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MDG 3: Promote Gender equality and empower women

“No individual and no nation must be denied the opportunity to benefit from development. The equal rights and opportunities of women and men must be assured”
Millennium Declaration

Poverty often has a woman's face. Women and girls constitute three-fifths of the world's poor: their poverty level is worse than that of men as a result of clear gender disparities in education, employment opportunities and decision-making power. It is clear that, achieving the MDGs will not be feasible without closing the gap between women and men in terms of capacities, access to resources and opportunities, and vulnerability to violence and conflicts.

For MDG3, UNIDO’s response is to actively foster the participation of women in the productive sectors, with a strong focus on entrepreneurship, in an effort to enable women to generate a sustained income. This is achieved primarily through enterprise development programmes that address the inequalities faced by women with a focus on capacity-building, policy and institutional support.

UNIDO implements the following activities directly related to MDG3:

•    Women entrepreneurship development
•    Business environment reform through technical and advisory services
•    SME cluster development
•    Technological upgrading and agro-value chain development
•    Rural and renewable energy for productive use
•    Entrepreneurship curriculum programmes
•    Building of national and regional networks of Business Support Organizations (BSOs)
 
Example of UNIDO project under MDG3:

Rural and Women’s Entrepreneurship Development Programme

The Programme stimulates entrepreneurship in developing countries, with a focus on women and youth. Under this programme, UNIDO has prepared entrepreneurship development curricula for secondary and vocational school on Angola, Cameroon, Guinea, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda and Timor-Leste.

Due to its integrated nature (covering technical, management and marketing aspects of manufacturing from production to markets), the programme has made a significant contribution to rural development and women entrepreneurship by ensuring that women acquire the necessary skills to ensure continuity of their businesses.

Example of successful initiative in Morocco:

UNIDO, in collaboration with the Spanish Cooperation Agency, developed a women entrepreneurship programme for Moroccan women. UNIDO helped women producers to improve the knowledge, technology and hygiene practices to produce safe and good quality olive oil. The programme had the following impacts:

•    339 women have been trained in production management, technological improvements and systems assuring safety and quality in manufacturing
•    More than 70 women have been trained in spinning, weaving and finishing as well training in management, accounting and maintenance reporting
•    Women entrepreneurs have participated in trade fairs in Spain and Italy, thereby building their understanding of markets and market requirements
•    Women entrepreneurs in rural areas have been able to generate an income and improve their standards of living, as well as offer stable employment