada are rallying the streets of Geneva to demand system change now!

We invite you to join our mobilisation as 450 feminists and women’s rights activists from 48 countries are gathering in Geneva on 28 October 2019, for an entire day of movement building, advocacy strategising and solidarity action. On this occasion, we will convene a rally to make our voices heard: feminists want system change! 

When: 28 October 2019, 13:30 – 14:30
Where: We will gather at the Broken Chair on the Place des Nations
What: Rally and a speakers corner
Join: Link to Facebook event

Representatives from civil society organisations, feminists and activists fighting for gender equality across the UNECE Region are taking to the streets to ensure governments’ accountability to commitments set out almost 25 years ago in the Beijing Platform for Action. Our demands will be shared at the official intergovernmental meeting, the Beijing+25 UNECE Regional Review Meeting, 29-30 Oct, Geneva, following our civil society forum.

“It is estimated that it will take over 100 years before we see gender equality. Just over two weeks ago, the 2019 EIGE Gender Equality Index was released and it highlights that the European Union is moving at a snail’s pace. This isn’t good enough, especially when we’re seeing attempts to roll-back on women’s human rights. As a young feminist, I will join my 500 sisters to take to the street to demand gender justice now!” says Emma Rainey from Northern Ireland.

“I was there, 25 years ago, in Beijing when 30,000 activists came together to formalise what we today know as one of the landmark legal agreements on women’s rights. We had an older women’s tent for the first time where we celebrated our contributions to our families and communities. Yet I am appalled that I still have to fight for the recognition I fought for 25 years ago! That is why I will be in Geneva to ensure that older women are seen as vital, engaged citizens, part of the natural life course continuum, and not dismissed as a burden to family and state” says Elizabeth Sclater from the United Kingdom.

“For many hours, thousands of people stood in protest in pouring rain in many cities in Poland on the day of the Black Monday. We won this battle. The Parliament somewhat nervously voted to reject the bill on a total ban of abortion in Poland. What were the women really fighting for in the Black Protest? The answer is: they were fighting for everything. They were fighting for their very lives.” Says Krystyna Kacpura from Poland who will speak at the rally.

“25 years of Beijing Platform for Action, yet we see a roll-back on women‘s & girls‘ human rights, as well as gender equality in our region and in the world! Together with 500 feminists, we will take to the street, demanding gender justice now!” says Esther Yungsung Rueden from Germany.

We will be welcoming inspiring speakers, who will join us in demanding that decision-makers commit to gender equality and take concrete action to implement transformative policies: #FeministsWantSystemChange 

Let’s make sure our voices, particularly the voices of the most marginalised groups, are heard loud and clear! 


Press contacts

  • Valerie Bichelmeier – NGO CSW Geneva & Make Mothers Matter,, +41 78 930 2575, (Languages: French, English)
  • Hanna Gunnarsson –   Women’s Major Group & WECF,, +49 1520 4058573,  (Languages: English, Swedish)
  • Stacy Dry Lara – NGO CSW Geneva,, +41 78 874 8751, (Languages: English) 

About the organisers
This mobilisation is led by the Women’s Major Group, with the support of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women Geneva. The Women’s Major Group was asked to facilitate the organisation of this civil society forum ahead of the Beijing+25 UNECE regional review meeting, building on an inclusive approach to create a space for diverse civil society organisations, in particular for marginalised groups. For more information: