UNIDO offices across the globe celebrate International Women’s Day

UNIDO offices across the globe celebrate International Women’s Day

21 Mar 2018

United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) offices around the world have celebrated International Women’s Day 2018 (IWD18). The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day was “Time is now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”. With International Gender Champion, Director General LI Yong at the helm, advancing gender equality and women’s economic empowerment are at the core of UNIDO’s mandate on inclusive and sustainable industrial development;

“We have made great strides in enabling women’s equal participation in the social, economic and political spheres in recent decades. However, gender inequalities still prevail and, if not addressed, will undermine efforts to transform our world by way of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We work with teachers who are imparting knowledge and teaching skills to young women learning to be engineers and entrepreneurs; with trainers who coach and mentor women starting up their own businesses; and with policymakers formulating and implementing ways to expand opportunities for women in green industry at all levels."


A number of events were held globally, demonstrating the Organization’s commitment to empowering women as a foundation for creating shared prosperity, advancing economic competitiveness and safeguarding the environment.

In UNIDO’s field office in Pakistan, an event focusing on gender mainstreaming featured an interactive session in which Saadia Abbasi, Senior Sales Manager for General Electric (GE) Hydro Power Division, shared her experience and views on the topic of "Empowering Women in Industry and in the Energy Sector for Inclusive Industrial Growth in Pakistan". The challenges faced by women in various areas, including energy efficiency, renewable energy and cluster development were also explored further during the event’s Q&A session.

Pakistan IWD celebrations

Women from all over the island of Madagascar gathered in Antananarivo to celebrate IWD18, under the patronage of the country’s First Lady, Voahangy Rajaonarimampianina, and in collaboration with the Malagasy Government represented by the Ministry of Population, Social Protection and Promotion of Women. UNIDO also celebrated the day with craftswomen in Farafangana, who participate in the Tsara II project, which helps rural women to ensure food security for their communities through creating productive activities and diversifying revenues in the handicraft sector.

Meanwhile in Canada, Kai Bethke, Director, External Affairs, UNIDO, participated in a panel discussion on “The Empowerment of Women through Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development” held at the University of Toronto. During the session, he re-iterated UNIDO’s commitment to targeting gender equality and women’s economic empowerment, and the importance of this not only from the perspective of realizing women’s rights but also in terms of “smart economics.”