Economic Empowerment of Women
ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT OF WOMENInvesting in women’s economic empowerment sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth. Women make enormous contributions to economies, whether in businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs or employees, or by doing unpaid care work at home. Working with a variety of partners, our programmes promote women’s ability to secure decent jobs, accumulate assets, and influence institutions and public policies determining growth and development. One critical area of focus involves advocacy to measure women’s unpaid care work, and to take actions so women and men can more readily combine it with paid employment. Tanzania is an excellent example of UN Women’s work. UN Women has helped the Ministry of Trade review key trade and enterprise development policies from a gender perspective. New mechanisms are being put in place to protect women from exploitation, improve access to opportunities under the East African Customs Protocol and support the formation of enterprises. In New York, the Metropolitan New York chapter has supported the Economic Empowerment issue recently in two different ways: the first, most recently, was a panel titled, “Women’s Economic Empowerment: A Global Perspective.” With representatives of the non-governmental, private sector, and international body spheres, the panel examined the current economic status of women worldwide, employment challenges, highlighted successful programs and policies that have been effective in helping women succeed, and reported on the impact of various investment strategies and the growing number of entrepreneurs across the globe. Deborah Jackson, Founder and CEO of Plum Valley, pointed out that only 5% of investment dollars go to women founded companies, and that “we need to be the solution.” From this our audience walked away knowing that gender inequality is a solvable problem and that financing women offers the highest return on investment. The second, and perhaps more measurable, way the Metro NY chapter has support Economic Empowerment was from a panel on the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) in 2011, which included Coca-Cola speaking of their 5by20 initiative, which is to empower 5 million women entrepreneurs by 2020, and being a WEPs signatory. Since then, the chapter has working with NYC-based businesses, large and small, to become WEPs educated and signed onto the commitment.