We, the undersigned Heads of State and Government, affirm that gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls are fundamental and catalytic to the achievement of sustainable development in its economic, environmental and social dimensions.

We reaffirm our commitment to the equal rights and inherent dignity of women enshrined in the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other relevant international human rights instruments including the UN Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women, as well as our commitment to the Rio Declaration and Agenda 21, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, the key actions for further implementation of the Programme of Action and the Millennium Declaration.

We recognize women’s considerable and significant contributions to economic growth, social inclusion and environmental sustainability as leaders, citizens, producers, consumers, entrepreneurs, workers, caretakers and providers of essential services in times of peace, conflict and political transition.

We are extremely concerned however that women and girls continue to disproportionately bear the brunt of today’s global challenges and deepening inequalities, including through the feminization of poverty, hunger, vulnerability to conflicts and natural disasters, disease and the burden of unpaid care work.

We stress that the world has the knowledge, technology and resources required to change this situation. We underscore the urgency to address the many implementation gaps that allow these inequalities to persist and to undertake a paradigm shift towards fair, inclusive and equitable sustainable development that puts human beings at the center, and benefits women and men equally.

The Future Women Want is a world that is healthy, free from hunger, fear, violence and poverty; a world that prioritizes equity, human rights and gender equality, where women and men, girls and boys have equal rights and opportunities and equal access to resources, education, healthcare, employment, leadership and decision-making; a world where women constitute a dynamic force for realizing the benefits of sustainable development for present and future generations.

We therefore call upon all States to:

Fully integrate gender equality and women’s empowerment in any international development framework that may be adopted in the future, including as a stand-alone development goal and through the inclusion of gender-sensitive targets and indicators in all other goals;

Take urgent measures, including temporary special measures, to accelerate women’s full and equal participation in governance at all levels and women’s leadership in all decision-making;

Ensure that all policies, laws, budgets and investments pertaining to sustainable development are gender-responsive and integrate the social, economic and environmental dimensions;

Eliminate all discriminatory barriers faced by women, including rural women and women in situation of vulnerability, and take proactive measures to address the factors preventing women from equally accessing, owning and managing productive resources and assets and from contributing to and benefiting from the opportunities provided by sustainable development policies and programmes, including employment opportunities, and;

Take urgent measures to ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by women, including the right to sexual and reproductive health, to eliminate gender-based violence and to provide universal access to essential services such as health, education, justice, energy, safe drinking water and basic sanitation, transportation, communication, security and social protection.

Provide the necessary financial resources to implement the actions in this Call and advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in sustainable development.

We further pledge to:

Use our leadership positions to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in the context of sustainable development in our respective countries and internationally, carrying this vision forward here at Rio+20 and beyond;

Fully support the commitments on gender equality and women’s empowerment contained in the outcome document of the Rio+20 Conference the Future We Want;

Continue to support the work of UN-Women in its normative support functions and operational activities and in leading, coordinating and promoting the accountability of the UN system for gender equality and women’s empowerment.

We call upon every citizen, community, business and political leader to respond to this Call to Action and join us in urgent action to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in sustainable development so that the Future Women Want becomes the Future We All Share.

Signatories include: H.E. Ms. Dilma Rousseff, President of the Federative Republic of Brazil; H.E. Ms. Laura Chinchilla Miranda, President of the Republic of Costa Rica; H.E. Ms. Dalia Grybauskait, President of the Republic of Lithuania; H.E. Ms. Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Jamaica; H.E. Ms. Julia Gillard, MP, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia; H.E. Ms. Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Denmark; H.E. Ms. Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland; and H.E. Madame Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, President of the Swiss Confederation (signed on her behalf by H.E. Ms. Doris Leuthard, former President of the Swiss Confederation).