The new era of industrialization marked by Industry 4.0, digitalization and innovation has been gaining momentum, entailing a range of potential benefits, as well as challenges to be addressed in the area of women’s access to modern technologies. Women and girls account for half of the world’s population, yet 250 million fewer women than men are online. This makes the digital empowerment of women and girls a prerequisite for achieving sustainable economic growth and fostering prosperity. As technologies are rapidly progressing, it is becoming increasingly important to help all people keep up with this pace by upgrading their knowledge and skills allowing them to seize the opportunities provided by the evolving global markets.
“We welcome UNIDO’s role as a global platform for the promotion of women’s economic empowerment and leadership, and call for continued efforts, strengthening of international cooperation and partnerships with public, private sector and academia in this field,” – reemphasized UNIDO’s Member States in the Abu Dhabi Declaration, which was adopted at the 18th session of the UNIDO General Conference in November 2019.
In the spirit of this pivotal commitment, UNIDO, with financial support provided by the Government of the Russian Federation, has, since 2018, been implementing a project aiming to scale up the advancement of the women’s economic empowerment agenda in the region of Europe and Central Asia, as well as globally. The project activities have been carried out in the following key service dimensions: sharing knowledge and expertise; forging partnerships and networking; developing competencies and capacity building.
The project facilitated the creation of a robust inter-regional network of stakeholders representing governments, the private sector and civil society organizations that are engaged in the promotion of women’s economic empowerment, entrepreneurship and leadership. Project activities thus helped foster global knowledge sharing by inviting prominent women’s economic empowerment advocates from all over the world to share their expertise at such prestigious global forum events as the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum in 2018, the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum in 2017, 2018 and 2019, and the Second Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit in 2019.
Key counterparts from the Russian Federation – the Council of the Eurasian Women’s Forum under the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Industry and Trade have been greatly contributing to the success of all project endeavors. Numerous initiatives have been also supported and mainstreamed by UNIDO Goodwill Ambassador Veronika Peshkova, thereby increasing the outreach to the public and the private sector.
In 2019, UNIDO kicked off the development of an online training course – as a capacity-building component of the project – aiming to upgrade the business management skills of women entrepreneurs and managers when it comes to widespread digitalization and emerging innovative tools, allowing for increased efficiency and productivity of business activities. The training course titled “Digital Business Innovations for Women Entrepreneurs and Managers” is expected to be finalized and piloted towards the end of spring 2021. It will be accessible free of charge in English and Russian through the UNIDO e-learning platform.
Please see below the introductory video presenting the new online training course (in English and Russian).