Women’s economic empowerment event during UNIDO@50
During UNIDO’s 50th anniversary week, the BBC’s Zeinab Badawi moderated a discussion on Scaling Up Women’s Economic Empowerment through Innovative Approaches. Panellists included H.E. Shaikha Hessa Saad Abdulla Al Sabah, President of the Arab Businesswomen Council; Rajni Aggarwal, President of the Federation of Indian Women Entrepreneurs; Nadiya Cherkasova, Head of the Russian Committee on Women’s Entrepreneurship Development; Fatou Diaw, President of the African Business Women Association; Katarzyna Greco, International Coaching Expert, Women In Business, and Helen Hai, UNIDO Goodwill Ambassador. Panellists provided the audience with innovative approaches and proposals to strengthen the role of women based on their personal experience. Read more…
Seminar on women in foreign policy and international relations
Women leaders in foreign policy and international relations was the topic addressed by Professor Federiga Bindi during an awareness-raising seminar held in Vienna on 4 April, organized by the Department of Trade, Investment and Innovation at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). Her presentation highlighted the contemporary trend to make the inclusion of women on corporate boards compulsory, and the absence of any equivalent in foreign policy and international relations.
Why is foreign policy so male-dominated? Why do women just not "fit"? Or do they? What might women bring to the table that men may not? Are there ways for future generations of women can overcome the barriers and excel in this arena? These were some issues the session touched upon.
Bahrain hosts forum of businesswomen
A three-day international forum of businesswomen took place in Manama on 28-30 March 2016. It was attended by 200 women entrepreneurs from Africa, Europe, and the Arab Region, as well as from China, Turkey and the United States. The event also included an exhibition, a conference and over 500 bilateral meetings, which resulted in the signing of 34 letters of intent with an estimated investment of USD 23 million.
For more information on the B2B International Businesswomen’s Exhibition event, please see this press release.
UN organizations in Vienna hold speed-mentoring session to celebrate International Women’s Day
More than fifty experienced staff from Vienna-based intergovernmental organizations gave up their lunch breaks on 9 March 2016 to provide advice and guidance to younger staff and consultants. This was part of a speed-mentoring event organized to celebrate International Women’s Day, which this year had the theme: “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”. Leading by example, UN organizations in Vienna held this event to promote the equal and active participation of women at all levels of the UN system. The event paired mentors and mentees together for five minutes during which the mentee could pose two key questions. Mentees got to speak to five different mentors, with different career backgrounds and from different UN organizations in Vienna. Mentee, Nadja Jarl, a projects coordinator in UNIDO’s Environment Partnerships Division, said that the event “was a great opportunity to connect with senior professionals who openly shared their experiences and insights. It was also beneficial to meet professionals from various fields of work. I really learned something useful from each mentor.”
For more information on the Speed Mentoring event, please see this feature story.
Panel discussion “Sustainable leadership: Women in business” on the occasion of International Women's Day
To mark International Women’s Day, on 8 March UNIDO held a panel discussion entitled “Sustainable leadership: Women in business”. In light with the 2016 theme for International Women’s Day, “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”, and UNIDO’s mission, the panel discussion featured female sustainable development experts and businesswomen discussing their approaches to creating and leading sustainable enterprises. Considering the leading role of women entrepreneurs in managing environmentally sustainable businesses, the discussion focused on how international organizations and governments can best apply their examples to effectively implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and how they can provide businesswomen with the assets, resources and incentives they need to further support gender equality and sustainability across the industrial sector. Panellists included Marilyn Mehlmann, General Secretary of Global Action Plan (GAP) International; Ayo Elizabeth Olaogun, Creative Director, Ayo van Elmar, Nigeria; Sarah Toumi, Founder, Acacias for All, Tunisia; and Janne Vangen Solheim, UNIDO Goodwill Ambassador and Chief Executive Officer, Janusfabrikken AS, Norway. The UNIDO Director General delivered the opening remarks, which was moderated by H.E. Pilar Saborío de Rocafort, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations (Vienna) and H.E. Olga Algayerová, Permanent Representative of Slovakia to the United Nations (Vienna) and Chair of Women Ambassadors in Wien network, who also delivered the closing remarks.
