Events

International Gender Champions in Vienna say “Harassment has no place at our events!”

VIENNA, 2 July 2021 - In parallel to the Generation Equality Forum, a landmark event of the international community to accelerate progress on gender equality and the empowerment of women, International Gender Champions (IGC) in Vienna affirmed their zero-tolerance approach to harassment, including sexual harassment.

Initiated by the IGC Vienna Representation Impact Group, co-led by the UNIDO Director General and the Permanent Representatives of Afghanistan and Finland to the United Nations in Vienna, International Gender Champions launched a campaign video on the Code of Conduct to Prevent Harassment, including Sexual Harassment, at UN system events.

More information can be found here.

New UNIDO Gender Mainstreaming Guide launched

VIENNA, 30 June 2021 – With the financial support of the Government of Finland, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) launched its new “UNIDO Guide to Gender Analysis and Gender Mainstreaming the Project Cycle”, which aims at facilitating the efficient and effective integration of gender considerations throughout industrial development projects.

“More than a third of all UNIDO projects and programmes approved in 2020 are expected to at least significantly contribute to gender equality and the empowerment of women”, said UNIDO Director General LI Yong. “The Guide will help us increase this even further to ensure women and men can equally lead, participate in, and benefit from industrial development.”

More information can be found here.

UNIDO-Finland CSW65 side event: “Women’s leadership for climate-neutral and circular Industries”

UNIDO and Finland organized a side event on 19 March 2021 on “Women’s leadership for climate-neutral and circular Industries” in the framework of the 65th session on the Commission for the Status of Women.

The event centered on the trajectories and innovative business models of four women entrepreneurs, who focus on areas such as green building design, biogas, wastewater management and climate-smart investment. The event also discussed how financing institutions, governments and international organizations can support women entrepreneurs and the necessity to eliminate gender-based barriers and biases in this field to ensure everyone can contribute to a more sustainable, greener future.

More information can be found here.

Vienna Discussion Forum 2020 - The future is gender-inclusive: Global responses in crisis management and recovery

VIENNA, 27 November 2020 – UNODC and UNIDO, together with the Permanent Missions of Finland, Norway and Sweden in Vienna, hosted the second annual Vienna Discussion Forum (VDF), a platform to discuss gender equality in the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals. In the context of COVID-19, this year’s event was dedicated to crisis preparedness, response and recovery efforts and the necessity for them to be gender-responsive in order not to perpetuate or exacerbate already existing inequalities. 

The 2020 Vienna Discussion Forum underscored that crises have repercussions on everyone, however they often disproportionately impact women and girls due to gender inequalities. Legal barriers and detrimental social norms leave them with less access to protection, resources and opportunities. The COVID-19 pandemic has made no exception to this, as recognized by LI Yong, Director General of UNIDO, in the event’s high-level opening ceremony: “COVID-19 has exacerbated pre-existing inequalities for women. Gender-responsive preparedness efforts and women at the decision-making table are prerequisites for comprehensive crisis management.”

More information can be found here.

Flexible working arrangements and the future of work:  promoting gender equality, diversity and inclusion

VIENNA, 20 October 2020 - The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Vienna Regional Office of the International Organization for Migration  (IOM) have organized a webinar on flexible working arrangements (FWAs) and the future of work. The webinar was part of the 19-23 October 2020 Enabling Environment Week, a joint initiative of the Gender Focal Points and Focal Points of Women of the Vienna-based United Nations organizations (VBOs) and the International Gender Champions initiative.

Enabling Environment Guidelines (EEGs) and their accompanying Supplementary Guidance for the United Nations System were developed in 2019 in response to the UN Secretary General's System-wide Strategy on Gender Parity. The EEGs provide UN system-wide guidance to create a more diverse, inclusive and respectful work environment - both as a precursor to achieving gender parity and a key to sustaining it. Implementing FWAs is one of the measures recommended in the EEGs.

More information can be found here.

UNIDO, Finland and Afghanistan extend IGC Representation Impact Group to Vienna

VIENNA, 5 March 2020 – The Vienna chapter of the International Gender Champions (IGC) initiative met on 5 March 2020 to endorse Impact Groups on mainstreaming gender equality throughout issues of common concern. UNIDO presented a concept for a Representation Impact Group in Vienna, which aims to implement some of the practical recommendations of the Gender-Responsive Assemblies Toolkit developed by the Representation Impact Group in Geneva.

Specifically, the Vienna Representation Impact Group will pilot an artificial intelligence-based machine learning software to analyze the share of speaking time of men and women at events of Vienna-based entities. The Impact Group also intends to adapt the Chief Executives Board-endorsed Model Code of Conduct to Prevent Harassment, including Sexual Harassment, at UN System Events to the Viennese context in a view to provide interested Vienna-based entities, on a voluntary opt-in basis, with a mechanism to provide centralized guidance on the grievance, investigation and remedy processes.

More information can be found here.

Vienna Discussion Forum 2019 on ending violence against women

VIENNA, 21 November 2019 - The first Vienna Discussion Forum, a platform to discuss and call for action on gender equality within the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), addressed gender-based violence from the perspective of the respective mandates of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), namely women’s economic empowerment (SDGs 8 and 9), and crime prevention, criminal justice responses (SDG 16). The Forum, which marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November), was organized by UNIDO and the UNODC, together with the representatives of Finland, Norway and Sweden.

“It is clear that we need to develop comprehensive approaches to address violence against women. Crime prevention and criminal justice responses and women’s economic empowerment can complement each other in this endeavour,” said UNIDO Director General LI Yong. “We work together with governments, the private sector and civil society to develop gender-responsive and inclusive industrial policies. We aim to promote enabling working environments that allow for women to thrive both professionally and personally.”

More information can be found here.

Ensuring that industrial pathways meet the needs of both women and men through UNIDO’s new Gender Strategy and inclusive industrial policies

ABU DHABI, 4 November 2019 - At a side-event sponsored by Finland at the eighteenth session of its General Conference, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) launched its new Strategy for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, 2020-2023 to ensure that present and future industrial development pathways meet the needs of women and girls as well as of men and boys, thereby enabling them to fully participate as innovators, leaders and economic actors.

Director General LI Yong also presented UNIDO’s new Gender Strategy for 2020-2023, which includes two objectives to enhance the delivery of results on gender equality and the empowerment of women: to strengthen UNIDO’s strategic planning and programmatic activities and to strengthen UNIDO’s institutional capacity and effectiveness. On the programmatic side, the Strategy commits UNIDO to mainstreaming gender in all of its projects and programmes and developing interventions that challenge the discrimination faced by women and girls. Organizationally, the Strategy focuses on promoting gender-responsive leadership, coherence, financing and oversight as well as increasing the representation of women among UNIDO’s personnel.

More information can be found here.

How men can play an active role in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment

VIENNA, 7 March 2019 – International Gender Champions and Heads of the Vienna-based United Nations organizations have discussed how men can play an active role in promoting gender equality.

The event, held to mark International Women’s Day 2019, kicked off with a presentation by Matt Wallaert, a behavioural scientist and entrepreneur working at the intersection of technology and human relations. He talked about the importance of being aware of the micro-behaviours that hamper or promote gender equality in organizations.

Yury Fedotov, Director-General of UN in Vienna and Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, said, “We need to heed the call of this year’s International Women’s Day to 'think equal, build smart, innovate for change' and do more to fast-track gender equality through innovation around gender-responsive systems and services.”

LI Yong, the Director General of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), said the call to innovate for change is a key part of his organization’s work to achieve inclusive and sustainable industrial development.

More information can be found here.

International expert session at the Second Euroasian Women’s Forum in St Petersburg – “UNIDO: A Global Platform for the Development of Women's Entrepreneurship”

On 20 September 2018, UNIDO and OPORA Russia's Women's Entrepreneurship Development Committee organized an expert session under the topic: "UNIDO: A Global Platform for the Development of Women's Entrepreneurship” which took place within the Second Eurasian Women's Forum to discuss the role of women in contemporary society and the role of the UNIDO in scaling up women’s entrepreneurship development globally. At the event, presenters outlined the three main levels of UNIDO’s activities aimed at supporting women’s entrepreneurship under the Organization’s mandate on inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) using practical cases of UNIDO’s intervention. The audience had a chance to learn how UNIDO creates an enabling environment for women’s economic empowerment, how it cooperates with business associations for capacity-building and investment promotion, as well as how it directly supports individual women engaged in business. More information can be found here.

