To commemorate International Women’s Day 2020, UN Women under the WeEmpower Asia programme (WEA), in collaboration with UN Global Compact, hosted over 25 celebrated CEOs for a Roundtable to discuss ‘The Next Decade of Action’, focused towards UN Women’s Global campaign #GenerationEquality. The WEA programme is a collaborative effort of UN Women and the European Union (EU) to leverage the common commitment to women’s economic empowerment. It aims at encouraging the private sector to expand economic participation and business opportunities for women in seven Asian countries, including India.
Speaking at the event, Ugo Astuto, Ambassador of the European Union to India said, “Promoting gender equality is one of the priorities of the European Union. This is even more critical in 2020 as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action. Investing in women’s economic engagement sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and economic growth.”
Nishtha Satyam, Deputy Country Representative, UN Women India said, “Women are the third largest “emerging market” globally and as customers, they make or influence 85% of buying decisions in India. Women need to be an intentional and not accidental focus of business strategy. Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPS) are not merely a set of principles but a guiding framework that binds us together towards the goal of Generation Equality.”
Kamal Singh, Executive Director, Global Compact Network India concluded by saying “Working to reduce gender inequality is central to advancing global goals. The holistic development of the nation and its societies can only happen if we assign equal value to both genders. For the growth and true success of the nation, gender diversity is imperative and we should strive towards achieving it. We need to keep in mind that Gender equality is not about creating a safe and inclusive workplace for women but our homes and society at large too.”
About: India Inc. for Generation Equality- The Next Decade of Action
A Roundtable of CEOs
Organized to commemorate International Women’s Day, the Roundtable brought together business leaders who have been influential in advocating for gender equality while acknowledging women’s critical role across all facets of a business - as customers, employees, leaders, suppliers, brand influencers and wealth creators.
Women are the third largest “emerging market” globally and as customers, women make or influence 80% of buying decisions and control US$20 trillion in global spending. Yet, most products are not designed for female consumers. Further, data suggests that sourcing from women-owned enterprises can strengthen the brand and improve access to premium markets; yet anecdotal evidence suggests that most large corporations spend less than 2 percent of their procurement budget with women owned enterprises (WOEs). There remains a great opportunity for India Inc. to lead the way to achieving gender equality, as we enter the next decade of action.
The objective of the roundtable was to deliberate on mainstreaming women’s perspectives in design, thinking and business strategies as well as diversification of supply chains for hedging procurement risks. The Roundtable also provided an opportunity to recognize CEOs who signed up to the Women’s Empowerment Principles (https://www.weps.org/), committing to realize women’s empowerment in the workplace, market place and communities.
About UN Women:
UN Women is the UN organisation dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. UN Women supports UN Member States as they set global standards for achieving gender equality, and works with governments and civil society to design laws, policies, programmes and services needed to ensure that the standards are effectively implemented and truly benefit women and girls worldwide.
About the EU:
The EU, which consists of 27 countries, has the world's second largest economy and its third largest population, after China and India. Though richly diverse, the countries that make up the EU (its 'Member States') are all committed to the same basic values: peace, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights. By creating a frontier-free single market and a single currency (the euro) which has been adopted by 19 Member States, the EU has given a significant boost to trade and employment. It is also at the forefront of global policies on sustainability.
About We Empower Asia:
“WeEmpowerAsia” is a joint programme of the European Union and UN Women aiming to increase more women who lead and participate in private-sector businesses in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam, thereby advancing inclusive and sustainable growth along with stronger links between European and Asian markets through gender-sensitive trade and supply chains. The programme is strongly anchored in the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) and contributes to seven United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDGs 1, 5, 8, 9, 10, 12 and 17.
About Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs)
The Women's Empowerment Principles - Equality Means Business is a joint initiative of UN Women and the UN Global Compact. The Principles outline seven steps for business on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community. The Principles highlight that empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors and throughout all levels of economic activity is essential to build strong economies; establish more stable and just societies; achieve internationally agreed goals for development, sustainability, and human rights; improve quality of life for women, men, families and communities; and propel business' operations and goals.
Ms. Noopur Jhunjhunwala, Monitoring, Evaluation & Partnerships Lead, UN Women Multi-Country Office for India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka, firstname.lastname@example.org , +91 (0)11 46532735
Ms. Suhela Khan, Country Programme Manager, WEA, UN Women Multi-Country Office for India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka, email@example.com , +91 (0)11 46532735