The new PaRD Head of Secretariat, Khushwant Singh, pointed out that COVID-19 has exacerbated inequalities and those who were already left behind are suffering even more, including women. The pandemic at the same time showed how interconnected and vulnerable our lives were and that intersectional approaches were needed, also in tackling all forms of inequality. “It is high-time not only to change the conversation on gender but also to change decision-making and be more inclusive – this is what human rights and democracies are about”, he said. “Let us keep joining our hands, for example in PaRD to discuss such urgent and sensitive matters. PaRD its such a round table, a multilateral partnership at equal levels – which provides a safe space – where we work together to advance gender justice and contribute with concrete results to the Agenda 2030. I hope that more women and men from governments, and also from other religions, including Baha’i, Buddhists, Daoists, Sikhs will join in future round tables and share ideas and a way forward in a respectful manner.”
Moderator Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, PaRD Steering-Group member and Secretary General of Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, concluded that it was important to share and serve each other on the way to Gender Equality – with all sitting at one table and room for people to join.
By Claudia Jordan, PaRD Secretariat