Roll-out of the first Gender Equality Mobilization (GEM) Award recognizing UNIDO staff taking extra step to prioritize gender equality

On 19 June 2018, the Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organziation (UNIDO) has presented Gender Equality Mobilization (GEM) Awards to 3 staff members and 2 teams in recognition of their exceptional efforts to prioritize gender equality and gender-responsive behaviour in their work. Investing in women’s talent and innovation is an important aspect which was underscored by the work of the winning teams and staff members. The UNIDO team in Pakistan employs a number of innovative strategies, capacity-building and advocacy efforts to enable more women to participate in and benefit from the programmes implemented under their coverage. The gender champions of the Learning and Knowledge Development Facility (LKDF) team targeted the traditionally male-dominated fields of heavy-duty equipment and commercial vehicles, as well as forestry, by developing specific measures to support industrial skills training for women. At headquarters, staff members were recognized for their individual efforts to advance gender equality throughout the Organization. Advocacy and Media Relations Officer Charles Arthur’s consistent sharing of information related to gender and application of a gender-responsive perspective in written articles raises organizational awareness and helps promote UNIDO’s impact on gender equality through its technical cooperation activities. Industrial Development Officer Claudia Linke-Heep promoted gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in UNIDO’s technical cooperation activities, in particular through the development of the flagship project, “Economic Empowerment of Women in Green Industry.” Senior Industrial Development Officer Gabriele Ott was recognized for her longstanding contributions and active engagement in gender issues, particularly in encouraging gender mainstreaming and a strategic and coordinated approach to gender equality and women’s empowerment issues within UNIDO. More information can be found here.

UNIDO International Forum opening the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2018: Creating an enabling environment to increase women’s contribution to economic growth

More than 200 participants came together on 23 May 2018 to share their experiences on the challenges and best-practice solutions for scaling up successful models for women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship. Three main sessions of the Forum provided an exciting platform for fruitful debate with an action-oriented outlook, involving policy makers and representatives from the private sector, as well as women’s networks. The development of a global women-leaders talent pool as a way of fostering network opportunities among women experts from various business sectors, the creation of an e-learning platform for women providing managerial and entrepreneurial skills development courses, as well as capacity building initiatives in cooperation with the private sector, business associations and civil society were all discussed during the event. More information can be found here and here.

Promoting economic empowerment for rural women in the MENA region at the CSW 2018

At the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) taken place in March 2018, a side-event was organized by the governments of Italy and Tunisia, in cooperation with UNIDO, UN Women and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to discuss the topic of women’s empowerment in the Middle-East and North Africa (MENA) region. High-level speakers from Italy, the MENA region, UN agencies, and non-governmental organizations agreed that women face several barriers to their equal participation in the social, economic and political spheres, and these constraints are felt even more harshly by rural women. A holistic approach including policy and capacity-building dimensions, adopted by UNIDO, can be the key to successful industrialization which reduces poverty, increases employment, and creates positive benefits for women. More information can be found here.

Office for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women represented UNIDO at Youth Speak Forum on SDG 5

On Friday 8 March, 2018, the Gender Office participated in the Youth Speak Forum event organised by AIESEC in Austria together with UNIDO. The event brought young leaders, business-, government- and NGO-representatives together to form a diverse cross-sectoral and multi-generational space for inspiring conversations and gaining new perspectives. Attendants chose one SDG to learn more about (choosing from SDGs 2 on Zero Hunger, 5 on Gender Equality, 7 on Affordable and Clean Energy, & 9 on Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), participating in the respective SDG workshop with the end goal of developing a project for achieving their selected SDG. The Gender Office led the workshop on SDG 5 on Gender Equality, providing an overview of UNIDO’s work to advance gender equality and guidance for developing the group projects. The project selected for SDG 5 eventually went on to win the overall competition. More information can be found here and here.

Gender Breakfast at the UNIDO 17th session of the General Conference

On 29 November 2017, the Director General of UNIDO, LI Yong, and high-level policymakers and business leaders joined a panel discussion highlighting the importance of partnerships to advance gender equality in industrial development. The speakers explored the work done by UNIDO and its partners to support innovative, gender-responsive initiatives and to impart the necessary skills to empower women. Accessing to business development services, technology and innovation are key priority areas and actions where the role of women in industry should be further strengthened. More information and video to watch the event again can be found here.

Women in Industry Panel at the WEIF

Experts and entrepreneurs from over 90 countries gathered at the World Entrepreneurs Investment Forum (WEIF) in the first week in November 2017 in Bahrain. The Forum focused on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through promoting entrepreneurship and innovation; it was organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization’s (UNIDO) Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO) in Bahrain under the patronage of HRH Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister of Bahrain. “Women in Industry” was a theme of the Forum and over 60 percent of participants were women. At a plenary panel discussion on Women in Industry, women entrepreneurs, policy makers, business, as well as officials from financial institutions and UN agencies came together to discuss the challenges confronting women entrepreneurs and how to overcome them. “This is a chance for everyone around the world – policy makers, investors, those in technology – to realize that women are not waiting for handouts, they are looking for opportunities. An opportunity is not a handout,” Adot Killmeyer-Oleche, the Chief of UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Institute for Capacity Development, told UN News. More information can be found here.

