The new era of industrialization marked by Industry 4.0, digitalization and innovation has been gaining momentum, entailing a range of new opportunities and challenges. Women and girls account for half of the world’s population, yet 250 million fewer women than men are online. Bridging the digital gender divide is a prerequisite for achieving sustainable economic growth and prosperity.
“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 aimed at advancing the women’s economic empowerment agenda in the region of Europe and Central Asia and beyond. 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. UNIDO fostered global knowledge sharing by inviting prominent experts and leaders to share their opinions and policy recommendations at major platforms for multi-stakeholder dialogue, such 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.