Insights and Reflections on the past decade of Gucci CHIME
In delving deeper into the importance of engaging a collective community, we had the privilege of speaking with Mona Sinha, a globally recognized advocate for gender equality, currently serving as the Global Executive Director of the House’s esteemed partner, Equality Now.
How can the goal of gender equality be effectively translated into actionable, tangible steps?
The first step is simple. We need to listen.
We’re all so busy talking that few are actually listening.
And all too often, it is those who are disproportionately harmed by inequality – women, non-binary people, Disabled people, and those from racialized and Indigenous communities – whose voices are most marginalized.
“To solve the world’s most pressing problems, we must cultivate a practice of radical listening.”
If we are to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal of achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls by 2030, it is those who live with the daily consequences of gender discrimination to whom we must first listen.
The second step is to take what we have learned to determine the policies and legal frameworks needed to eradicate violence, eliminate exploitation, and end practices that inhibit the autonomy and agency of all women and gender minorities.
The third is to work with the global women’s rights community and governments to get these legal frameworks into law. Legal change is always a critical foundation for bringing about lasting change, representing ‘the definite documentation of hope’ for future generations.
The fourth is to hold governments to account for the good implementation of those laws – living up to the commitments they have made is vital so that legal equality can be fully lived.
Who do you think has influence to drive change toward a more equal society when it comes to groups and individuals?
We all have influence. The decision-makers at the highest levels of government have the power to deliver legal equality for women and girls. But we as individuals have the power to demand it, as well as to ensure our own daily behaviors promote equality. It is an intentional investment that we must make every day.
Can you describe the relationship between local efforts and the broader global movement for gender equality? How do organizers and supporters around the world uplift each other, connect, and show solidarity?
Equality Now, and the global women’s rights community is indebted to activists who are campaigning in their communities for change. All of our work is, and should continue to be, informed by their insight. Our experience tells us that bringing different organizations together from all over the world to solve our shared challenges is essential.
“By facilitating those interconnections and joining them to funders and the global human rights stage, extraordinary alliances are being made, with the power to change the world.”
What should be the top priorities to help make gender equality a reality, and what are the main obstacles that need to be overcome along the way?
Legal equality has to be the top priority. This is the foundation of gender equality. Without legal change, any other manifestation of equality is fragile and superficial. And if it is implemented well and at scale, legal change brings about systemic multigenerational change.
How has the long-term collaboration with Gucci through Gucci CHIME impacted Equality Now’s work? What are some of the outcomes you’ve seen and what has this partnership meant to both the organization and the women you support around the world?
Gucci CHIME and Equality Now have been working together to address the issues facing women and girls since 2013.
Gucci’s support has created new beginnings in some of the toughest environments for women’s rights activists. As an example, a groundbreaking report on sexual violence in India has been a catalyst for legal reform in the region. Activists and lawyers have connected to form the National Council For Women Leaders as a way to accelerate change. It’s our hope that sexual violence rates will fall and that justice for survivors improve.
The support is also supporting a network of lawyers in Lebanon who are working hard to eliminate child marriage, by introducing a new bill to parliament. Whilst in Iraq, our partners are seeking to transform financial and custody rights for women.
By connecting in the region, to realize real change, a new coalition of women has emerged, named ‘Hurra’ – an Arabic word meaning ‘free woman’.