Training on Gender and Industrial Development in Bahrain

The UNIDO Institute for Capacity Development and the UNIDO Office for Gender Equality and Empowerment conducted the pilot course on gender and Industrial Development in the capital of the Kingdom of Bahrain from 25 to 30 October 2017. The course was organized in cooperation with the UNIDO Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO) / Arab International Center for Entrepreneurship & Investment (AICEI) and supported by the Government of Finland and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa. 28 government officials and private sector representatives from 24 countries in Africa and the Arab region gathered together to reflect on the terms under which women have been included in the industrialization process across regions, discuss ways in which industrialization directly affects women’s roles and participation in the labour force and economic life in general and learn tools to effectively design policies and strategies to promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development. More information can be found here.

UNIDO International Gender Champions Meeting

At the invitation of the Director General of UNIDO, 13 ambassadors, as well as counsellors representing two ambassadors , met on 19 October 2017 to discuss gender equality and women’s empowerment. The Director General informed fellow International Gender Champions about UNIDO’s gender-related activities and events to be held during the 17th session of the General Conference. The ambassadors, who are also International Gender Champions, spoke about their efforts to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment.

UNIDO building alliances for women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship

On 26 July 2017, a high-level Russian delegation visited UNIDO to discuss the building of global alliances for women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship. The meeting was a continuation of the discussions initiated at the Interregional Forum, “Women Entrepreneurship - Challenges and Solutions in Europe and the Arab region”, held on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on 31 May 2017. Through this collaboration, UNIDO seeks to contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that strongly recognizes women’s empowerment as a vital component. More information can be found here.

Launch of UNIDO/UN Women gender & industrial development training module

On 19 June 2017, UNIDO and UN Women launched a new online training module: Gender, Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development, as part of the I Know Gender e-learning course. UNIDO Director General, LI Yong, said, “UNIDO's vision of inclusive and sustainable industrial development encourages the full integration of women and the promotion of gender equality in all industrialization policies, programmes and processes. This course will assist UN staff and our partners to understand how gender equality is critical for industrial development and to take action to empower women in the productive sectors." More information on the course and a link for where to register can be found here.

Launch of International Gender Champions, Vienna Chapter

On 14 June 2017, Li Yong, the Director General of UNIDO, represented by Ms Fatou Haidara, joined counterparts from other Vienna-based Organizations and Representatives from Permanent Missions to launch the Vienna Chapter of the International Gender Champions. The International Gender Champions (IGC) is a leadership network that brings together decision-makers who commit to promote gender equality. As an International Gender Champion, UNIDO Director General Li will support the IGC Panel Parity Pledge. Two further pledges are that UNIDO will develop an action plan to improve the gender balance of the organization’s workforce, and that UNIDO will track progress on the use of the gender marker to assess and report on the organization’s contribution to gender equality through its programmes and projects. More information on the initiative can be found here.

Interregional Forum on Women Entrepreneurship – Challenges and Solutions in Europe and the Arab region at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

On 31 May 2017, UNIDO convened an interregional forum to scale up women’s entrepreneurship in Europe and the Arab region. Held on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), the event featured case studies from both regions and showed best practices in the areas of policy, as well as institutional and grassroots solutions to support businesswomen. More information on the event can be found here.

Speed Mentoring 2017

The routine of the Vienna International Centre was livened up by a speed-mentoring event held at lunchtime 19 May 2017. The initiative, taken by the gender focal points of the United Nations Vienna-based organizations, aimed to allow experienced staff to share their stories and advice with a broader audience of female staff members, interns and consultants. Gender parity and women’s empowerment lead to better decision-making and better management and that is why gender equality lies at the core of UNIDO’s work. Events like the speed-mentoring support women in the development of their careers and are not only positive for them, but for the future of the Organization and of the United Nations.

International Women’s Day 2017 discussion: From smart economics to smart workplaces

To celebrate International Women's Day on 8 March 2017, Paulina Franceschi Navarro, Permanent Represent of Panama to UNIDO, moderated the panel discussion "From smart economics to smart workplaces." Panelists Helen Eduards, Permanent Representative of Sweden to UNIDO; Lisa Kepinski, founder of the Inclusion Institute; and Jitka Schmiedova, Project Manager for Erste Bank People Services engaged in a lively discussion on gender equality and the empowerment of women through smart workplaces that foster diversity and inclusivity.

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.

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. 

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