Read the Director General’s opening remarks during the panel discussion.
Youth and women entrepreneurship side event at the General Conference
During the 16th session of the UNIDO General Conference, which took place in December 2015, UNIDO held a side event on how to promote and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) by developing the private sector and economically empowering young women and men. As the private sector generates more jobs than the public sector, developing the private sector is crucial for tackling unemployment among women and young women and men. The side event, entitled Youth and women entrepreneurship, therefore discussed UNIDO’s approach to entrepreneurship training, access to financial services, sectoral studies, investment promotion, upgrading companies, technical training and institutional capacity building as mechanisms to create jobs and economically empower disadvantaged groups of women and young women and men.
For more information on the side event, please click here.
Gender mainstreaming side event at the Vienna Energy Forum
The Gender Mainstreaming side event at the VEF 2015 in June strategically considered and incorporated gender dimensions throughout the whole planning, execution and follow-up of the Forum. This implies integration of gender perspectives in the event programme, gender balance of speakers and participants, as well as reflecting gender perspectives in advocacy and communication efforts. At the same time, gender-specific events were contributions to the international discussion surrounding the mutually reinforcing goals of sustainable energy and empowering women. Building on the general consensus from VEF 2013 “that in order to make a sustained impact on reducing poverty, energy strategies, policies and practices [one] must empower women in both promoting their leadership and addressing the obstacles that currently deter their full and active participation”, this year’s debate on gender dimensions in energy moved beyond women’s domestic roles in the household, and looked at role of women as active agents in advancing sustainable energy goals, and integrated gender dimensions in a more comprehensive manner.
More information on gender mainstreaming at Vienna Energy Forum, please visit here.
Special meeting on International Women’s Day to recognize and celebrate the achievements of women
On 9 March 2015, a special meeting on the recognition and celebration of women’s achievements was held by UNIDO, moderated by Celestin Monga, Managing Director, with an opening statement by the Director General LI Yong.
Women invited from Vienna-based international organizations took part in a panel, which consisted of Olga Algayerova, Permanent Representative of Slovakia to UNIDO; Gloria del Carmen Young Chizmar, Permanent Representative of Panama to UNIDO; Janice Dunn Lee, Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Management at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Nelly Enwerem-Bromson, Director of Division of the Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy at the IAEA; Fatou Haidara, Director of the Policymaking Organs Secretariat, Advocacy and Communications Branch at UNIDO; Gillian Murray, Deputy Director of the Division for Policy Analysis, and Chief of the Public Affairs and Policy Support Branch at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); and Yeshiareg Mekonnen Teferra, Senior Human Resources Consultant and former Chief of Human Resources Section at the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).
The panelists discussed the importance of upholding women’s achievements, recognizing challenges, and setting the focus on greater attention to women’s rights and gender equality to mobilize all people to do their part. UNIDO joined the UN and the global world in commemorating the ground-breaking Conference of 1995 and celebrated the many achievements that have come since then and galvanized action to address the gaps that still remain in making gender equality a reality.
Click here to read the Director General's Statement on International Women's Day (IWD).
Click here to see photos of the event.
Conference on Fostering Entrepreneurial Youth
The three-day Conference on Fostering Entrepreneurial Youth took place in November 2014 in Vienna. It focused on how education systems and the private sector can most actively promote entrepreneurial attitudes and talent in youth. The conference, organized by UNIDO with the support of the government of Japan, provides a platform for policymakers, practitioners, researchers and business representatives to discuss approaches to developing young people’s, especially young girls' attitudes, skills and knowledge for an entrepreneurial society. The knowledge-exchange involving more than 100 participants from over 50 countries is expected to help governments to develop and improve entrepreneurship curricula and learning initiatives.
Click here to learn more about the conference.
Panel on converting commodities into products: The role of women in Least Developed Countries
In Least Developed Countries (LDCs) women bear the heaviest burden of poverty. According to the most recent Human Development Report (HDR, 2013), all LDCs rank below the global median in the Gender Inequality Index (GII).
