Investing in women’s economic empowerment (WEE) is crucial to achieve gender equality, poverty reduction and in response and recovery of COVID-19. Women contribute enormously to economies: in businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs or employees, or by doing unpaid work at home. Realizing women’s potential is a universal mission but some of the barriers holding women back are also universal.
When the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action for gender equality and women’s rights was adopted 25 years ago, expectations were high and few of its goals seemed within reach. Much has been achieved since then, but many challenges remain and consequences of the global pandemic risk setting back major gains.
We are at a juncture with only 10 years before the Global Goals are to be met and gender equality is one of the global sustainable development goals that receives the least resources. In response to the UN Secretary General’s call to action for a Decade of Action, a new and innovative global initiative will be launched in 2021, the Generation Equality Action Coalitions, to accelerate progress for women and girls by addressing critical constraints and developing concrete actions over the period of five years that will be collectively led by public, private, and civil society leaders. Sweden is co-leading one of the six coalitions and is one of the first countries in the world that adopted a feminist foreign policy, followed by a feminist trade policy.
Trade has led to higher living standards and lower poverty, and holds potential for strengthening women’s economic empowerment. However, the effects of trade and economic growth on poverty reduction are hampered by gender inequality. Today, world trade policies and trade agreements benefit men more than women, and the need for a greater gender perspective is pressing, to enable a real change for women’s economic empowerment in reducing gender inequalities.
Welcome to join a virtual session gathering development leaders and practitioners to learn about the state and future of women’s economic empowerment and if trade can be a game changer and tool to accelerate progress and mitigate set-backs.
We are commemorating the 25th anniversary of the landmark Beijing Platform and Agenda for action for gender equality and women’s rights, and Sida is a resolute supporter of the global Generation Equality campaign for gender equality. Show that you stand on the right side of history by sharing your commitment on social media with #GenerationEquality