I joined the United Nation at the 2019 Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) Forum as a stakeholder to be part of the conversation around how businesses can advance gender equality.
WEPs is a United Nations (UN) entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The initiative has been at the forefront of transforming business policies, practices and approaches to advance gender equality and create opportunities for women and girls, engaging thousands of businesses globally to date.
The global movement for gender equality and women’s empowerment which I am a part of, has broken new ground in recent years. From driving the representation and leadership of women in management and investment decisions, ensuring equal pay for work of equal value, to increasing support for women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs.
At the 2019 forum were representatives from government, private sector and civil society to discuss women’s economic empowerment & responsible business conduct. I will be sharing key points by other Stakeholders that stood out for me and how our efforts at African Women in leadership Organisation is impacting on African women’s development.
Lise_Kingo said, “No one can be a bystander – everyone has a role to play in creating an enabling environment for gender equality & women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work!”
Sarah Chen said “As decision makers, we need to use our power to empower more women. By excluding half of the population, we are excluding half of the innovation.”
I was particularly elated to be in the company of My Nigerian Sister; A phenomenal Woman of Worth – First Bank Nigeria Chairman, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika who spoke on how empowering women should begin from the home. She encouraged intentional upbringing of the Girl Child; saying that girls become a reflection of the values parents input in her and what the make her believe she is and can become. She encouraged Parents to not place more value on the male child than the female child while raising them; by not telling the Girl Child her limitations instead show her who she can become.
These three hit it home for me and I thought to share with you.
African Women in Leadership Organisation (AWLO) as a signatory of the UN Global Compact, has aligned and promoted a UN initiative named HeForShe, an advocacy that has yielded thousands of people to support the issue of gender equality and women’s empowerment, starting at a high level with a simple positive pledge, and moving to a deeper level of concrete action and social change. Another initiative by AWLO to promote gender equality and women leadership is African Women in Leadership Conference it tackles the problem of Women’s Representation in Leadership by giving women access to stakeholders to consult and derive sustainable ways to implement women’s leadership. At the end of the Conference, actionable steps are drawn up in a ‘communique’ to influence decision making in all domains as it affects women. This Conference also leverages Experts and Thought Leaders to build Capacity of Women to increase chances of their participation in Leadership. This year’s African Women in Leadership Conference is at Kigali Marriot, Rwanda on 4th and 5th April.
The 2019 Women’s Empowerment Principles Forum really looked to the future to help business, investors, Governments and other stakeholders navigate new opportunities and work collectively to ensure that women help define and benefit from opportunities in the future of work. The Forum also explored how to maintain momentum on advancing gender equality, accelerate the pace of progress and position responsible businesses to rise to the challenge.