In December 2013, the LDC Ministerial Conference in Lima, Peru, showcased a panel on “Converting commodities into products: The role of women in Least Developed Countries (LDCs)”. Moderated by the Chair of the Gender Mainstreaming Steering Committee (GMSC), Nilgün Tas, the panel debated the role of women in the agricultural value chains in LDCs, the key challenges and opportunities for women’s economic empowerment in the agricultural value chains as well as central policy issues for empowering women while converting commodities into products.
The discussion recognized that while advancement on gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in LDCs is slow and sparse, good practices, knowledge and experience from LDCs on creating gender responsive value chains is a source of common progress.
Click here to read the full concept paper.
Green Industry Conference 2013: “Women in Green Industry”
Jointly organized by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) of China and UNIDO, the Green Industry Conference (GIC) 2013 took place from 7 to 9 November 2013 in Guangzhou, China.
The conference held a session on “Women in Green Industry” moderated by Claudia Linke Heep from UNIDO. The session featured two successful women entrepreneurs in the field of Green Industry, Chen Chunhong of Yiyuan Environmental Group and Ms. Qui Xuemei of Qinghai Damohong Wolfberry Company Ltd., who shared their respective business concepts. Iresha Somarathna from Sri Lanka demonstrated how the textile company Brandix Lanka Ltd. encourages environmentally sustainable behaviour within the corporation and the community and improves the working conditions of their 90 per cent female employees. Maria del Pilar Granados from the Ministry of Industry in Colombia completed the debate by providing insight on government programmes for women in green industry and the specific challenges faced.
Key outcomes of the GIC include the engagement of UNIDO with governments, business associations and enterprises to promote the particular interest of women in green industry and the creation of a “Women in Green Industry’’ network within the framework of the Green Industry Platform.
Click here to read the full executive summary.
VEF side event summary: “Women’s leadership on energy justice in productive sectors”
Following the Rio+20 Summit, UNIDO’s third Vienna Energy Forum (VEF) held in May 2013 provided a high-level forum to discuss and follow-up on the energy dimensions captured in the Rio+20 outcome document, “The Future We Want”. This year’s VEF included a gender and energy side event – “Women’s Leadership on Energy Justice in Productive Sectors” – that was jointly coordinated by UNIDO’s Gender Mainstreaming Steering Committee (GMSC) and the Energy and Climate Change Branch (ECC) with the support of the SEED Initiative.
The side event brought together a dynamic panel of practitioners, experts and advocates who continued the debate on women’s leadership and economic empowerment in energy. Among those who engaged in the discussion were UNIDO’s former Director General Kandeh Yumkella, and the former President of Ireland and founder of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, Mary Robinson.
The panel members offered key themes and issues prevalent in the gender and energy debate provoking an exchange of ideas and debate that explored potential ways to ensure women’s leadership at the policy level as well as means to promote women’s economic empowerment in the energy sector. There was a general consensus that in order to make a sustained impact on reducing poverty, energy strategies, policies and practices must empower women in both promoting their leadership and addressing existing barriers that deter their full and active participation. A key outcome for the side event was the incorporation of gender issues in the Final Declaration of the Vienna Energy Forum.
Click here to read a full summary on the event.
The UNIDO General Conference, Interregional debate 6 on “Empowering Women: Fostering Entrepreneurship”
The 15th session of the UNIDO General Conference, which took place from 2 to 6 December 2013 in Lima, Peru, included an inter-regional debate solely dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. Entitled "Empowering Women: Fostering Entrepreneurship", the inter-regional debate provided a forum to gain a better understanding of the role of women in economic development, the current challenges that need to be addressed, and potential ways forward to promote women entrepreneurs in the context of inclusive and sustainable industrial development. Through a dynamic panel of gender equality advocates and women entrepreneurial pioneers, the debate showcased and allowed for an open dialogue for the panellists to exchange insights and share their own personal experiences to economic empowerment.
The session reaffirmed the centrality of gender equality in inclusive and sustainable industrial development and UNIDO’s role in promoting women’s economic empowerment in the post-2015 framework.
Click here to read a full summary on the event.