Vienna, 29 November – The Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), LI Yong, was joined by policymakers and business leaders at the 17th Session of the UNIDO General Conference for a panel discussion titled, ‘Partnering for Impact: Advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment in industry to achieve the 2030 Agenda’.
Moderated by international broadcaster, Lucy Hockings, the discussion explored the work done by UNIDO and its partners to support innovative, gender-responsive industrial development and to impart the necessary skills to empower women.
Speakers also considered how governments, the private sector, civil society and others can open the way for more women to participate in, and benefit from inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID).
Key priority areas and actions where UNIDO and its partners are able to strengthen the role of women in industrial development were also discussed, including access to business development services, technology and innovation.
UNIDO Director General Li spoke about the organization’s commitment to supporting the application of a gender perspective in ISID projects. He said, “Through Sustainable Development Goal 9, we support inclusiveness, meaning that everyone can participate in industrial development.”
Senior Vice President and Global Head of SAP Next-Gen Ann Rosenberg spoke about SAP’s work with partners to change this, including UN Women.
SAP is collaborating with UN Women to foster partnerships across the private sector, academic and non-profit organizations to accelerate change and enable women and girls to design, shape and benefit from the technological transformations and innovations as next generation digital innovators.
Talking about how UN partnerships with SAP empower women to become a bigger part of the new digital economy, she said, “We want to work with UNIDO to inspire women to step up to every part of innovation!”
Anne Meskanen, Finland’s Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women Issues and Gender Equality, said, “We need to change the mindset. We need 21st century thinking,” and argued that gender equality needs to be mainstreamed in all activities and actions.
Mebrahtu Meles, Ethiopia’s State Minister of Industry said that UNIDO's Programme for Country Partnership supports this country's industrialization process in order to create jobs for women. He added that his government had mainstreamed gender in all ministries and all sectoral plans.
Veronika Peshkova, a member of the governing board of OPORA Russia, a non-governmental organization consisting of approximately 400,000 entrepreneurs and other individuals from more than 143 industry unions, associations and guilds, shared her experiences. She urged women to get involved in entrepreneurship, and described her efforts to link women’s entrepreneurship associations across the world so that women-led businesses can support each other.
Questions from the audience reflected the importance of partnerships involving the private sector and of the UN family working together to further women’s economic empowerment.
The discussion highlighted that UNIDO’s partnerships allow it to implement programmes that address women’s and men’s distinct needs and vulnerabilities and utilize their skills in different ways. This increases women’s participation rates in different regions, as well as in traditionally male-dominated industries, and fosters innovation.
The 17th Session of the UNIDO General Conference is taking place from 27 November to 1 December in Vienna, Austria and is themed “Partnering for impact — achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”.
For further information please contact:
Office for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women