Hi there people this week i talk about a project which was showcased during the 2014 Global Accelerator at the United Nations. Entrepreneurs and innovators provided in the lead up to the launch of the Business Hub.
On Monday, 15th Spetember, 2014 the UN Women launched a new component of EmpowerWomen.org. They called it a ‘Business Hub for Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment’. It allows members to showcase good practices which economically empower women workers, business women or women entrepreneurs.
What is EmpowerWomen.Org ?
EmpowerWomen.org is a community-driven online platform that provides opportunities for women and men to:
- EXPLORE over 1,000 resources and tools for driving the agenda of gender equality and women’s economic empowerment and for helping women to achieve their economic goals.
- CONNECT businesses, entrepreneurs, farmers, workers, politicians, policy-makers, professionals, researchers, and advocates for women’s economic empowerment.
- DISCUSS what governments, companies, civil society, communities, families and individuals can do to advance economic empowerment of women.
- LEARN new skills and gain insights on how to enter the job market, develop a career, run a business, claim economic rights, and succeed professionally.
What is the present situation? It is a well known fact that when women earn an income and accumulate savings and assets, they increase their economic security and spur economic and social growth. When women gain independence, they have a say in family spending and their children’s health, education and future, and they are better able to take part in decision-making processes. However, women’s opportunities for formal employment are scarce. They are hampered by lower educational levels, household duties and social norms. Some 800 million women worldwide are excluded from the labour force. In 128 of 143 economies evaluated by the World Bank in 2014, there is at least one legal difference in how men and women are treated. And in 15 of these, men can stop their wives from accepting jobs.
As a result, many women have set up home-based micro and small businesses. Some are seasonal, and often sell low-value products with low-profit margins, in sectors such as labour-intensive manufacturing, artisan production, street vending, urban waste picking, small-holder farming, and processing fish and forest products. These women often face health and safety risks and the small-scale and marginal profitability of their businesses make it difficult for them to escape poverty.
How have women responded? Women have formed collectives to leverage their access to markets and to share production, distribution, storage, marketing, and financial services. They have also formed business associations and networks to push for legislative and policy changes.
What role do institutions play? Academic institutions, particularly those with economics departments and business schools, can inspire their students—the economic policy-makers and business leaders of the future—to respect and take economic, social and environmental responsibilities by promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. Chambers of Commerce can promote the interests of women business owners. Governments and institutions can provide gender-responsive policy reforms and support system for women’s businesses. This all has far-reaching benefits, not only for the women directly involved but also for their communities and for national economies.
What have businesses done? Some businesses have established corporate social responsibility programmes and social enterprises that link profit-making with achieving gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. Other companies have tried hard to promote strong internal gender equality policies and good practice on issues such as parental leave, flexible working time, recruitment, retention and promotion, and workplace health and safety.
The UN women solution: EmpowerWomen.org was developed to connect these business partners and enable members to create their own business profiles to share stories and solutions, contribute to and benefit from expertise on specific topics, and connect with peers and experts. The Business Hub offers a complementary platform to the UN Women/UN Global Compact Women Empowerment Principles (WEPs), providing the 800+ WEPs companies with additional space to showcase their progress in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Call to Action: Help us create a globally-recognized gender-responsive business community by nominating a business, women’s collective and / or other business-focused institution.