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 technological education. 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 a prerequisite in achieving sustainable economic growth and increasing prosperity. As technologies are rapidly progressing, it is becoming increasingly important to help all people keep up with this pace by upgrading the knowledge and skills so they can 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 Novermber 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 upscale and raise awareness on the advancement of the women’s economic empowerment agenda in the region of Europe and Central Asia, as well as globally. The project has been focusing on the following key service dimensions: sharing knowledge and expertise, forging partnerships and networking, and 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 e-learning training course – as a capacity-building component of the project – aiming to upgrade the business management skills of women entrepreneurs when it comes to widespread digitalization and development of innovative approaches, allowing for increased efficiency and productivity of business activity. The training course, provisionally titled “Digital Business Innovations for Women Entrepreneurs and Managers”, is expected to be finalized and piloted by the end of 2020. It will be accessible free-of-charge in English and Russian through the UNIDO e-learning platform.
Have a look at the project’s Annual Overview 2019 here.
For further information, please contact
Ms. Solomiya Omelyan
UNIDO Regional Division for Europe and Central Asia
|Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals|